Thought Catalog
May 29, 2012

10 Reasons We’re Not Adults Yet

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What is the issue?
It’s undeniable that, in one’s twenties, you begin to enter a time in your life where you are clearly no longer a child. But much like the demographic-straddling existential crisis that early 2000s Britney Spears went through, we are no longer quite grown-ups, either. And how do we know? Well, amongst many things, there are a chosen few that stand out as undeniable evidence that we still have some serious growing up to do.

1. We don’t know how to manage money.

At this point, it’s clear that there are definite ways to store and use our money that not only keep us from spending it recklessly, but actually might accrue some extra money on top of itself just from being kept in the right places. However, for the time being, we just have one account, “checking,” which is more or less just a giant pile where we keep our money and use it whenever we need it. Granted, it takes a while to learn how to divide things up and put some into “savings” (lol), but we’ll eventually get there. For now, though, we’re at that place where, every morning after going out, we’ll just look emptily at our decimated accounts as tears well in our eyes and we promise we’ll never, ever, ever do that again.

2. We keep making the same mistakes.

While some things, like the ex that took twice the length of the actual relationship to break it off with, and Mountain Dew, might be errors in judgement that we’ve finally left in the past — most still need to be shaken from us once and for all. We are still going to be like, “Whatever, man, I’m rich,” for the first 5 days after our paychecks and basically live like gluttonous medieval royalty. We’re still going to sit in front of an entire pizza and eat it with impunity in front of Netflix. We’re still going to use dishes in the microwave that are clearly not microwave-ready and therefore become 300 degrees hotter than whatever food they contain, and scald the skin off 70 percent of your hand when you try to take it out. We’ll get it right eventually, though, I’m sure.

3. We keep getting life-ruining hangovers.

The formula to not get the kind of hangover that leaves you contemplating gouging your eye out with the nearest spoon is not a complicated one. You just have to eat something before you drink, alternate water with your drinks, and make sure to drink a big glass of water before going to bed. Well, that, and not drinking enough alcohol to kill a large farm animal. And yet, no matter how many times we wake up feeling like we’ve been drying out in the desert sun for the last 40 years, suffering for the sins of humanity, we’re still going to do it again the next time we go out. When is the threshold into consistently taking care of yourself when you go out? Can I pass it soon?

4. We have arguments on the internet.

I was recently having a back-and-forth debate with this guy on a Facebook status about politics of all things, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror near my desk, and I felt so deeply ashamed. All red and sweaty and flustered, I didn’t even recognize myself. “What am I doing,” I asked myself out loud, “Why do I care about this?” But the thing is, I don’t care. I don’t care about that guy, I don’t even really care about that argument. I just participated in the listless back-and-forth because I felt some strange force compelling me to. That is time in my life I’ll never get back, and I have to live with that. We all do.

5. We don’t consume media the “right way.”

Actual adults take the time out of their day and the money out of their wallet to purchase the various media they enjoy with real people dollars, and God bless them for it. I mean, without boring middle-aged people, I’m pretty sure every entertainment industry in existence would have viciously imploded on itself several years ago. And granted, the adults’ faithful consumption of media means that they get to dictate what goes on TV (f-ck you guys for every insult to our collective intelligence that is CBS programming), but at least it’s still being made. But we’re the people who will in one breath talk about how we don’t own a TV while omitting the fact that we still watch tons of movie and TV shows, just days after they air on our computer screens — and only gotten legally about half the time. Hell, if it wasn’t for Spotify, we’d probably still be torrenting half our collective lifespan in songs — so, I mean, we’re getting better. Eventually we’ll probably buy TVs.

6. We either don’t read books, or feel the desperate need to brag about reading them.

We either have a near-allergic aversion to occasionally opening a book, or we’re one of those insufferable people on Tumblr who can’t stop reblogging comics and quotes that pat themselves on the back for being an ~intellectual~ who knows how to read and does it from time to time (also probably a safe bet that you like tea and cats, but don’t hold me to that). It’s just that reading right now is such a rarity that the people who do it regularly — even though, in the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing special — feel as though they’ve conquered some otherworldly challenge to mankind. At some point, though, we’ll hit adulthood and no longer feel that we’re owed oral sex just for cracking a John Grisham novel once in a while.

7. We take pictures of our alcohol.

There is clearly about a 10-year period between the time we first start drinking and the time the fanciful novelty of the act has fully worn off. Not a one among us is immune from the occasional snapshot of a bottle of whisky next to our open laptop (we’re working and drinking, aren’t we just Mad Men adorable?), a glass of wine during our Photobooth shoot, some outdoor summer beer, a celebratory flute of champagne, or this fancy-ass cocktail in this fancy-ass bar that cost about half of our food budget for the week. I mean, let’s be honest, if you get an awesome alcoholic beverage and no one on the internet saw it, did you really get drunk? I think you’ll find that the answer is no.

8. We make terrible relationship choices and then blog about it.

I’m pretty sure you’re not going to find a 65-year-old widower who’s getting his second wind over on eHarmony sitting down at his PC to tell the whole world about how Agnes from his last outing at a restaurant turned out to be a huge dud who just talked about her cats the whole time, right? I mean, it would be awesome if it actually existed, and grown-ass adults probably have by far the most juicy and thoughtful stuff to say about their dating foibles, but they have at least an ounce of self-control and can pump the brakes on their unbridled exhibitionism for five seconds, usually. Therefore, it’s only us semi-children who will scroll endlessly through our inbox at OKCupid and go out with anyone who seems at higher than an eighth grade reading level because, hey, if nothing else — it’ll make a good story. But you know that feeling when you go through the blog you kept as a teenager — I’m guessing Xanga or Livejournal, but I don’t know your life — and have this acute, near-painful embarrassment wash over you? I have the distinct feeling we’ll have similar sentiments about all these diatribes on our tortured love lives in a few more years.

9. We still get pissy with our parents over nothing.

Though we’re most definitely getting there, I think the wave of realization that your parents the only people in the world who love you unconditionally, and put up with years of your angsty bullshit only to still actually be interested in what you have to say, has yet to really hit us. We still get in their faces over minor squabbles and bitch about having to go see them at certain times when it doesn’t fully convenience us. At a certain point, though, we’re going to just fall to our knees and be like, “You gave me so much goddamn money and I still stole ten dollar bills from your wallet occasionally!” It is then, and only then, that we will know the meaning of maturity.

10. We are constantly debating deleting our Facebooks,

But never do, because we are enormous losers. TC mark

image – Chelsea Fagan