Recently, my brother and I released our second novel ANOTHER PAN, which is a retelling of the Peter Pan story set in the Marlowe School in New York City. Peter Pan is a special story for many children, and adults too. Barrie’s classic tale has adventure, funny characters, a dream world of pirates and faeries, and flying! But I think the biggest reason people love this story is that they identify with Peter’s fear of growing old.
Like many, I’m mortified by getting older. This fear is actually called a “Pan Complex,” and yes, I have it! How do I know this? Well, I have my ways... But here are ten little clues that you might have a Pan complex:
- You’re still trying to finish that AP English paper... It’s just so hard to find the time between your activities and sports and your 30th birthday party next weekend.
- You spend significant chunks of time fighting with your brother about whose turn it is to pick the movie, pirate versus ninja, and what it would feel like to sweat cheese (did I mention the part about being 30?)
- You are enrolled in the Matthew Maconahay school of dating... “You get older, they stay the saaaame age.”
- You celebrate your birthday every five years, and there’s no year on your Facebook birthday... Just May 17th... (May 17th. That’s my birthday, kids. Send presents!).
- You check for the onset of love handles, back-fat, saddlebags, arm-wings, and cankles every morning (and you know what each of these things is). You moisturize your neck religiously... And really, that’s just freaky of you, because who in their right mind moisturizes their neck?
- You tell your siblings to lie about their age, so you can lie about yours. (In Dina’s case: Daniel always refuses and outs her in public, which signals that he has a Little-Brother Complex, and also a Big-Meanie Complex).
- You try to cover your geezerly fussiness with bad street talk. Case in point: overheard recently at Dina’s house. Dina: “Why are those hooligans hanging around our house?”
Dina’s friend: “Those are not hooligans. They are schoolchildren.”
Dina: “I knew that. They’re just not keeping it real enough for me, yo.”
- You learned how to ride a bike at 30, because you wanted to save the experience for later.
- You spend Saturday mornings eating sugar cereals, watching cartoons, and prank-calling your landlord who used to be cool and you thought was your friend, but now seems to just be all about “the rent.”
- You choose a job in which you get to wake up at 11am, fantasize all day, and write stories in which you burn all the people you hate by naming evil characters after them....Also, let’s face it, in your stories, you’re always the boss, the hero, or the sexy villainess. (I’m not saying I’m guilty of this one, but the last time I saw the light of 9am was a long- long time ago in a land far far away).
--- Dina Nayeri