Monday, April 28, 2008

All Growed Up?

Do any of you feel like grown-ups? No, I said feel LIKE grown-ups, not feel UP grown-ups. I’d hate to be accused of promoting inappropriate touchyness. Any way, touching isn’t what I wanted to touch upon today. I know you ARE grown-ups, but do you FEEL like grown-ups? Perhaps it was my death experience, which I detailed yesterday, or the fact that I spent 2 hours eating at Lucy and Ethel’s ‘pretend restaurant’ dining on plastic steak and ice cream on Sunday, but whatever the reason, I still don’t feel like a grown-up.

I am just months away from 35, but don’t really feel like an adult. Does that make sense to any of you? Now I know I am not the tallest dude on the ranch, but there has to be more to it. Yes, I have to look up at most people, but that can’t be it. I have a family, I have a corporate drone job and leave the house every day wearing a real tie (as opposed to the clip-on type that I want to wear), I have bills and I even have plenty of that four-letter word: responsibility. Ok, since you are such a go-getter you have probably already figured out that ‘responsibility’ contains at least 6 letters, but surely you view the word in the same context as ##$%$# and %&%* or even $%%$#()^%@#, just as I do. I meant 4-letter word in the comparative sense, not the literal sense. If I had meant it in the literal sense, I would have had to spell responsibility as ‘resp.’ That would truly be a 4-letter word, though it might not make any sense, just like the majority of this paragraph, or the report I had to turn in this morning that dealt with financials and stats and other squirrely stuff like that. When doing that type of report with so many numbers in it, you just eventually succumb to the temptation of throwing random figures in there to see if anyone notices them. Ok, I’m kidding. Or am I?

I can’t help but think that I’m not the only one who feels this way (about being a grown-up not fabricating numbers on reports). I’m sure most of the readers here (hello and thank you to all 8 of you) have at least one of the following: family, real job, bills, a car, a spouse, a pet, a velvet painting of Elvis, a subscription to Junior AARP Magazine and yes, responsibility (although if you don’t, can we trade places for just a day?). You know, those things that qualify us to be adults. Is there some magic experience that makes us officially adults? That moment when we hear chimes and then go ‘wow, I’m grown up now’ and are greeted by a marching band and the huge, cardboard ‘key’ to adulthood or maybe a symbolic grandfather clock?

Well, it doesn’t HAVE to be a parade or clock, perhaps it could be a pie or a commemorative shirt or maybe even cash. Yeah, ‘Growed-up Bucks’ would be kinda cool. Of course so would getting to spend a day with Tina Fey (yes, that rhymed. I’ve been trying to bust my mad rhyming skillz lately), but like they say when it comes to Tina Fey (I know, I rhymed again), ‘you can’t always get what you want’ (Rolling Stones). Did you remember to lower your voice when you said ‘Rolling Stones?’ It was kind of a test to see if you remember my song title post from last week. I have soooo many bonus points to hand out before the end of the month…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining that I don’t feel like an adult, I’m just not sure I want to wake up one day at 53 years of age and have it hit me like ‘oh blurg, I’m an adult now, how the wrinkles did that happen?’ I’m usually good with surprises, but I don’t know if ‘hey you’re old now’ is the type of surprise I want. And before anyone fires up the ole email account, yes I did use 53, but that doesn’t mean I consider 53 to be old, it’s just a random number I threw out there like oh, ‘007.’ Ok, ‘007’ isn’t random; it’s a number I use a lot because it was James Bond’s number. ‘3’ would be a random number. No, I gotta be honest; that’s not random either. That was Dale Earnhardt’s and Babe Ruth’s number. 13,456 would be random, but it wouldn’t make much sense in this context, contextually speaking.

Lately I have tried to do things to help make me feel like an adult, but they haven’t worked yet. I tried to yell at all the neighborhood kids when they were on my lawn, but I ended up playing tag with them. I got ready to wear a short-sleeve dress shirt to work, but gave in to peer pressure (for lack of a much better word) when Lucy and Ethel told me I looked funny. I sat in front of the window staring at all of the gopher mounds in my front yard and started mumbling about how I plan on getting that dang gum vermin. In fact, I’ve taken to mumbling a lot lately. Heck, I’ve even tried eating softer foods and I actually wore socks with my sandals while mowing that yard a few weekends ago. I thought for sure that driving 45 in the fast lane and yelling at everyone who kept zooming by me while honking and saluting me as ‘#1’ would make me feel older, but it just made me realize how much gas I was saving by going slower (we all gotta do our part to be green ya know). One day I even took the good, took the bad, took them both and thought I finally had the facts of life, but it just made me remember how much I liked Blair when I was younger and that just made me lose my concentration. She and I share the same birthday, you know…

Despite two open heart surgeries, having been in the emergency room at least 8 times to have my heart rhythm reset, taking enough medication each morning and night to be able to stock a small mid-western main street pharmacy and visiting the cardiologist more times in a year than most 80-year olds, I still don’t feel like a real grown-up. It’s not that I feel like Peter Pan or that I am pretending, I just don’t feel like a full-fledged adult. Again, surely some of you feel the same way too?

Although, when I stop to think about it, I have never hosted a dinner party with wine or held a bunco night. Maybe those are rites of passage into adulthood? I have also never thrown a fondue party, joined a fancy lodge with a secret handshake or joined a bowling league. Maybe that’s the missing ingredient to being an adult? After all, Fred Flinstone did those things and he was certainly a grown up. Barney? Not so much. Fred was always bossing him around, thereby squelching his maturity and blossoming adult independence.

