Monday, December 04, 2006

What Is An "Adult"?

And when will I feel like one?

This post has been brewing for some time, and I don't think it's at all ready. But I have nothing to write about today and I'm out the next couple of days so I figured I'd see if I can try to express this feeling I have. If I can't, I'll just save it as a draft, not publish it, and you knuckleheads will be none the wiser, right?

So basically, it's like this: I still feel like a kid. I realize that I'm not unique in this regard; most people still feel like kids inside. But I REALLY feel like a kid. And I'm clearly not. One glance at my driver's license dispels that notion - I am 35 years old. My dad had FOUR kids at my age. He was definitely an adult. He had cocktail parties with monogrammed barware and people would come over with ties on and drink scotch and say important things. I mean, I do that too...I go to parties with a tie on sometimes, and I love scotch, and I think I may once have said something important. But the difference is...I don't know what the difference is. But there is one. It's like THEY were REALLY adults. I'm just ACTING like an adult.

There are other things I do that make me think I'm not really an adult:
  • I still always want the window seat on an airplane and I spend the ENTIRE flight with my forehead glued to the glass. I have noticed that NO OTHER PERSON on the flight does this. It's not as if its my first flight, for pete's sake. I've flown all over the world, for years and years. Still, every single flight, eyes staring out the window.
  • When I sit at my desk, I almost always sit with my right foot tucked under my left butt cheek. I'm sitting on my foot. Even when I'm wearing a suit, like right now, I'm sitting like a 5th grader. Can that be normal? I don't see anyone else sitting that way.
  • When I hear a news story about a "35 year old man" or a "38 year old woman" I always think that they are kind of old. But I don't think of MYSELF like that at all.
  • Even though I have more money than either of my parents, I still always hope there is a check in my birthday card or x-mas card.
  • If I were ever on a plane that got hijacked, or in a bank that got robbed, I still expect that they'd let ME go free, because for God's sake, I'm just a kid.
  • I feel like if I ever broke the law and got busted, I'd get sent to juvie instead of big person prison. Yeah, I know I'm wrong there. And I'd be popular in prison. Seriously.

There are easily 100 more things just like that I could list. Does anyone know what I'm talking about here? I still kind of feel like I haven't expressed it properly. At what age do you actually stop feeling young? I seriously feel EXACTLY like I felt when I was in my 20's. I'm into different things, but that's only because I can afford them now. And having a kid didn't make me feel older, that's for sure. I mean for F*cks sake, I'm playing with Leg.os every day now. And I get INTO it, too. At first I just handed her the pieces and she would place them, but now it's like "Buggins, give me that, it should go like this" and then next thing I know she is off doing something else and I'm STILL playing with the f'ing leg.os.

Anyway, that's my post for the day. Sorry it's not altogether thoughtful or well constructed or coherent. But what do you want? For Christ's sake, I'm just a kid.


Anonymous said...

Funny, isn't it? In a lot of ways, I feel like a kid - I still don't feel old enough to own a house for sure. I laugh at fart jokes. I want to have kids so I can have toys in the house that *I* can play with too. And I sit, at work, with my left foot tucked under too. (copycat!!!)

Now that I am grown and out of the house, I always wonder at my parents. Even though I think of them as ADULTS, I am starting to wonder if they were just playing at it.

So I bet you're not alone.

Though I will say that there are some days where I definitely feel old as a result of our infertility. Not always, but sometimes.

A.M.S. said...

Oh, Smarshy, how well I know what you mean.

I got the giggles the other day at the liquor store because I didn't get carded and I felt like I'd really gotten away with something. Then I remembered that I'm 14 years past the legal age to buy that bottle of rum and got a bit depressed. Fortunately, the bottle of rum helps with that.

On an almost daily basis, I drive my car (HOLY SHIT! Do the authorities know someone gave me a license?) into my driveway (AND that someone lent me money to buy a house!!!) and wonder when I'm going to get busted for pretending to be an adult. Two of my favorite shows on tv? Invader Zim and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.

