Thursday, April 1, 2010




1 : juvenile
2 : childish, silly

this word is part of mirriam-webster's systematic holiday word bank (i have yet to figure out a system for their daily, seemingly random, words). PUERILE—an obvious choice for april fools day. the etymology goes on to explain the word is specifically appropriate in the context of "occurrences of childishness where adult maturity would be expected or preferred."

april fools day caused me a lot of anxiety as a child. i hated having attention drawn to me, so this day felt much like a casual stroll on a minefield. i avoided contact with people all day in order to escape the possibility of being tricked or embarrassed. i also never felt any impulse to participate in the festivities, adhering to the golden rule that if it made me miserable, who would i be to inflict such agony onto another.

although, during fourth grade on april fools i did bring to school a life-size, full-body portrait of jessica rabbit that i drew on several pieces of notebook paper taped together. i taped the drawing to the inside of the window and pulled down the shade so that my teacher, a large and intimidating Mr. Tancreti, would be surprised when he routinely pulled the shades up to let in the sunlight. he was in a bad mood as usual, was not surprised when confronted with the image and simply tore it off the window and placed it on the back table. in truth, i wasn't trying to scare anyone as much as i just wanted a venue to showcase my artwork.

having made the segue into adulthood (of sorts) i understand the holiday even less. of course, i am no stranger to PUERILE behavior, i just spread it a little evenly throughout the year instead of loading it all into twenty-four hours. to me, april fools is on par with mother's day and valentine's day. if you are nice to your mother and significant other, respectively, on a regular basis, there is no need for holidays like these. the same goes for april fools day. have a little dirty fun every now and then and perhaps you won't feel the need to be extremely cheesy on a day like today.

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