As a kid, adulthood seems pretty cool. You maintain the idea that everyone will finally be mature, capable, and relatively enjoyable human beings. You imagine that most daily tasks are pretty easy, since adults have money and must have been practicing these kinds of things for years. You anticipate that everything will finally fall together and make sense.
But you’re wrong. Instead, you get to adulthood and realize that lots of things—both big and little—still don’t make any damn sense. And it seems that literally nobody is trying to figure them out.
And, note: this is a running list that will surely expand as time goes on.
1. Everybody is actually still in high school when they’re in adulthood.
“High school is never over” is the tip I’ve heard most from seasoned adults, but I’m only just now starting to grasp the severity of the problem myself. You’d think that by the time most people spent upwards of twenty years in society that they’d get over themselves, but, whopping surprise here: they actually don’t. They don’t ever do that. Instead, they like petty things…like gossip and egos and more gossip. People take themselves very seriously and continue to be disappointingly bad at picking up your awesome and/or ironic jokes (assuming that you’re a slight bit snarky like me, given that you’re reading this blog). So, here’s the unfortunate truth: you have to be really boring around everybody that you wouldn’t for sure trust with your deepest secrets, at least if you’re looking to maintain some kind of social good-will and acceptance (i.e. if you have a grown-up job and want to do grown-up things with other grown-ups in the long run). It’s kind of funny actually—just as soon as you’ve passed the late-teens/early 20’s stage where everybody is encouraging you to “find yourself,” they laugh in your face and tell you to shut up, get a job, and make sure you fit into all those social norms again if you want to survive at all. And if you DON’T, then they judge you. A lot. Adulthood is full of sassy social politics, gossip-ridden relationships, and a bunch of smiley cheerleaders who have only convinced themselves to be cheerleaders because it comes with an automatic acceptance letter.
2. Hotels still don’t come with miniature toothpastes once you reach adulthood.
You’d think that in this grand land of consumerism, somebody would’ve told the moguls by now that we use toothpaste way more often than we use shitty, watered-down lotion. Likewise, we can go a day without conditioner (especially conditioner that is similarly shitty), but we can’t go a day without toothpaste! For the love of all things holy, hand over a tiny bit of toothpaste—I don’t even need a full travel-sized one, just one of those sample packets is fine, but good Lord almighty, give me something for those post-drunken-karaoke-night mornings when I have meetings with important people.
3. You can’t trust anybody, but you especially can’t trust anybody to do their job correctly, even in adulthood.
Do you know how many months in a row I’ve had to call AT&T to fix my bill? All the months. All the months I’ve had the service, I’ve had to call. And in all the months, every single person has told me that it’d be fixed. And every single month I manually restored my faith in humanity by choosing to believe them. Do you know how fixed my bill is right now? It’s not. It’s not fixed at all. Double-check everything, always. Triple-check on Christmas, because I wouldn’t even trust Santa to do his job correctly at this point.
4. Cooking continues to be a toss-up with the possibility of accidentally starting a fire and burning down your entire adulthood.
Unless you’ve skipped your middle ages and gone directly into taking advantage of the crockpot like an elderly person, you seriously have to pay attention to the stove (and you have to cook a lot, unfortunately, because, newsflash, nobody is there to do it for you anymore). I’ve recently found out that gas stoves are really sensitive, so your nicely controlled blue flames can very quickly transform into really tall and raging orange flames. Likewise, food goes from perfectly cooked to burnt as the devil’s ass real quick. These physics don’t change all of the sudden in adulthood, even though your mom (or dad) seems like a champion cook compared to you. The difference is that they’ve just gotten used to multitasking while they monitor what the hell is happening with the oven.
5. People haven’t gotten any funnier in adulthood.
This kind of harks back to my first point, but honestly you’d expect people to have refined their sense of humor by the time they reach adulthood. I can 100% guarantee you that half of your adulthood laughs are forced, because you’re reluctantly sitting across from a super boring date or you’re small-talking with a friend’s unfunny relative or boss who, despite their lack of humor, can help you get a job. It’s painful to see how low everybody’s standards have fallen given their miserable adult lives. Old-people-funny is a lot different than genuine-funny.
6. Your alcohol tolerance goes way down in adulthood.
You’d think that your tolerance would go up in adulthood, since you’ve obviously been drinking for a longer period of time, but the opposite is definitely true. This might be because binge drinking is replaced with social drinking, so you get used to your average number of drinks per hour being lower. Alternatively, it might just also be because your standard of what’s considered “fun” goes way down the drain. …It goes down the drain and into the ocean. Which is not to say that social drinking can’t be fun (in fact, I prefer it), but the lower tolerance for what gets you at a good level of tipsy is surprising. Everybody could put down at least six shots in an hour during their sophomore year of college… by the time your first tax season comes around, try that and you’ll die.