1. You unironically use buzzwords. You used to laugh at those white-collars who said shit like ‘synergy’ and ‘future-focus’ with a straight face. Now you’ve given up. You play the game. In your performance review, you dwell on how you hit all your KPIs and delivered ROI. Your boss nods approvingly. You suddenly become hyper aware of what you’re saying. The meeting ends. You shake hands. A 11.2% raise. Not bad, but it’s 0.4% lower than you’d hoped.
You go back to your desk. Two more hours before you can go home.
2. You go mattress shopping with your SO. When you were 21, your mattress ranked somewhere between university and vegetables on the importance scale. Now you’re sick of waking up with mild lower back pain and being disturbed when your SO rolls over to check her email on her iPhone. You refuse to buy anything with less than 5 zones of pocket springs and a 3” comfort pillow.
3. You’re aware of interest rates. Remember when you’d spend indiscriminately on your MasterCard? Remember when credit scores were just those things that were always hidden behind ∞ more years of growing up? Well, now finding the best low-rate Visa with a good balance transfer offer is your hobby.
Oh, and you want to buy a house soon, right? That’s why you’re shopping for a high-rate savings account with interest indexed monthly.
4. You’re no longer amused by cheap liquor. Finding a cheap Korean beer or nondescript vodka from Chechnya used to be cause for you to invite your friends over to consume it en masse and watch the sun rise.
Now your friends complain if you bruise the gin when you make them a martini. You might ironically drink cheap and nasty once in a while, but you regret it almost immediately. For the grownup you, it’s Talisker when you get home and Macallan 18 on special occasions.
5. You’re paralyzed by uncertainty. When you were 19, you’d talk proudly about how death didn’t scare you. You kept all of your girlfriends at arms length. You knew they’d all dump you at some point.
Now you tell her to go to the doctor. You buy a car with a good safety rating. You text her every morning — Are you at work yet? x.
She’s pregnant and everything’s magnified tenfold. The thought of her fading away burns you worse than any fire. You sweat when she’s home a bit late and when she doesn’t answer her phone.
The idea that you can’t guarantee tomorrow frightens the deepest part of your soul.
You’re at the behest of an unseeable beast.
You’re a grownup.