tried to eat the safe banana (thefourthvine) wrote,
tried to eat the safe banana
thefourthvine

[Poll] Adulthood.

Just like everyone else on the internet, I read Hyperbole and a Half's post on adulthood recently. As a result I have said, "Clean all the things?" to Best Beloved at least 76 times today. I expect I will be saying it regularly forever.

The post made me think about adulthood. And how I mostly do not get it.

When I was 10 and our washing machine exploded, turning our house into something more waterpark than domicile, my parents knew exactly what to do; they totally efficiently turned off the water, called the water company, and called the insurance people. All I could think of was to hold up my pants, which didn't want to stay on anymore once they'd taken on 40 pounds of water weight. I thought, I cannot wait until I am grown up and I know what to do.

When I was 17, I got my first flat tire, and of course I panicked and drove home on the rim. My father laughed and put on my spare tire and took my car out for a new tire, and then he explained why we don't drive on a flat. And I listened and looked forward to the day when I knew this stuff, when I just knew what to do.

When I was 25, Best Beloved and I bought our first house. I sat in the escrow office reading a stack of documents that I needed a ladder to get to the top of and thinking, Surely they will not let me actually buy part of this house. Surely they will notice I don't know what to do.

When I was 35, I sat in a wheelchair (despite my extremely reasonable protests) and carried a tiny baby home in my lap, and I couldn't believe it: they were letting me leave the hospital with the most important person in the world, and I still didn't know what to do.

Responsible adulthood did not happen to me. I never found a copy of the manual called What to Do. Instead, I have cobbled together a set of coping skills that let me fake being a responsible adult most of the time, while I stare in wonderment at the people around me who actually seem not only to have the manual but also to have read it and learned it to the point where they don't even need it anymore. And yet they never want to sell their old copy.

So, you know, now I'm wondering: how many of you know What to Do?



Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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