Pretending You’re A Grownup In Your Twenties

You know when you hang out with an old friend you haven’t seen in awhile? The last time you saw them was in high school when they were puking Jungle Juice on the street of some cul-de-sac. After that, you went your separate ways, did “the college thing” and now you’re doing a post-grad lunch. Before I go any further, let me just say that this lunch is total bullshit and a trap! It’s essentially just a way to feel someone out and compare their progress to yours. Do they have their shit together? Do they have a job? Let’s order a BLT and find out! Oh…they do? They’re working at a really awesome job and making 45k a year? They stopped drinking?! Where’s the check? Waiter?!

I’ve had those lunches. They used to leave me devastated but now I think they’re an LOLathon. Why? Because there’s nothing more obnoxious than a 23-year-old pretending to have their life figured out. Guess what? They don’t. It’s bullshit posturing designed to make you feel bad about yourself. Look at this humorous exchange of words and tell me if you can’t relate to it.

The Pretend Grownup Friend: Oh man, we used to be so crazy back in the day (three years ago). Things have changed so much though. It’s like I’m 23 now. Time to stop drinking, buckle down, and get serious! I can’t live the way I did in college (which ended six months ago…).

You: Oh, right. Me too. Totally serious now. (Whispers to passing waiter: Can you can cancel my Long Island Iced Tea?)

Full disclosure: I had one of these lunches awhile ago with someone I used to party with in college (Translation: I would watch him do coke while I sipped on Jack Daniels and felt uncomfortable.) Because of our sordid past together, I could tell he felt this need to present himself as this evolved person. Without me soliciting the information, he verbal vomitted, “I haven’t done coke in forever. I barely drink.”) I was annoyed by this mostly because I knew he was lying, but also because I didn’t care if he drank. He was 23, for god’s sake. Get it girl! An hour later, I suggested we move our meeting to a bar. Two hours later, he was calling his dealer. Who was surprised? Not me. There’s no shame in the twentysomething game. (Well, unless you have a real substance abuse problem in which case there is shame and you should get help ASAP.)

If I’ve learned anything about my twenties so far, it’s that you have the luxury of balancing “not serious” with “the most serious things ever.” You can go out, get four hours of sleep, and still kick ass at your job the next day. Does that mean you should? No, you fool, but you can. Your body lets you get away with murder. Every time I roll into work hungover (which has happened like four times. Drinking is whatevs to me.), I thank my lucky stars that I have the ability to actually get out of bed, let alone articulate my thoughts. Burning the candle at both ends seems to be the definition of living la vida twentysomething. Eventually though, you get tired of testing your body, your body gets tired of YOUR bullshit (“You’re going to put that in my body again? Thanks a lot, asshole!) and you chill the fuck out gradually. Oh,that’s another telltale sign that your grownup friend is full of crap . Unless you’re sent to rehab, change doesn’t usually happen overnight. It’s subtle. One day, you’ll wake up one day and be like, “I rise early without an alarm clock and don’t feel like crap. Progress!” It’s not like you graduate college and just decide to delete fun from your life. Why is it that a twentysomething’s definition of maturity usually translates to being a complete snoozefest anyway?

To really prove my point, just talk to a thirtysomething. Whenever I tell someone in their thirties something like, “I don’t really go out anymore. I’m too old for this shit,” they start laughing uncontrollably and respond with, “Are you kidding? You’re 24. If you’re not young then, when are you young?” Good point. I’ll order that Long Iced Tea now. It’s a shame you don’t have the balls to do the same. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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