1. Dinner Parties
Imagined: Candles everywhere, lovely conversation about smart things, deliciously cooked food that you prepared by hand all while looking effortlessly great.
Actual: Candle wax everywhere, Cards Against Humanity tournament that gets dirty and offensive, and the biggest pile of dishes you’ve ever seen in your life, sweat, yours, everyone’s. Your apartment is too small and the oven is too hot (you had to bake a peach crumble, huh!?). Everyone is sweating. You look terrible.
2. Book Clubs
Imagined: Just a group of us sitting around discussing a profoundly life-changing book and how it applies to our lives. There’s wine and cheese, but it’s left untouched because of how riveting this conversation is.
Actual: We’re all standing in the kitchen drinking wine avoiding the topic of the book that only one of us read all the way through (and the person that read it all the way through is not you). More wine anyone!?
3. Your Apartment
Imagined: I am finally going to have an apartment that has only one piece of furniture from IKEA and the rest will be from midcentury vintage stores I find at the stores my well-adjusted significant other and I frequent on the weekends!
Actual: The most adult thing I did was hire the IKEA guys to put together this coffee table, because at least I can splurge on something that will insure that I do not kill my significant other during the process of putting a coffee table together. Small victories.
4. Mortgages, Stocks, 401(k)s, Life Insurance, FINANCES
Imagined: I have all of this under control. I understand these things magically when I become an adult and I know exactly where to invest my money, how to plan for retirement, when I need life insurance, everything is fine!
Actual: NOTHING IS FINE, SOMEBODY HELP ME I AM WASTING MY MONEY!
Imagined: I do this daily and my skin glows like it was infused with mermaid tears of laughter!
Actual: I can’t buy enough fruits and vegetables to sustain a daily juicing. Plus, there’s bits flying everywhere. I’m adding years to my life by juicing so I can spend half my life cleaning the kitchen, the juicer, and buying produce. Quit!
6. Having Babies
Imagined: One day, I will wake up and will be living in that house I mentioned above and will suddenly feel just so at peace about having babies that nothing in my life will be complete until there are diapers to change and baby kisses to receive.
Actual: I WILL NEVER BE READY EVER. Cleaning a litter box for the cat that needs for nothing is about as nurturing as I get. How the hell am I going to withstand the sleep deprivation? Are baby kisses really worth all the puke and the crying? Can I borrow a baby for a while and see how I feel?
Imagined: Not only do I have clothes that insist on being ironed, but I am a master at it. You know those creases in fancy pants? I can do those!
Actual: Cool, now there’s a hole in my $70 Banana Republic shirt.
8. Having A Garden
Imagined: I shall henceforth be eating 90% of food from the garden I am starting! Look at me and my green thumb!
Actual: If I eat 90% of my food from my (failing) garden, I will literally die of starvation. (Nothing grew except a tomato.) (Tomato’s can grow anywhere as it turns out.)
9. Pairing Wine With Foods
Imagined: I will prepare food for myself and friends (perhaps at the aforementioned dinner party) and will know which wines to go with which foods. The peach in this here white wine will sure bring out the subtle hints of garlic in the swordfish, dahhhling!
Actual: I got red or white, what do you guys want?
Imagined: I hate myself a little for liking Tupperware this much, but whatever, I’m organized and all my food is preserved!
Actual: I have the most incredible collection of Tupperware. Too bad I own 50% bottoms and 50% lids, all of which don’t fit each other. Cool, gonna head to IKEA and get one of those sets of a hundred containers, throw out the old ones, and start this cycle all over again.
11. Having A Beer Preference
Imagined: I’m in the mood for a stout, fine barkeep!
Actual: Uhhh, whatever is on tap and cheapest is what I desire, bartender named Doug!
12. Talking About Whiskey
Imagined: Aaah, this is an aged 1956 barley rye with cedar undertones, how delicious!
Actual: Is it lame if I say they all kind of taste the same and that, as long as I get warm in my tummy, I don’t care when it was aged or barreled?
13. Having Preferences For Anything, Actually
Imagined: I will only have the finest of things and will instantly know the difference between a 1982 Cabernet and a 1983 Cabernet!
Actual: This is exhausting, just give me whatever you have and I’m sure it’ll be edible/drinkable.
Imagined: This is a rare taleggio that is $80/ounce. I picked it up at that farmer’s market and learned so much about the craft of artisan cheesemaking!
Actual: I got this at Whole Foods and it stinks like feet. WTF?
15. Date Nights
Imagined: We take air balloon rides and cooking classes and sunset yoga on the beach and go to plays and operas and wear nice clothing and when one of us walks down the stairs, the other stares with their mouth agape because they have never seen the other look better than in that exact moment!
Actual: I know we were trying to be adventurous, but can our adventure include take-out and Friends reruns? No pants allowed!
16. Tax Rates
Imagined: I will be up to speed on current federal and state tax rates, will plan my life and budget accordingly, and will be a well-adjusted adult that knows things about taxes!
Actual: STOP TAKING ALL MY MONEY WHYYYYY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS TO MEEEEEE
17. Having Things “In Storage”
Imagined: This is where I keep my memories, photo albums, antiques, things I’ve collected from my world travels, that extra bed I don’t have room for. It’s so nice and organized in here, all the boxes are labeled. I could live in here! (But I won’t, because I am a grown adult.)
Actual: Why is any of this stuff in here? Why am I keeping this? What am I doing with my life? Is that a family of spiders camping out in here? Burn this! Burn all of it to the ground!
Imagined: I’m saving monthly for this and I am going to be so set when I start coasting into my golden years.
Actual: I have to save how much for retirement?! Looks like I’m going with Plan B: die before I have to retire!
Imagined: I am responsible, worldly, cultured, sophisticated, and fancy!
Actual: “I am responsible, worldly, cultured, sophisticated, and fancy!!!!!!!” says you after five tequila shots.
20. Being An Adult
Imagined: This is the most important thing!
Actual: I MISS MY YOUTH.