Halfway Adulting

Everyone talks about “adulting” like it’s this big deal that by the time you’re in your twenties, you are paying bills and working and being a responsible and self-sufficient human.  And that just seems kind of pathetic to me, because a few generations ago there were 15 year-old boys going off to fight Nazis, and now this (my) generation is complaining that we have a 9-5 job that doesn’t allow naps or nose-piercings while we’re at work.

welcome to adulting

But then I have weekends where I sleep in too late, miss church, cook Walmart-brand frozen waffle fries for breakfast while wearing only my superman underwear, have to hand wash all the dishes because I forgot to buy dishwasher detergent for a week straight, and then take a nap at 11am because being pathetic is exhausting.

So, you know, I’m not one to talk.

And while I’m all for personal development/self improvement/being a better human, I also realize that in our current culture and economy, being a fledgling adult can be hard sometimes.  Mostly because being an adult means paying for all the bills and all the things, so it’s really just an endless cycle of realizing how poor your are. I’m starting to realize, as I land solidly in the “late” part of my twenties, that being an adult doesn’t always feel like being an adult.  What it actually feels like is a lot of high-stakes bullshitting (“Oh, yeah, I totally know how mortgages work…”), scraping by (“Ok, if I go to bed now, I can probably get a B on this paper with what I’ve got so far, I’ll get 6 hours of sleep, and I’ll only need 2 cups of coffee to survive work tomorrow…”), and panic veiled in a guise of responsibility (“Just paid rent and I didn’t cry this time, now I’m going to look at my bank account – please Jesus let me have enough money left for groceries…”).

you is adulting

I don’t know about the rest of yall, but for now, I fall fully into the category of halfway-adulting, as evidenced by this highly scientific list of symptoms that I found on WebMD.*

Signs That You Are A Halfway Adult

You have some sort of indoor plastic furniture.

Some of your indoor plastic furniture is not actually furniture, but another plastic item that you have repurposed as furniture due to lack of space for its original use and/or need for additional furniture.  (For example, my nightstand is actually a plastic storage box full of books.)

Your Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, or Amazon Prime accounts are actually your parents’ accounts, and you have the passwords.

One or more unframed posters are part of your home décor.

Your friends are envious of the fact that you own your own printer.

You split your Costco membership with someone else.

You dream of being able to afford a full Costco shopping cart of merchandise and having a home with enough spare space in which to store it.

Your parents or other family members routinely ask if you have enough to eat, if you need money, etc.

You own enough bath towels for yourself, but not enough for guests, so when you have company you have to tell them it’s a BYOB situation – bring your own bath towel.

You deliberately avoid owning any clothing that requires ironing or – God forbid – dry cleaning.

If clothing does get wrinkled, rather than breaking out the ironing board you’ve owned for two years but never used, you hang said clothing in the bathroom to steam while you take a hot shower.

You park your car outside the carport when the forecast calls for rain, in a desperate attempt to save the $5 you’d have to spend on a car wash.

You can’t afford your own dog, nor do you have the time or space to care for it, so you try to convince your parents to adopt one for you.  To keep at their house. But it would still be “yours,” you know?

You sometimes do your grocery shopping at Walmart.

You hang more things on the walls with thumbtacks than with nails.

You buy clothing from the children’s section because it’s cheaper and you’re the relative size of a 6th grader.

You sometimes hope to get in a very minor, injury-free, fender-bender type car accident, because you could really use the insurance money.

Your friends give you their hand-me-down clothing to pick through before they take it to Goodwill.

You call your parents for information on how to properly cook steak and repair furniture.

At least half of your kitchenware has been culled from former roommates who moved out and left thing behind to haunt your shared living space like the ghosts of roommates past…and like a suburban pirate, you cling proudly to these Kmart treasures you have plundered.

You always bring homemade cookies to potlucks – homemade, because you can’t afford to buy a tray of cookies; cookies, because you baking skills are still rudimentary enough that a pie-making attempt would be a high risk/low reward situation.

Your home first aid kit consists of half a box of generic bandaids, generic midol, cough syrup, and cough drops. (If someone needs a tourniquet, that’s what electrical cords are for.)

You clean your floors regularly, but also when you’re home alone, sometimes for fun you roll around on the floor like a human bowling ball – picture something along the lines of kids’ gymnastics class-meets-bag lady tripping on acid.

You didn’t get excited about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because no sale changes the fact that you are on a Target-clearance-rack kind of budget.

You sometimes have popcorn and diet cherry coke for dinner…but you also gag down a bowl of frozen green beans you zapped in the microwave, because vegetables are important or something.

You make an “iced mocha” (which is really just glorified grown up chocolate milk) by mixing Hershey’s syrup and milk into your coffee and throwing in some ice cubes, and then you think, “Damn, this would be good with some Kahlua.”

You don’t actually add the Kahlua to your coffee because it’s only 9am…and you can’t afford Kahlua.


Maybe eventually we become “adult” enough that we actually feel like we’re full grown adults, or maybe we just get better at hiding it.  For now, I’m going to go buy some damn dishwasher detergent…and maybe go take a nap

adult cat

*Fine. I didn’t get it off WebMD. I made it up based off my own life experience.


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