Listen, you’re a grown-ass adult. You know it. We know it.
You live on your own. You pay all your bills. You maintain a thriving career and you objectively have a great deal to be proud of when you come home for the holidays.
Except for one troublesome little issue that strikes every childless adult between the ages of 18 and 40 years old when they return home between the dates of December 1 – January 15 – Sudden Holiday Regression Syndrome.
It sneaks up without warning. It takes you over by surprise. And before you know it, you’re barricaded inside your childhood room writing angsty diary entries in your holiday sweater. Here are 25 unfortunate signs that Sudden Holiday Regression Syndrome is happening to you:
1. You got along with your family swimmingly for the first 1-3 hours after stepping off your flight.
2. You discussed your recent accomplishments, drank a responsible 1-2 glasses of wine and even considered bringing up the new person you’re seeing!
3. But starting at 7am the next morning, when your loving parent flung your door open declaring you ‘wouldn’t want to sleep all day, now,’ things started to go downhill.
4. By 9am you find yourself in a full-fledged fight with your father about the definition of ‘working from home’ and how it means you might have to wait until your lunch break to shovel the driveway.
5. But it’s still better than the political debate you know you could be having, so you grin and bear it… for now.
6. By noon you somehow find yourself dressed entirely in clothing with your college logo plastered across it. You forgot how comfy the track wear was.
7. But you also start inexplicably dressing to the nines every time you leave your house because you might see Ashley, who was a total bitch to you in high school.
8. And suddenly, you totally care what Ashley thinks again.
9. Even though you have moved to the city of your dreams and achieved a successful career, while Ashley still waits tables at the local diner.
10. But Goddammit you just know that her hair is still perfect.
11. By late afternoon, you’ve decided to open Tinder/Bumble/Grindr/Hinge in your hometown ‘just to see who pops up and have a laugh.’
12. Except then your high school crush pops up and you’re suddenly desperate to match with him.
13. And contemplating texting him to let him know you’re back in town, because what if he doesn’t open Tinder over the holidays?
14. In fact, you can no longer remember a single person who is more attractive to you than your high school crush. You have to go make out with them in their parent’s basement immediately.
15. Except you have a family dinner to attend. And your Mom has already texted you 3920483094 times today, convinced that you’ll forget to pick up the two items you promised to pick up.
16. Because everyone seems to have forgotten that you’re not fourteen, and are now capable of accomplishing basic human tasks.
17. Except the thing is, you’re starting to feel like you are still fourteen. You’re not sure what’s happening.
18. Suddenly all you want to do is lock yourself in your bedroom and listen to angsty music.
19. Because no one understands you, or your life choices.
20. And suddenly, out of nowhere, you’re craving a good, hearty argument about religion and politics.
21. And now everyone is accusing you of ‘ruining the holiday party,’ when all you were trying to do is inspire some intellectual discourse.
22. Though now that you think of it, you don’t even know if you believe what you were saying. You just felt viscerally compelled to start an argument, for reasons even you don’t understand.
23. So now you’ve ended up back where you started, listening to Green Day in your childhood room.
24. Texting your best friend from high school, asking if she knows of anyone having a party tonight.
25. You’re not really sure how you ended up here (and are a little concerned you’ve legitimately regressed back to the mental age of sixteen) but don’t worry – it happens to the best of us.
It’s just a classic case of Sudden Holiday Regression Syndrome – it should clear itself up by January 1st.