Sunday, August 17, 2008

What it means to be an adult

Having the pleasure of knowing several Eighteen Year Old Adults (and having the pleasure of being one way back when) has taught me many, many important things about adulthood. Here are just a few precious gems of wisdom I've acquired...

Being an adult means coming and going as you please. You no longer have to ask anyone's permission. Curfews are for children. Being "considerate" is something you heard from your mom. Forget it. You don't have to tell anyone you're leaving, where you're going, or when you might return. So what if you're laying dead in a ditch somewhere and no one knows where you are? So what if someone reschedules their plans to accommodate you, or made dinner for you and had no idea you wouldn't be there to eat it? If they are also adults, they will understand. Your days of having to answer to other people are DONE. You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means no one can tell you what to do. Listening to the advice of others... What, are you nuts? Make your own decisions. In fact, if someone gives you advice, do the opposite. That will show 'em. You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means spending your hard-earned money as you choose. Real grown-ups never have to be told how their money will be spent. If you're smart, you will find rent-free housing where the utilities are paid, and you'll have it made. This way, your cash can go towards the important things in life that every adult deserves: Clothes, Movies, Music, Dates. You know... The necessities. Don't worry about saving any of it. If you need gas in your car, and can't afford it because you just bought yourself the coolest, limited-edition, one-of-a-kind, something-or-other, just borrow a Twenty from your dad. You and Dad are equals now. Adults borrow from each other all the time, so he will understand. Heck, chances are he paid for the car and the insurance anyway. Why not the gas? You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means never having to volunteer for something you don't want to do. Household chores? You've got to be kidding. Why bother to clean a bathroom or do a load of laundry? So what if you helped make the mess? Think about it... Living in a rent-free and utility-free environment should also mean maintenance-free, you dufus! It's not your house, so it's not your problem! Otherwise, what's the point of staying there? Tell you brother to do it- he's not an adult. Better yet, just blow it off and your mom will do it. You have places to go, people to see... You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means you now get to expose yourself to anything and everything, regardless of your religious or moral up-bringing. Now is your chance to see every movie, try every experience and illegal substance, say every filthy word, visit every website, and listen to the nastiest music possible. Why shouldn't you? Who's gonna stop you? What's it gonna hurt? You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means never having to say you're sorry. I'm pretty sure one of those wise philosopher dudes said this and it is so true. You don't owe anybody any apologies or explanations for your actions. You are a Grown-Up.

Being an adult means expecting others to listen to you and do what you want. And if they don't? Well, then being an adult means you have the right to be angry with anyone and everyone who doesn't cater to you. After all, they should be able to see you deserve respect. You are a Grown-Up.

Most importantly, being an adult means reminding everyone around you of that fact as often as possible. Memorize the phrase, "I am Eighteen , you know!" And don't be afraid to use it repeatedly. If you feel it's getting stale, throw in a variation now and then to keep it fresh, like: "You can't tell me what to do- I'm EIGHTEEN. " Note: These phrases are examples. If you are not 18, you should insert your own age. Don't say you're 18 if you're really 19 or 20. But you probably already figured that out. You are a Grown-Up.

Of course, once you get Old, you'll realize there's always someone you'll have to answer to- your spouse, your kids, your government, your creditors, your employer, and (hopefully) your God. There will always be bills and taxes to pay, deadlines to meet, laws and rules to obey, people to please, commitments to keep, apologies to make, involuntary hardships to endure, and convictions to uphold. You will have life-changing, conscience-altering experiences of all kinds, including some that will be more painful than what you believe you can handle. Those experiences will teach your heart to love and will cause it to break. They will make you value Love, Family, Integrity, and even something as goofy as Being Considerate, like you never imagined you would. But you don't have to worry about any of that right now. You are a Grown-Up.


Lina said...

I hope you printed this out for your grown up(s). LOL. Can I print it and give it to a certain member of my extended family as well?? ;)

Chelle said...

LOL- Sure, you can print it.

Hubbards said...

OH MY GOSH!!! I feel like you were reading my mind! I agree with the printing it off and handing it or better yet READING it to my "adult". It's not like she will actually listen but it may make me feel better!!! :)

Tina, KCMO

sassy chic said...

this must be the plight of every parent of an "adult"! Well put my friend, your 18 year old will come to the point of maturity one day! Until then we have eachother to go to lunch with and plan how we can make them wish they were not "all grown up" :)

dimeadozen said...

this is a really odd post. My 3 sons and daughter never experienced anything like this. After graduating 1st in their classes at Harvard, they've all bought homes, married and have started lives of their own, I guess being dr./lawyers is pretty time consuming!!!!!LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!