Watching my daughter this weekend in the play Peter Pan made me a proud dad (so score one–a very big one–for growing up).
But focusing on the merits of the characters, Wendy vs Peter Pan, had me leaning ever-so-slightly in favor of Peter at the end of the play.
I mean, let’s look at their legacies. Wendy had a nice run for several decades when the play was first published and performed. She’s viewed today as a “good girl” and “model daughter.” More Jan than Marcia in Brady Bunch terms. But has she ever had a book written about her neurosis titled “The Wendy Syndrome”?
Do we know who played Wendy opposite who played Peter Pan?
Nah. We just know Sandy Duncan played Peter.
Ever heard of Wendy’s peanut butter?
No. Never happened.
And don’t try slipping in Hamburgers. Different Wendy. Different family. I saw her father in the play this weekend and he looks nothing like Dave Thomas.
So, on balance, would the world be better off if Wendy caved and never grew up?
Who’s to say? We would at least probably have another pop-psychology book and additional brand of peanut butter. But as the Wendys of the world would quickly –and correctly–point out, we have plenty of pop-psych books and peanut butter as it is and don’t need more. And note that Wendy grew up to have a nice family in a middle upper class neighborhood.
That’s all true of course. But the Peter Pans of the world would quickly note, Peter has an entourage of lost boys –just like the awesome HBO series! And, of course, Peter is always the last one to bow and gets the most applause –after flying in for his final bow as he drops fairy dust on the audience who is cheering him on.
And you got to admit –even if you are a Wendy—that may not be very mature, but it is pretty cool.