You’re never ready when it inevitably finds you. You try, of course. You plan and scheme and prepare to the best of your capability but before you know it you’re reading a best friend’s wedding invitation and mourning the Tuesday nights she’d get inappropriately drunk with you for absolutely no reason. And when you find yourself actually dating appropriate people or celebrating a pregnancy instead of calling Planned Parenthood to make “the” appointment, your attempts at adult adaptation will seem ineffectual at best.
No matter what you do or how you do it or how often you struggle to do it, there will be moments in your now mostly-mature life when you’re painfully aware that you’re just not ready for adulthood.
1. You move into your first solo apartment and mistake the carelessly tossed-aside shower rod for a left-behind stripper pole. You were more excited about the thought of a previous tenant’s sex life possibly improving your own than the thought of stringing up twenty five pain-in-the-ass plastic curtain hooks you bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond for an hour and a half.
2. Your mother buys a motorcycle, actually intending to use it as an economically-friendly form of transportation, and you’re left imagining the endlessly horrific ways in which she’ll probably injure and/or kill herself. You start to miss the days when your parents were just parents, instead of actual people with wants and needs and lives.
3. Your younger sibling finds him or herself in a romantic relationship with a significant other you genuinely like. You want to see the two of them together and you want to spend time with the boyfriend or girlfriend and you want to become their close friend, instead of purposefully scaring them back to the whore house from which you would’ve convinced yourself they came. You realize you aren’t your sibling’s go-to person anymore. Not even close.
4. You feel your future son or daughter kick for the very first time and realize you’ll be responsible for their continued existence. Not too long ago you could barely take care of yourself and every plant you’ve ever owned has died a long, painful death but eventually a nurse will hand you a small life and expect you to further its survival. You suddenly pity the puppy you adopted in the 7th grade.
5. You’re sitting across from a potentially promising romantic interest and they’re bringing a mortgage, a substantial 401K and a decent credit score to the table. Meanwhile, you’re still throwing thousands at a month-to-month rental and pretending your Klout score is your credit score in the name of prolonged mental health. You find yourself silently toasting to the promised power of a sparkling personality.
6. You’re entertaining house guests and realize a few bottles of whiskey and half a box of Ritz Crackers does not a decent meal make. You frantically scurry to find cheap pieces of furniture to fill your minimalist apartment and contemplate the contents of a seemingly hearty fridge, only to realize living as a healthy, put-together member of society is ridiculously expensive. You hope this display of “normalcy” doesn’t put a substantial dent in your bank account.
And while all these moments aren’t universal and some of them, especially with the right birth control, are avoidable they all represent the inevitable realization every human being will face at least once:
Planning, while worthwhile and responsible and sometimes necessary, will never leave us absolutely ready for the moments we plan for.