Now, I’m not saying I don’t have the ability to be totally adult and serious and such in life… but let’s be frank, shall we dear internet? I am generally a kid at heart.
Not so long ago, I went to the zoo with a couple girlfriends. It had been a looooooooooong time since I had been to the zoo. I’m not counting that terrible misadventure to the Central Park Zoo. Seriously, never go there if you want to be able to feel joy the rest of the day. It’s a terriblly sad place.
But I digress…
For the record, most zoos and similar establishments make me a little nervous. Sometimes, if underfunded and poorly kept, they can be very depressing. But I do think that they can be a positive experience as well, protecting endangered species and allowing children and adults to develop an appreciation and love for protecting wildlife. Enough PSA and PETA vibe though, I want to talk about feeding giraffes.
Yep, you read that correctly. I fed giraffes.
(Spoiler: It was awesome.)
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, a seemingly well-kept and minimally depressing establishment boasts one very amazing activity. For a small fee, you can purchase lettuce and walk right up to a giraffe and feed it. Set upon a raised platform, you stand face-to-face with these beautiful, odd creatures as they eagerly reach out their black tongues in search of delicious snacks.
Fun Fact: Giraffe tongues are black-hued because they spend so much time with their tongues out for eating, etc, that they would get sunburned otherwise. Neat!
To say I was excited about feeding the giraffes would be a gross understatement. I was so excited I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to react. There was a distinct possibility that I was going to go all “Kristen Bell and The Sloth” and completely lose my stuff. Standing in line surrounded mostly by kids I did my best to contain my growing exuberance. I was very excited.
I like giraffes, but they aren’t my favorite creature or anything. It was more the novelty and ability to physically interact with an exotic creature that was so intoxicating. I absolutely acted like an over-excited child, beaming with delight with each piece of lettuce devoured.
The rest of the zoo was fun as well, but there’s not much to compare with communing, even briefly, with an incredible wild-ish animal. Something about that moment inherently brought out my inner child, letting my amazement and wonder flow freely without any concerns about looking cool or other ridiculous adult constructs.
It’s that ability to tap into a child-like sense of pure wonder that I find very appealing in all relationships, romantic or not. A comfort with being silly or awkward or nerdy or whatever, as long as it’s truly you, is attractive. An ambivalence with appearances while embracing passion… kinda an anti-hipster hipster, if you will. I find these traits absolutely magnetic. I want people like that in my life.
So go to the zoo. Stay wide-eyed and impressionable, my friends. Be ridiculous. Bring some friends who are hopefully as playful and ridiculous as you are. Take silly photos and channel your inner 7 year old for a couple hours.
And then when all the crying children in strollers have finally got to you, be thankful that you are an adult and go grab a beer.
(Bonus: Here are a couple other pics of animals I saw that day, because yay animals!)