June 15, 2007
i have a ridiculous hard on for becoming an adult
I’m not sure what happened, or when the desire overtook me, but I want to be just as old in my possessions and attendance and attitudes as I am in some of the issues we all face.

Kim and I have been discussing how each of us is clearly bordering on fogieness. Me, in my ability to fall asleep at 8 p.m., not only on school nights; she in that she drives 30 miles to go out only five nights rather than the full seven that God allotted her. In a fogieness strong arm contest held after a hearty blue plate special, I am quite sure I could rip her arm right off, given that I am not a homeowner and mother animals that don’t poop outside in the Nature. Take that, young buck.

I don’t want to give up spending eight hours on a Sunday playing softball and doing jager bombs and having photos taken of my backside while I’m dancing, but I very much would like to balance that lifestyle out somewhat. You see, I’m starting to feel like my plate runneth over with starch. Every day is something akin to French fries and Corn Pops and potato rolls and cocktails of yams and maple syrup and sticky rice sprinkled with bread crumbs. Life feels thick and like it might start to stick around the rim of the jar.

I’ve started to look at catalogues full of contemporary sofas and tulle and damask dinnerware and the perfect blue vase I might put in a study someday. I seek in the City Paper the Bodies exhibit and anything on blues and I look at expensive cheeses and wines with that feeling of longing. The other day I caught myself telling my mother that I liked a certain flatware set, a statement I am quite sure she recorded in her diary immediately upon returning home, on that page reserved for reassurances such as “the children are not gay” and “they won’t die alone.”

If I’m old enough to lose a job, should I not have a house to come home to, a $150 cropped linen jacket to drop in the foyer, a Kate Spade to toss on the windowsill along with my keys*? Without exception, should each and every bra not cost more than my corner store wine, my fridge contain some fresh herbs and filet, my cat litter be bought somewhere other than CVS?

I’m missing something.

Because although I don’t necessarily try to keep up with Joneses, every time I see them on Dateline after killing a spouse or on that tarted-up and dumbed down CBS Evening News with their ADHD child or on my drive home** I can’t help but notice the decided divide between us.

Meet couple A, a late 20-something and frankly quite dumpy LL Bean couple I caught eyeing homes in my neighborhood on Sunday (see full paragraph three for what this 30-something was on her way to do when she passed them). Not a home is snatched up in this area, even by those pesky squatters, for less than $650,000. And there these two were, young pups with probably no more than a decade of work experience between them, deciding in just which of these row homes they would lay their Burberry hats and eventually their sickening double running stroller. Adults, they were.

I pay both federal and DC taxes, mister, I know how to make pasta from scratch and never lose the cork to the bottle. I own my own silver and within my lifetime may actually polish it.

But I still sleep on the couch at least twice a week and only wear cute bed clothes slightly more often than that. I hardly ever exfoliate, and when I do, the liquids and gels are from Target. My largest check is written once every 30 days, just before I rip off that month’s calendar, for a purchase that I will never truly own. My living room furniture has survived three boyfriends and a flood. And there are moments, and sometimes days, when I contemplate picking up an Easy Bake Oven not only for the kitsch factor, but because those light bulb-baked desserts would probably taste pretty good. Come to think of it, those miniature cakes would sure be cute at a dinner party.


25 Comments:

Blogger A Unique Alias said...

I think, or thought, that becoming an adult is not caring about what one "should" or "should not" do, but being able to choose to do whatever the hell one wants, subject only to the limitation that one's choices should enable one to do still yet more of what one wants in the future, lest the decisions to do what one wants now will interfere with the decisions to do what one wants later.

Oh, and when the ARM rates reset, those young homebuyers are going to be in interest up to their eyeballs. You might get a nice price on it at the bank auction.

Blogger jen said...

i agree with unique, being an adult is about not caring what you "should" and "should not" do.

being an adult is most certainly NOT about material possessions. in all honesty, if you were to buy things because you were somehow convinced that is what "adults" do, that would pretty much be the opposite of being an adult.

Blogger Sizzle said...

i am pondering becoming a home owner and i think to myself, "will everyone just look at me like i am a kid and have no business buying a house?" because i still feel so young.

but when i buy that house? i seriously need to get one of those easy bake ovens. ;)

Blogger Beth said...

I loved this simply becasue I love knowing that someone else is like me. I sleep on the couch a few nights a week, too and my biggest check is for rent as well. My TV is only 25 inches and it doesn't bother me at all. I'm not fancy or all grown up, but I'm happy. And who knows if the Joneses can say that!

Blogger Maurey Pierce said...

I don't think Target shopping and adulthood are mutually exclusive.

I hope not, anyway.

Blogger Patti said...

how have i not stumbled in here before?! now pass that bottle over here...

Blogger sween said...

We own our own home, our own car, have bought new furniture, and even a schmancy dining room table.

