Are You A Grown Up Yet?
From the age of about 18 to 25 or so, humans in the West exist in something of a neotonous phase. You don't know it, of course, but you're still nourishing yourself from the cultural yolk sack of your youth. In your mind, you think you've arrived. You think this is the reality of adulthood. This is the future as it will always be, you're young, you're free, the world is full of potential. You will not grow old. You will not die.
Then one day, something happens. An outside event which jars your reality and shakes the self image you've been walking around with. Like a brick wall, it hits you, you're now a grown up. The boob tube you thought you looked so darn gorgeous in is kind of threadbare and saggy and the car that used to get you from hot date to hot date is up on blocks suffering from acute engine failure.
You've grown up, and you didn't even realize it. Here are a few signs that you may have accidentally stumbled into full adulthood without noticing:
- Your favorite movies are now ten to fifteen years old and look entirely dated. The same goes for the music you like.
- The celebrities you thought were hot when you were a teenager now have ten children of their own and have largely faded from celebrity. Some of them may even have married Tom Cruise, who is no longer a fighter pilot stud, but a crazed cult fanatic.
- You know who Tom Cruise is.
- You care that Michael Jackson died because his music was actually a significant part of your childhood.
- You realize that it has been several months since you last went out, and when you did, it wasn't to some raging party but a relatively dignified dinner.
- You don't remember 80% of the people in your high school class without prompting.
- You've thought about planting some sort of garden.
- You now own whatever pet you wanted as a child, but weren't allowed.
- "Twilight', 'High School Musical' and 'Miley Cyrus' are concepts so retarded you can't believe that anyone can look at them without laughing.
- Popular entertainers are pretty much all younger than you are.
- You've realized that real people are nothing like those in romance novels and / or movies and you're okay with that.
- If you're a woman, you realize that the subset 'hot younger women' men are looking at no longer includes you, and if you're a man, you realize that you're now a creep leering at woman far too young for you.
- You buy, and use, a coaster.
- You consider hosting a family event.
- You need a 'guest room' because visitors can no longer be expected to 'crash' out on the couch, half cut.
- You can no longer gracefully pass out in other people's homes and expect to be woken with a cup of coffee, a broad grin and a recounting of last night's exploits. Instead you trip over their kid's toys and are glowered out the back door.
- You realize that the world trip you've been planning might have to wait until after you're retired, by which time you may no longer want to para sail from the largest mountain in China.
- People start asking you when you plan to settle down. If you're settled down, they ask you when you plan to get married. If you're married, they ask you when you plan to have children.
- If you're single, you may be starting to seriously wonder if you'll die alone. (Don't worry about it, you won't.)
- You think about going back to school and getting some more qualifications and realize that you'd now be a mature student. The grades you got in High School are no longer important because you'll now be judged on other merits, like work experience.
- If you already got a degree, you're now well aware that nobody cares about the grade you got in first year Japanese, or how many times you failed Algebra II.
If these sound like you, congratulations! You have survived your juvenile phase and can now enjoy the fruits of being a grown up. These can include: not being a shallow twit worried about how spiky your hair is, building a future for yourself on your own terms, starting a family that will bring joy for decades to come, and being the change you wish to see in the world.