Between meetings, paperwork, phone calls, taking my car to the mechanic, work, an internship, being the "adult supervision" at a summer camp and continuing to provide myself with food at least three times daily, these past few weeks have been packed to the brim with very adult activities.
This recent onslaught of grown-up tasks gave me a revelation: I might be sort of kind of getting the hang of being an adult.
I mean, sure, I still text my mom about every other decision I make, and yeah, I still panicked when the mechanic told me the price to get my car fixed, and okay, I walked out of the bank crying one day. But you know what? I did it all.
I did it, and I'm still in one piece. My life has structure, and I have a basic understanding of that structure. I haven't truly ruined anything yet, and everything is okay. And I think I can continue on with this independence thing.
That being said, I have a few questions. Since I've been living away from home this summer, I've been compiling a list of questions I still have about adulthood. Answers would be appreciated.
1. How do you go to the store and not buy donuts? They're fresh and small and delicious and they only cost like 68 cents. How do you tell yourself no?
2. Insurance? Taxes? Finances? Do they make everything so unnecessarily complicated on purpose? Will I ever feel prepared?
3. Are you sure I can be trusted to figure out how to get myself three meals a day? I rarely nail down both breakfast and lunch in the same day. And then sometimes it's 9 p.m. before I remember dinner exists.
4. How do you go to the grocery store without forgetting something? I write a list and everything, so how does it happen!? How did I forget eggs but end up with a dozen donuts?
5. Why aren't flannels acceptable in every social setting yet? I'm just saying: interviews would be so much less stressful if you could curl up inside a cozy flannel while it was happening.
6. Why aren't people nicer? Don't they know that it's easier for everyone when all strangers are nice to each other?
7. How do you end a month with more than $2.37 in your checking account? Where does it go?
8. How do you refrain from bawling your eyes out every time you move? The physical and emotional upheaval is overwhelming, is it possible to not cry?
9. Why would you ever knowingly buy 1-ply toilet paper? Ever? You have the freedom to buy your own toilet paper. No price difference is worth that level of discomfort. Why does 1-ply even exist?
10. If it's leftovers and it's the only thing you have, is it acceptable to eat dinner foods for breakfast? No one can tell me breakfast for dinner is wrong... but what about dinner for breakfast?
11. Can everyone just calm down during rush hour traffic? We'd probably all get home faster if you'd stop honking your horn or trying to swerve in front of everyone else. We're all tired and doing our best. Don't make this experience more miserable than it already is.
12. I'm tired. Not a question. Just an unending fact.
13. Why is the term "ma'am" sometimes considered offensive? The kind of people who use the term "ma'am" don't seem to be the kind of people who are thinking about how old you are. I'm twenty, and I get called "ma'am" fairly often. People are just trying to be nice, and I'll take that because they so often aren't nice.
14. Is there ever a reason to buy a pan that is not non-stick? We make a point to say a pan is "non-stick," but has anyone ever purchased a "stick" pan?
15. When baking, is it okay to eat a ton of batter if I accidentally don't scrape it all out into the pan? It's on accident, of course.
16. Dishes never end, do they? I've tried. They don't end.
17. Why do adults whisper about other people so much? Gossip is getting harder to avoid the older I get. Hearing people whisper about others always makes me feel disproportionately embarrassed. Can we stop?
18. Is this safe to eat? Is this rotten? Is this expiration date true? How are you supposed to tell? I usually just go for it and wait for the regret to settle in my stomach; is there a better way?
19. Would someone just answer my questions? I sometimes go to the bank or call customer support or otherwise find someone who should know more than me about a certain topic and ask them a question: why aren't they able to give me a straightforward answer? Are they all trying to fool me or screw me over or is every human just a flopping idiot who doesn't know how to communicate?
20. If we're all flopping idiots, how does anything get done? How does literally anything happen?