But I still feel -- deep in the hidden parts of my soul -- that any meal that is more than $5.00 is expensive. I still have the cheap bookcases that I bought when we moved to the city, and rather than buy more, I just stack the books higher and higher. And higher. (The books are currently two feet from the ceiling.) The khakis I bought at Old Navy are my "business attire".

I could go on and on and on...

I SO feel where you are coming from.

Blogger Heather B. said...

I just wrote an entire post on BlogHer about how I want to become a homeowner in about two years ago.

HELP ME! Tell me NO. Because I have years ahead of me, speak some sense into me, woman!

Blogger whoorl said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one daydreaming about Easy Bake Oven desserts.

Blogger playfulinnc said...

Just the getting married part has thrown my inner goddess single independent child for a loop.

And, in about a week and a half, I will be one half of the Joneses. Jesus and little baby jesuses.

Blogger Cinnkitty said...

36, divorced, living in an Apartment and STILL don't feel like an adult. It's not about what you have (I do have silver & I polish it) - it's about who you are on the inside. You are an adult in your own ways, and that's good. Don't fall to the temptation of conformity, enjoy being *who* you are!

Blogger Kelly said...

Has anyone, older than the age of 18, said "Hey Ladyyyyy!" or "Excuse me, ma'am"?

Point final. Vous êtes un adulte. Même si vous ne vous sentez pas comme une toute la fois.

(There was a class that older adults took way back when that taught them never to let on that they too feel like they need to do some more "growing up." That's why we're all left standing here saying "Is this what adulthood is really like? There has to be more to it!"

Uh?

I was just thinking the other day how I don't feel like a "real" adult. Hey at least you 1- live on your own 2- have a degree 3- probably do more adultish things than I'll ever do in my lifetime.

I sometimes feel like I'll be stuck in this inbetween phase for the rest of my life. It's kind of disconcerting sometimes but other times I can't really be bothered to care.

Blogger mysterygirl! said...

I've recently been wanting to feel more like a grown-up, and it's really throwing off my perception of myself. Since when did I want to be an adult? You have a job, your own place, and pay your own bills-- that makes an adult, Jager or no. But let me know if you get that Easy Bake Oven, because I'm totally coming over for little cakes. I'll bring the wine.

Blogger whiskeymarie said...

I own a home & am married...
but I also have "dogs playing poker" as "art" on my wall and, unless I'm expecting the bi-monthly guest, I usually have no less than 14 piles of crap laying around the house.

Just because you decide to spend an entire 24-hour period watching yet ANOTHER Law & Order marathon whilst making a meal of skittles and Pringles instead of going to a museum and dinner at Chez Swankypants doesn't mean squat.

I've decided that I am in the "adolescence of my adulthood".

Puberty-It's a real bitch.

Blogger Cheryl said...

Something tells me that couple was getting help in buying that house...

I'm looking around my place and realizing I own none of the furiture, except for in my bedroom, have a too-old car with no property and few work clothes for the summer, and to top it off I am doing an internship and in general starting over. I am not sure when I will get there myself, so I hear you.

Blogger KB said...

oh, god, i so agree. I feel you on this, I really do.

I sleep on the couch at least twice a week, too. Mostly because my bed is covered in my clean laundry yet to be put away.

Blogger Ulysses said...

Wait, the clean laundry you can sleep in, no? Such a nice smell...
I know how you feel about the things: even if I never bought them, I'd like to feel like it wasn't impossible to buy them. It seems like I continue making sacrifices now that are supposed to pay off when I'm an adult. Then the young pups come by (buy?) and they're not making any sacrifices and still getting the pay off.

Blogger Joe said...

Reading this just reminded me that I finished off my night last night doing JagerBombs. And I also vaguely remember falling down after I got home.

I definitely need to go back to the adult world. Soon at least...

Blogger Jessica said...

Are you in my brain again? Seriously Kris, pass the wine, and we'll check out some online ads for an EasyBake!

Blogger Desiree said...

You are a fun one... you so had me at easy bake oven... man I think I want dessert from that oven tonight.

Blogger M said...

Buying a house, God, it feels like it will never happen for me. Unless I want to move to --------- (fill in with name of any place I don't want to move to).

It's hard with the crazy real estate prices in cities these days to be where you might have expected to be at this age, but the reality is many in our generation are still living with roommates, buying used furniture and stacking books on milk crates, because financially, things are not the same as they were for our parents gen.

Yeah some people our age or younger are homeowners, are doing well financially, etc., but many are not able to afford their own home in expensive parts of the country. And of those who are, there def. is a portion who do get help and are not doing it on their own.

What's the point of this rambling comment? I don't really know. Only that some of it is economics. And if you are taking care of yourself every day and are responsible for your own life, you are an adult. No matter where you shop and how you spend your evenings. That's how I see it at least.

Blogger Jorge said...

Owning a house is an indicator of adulthood?

EGADS!

WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?

Blogger Zandria said...

It's fun to dream... :)

Blogger Kim said...

I have a mortgage but I also still suck my thumb.

I win.

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