Everyone knows that balloons are just for kids, except, of course, they’re not. Adults send and receive them all the time. With their short little lives and tender thin skins, balloons—like cut flowers, chocolate and childhood—are a vote for joy in the moment. You have to be resilient to enjoy them.
Surprising someone you love in Manhattan with a big bunch of balloons is fun, but it’s not easy. Forget the backseat of a taxi, walking is the way to go. Still, casualties are inevitable. If scaffolding pops a few, hang tough. Pickpockets got all my cash while I was walking two dozen to a party in the park. Never mind. Balloons had long ago taught me how to weather small loss.
It’s entirely possible to hate clowns but love balloons. I certainly do. In her book, The Principles Of Uncertainty, artist Maira Kalman asks, “We see trees. What more do you need?” My answer is, balloons, of course. At the end of all those strings is someone’s loving hand.