Ten years ago today, I was driving to school in the final weeks of my high school career on my first day of ADULTHOOD. I didn’t particularly feel like an adult, which may have had something to do with the ridiculous black Stevie Nicks dress I was wearing complete with witchy boots and a red and black corset, too-long hair, the Dimmu Borgir blasting out of my ’91 Ford Explorer hand-me-down, and a TiVo full of Dexter’s Lab and Powerpuff Girls and a very hungry collie awaiting me back home.
But it’s ten years later, and I am now 28 years old as of today, driving (late) to my fancy-pantsy corporatish big-girl job in a ’12 Mini Cooper (because I am SO OLD that I have driven one entire car into the GROUND), blasting Dimmu Borgir, with too-long hair, wearing a prim tweedy Ann Taylor suit (in black, naturally, with some gothtacular jewelry), and a bookshelf full of Young Adult novels and a very hungry sheltie awaiting me back home.
Clearly, I have learned many invaluable lessons about adulthood and maturity and responsibility on the way, which I shall now impart to you!
As a VETERAN ADULT, you will NEVER find yourself in the following situations:
- Standing in front of the fridge in your kitchen in your underwear and a nerdy video game-themed t-shirt, drinking juice straight out of the bottle, wondering where the past 48 hours have gone and why you smell faintly of cheese, then looking over at your computer and remembering it’s the final hours of the Guild Wars 2 beta weekend and you just spent FORTY-EIGHT HOURS PLAYING A VIDEO GAME WITH CHARACTERS YOU WILL NOT EVEN GET TO KEEP WHEN THE GAME RELEASES and half your manuscript edits are staring back at you forlornly, waiting to be typed up, judging you for the mojito stains on them. And this will CERTAINLY never happen to you the weekend just before you turn 28, because you are very nearly a VETERAN ADULT.
- Taking paid time off from work to attend a midnight release showing of The Hunger Games, and wondering why you are older than every other person in line (except for your boyfriend, who is kind of excited for the movie but not MIDNIGHT SHOWING excited), and then you make him hold your place in line because the line curves around some cute little Mexican joint’s patio so you sit on the patio and drink a margarita. And a Coke, for the caffeine. And then you spend the rest of your three-day weekend trying to recover from being awake until 3am, which is just EMBARRASSING, because when you were 18 you hit a new midnight release showing every weekend.
- Tossing and turning after a big social outing because even after 27+ years of life you still get social anxiety and treat conversations with new people like a vomiting of your very essence because how the hell else are they going to get to know you and you forget to put your listening hat on even though these are awesome people and you could listen to them talk for hours and oh god social anxiety no adults never deal with that.
- Sitting down to watch Battlestar Galactica, Season 1 and next thing you know it’s three weeks later and WHO IS THE FINAL CYLON and you’re in your underwear and a dorky t-shirt with Edward James Olmos on it and sparkly text that says “edward” in the Twilight font, smelling faintly of cheese, and your office has sent out the national guard to find you because they think you’ve been kidnapped by the Russian mob.
- Coming home from work and your dog has eaten one of your dorky video game-themed t-shirts and half of your boyfriend’s sock and dear god you didn’t even know you HAD that many dishes and they are ALL in your sink and then you open up the washing machine and find the laundry you put in there ten hours ago and now it smells faintly of cheese because you never transferred it to the dryer and jesus christ how can one sheltie PRODUCE this much hair and you cannot possibly clean this all up in the four hours until you have to go to bed in order to sleep in order to get up in order to get to work only five minutes late in order to come home to clean again. So you just say “fuck it” and change into your underwear and a ratty Sisters of Mercy t-shirt that’s older than you are and watch trashy ghost-hunting shows for four hours.
- Forgetting to send presents to your dearest friends and relatives to commemorate MAJOR LIFE-CHANGING MILESTONES like babies and passed bar exams and weddings and so on. Or forgetting to send cards. Or even forgetting to send emails. Hell, even forgetting to log onto Facebook despite your consummate hatred for it just to merely click “Like” on the status update announcing said milestones.
- In fact, veteran adults pretty much never find themselves in their underwear and dorky video game/’80s goth band/ironic internet meme t-shirts. Or unbathed. In a dirty apartment. With everything they own covered in sheltie hair. In fact, veteran adults live in houses, because they can afford mortgages and stuff, and don’t spend their money on rare discontinued nail polishes and gothtacular jewelry and five-course Belgian beer-pairing dinners and video game-themed t-shirts that they just HAVE TO HAVE. Or books. They definitely don’t buy books by the boxload (we’re talking like 12, 13 books a month, because you had a COUPON CODE and not using it would be more physically painful than amputation).
So there you have it! Veteran adulthood awaits you! By the time you’ve been an adult for a whole goddamned decade and are getting invites to your 10-year high school reunion, you will magically learn vaulable time management, cleaning, and maturity lessons, and will be just as polished and with-it as me. Enjoy!