The Five Stages of Losing Your Innocence

Stage 1: The Easter Bunny. This one is the first to go because it makes the least amount of sense and people are so inconsistent with it. Is the Easter Bunny a big human dressed up in a bunny costume? Or a regular tiny cute bunny? How does it carry a basket, then? When exactly does it come and why? How is it related to Jesus? How come the Easter Bunny sometimes brings bunnies, too? What's that all about?

Stage 2: The Tooth Fairy. This is a rough one because the Tooth Fairy really seems pretty magical. I never personally saw evidence proving that there was no Tooth Fairy but again it's the inconsistency that gets you. How come when I lost my tooth at home I just got 41 cents per tooth and a dollar when I lost one due to a candy rose on my birthday cake, but when I lost one at summer camp I got a...teddy bear filled with bubble gum? That's just weird. Plus, eventually the tooth-removal ceremony becomes so much less of a to-do: you start pulling them out yourself and not even telling anyone and you realize that the Tooth Fairy didn't even know.

Stage 3: Santa. This is the worst one because Santa is obviously the best. For me, again, I didn't actually see evidence disproving the existence of Santa. Santa was always good to me (and still is, actually). But one cynical day I remember asking my mom, "Is there really a Santa Claus?" and she asked "What do you think?" And I knew, but I wish I didn't.

Stage 4: God. Okay, this doesn't necessarily apply to everyone but I'm just going to say that I don't think it's abnormal to live your life, get a little bit older, realize that bad things happen to good people and that it seems impossible for so many inconsistencies and irregularities to lead up to one true religion, that we haven't seen a good sign in a long time and that the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa clearly don't exist so if there is a pattern to all this stuff, God might also be in there as well. Again, not saying that I don't think God exists but I just think if you come to that conclusion, this is where it happens.

Stage 5: The Stadium Fan-o-Meter. This is the last to fall. One day you're screaming your head off because you know for a fact that only if you scream at the top of your lungs will that little needle head all the way into the red PANDEMONIUM!!!! zone and then the team will pick up your passion and win just for you! And then the next you realize that that needle would probably wobble and waver and head all the way up there even if there was no one in the stadium. And that's really when you feel all alone in the world.