I was shopping for presents for my 12-year old step-son and as I picked out nerf guns for him, I found myself eyeing a couple for me and my husband too.

Every so often, I have the same thoughts as my age, my parents had owned their own company for 15 years, had bought and sold three houses, had three children...and so on...

And I still press my forehead against the window of the plane every chance I get, too. Do you play "Hey, there's my house!" as well?

Anonymous said...

What an excellent question, Smarshy.

I'm ahead of you by a couple of years and am still waiting for the mysterious feeling of being "grown up" to catch up with me. Getting married? Nah. Buying a house? Nah? I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm a magistrate. That means that people have looked at me (in some detail) and decided I'm responsible enough to decide whether or not someone should go to jail. I really thought that would make me feel grown up, but do you know what? It hasn't changed a thing. And so I've been working on the assumption that becoming a Dad might just do it.

But I see that hasn't worked for you.

(And for what it's worth, I too spend most of any flight gazing out the window AND I sit on my feet at the desk - much to the delight of my chiropractor.)

Mr Blue Sky said...

Spot on again Mr S.

Watching a lego add at the weekend showing the new airport set and i excidedly blurted out "I don't care that I'm 32 I'd still love to open that on Christmas day"

Thing is, my better half does not bother to humuor me any more, or roll her eyes.
She knows I am actually 5.

I also love the thats my house game!!

theoneliner said...

OMG I so do 1 & 2...too. I always sit on my foot and its a known thing that I get the window seat in our family.

What's funny is when a judge asks "is the defense ready?" I swear I always look around for an attorney. Someone who looks important. "cause I know he/she isn't talking to me.

Doesn't it feel like you're playing dress-up all of the time? It def. does to me.

Sooooo, are all of us 'crazy' or what?

Hopeful Mother said...

I do the "face on the plane window thing" too. I can't stop myself from looking.

I tuck my foot under my butt when sitting too...

Anonymous said...

Oh, hell. I feel like that all the time. Like a.m.s, I'll be driving along and think, hey this is MY car. I OWN it. Or I'll pull into the garage and think, who let ME buy a house? Or, I'll think wow...I'm married... to a GROWN MAN! And lots of time at work I wonder why people ask me grown up questions... I'm not a grown up. And I completely bogart the niece's and nephew's play-doh, leggos, and matchbox cars when I visit.

And many times we'll be out socially with friends and I'll wonder if my parents ever had the kinds of ridiculous conversations we had. And if they ever wondered the same thing about their parents.

gaelen said...

None of this sounds familiar to me at all. Drawing infertility as a big blue monster tied to a chair and torturing him by making him watch bad reality tv is very very mature and not at all childish.

OHN said...

My hubby is 52 ~~when he grows up, I'll let you know.

Rumour Miller said...

I am totally getting this post! Even today, I looked at my husband and said.... "Can you believe that "someone" actually let us have a baby! I mean, seriously, are we old enough!"

I always have those moments.... plus I still believe in Santa Claus and (even though I know that he doesn't leave surprise gifts for those who aren't supposed to believe) I always hope that I will wake up Christmas morning and see a gift under the tree from Santa that wasn't there the night before.

Krista said...


I can't believe other people feel like this. What's better is a lawyer and a magistrate agreed to feeling this way. I think most of the reason I am not confident in court is because I don't feel like I am old enough to be there. I always feel like everyone is secretly laughing to themselves about this child who believes she can be a lawyer.

And I still sit with my leg under my butt. And I still get excited about money/gifts from my parents. And I watch the olympics and see the 23 year old athletes and say "wow, they are my age and look how much they've accomplished" When in fact, I will be 33 in January.

Why is that exactly?

Thalia said...

I don't think those guys felt like grown-ups, either. It's one of the great unsaid elements of human existence, we all still feel like we're the young ones, the irresponsible ones.

