Life happens: Diary of a Wimpy Adult
Pssst, kids, hey, PSSST, kiiiiiiids.
Wanna know a secret? About being a grown-up?
You do! Well, us adults? We're really just big kids with bank accounts.
(Some with, ahem, smaller bank accounts than others).
I know! I was as shocked as you are to learn this. As I got older, I kept waiting to finally, officially feel like an adult. But, lo and behold, the years kept passing by - 18 ... 22 ... 26 ... 29 ... 29 again - the second anniversary of turning 29 and nothing.
Oh sure, there were small changes here and there. Cartoons lost some of their allure while beer gained a LOT of allure.
But overall, I still feel pretty much the same (my encyclopedic knowledge of anti-wrinkle creams notwithstanding).
No, wait. I take that back. There is at least one thing that changes as you transform from kid to adult. While you guys whine on the outside about having to do stuff you don't want to, the majority of us have learned to only whine on the inside. To you, it looks like we're calmly and diligently paying bills at the kitchen table. But on the inside, we're all screaming "But I don't want to ... This is so STUPID ... I hate it. UGH."
So, just as a heads up, let me give you a list of other annoying stuff you'll eventually have to endure and will continually whine internally about:
Grocery shopping: You know how every time you open the fridge, there is always magically edible food in there? Yeah. When you're an adult, the only magical thing that happens when you open the fridge is that the green moss-covered leftovers from March haven't sprouted legs, yet. And the only way to correct that situation is to battle traffic, the overcrowded parking lot, the two women who ALWAYS stop in the middle of the very aisle you need to talk about something that absolutely CAN'T wait (like frosting) and then a long line manned by a 20-year-old burnout who physically can't move faster than molasses or else they die (much like the human equivalent of the movie "Speed").
Taxes: You know that big essay you're assigned that counts for, like, 50 percent of your grade and your teacher gives you three weeks to work on it? So, naturally you keep blowing it off until 11 p.m. the night before it's due? That's how it is every year for us when tax time roles around. The only difference is that the worse thing that can happen to you is you get an F and/or detention. We, on the other hand, get slapped with penalties we will never be able to pay off in our lifetimes and/or jail (which is like detention but without the "Breakfast Club" whimsy).
Cleaning: Oh, you hate cleaning your room? Your ONE room? Aw, boo-hoo. Try having to clean six rooms. And no one gives you an allowance for it.
Eating healthy: You think it's bad when mom nags you about eating your Brussels sprouts because they're good for you? Try having the media endlessly nag you about eating them because if you don't you'll get cancer and die. Or you'll get fat. And then get cancer and die.
Going to work: Don't tell anyone looks nervously from side to side but sometimes we fake that we're sick too. Cough. Cough.
Dealing with bullies: That third-grade bully? He eventually becomes the 39-year-old balding, alcoholic bully. Who sits right next to your cubicle.
Going to the DMV: Driving is cool, right? Just you and the open road. You and this wonderful machine that stands for the ultimate symbol of freedom. Except for the fact that you first have to go through all the circles of hell first, including the Circle of the Eternal Line, the Circle of Finding Out You've Just Spent Two Hours in the Wrong Line and the Circle of Dealing With Anita, the Disgruntled Employee Who Hates You.
Insurance: The very first thing you learn as an adult is that you need insurance for everything. Your home, your car, your health, your very freaking life. So, you pay thousands of dollars each year to insurance companies to "insure" you should the unthinkable happen. And then, when the unthinkable does happen, they take all those thousands of dollars you paid over all those years and deny your claim to it. Now, you may be thinking, "but wait ... isn't it MY money?" No, it is not. Because the cold sore you had when you went to the emergency room because you got hit by a car means that your intestines, which are currently hanging outside of your body, are now a pre-existing condition and that you are now at fault for the car accident even though you were actually parked at the time and the guy who hit you drove through two houses before hitting you in your parked car.
Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at VictoriaAdvocate.com.