Occasionally, I have been known to do some pretty grownup things. I show up to my full-time job five days a week, for instance. On the second day of every month, I make my student loan payments. I call my parents for reasons other than to ask for money. I keep myself decently fed, have purchased pieces of furniture I didn’t have to assemble myself, and hang out with other people who also do things like have full-time jobs and call their parents. If 16-year-old me could see 26-year-old me today, I think she would be impressed by my overall autonomy (but only for like a second, and then she would go back to prepping her speech and debate original oratory, because 16-year-old me was impossibly serious and didn’t have time to think about anything outside of her immediate five year plan).
More often than not, I have also been known to do some pretty un-grownup things and, well, that’s where it all gets a little messy. I was talking to my dad today on the phone in the dark (my kitchen light bulb blew out like, a week ago — I just haven’t gotten around to replacing it), and he was threatening to take me off our family cell phone plan after I accidentally mentioned I had shattered my iPhone screen when I tripped on the sidewalk in my new booties the other day and, um, smashed it (it still works though, so chill out, OK?). Then he asked me if I was even listening to him and I had to admit that I was only kind of listening to him, because my friend had just tweeted that Kylie Jenner dyed her hair gray and, I don’t know, some things are just more interesting to think about than others. Then I hung up, scrolled through Kylie Jenner’s Instagram page for a few minutes, wondered if I should dye my hair gray, and heated up some easy mac since the only items in my refrigerator were a half-empty bottle of screw-top rosé, a jar of pickles, and a bottle of salad dressing from like maybe two years ago. But then the cogs in my brain started doing this kind of weird thing where they sort of align a little bit, and as I was checking the expiration date on my old bottle of salad dressing, I had an interesting moment of self-realization — when it comes to being a grownup, I’m kind of a poser.
Which isn’t the worst thing ever, or anything, but it is an interesting truth to come to terms with, especially after you thought you were doing really great and all what with the full-time job and loan paying and everything. So then I thought the mature thing to do while waiting for my easy mac to cook was to pause for three and a half minutes and reflect on this new self discovery.
Unfortunately, the microwave timer went off before I was able to come to any real conclusions about what it means to be a fake grownup in a grownup world or anything like that. But I was able to come up with a pretty solid list of other things that make me a fake grownup, which I think was a very productive use of three minutes, because you have to be able to diagnose a problem* before you can correct it. That is basic medicine.
*Fake adulthood is not really a problem. It’s really just more of a state of being that may or may not make your life more difficult than it needs to be at times, like when you go to clean up the wine glass you dropped in the kitchen three days ago and realize you don’t own basic household items like dustpans.
In the spirit of self-improvement, here are 10 ways I failed at being a grownup this week: