Friday, March 6, 2009

I pay my mortgage with Mr. Potato Head Checks

It's sometimes a little difficult being an "adult." There are definite perks, of course-- you can stay up as late as you want (not without consequences of course, but bedtimes are self-imposed... for me it might be more accurate to say you can go to bed as early as you choose). If you wanted to, you could eat candy for breakfast. If you are lucky enough to be generally unattached to anyone, you can take off for crazy vacations just because you need one and you always wanted to do it. And if you're lucky enough to be attached to someone, you can kiss for hours and hours (if you're a nice Mormon girl like I am).
But adulthood is more than buying yourself flowers from Costco just because you want to, can afford it, and they'd augment the beauty of your home. It means being the one to fix the toilet (which may mean putting your hand in it). It means counting all the people in the group so no one gets lost in a foreign country where the tour guide doesn't care (and it's amazing how many "adults" do get lost, or worse, have a "take-care-of-yourself" attitude... the latter especially means that you just have an old body, but a childish disposition). Being an adult means worrying about more than just today. Real adults watch the car in front of the one they're following, because they know that looking out for just one will likely get you in trouble. When you grow up, you get more concerned about how clean your house is, and you'd never think of flopping down on someone's furniture so brutishly that you break it. Moreover, you don't throw your food wrappers down in your friends' cars (in my minivan I had a trashcan... that makes me 40, I know, but not having one makes my otherwise perfectly angelic friends revert to being 4, and I find trash in my car all the time-- a huge pet peeve of mine). And speaking of friends, being an adult means you are lucky enough to have friends from several different areas and eras of your life, but it also means that sometimes you have the unpleasant task of cutting out the toxic people (again, so you don't turn back into a teenager, or worse, somebody's unsuspectingly sweet but gullible grandmother).
Adulthood buys you a bit of (implied) bravery as well. Tonight I'm going to an improv show/concert. On the one hand, I'm excited because it's a break from my normal Friday night activities. One of the performers is this brilliant guy I saw at a theatre festival back when I was in high school. However, I also remember thinking that one of the pieces he acted in was absolutely inappropriate for a high school audience. Where I was shocked and appalled as a youngster, if it gets naughty tonight I have no problem walking out (and let's hope it doesn't come to that).
When I was a child and spake as a child, I was 7-going-on-50. Now that I'm 27 and 3/4, I've learned to negotiate that delicate balance of being responsible and being fun. It really is a little slice of perfection. Even though I am not perfect, 27 and 3/4 is just old enough to bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan (plus add to the food storage and emergency fund, pay the insurance and property taxes, do yardwork and home maintenance, check the oil and tire pressure, pay the bills the moment I receive them in the mail and give to charity) and to have more fun than I ever thought possible (like taking off to Europe for a couple of weeks, writing the great American novel, rafting down the Rio Grande, offering to help a stranger, subscribing to any magazine I want, shopping at farmer's markets and holding hands with someone just because it feels good). I consistently put in more than 40 hours in a work week, but I do it while listening to my iPod. I'm a good girl and I love going to church, but I also love wearing fishnets with my otherwise conservative clothing. I don't leave home without making my bed not only because I can't stand the mess but also because I like the butterflies on my sheets (or the stripes or the paisley-- whatever...being Bohemian, I just mix it up). I have no beef with wearing little-girl barrettes in my hair with my power suit (OK, I don't have a power suit... I'll admit it. But I do love wearing neckties), and I reject the idea that dinner isn't complete without meat.
So even though I could live without worrying about the economy or global warming (I live within my means and recycle, by the way), I'm happy that I'm making it work in my own way. And thank goodness I'm still young enough to justify not wearing mom jeans. Or anything with an elastic waistband.


At March 7, 2009 at 9:14 PM , Blogger Reuben said...

you drive a minivan? SWEET.

At March 9, 2009 at 8:26 AM , Blogger Rachel said...

Not anymore :( Now I drive I 300C.


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