When I was 10 years old my one dream in life was to be in the audience of The Price is Right. Not even a contestant, just in the audience was enough “hope” for me. My sister and I would get up every summer morning eagerly awaiting Bob’s witty banter with the first contestant, and we’d analyze the subtle intricacies of the Showcase Showdown after Bob reminded us to spay our cat (yes, she and I were somewhat nerdy). What would it feel like to be a cheering, yelling, participant in my favorite television show, sporting my very own golden yellow “Kevin” name tag? The thought would give me goosebumps. There was no chance of my dream ever coming true, but the thrill of the “hope” even now seems better than the dream itself.
Then I grew up! It’s lamentable how the innocent dreams of childhood inevitably yield to the complex issues of adulthood. For example my first date was a simple affair– a long walk down the evening streets of Pasadena, followed by a rooftop conversation under the stars, and ending with a light kiss. Was it a dream date? My 10 year old self almost certainly would have thought so. His dreams were no frills and simple, almost trivial… that one kiss alone would have fulfilled the dream of the date.
That gentleman who gave me my first kiss went on to break my heart and ushered me forcibly into “the real world” of dating. After that my dates seemed significantly less like dreams, and more like the natural processes of a grown up life (and in some cases they seemed like nightmares). The real world is nothing to be terrified of (mild fear will do just fine), but my suggestion is to keep a place in your heart for the 10 year old inside us all. He dreamed innocently and sometimes naively, but he was also so thrilled at the little things in life that make it worth living– those things we adults too often neglect to cherish.
When I finally sat in that relatively tiny audience in the CBS Los Angeles studio I took a deep breath and a long look around at my dream come true. My friend Kristie got called up to the contestant’s row and my goosebumps exploded. 10 year old Kevin was ecstatic, and the whole world of simple childhood dreams was possible. Most of my childhood dreams have since come true, and even some of my craziest adult dreams as well, but I try never to forget the way my younger self saw the world. A dream date doesn’t have to be the most amazing restaurant, the slickest new club, or a voyage on a million dollar yacht– what it often turns out to be is something that gives you goosebumps, and that, 10 year old Kevin might suggest, can be something as simple as a kiss.