Perhaps there are things that need to be GIVEN UP instead of EXPERIENCED that will mark the passage into ‘big boydom.’ I suppose I could eliminate doing the happy dance, or the pony, or yes, even the Macarena, at work. Maybe it’s time that Lucy and Ethel get in trouble for being mischievous on their own instead of getting intro trouble for something I started doing with them. As much as I dread it, I COULD stop rhyming all the time, stop insisting that the family goes to Disneyland 2-3 times a week, or even stop making the toy aisle the first section I visit at Target. While having a PEZ collection is a glaring obstacle to adulthood, getting rid of it is strictly forbidden by my code of conduct. Another obstacle to being a big boy is adding the letter ‘y’ to the endings of most of my words, like saying wishy-washy-y or fanatic-y (as in ‘yeah, she got all fanatic-y about it). One could argue that asking themselves ‘what would Homer or Captain Kirk do’ when faced with a serious decision automatically excludes one from adulthood. While that might be true, at some point, you kinda gotta go with what got ya here, you know?

I realize I should now wrap this up since this post is starting to exceed the bounds of acceptable length and that just results in people tuning out (or actually in this case, clicking out). Trust me; I’ve done a lot of comment analysis. Wait, that sounded pretty mature. Ok, it’s settled. As long as I use fairly big words arranged in an official sounding manner, I can consider myself to be all grown-upy. Dangit, I just couldn’t resist it…

15 comments:

cmk said...

I feel your pain. As a 'woman of a certain age,' I still can't figure out what I want to be when I grow up! One of these days I may actually become an adult instead of just acting like one! :D

Alison said...

I'm older than you, and I don't feel like an adult. Like cmk, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up! And then there's the other stuff, like that whole resp thing.

Sizzle said...

Being a grown up is totally over-rated.

Patti said...

How did you know I was about to fire up the ole e-mail regarding the inappropriate age remark? Psychic, I'd say.

Ralph and I are both 53, the random age you picked, and feel about the same as we did when we were 34 ... your advanced age.
I'm just happy to be alive and kickin', and so is he.

As James Taylor might say (and did say) "The secret to life is enjoying the passage of time."
Any fool can do it.

This post is funny. I loved the part about you wearing socks with your sandals when you mowed the lawn. That must have made you look old. If you were in a cooler climate you'd wear a cardigan too.
All grandpas wear cardigans.

Have a good Tuesday, old chap. And it's ok if you never come by and visit my scintillating blog.
Really.
I'm cool with that. I can be a grownup about it.

Linda~ said...

"...but I ended up playing tag with them." Too funny.

I'm ten years older than you. We just had fondue about two weeks ago. I have hosted a dinner party with wine. I haven't played Bunco, but I was invited to play LRC last weekend. Does all that make me a grown up? No

On the other hand I do have a son and a daughter and 2 grandkids. I guess that makes me a grown up, or at least forces me to act like one most of the time, even if I don't want to.

I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid
There's a million toys at Toys R Us that I can play with...
...From bikes to trains to video games...(I just got a Wii!)...

Great post.

Linda~

Natalie said...

At the ripe old age of 28 (29 in about a month) I am far from feeling grown up. I don't know what I want to be, I don't have a spouse (although Tony is close) or kids, or my own home. I do own a fondue set, I have hosted wine dinners, and even had Thanksgiving at my apartment. basically that just means I like food and wine (that I got carded buying yesterday). I do have a real job, bills, and responsibilities. It's all very confusing and I don't know what to do. Some days I want to grow up and others I think it is futile. I'll get there one day.

On a limb with Claudia said...

I woke up in the middle of the night last night wondering if it was "too late" for me. Was I now old? Was I too old to ever "do" anything with my life?

Even though I know that our belief that we are old is the only thing that makes us old, I felt the full weight of my years. Amazing.

C said...

You know socks with sandals is not quite grown up thing. I know a few neighborhood hoodlums that wear socks with their sandals and loiter , much like old men on their porches on a cool Sunday night without the aches and pains.

Mel Heth said...

I think I felt like more of a grown-up when I was 25 than I do now (32). Oh I totally just read 32 in a deeper thought voice because it was in parentheses...it's not a song, but...how Blog Pavlovian.

I say, keep being young. Although yelling at the neighbor kids while trying to kill gophers in sandals and socks is a pretty sweet scenario...

meleah rebeccah said...

"I know you ARE grown-ups, but do you FEEL like grown-ups?"

No.

But I do feel Old.

Very.Very. Old......

sari said...

I'm almost 42 and I don't feel like a grownup, though I am responsible.

Michele said...

I've been waiting to grow up for awhile now, about 12 years to be exact. And even though I have a house and spouse now, (Oh That rhymed.) :), Somehow I don't think it will happen,since deep down, I'll always be a 'Toys R Us Kid.' I certainly don't want to be as mature as cheese. That sounds boring, not to mention smelly..

About the socks with sandals? Yea, that has to stop. Especially if you find you are wearing Bermuda shorts as well. Actually it doesn't matter what you wear them with, it's just plain wrong. There is absolutely no excuse for that kind of behavior young man!

Blurg! Did that sound all grown up-y? Sorry won't happen again. Honest!

Now I must go, I have some sacks of wet cement to take care of...

okiesister said...

I'm comforted to see that by the end of this post, I'm not the only one that broke into the Toys Are Us theme song...Linda.
You remind me so much of my younger brother, that's why I enjoy your writing so much. I can picture him doing all the things you talk about.
The final straw today is that you were both in love with Blair from FOL. What a kawinkydink? Or would that be kawinkydink-y in your world?

magickat said...

I am about a month away from turning 35. I don't feel like a grownup either. I feel still like I'm just a kid sometuimes trying to figure it all out. And sometimes I feel like a kid and I don't care about figuring anything out. I seriously feel like age is internal and it's not based on time but is really based on personality and lust for life and living and doing and experiencing and so forth.

I don't know. Just a thought.

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