Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The circus

Children have this certain glow, and nothing ever really comes close to it. Like any other remarkable, irreplaceable moment; it’s a picture that no camera can ever really take, a video that no camcorder can ever really capture. Of course both of these devices are used as a support, but it is only the sensation you feel that can ever really take, capture that perfect spark in their eyes.

It’s not that easy to explain where that youthful glimmer comes from. It is common knowledge to believe that it is the age of innocence: the naivety and pureness that accompany their beings. And it is probably the truth, although perhaps, as it always is, there must be more to it… Either way, all know that this sincere expression in the eyes of children has the power to ignite something quite unique in our eyes, those of us, adults, as well. Luckily enough, some get to experience that same glare children have every single day of their lives. On the other hand, others are reminded of it only too seldom.

There is one place on earth where you can grasp this childlike glow in numbers. In fact, this following experience is regarded as being an absolute must for any child: it is colorful and exciting, it is magical, it is another world. You do have a few ideas on what this location might be; but it is not Disney World, it isn't the zoo and it is not attending those famous birthday celebrations at McDonald’s. Something else, slightly crazier, may as well come to mind like… the circus for instance? Yes indeed, the fabulous world of the circus: one of the absolute musts in a little person’s life.

The circus is so volatile and enriching! Children, young and older,  get a taste of very different sights, which will make anyone jump to the roof. The clowns attract your attention immediately with their funny self and show. You have those fantastic acrobats and jugglers who always manage to take your breath away. You also get to see trained animals such as tigers and lions, whose masters are so very brave. Of course you should have the host who is bubbly and full of energy. And finally, you’ll find the great magician whose tricks completely fascinate, amaze you and consequently, you’ll die trying finding out how he did it... And so on, and so forth. The fabulous world of the circus: don’t children just love it?

Well, take a second to answer that… because actually, they don’t. Not all of them at least.

The reason it isn’t Disney World, the zoo or the superb birthdays at McDonald’s is because, when you carefully think about it, the circus – in comparison with these other places – is really more of a place for us adults, the older ones. It might be labeled as a childlike event, but it is a complete and utter lie that all children are smitten with the circus like they are in love with Disney World: many of them actually get out of the circus scared and shocked, instead of being truly amused by clowns, magicians, acrobats, jugglers and animal tamers. Was getting afraid part of the plan? Not quite. Don’t get the wrong idea: these artists manage to make you jump to the roof by surprising you, making you laugh and get you all curious. And that is absolutely lovely. But the scary part doesn’t rely on the artists’ talent itself, getting frightened is caused by this exaggerated happy mood, the make-up, the costumes, the music and that unique smell to the circus that is of sawdust and grass. Hate it or love it, for better or for worse – the circus can be quite freaky, and traumatize you. That glow that children, young and older, have in their eyes may lose its intensity the second they leave the tent.

You assume that the next time you’ll visit a circus again will be when you’ll need to bring your own child or nephew to it; when in fact, it is much, much sooner than you think. Reality is: that fabulous world not only comes to town “once a year”, but fast enough in a sense that the circus is in town all-year round, as you realize that there is something out there that can become quite similar to going to the circus like… Dating in your twenties for instance? No, wait a second, scratch that. Dating in your twenties is not at all like going to the circus. As a matter of fact, you are well signed up for  joining it… because you don’t leave the tent, you kind of just stay in it.  Hate it or love it, for better or for worse.

In the dating circus, you’ll find men who, like clowns, attract your attention immediately. They are with good intentions such as making you happy and laugh with ease; but somehow tend to end up frightening you. You’ll find men who, like acrobats and jugglers,  will take your breath away and you’d also adore them for that… but only to a certain extent as simply looking at them might have been more satisfying after all. You’ll find men who, like animal tamers, are so very brave and admirable; but you cannot help but think this man rhymes with 'insecure future' as you are a firm believer that anything – the worst – can happen. Of course you’ll find men, like the host, whose bubbly personality and energy you will enjoy immensely, but unfortunately can get tiresome in time as his jokes get a little too far-fetched. And finally, you’ll find men who, like magicians, will fascinate, amaze you. He’ll keep you on your toes. How does he do it? It’s too good to be true and you’ll always wonder. He must have too many tricks under his sleeve. And so on, and so forth. Don’t older children just… hate the circus?

It is perhaps cruel to compare men to clowns, magicians or acrobats. Yes, it is insensitive for not all men, like circus characters, scare off people: that is not their intention. What they are good at is: they amuse you at first, and then they end up terrifying you [ironical laugh.] Scratch that. The circus is not a cynical or tragic world, it’s a magical one! But there’s a difference between the traditional circus and the dating circus: when the curtains fall, artists take off their costumes and make-up. In the dating circus, it turns out to be a little harder to see what’s really behind the mask: when there is no show anymore, no spectators left; when you wish everything to be for your eyes only. They can evidently remain circus characters because that is the core of their person, but they should not continuously put on a show for you, give you too much "make believe's". You don’t want a “never-serious” clown or a magician with too many tricks under his sleeve, but you do want a man that will ignite that sparkle in your eyes, like the one he gives (or should do, at least) when he’s in front of children, young and older ones. Luckily enough, some have had a great experience with the circus, and the dating circus. Others, on the other hand, unfortunately keep on losing that intensity in their eyes, and are now reminded of that glow only too seldom. Hate it or love it, for better or for worse. The circus’ purpose is to please you (or is supposed to, at least), so why does dating feel like way too much of a 'circus, circus'? It is perhaps time to leave the tent, even if you never really signed up for it. Disney World, anyone?