“Real” Adulthood?

27 07 2012

Reasons Why I’m a “Real” Adult
* I have a real, big-person, 40-hour-a-week office job. And I actually have my own office.

* I drink more than I did before, but I never get drunk. I’ve mastered the art of drinking 2-3 beers a night, but slowly and over the course of 4 or 5 hours.  Big difference from Mystery Beer Night at college, where I’d drink 3 beers in an hour and then drunkenly watch Golden Girls until 2 in the morning.

* I go to bed early. Gone are the days when I’d regularly be up until 3 or 4 in the morning. Last semester, there’d be nights I’d go to bed at 2 or 2:30 and be like, “Wow! I went to bed EARLY last night.” Not anymore. Now if I make it to 12:30, I’m practically falling asleep sitting up. I don’t know if something innately changes the second you get your diploma or what. Actually, it’s probably because now I have to be at work at 8:00 each morning, so sleeping in until 10:30 isn’t really an option. Whatever the reason, now I keep “real” adult hours (mostly).

* I routinely decline invitations to go out if I’ll be out past 11. When my siblings start watching a movie or playing a video game after 11:30 I’ll be like, “WHAT?! At THIS time of night???” My sister thinks there’s something wrong with me. Up until March, I was right there with them, staying up until 3:00 every night.

* I don’t care that any of the above things make me “lame” in the eyes of the “young people.” Even though up until May, I thought that not getting drunk when you drink was kind of lame and I would NEVER go to bed before midnight. Drinking just a bit and maybe getting a bit buzzed and then being in bed by 11:30 is not lame. It’s really, really nice.

* I use the phrase, “When I was your age…” far, far too often when talking to teenagers. Sometimes it’s a full-on “kids these days” rant: “So nothing’s happening on Facebook and no one’s posted anything on Twitter? When I was your age, Facebook wasn’t popular and Twitter didn’t even exist! When we wanted to know what was going on with our friends, we would actually talk to them in real life. We had actual conversations and we got together in the evenings or after school and went to the coffee shop and TALKED. We didn’t sit by ourselves and talk to each other on the COMPUTER.!” I’m pretty sure that I actually got a blank stare and Whatever in response to that. Well, whatever right back atcha. It’s still true. Punks.

Reasons Why I’m NOT a “Real” Adult
* I’m writing this blog post at work instead of actually doing, you know, work. I haven’t actually done much work besides surfing the internet and looking up cheap flights to Prague (things that are not in my job description).

* Last weekend I got really, really, really drunk and wound up skinnydipping in my pool. Also, last Tuesday I went to the pub (on a work night!) and had three beers and a rum and Coke. Maybe I haven’t completely mastered the drinking in moderation thing yet.

* I don’t know how to cook. My family’s in Spain this weekend. I’m not. I stayed behind to work and hold down the fort (and go party at Nordic Fest this weekend…reason I’m not an adult #4?). I have been living on cereal, fast food, frozen food, and canned soup. Canned soup on the stove is pretty much maxing out my culinary abilities. Well, I can also make eggs. As long as they’re scrambled, hard-boiled, or over-easy. When I move out of my parents’ house in October, I am probably going to starve.

* I have NO idea about things like paying credit card bills, 401(k)s, mortgages, health insurance/life insurance/whateverthehellelse insurance, how to open a new bank account, how to do my taxes (but my parents are both accountants. I probably won’t have to do my own taxes for a long time), etc. Did I miss the class in college where they taught you how to do all of these adult things?

* I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I just kind of fake it and make it up as I go along. I don’t “have it together” yet. When kids want me to do stuff for them or ask me questions or I’m going somewhere I’ve never been I’m just like, “….okaaaaaay…ummm….let’s give this a shot.” I never actually know what I’m doing. The world is big and weird and there’s all this STUFF you have to know. I don’t know any of it. I’m just making it up. Is this how it is for everybody? Will I ever know what I’m doing, or have all those big, together-having-it, all-knowing adults just been making it up too?

* I really, really don’t feel like an adult. I feel like I’m kind of just faking it in this weird world and someday soon they’ll find me out. And then maybe the college people will come rescue me and put me back with my kind in our little academic bubble. It just seems like all the real adults know what they’re doing and know how to do things (see the above two points) and I don’t. But again, maybe no one ever feels like an adult. Maybe it was all a lie and I’ll never fully know how to do everything I need to.


How I Feel

5 07 2012

It took me an embarrassingly long time to learn how to tie my shoes. I’m talking, in first or second grade I was humiliated in gym class when my shoe came untied and I didn’t know how to tie it. The gym teacher came into our classroom after gym, while my teacher was standing at the front of the room, and said, “Kelly can’t tie her shoes.” First time I’ve ever wanted to vanish.

My parents started trying to teach me when I was four or five. I’d sit down and work with my dad. He’d show me how to do it and my clumsy child fingers would struggle to tie the knot. It’d take me awhile, but I could usually do it reasonably okay with a bit of guidance.

Later, my mom would want to work with me on tying my shoes. I’d concentrate really hard and try to remember what my dad told me.

Make an ‘X,’ pull it tight…make a biiiiiiiig bunny ear and a baby bunny ear and then… 

“No, no, honey. That’s not how you do it.”

Oh. I guess I made a mistake.

“You do the X. Then you make a loop. Then you’re gonna take the lace and loop it around the other one and poke it through…”

(I should note that my mother is not very good at giving directions in a way that I can understand. “On the shelf in the closet ” translates to “it’s over in the…the…place….up above” and  “take the exit and go over the bridge” is “you go under and then waaaaay around and up and over…”)

It would take some time, but I could eventually, with my mother’s guidance. Tie a clumsy lace.

Then, my dad would want to help.

What did Mommy say to do? You make the one loop and then — 

“Oops, did you forget the two bunnies?”

Oh right. That’s how it goes.

But, when I worked with my mother, that was not how it went.

My parents didn’t realize until they were teaching my brother that they tied their shoes differently. I spent several years going back and forth between my parents. They each wanted me to tie my shoes like they did and I was confused beyond belief. I was so confused and focused on doing things exactly the right way like my parents showed me that I never figured out how to do it at all.

Eventually, someone from the school took special time with me (yet another way to humiliate a 7-year-old) and SHE taught me how to tie my shoes. I kind of figured it out for myself and now I tie my shoes a third way.

First of all, who knew that there were so many ways to tie your shoes?

Second, this is EXACTLY how I feel right now.