Here’s something kind of fun (or kind of depressing, depending on your view) that the BF and I have been mulling over for the past few months. It all started because one of the big differences we have in the way that we view the world is that I’m happier now as a “real,” “responsible” adult than I’ve ever been in my life. He, on the other hand, misses his college days with all his heart and would go back in a second.
Personally, I think it’s kind of sad whenever you look back on your life and want to be in a particular place again. Looking back and remembering how happy you were is one thing, and looking back and wanting to be there again is another. But the signs of an adult are plain to see, and here are the Top Ten ways you can tell.
1. You watch (or read) the news. Now granted, in times like these you can’t help but watch the news…but how many high schoolers or college kids do you think are following what’s going on in the world? I became interested in the news because a) I don’t know how closely they monitor my internet at work and I think that Yahoo! news is a pretty safe URL to have in my browser history, and b) I studied rhetoric, and the rhetoric of politicians is pretty fascinating stuff. The BF couldn’t care less about the news when I met him…I created a monster here. I suggested to the BF that since he hates sports, the news would be great small talk for him. Now he’s obsessed. Half of our TiVo is devoted to local and national news programs. Sigh…at least Charlie Gibson is attractive and intelligent. Wait! Maybe thinking Charlie’s kind of hot should be #11 on this list…
2. You have a budget and a savings account (with money in it!). All of my life (all the way through grad school, actually) my financial philosophy was “try not to spend a bunch of money on crap.” Now, I track every penny I earn (and spend). Trying to pay off debt, it turns out, is a lot more of a pain in the ass then accumulating it was…especially if you never really thought about what your debt-to-income ratio would be once you graduated. Perhaps #2 should have been, “you know you’re a grown-up when you use terms like debt-to-income ratio.“ I totally use the monthly checkbook sweep method to make extra credit card payments. I think even knowing what a checkbook is and how to balance it is kind of a lost art…
3. You instinctively shake hands when meeting someone you don’t know. Remember when you were in college and adults started shaking your hand, and it was all weird? Now, you do it without even thinking…to people your own age or younger!
4. You get hangovers. I remember the first hangover I ever had…now, I was 18, but to be fair I drank half a bottle of peppermint schnapps. (I do not recommend this). But nowadays, if I have more than 2 drinks, I feel like crap the next day. WTF?! I remember when I thought hangovers were for wimps and fakers…or to pretend that you really couldn’t get to that 9 a.m. class…
5. On the weeknights, you go to bed by 11 o’clock…at the latest. I have always tended to fall asleep early, but I remember when I would leave the house at 11 p.m. on a weeknight to go out dancing and not get back until 2:30 a.m. at the earliest. I did this two weeknights per week and that doesn’t count Friday or Saturday! Nowadays, if I don’t go to bed by 10:30 p.m. then that means one of two things: 1) I have fallen asleep in the living room with the TV on, or 2) I am going to have to close the office door at some point during the next day so that I can either take a little nap or weep uncontrollably.
6. On the weekend, your idea of “sleeping in” has become 9:30…a.m. It turns out that if you get up at 5:45 a.m. every day, you can’t shake that programming on the weekends – at least not entirely. No matter how late I stay up on Friday, I have a tendency to wake up at 8:30 a.m. in a complete panic thinking that I am late…
7. When you see someone driving recklessly, your first thought is, “Oh my god, that’s so dangerous.” This was probably one of the first signs I noticed. I didn’t drive recklessly when I was younger, but I got a little wet whenever I saw someone do it (especially if it was someone I was dating). Now I have to literally bite my tongue not to backseat drive the BF…and I have called him on the way to work to tell him about the stupid things I see drivers doing on the freeway. Wait a minute, is that hypocritical? Hm…
8. All your high school/college friends have one or both of the following: a kid and a mortgage. And as if that weren’t bad enough, they’re starting to treat you differently because you don’t have those things. The BF and I are going to turn 30 this year (yes, I know my bio/profile on this site is out of date…) and everyone we know is starting to look at us askance and say things like, “homes are a good investment” (cough, cough, bullshit) or “children are the most rewarding experience of your life.” Um, what?
9. You haven’t done in an illegal drug in…wait, when was the last time you had a joint? Okay, this is fortunately the only thing on this list that means I might not be an adult…I have found that since I get hangovers now (see #4) that pot is the best way to get a good night’s sleep and not feel like shit the next day at work. Now, I smoked the odd time or two (and I’m not really exaggerating…it was really, really infrequently because one hit made me fall asleep almost immediately) when I actually was in college (I never smoke or drank in high school, which is a whole other story about what a huge dork I was). However, the BF owns a volcano vaporizer. When he originally bought this I was horrified that he paid $600 for this device. Now, I use it daily and this month marks the first time in my entire life that I chipped in for pot. But the rest of you – the ones who don’t smoke anymore? You are officially old.
10. Your have more work clothes than casual clothes…and this doesn’t bother you because how often do you wear jeans, anyway? The BF said this recently, and I almost peed my pants. I still have more casual clothes than work clothes, but then again, that’s because I haven’t graduated yet and I’m still paying off credit card debt (see #2…).
There it is, folks. If you aren’t old and lame, you now know what to watch for. And most of you – well, you’re probably realizing just how old and lame you probably are. HINT: if you were like, OMG that’s totally me! for 4 or more items on this list, you are officially an adult.
If you just realized you are an officially an adult (or are horrified that you might be one someday), you might also enjoy:
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- Lance’s Marriage Makers