Anonymous said...

you're a funny, funny guy!

Anonymous said...

You are dead on on ALL of these. I'm pushing 30 and still feel like I should be going to my parents house for summer breaks. I feel this despite having a husband, a house, a kid, two dogs... and not having lived in my parents house since I graduated college. when does this feeling go away!?

Anonymous said...

HOLY SMOKES, I could've written this post! I too glue my forehead to the plane window. I sit on my feet at work (am doing it as I type). I sit Indian-style at restaurants as though I'm sitting on a floor. And me & Dan? We play Nintendo for fun. Our fave movies are Lilo & Stitch and the Harry Potter's. You ROCK!!

Anonymous said...

You're seriously not alone on this one. I think a lot of us feel this way. I've had this exact conversation with several of my friends. I don't know how old you have to get before you stop thinking of yourself as a kid. I used to think that maybe I'd feel like an adult when I had a kid of my own - but you've proved that theory wrong.

Katie said...

If one more convenience-store clerk or cleancut waiter calls me MA'AM I'm going to scream. Don't tell me it's just a southern form of politeness. Enough with the respect, already, I want to be felt up visually. Or at least carded.

Anonymous said...

I felt like that this weekend because how bizarre is it to have your mom and dad come up to stay with you while you're laying in bed because you just had an embryo transfer??? Thanks mom and dad, you make me dinner while I lay here and try to get knocked up thru IVF! Not uncomfortable or weird in the least, right?

Whenever I see celebrities on TV I am always surprised that the ones I think are older than I am usually turn out to be younger. Clearly I have a warped perception of age!

Most of the time I still think of myself as being 20. It's still sort of strange for me to see my college friends married with babies.

spark said...

Right there with you! I also do #1-3 and seriously am bummed that I don't get summer vacation anymore.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm the opposite! I think I started acting and feeling like an adult around age 13. I was a very serious, studious kid, and jokes still sort of fly over my head unnoticed. Be careful what you wish for! I think some people just never feel like a grown-up and some people (even children) always do.

Just another Jenny said...

You are not the only one - I have my foot under my butt right now. I often hear about 30 yr olds and think that is old and have to remember that I'm 31. I don't think there is a magic age when you feel like an adult. Without being sexist, I think it takes even longer for guys. What woman doesn't think her husband acts like a kid? My hubbie is getting an xbox36* for Christmas (he's 41!)

Anonymous said...

I don't wanna grow up...I'm a ToysRUs kid...there's a million toys...

Oh wait. At least we 'adults' get some cool toys, too.

I totally do the "face smushed against the window on the plane" thing too.

Thanks for making me laugh today.

Anonymous said...

BTW, LEGOS rock!

Mony said...

Peter Pan Smarsh!

Who wants to grow up?
Not me.

Erin said...

I sometimes feel resentful that P has to have the window seat on airplanes because the carseat can't be in the way of other seats. I hate to fly but when I have to get on a plane, I want the window seat.

It still amuses me to pull into the driveway of the house that we bought 3+ years ago after 4+ years of marriage and think "Ha ha, someone gave us a lot of money to buy a house!" Almost as much as it amuses me when my students call me "Dr. M." Ha ha, someone gave me a Ph.D. Don't they know I'm still a kid?

I love that P just turned 3 because now he's starting to get the fun toys--pirate ships, castles, Legos. I love playing with those toys...ahem..I mean, I love playing with P.

jon said...

addressing bullet item #2. this is a common practice, more for women than men. it may be a compensating posture to balance out the level of your pelvis (if you wear your wallet in the right back pocket). however, be advised that this continual practice will put a shift in the soft tissue (and bony relationships) and eventually lead to hip and low back spasms and possibly even the genericized term 'sciatica'

Anonymous said...

My husband thinks legos rock! He went through a phase where he was buying huge lots off e-bay. He claimed they were for the future children, but those boxes were ripped open as soon as the Fed Ex guy turned the corner.