It Doesn't Get Better, or Why do I still get zits as an adult?

I had a lot of fantasies about what adulthood would be like when I was growing up. I’d have my own place, check, I’d have boobs, check and check and I’d be married to Jason Priestley… it could still happen… maybe. Although I achieved two out of three of my childhood dreams (still really psyched about the boobs), there are a few aspects of being an adult I find terribly disappointing. Sure there was that whole “You have to actually pay for electricity, it’s not just some magic gift from the light bulb God, Sundu” realization but that was relatively easy to get over. Worse are the aspects of my youth I thought I’d leave behind once I turned eighteen and yet here they still are, haunting me like a ghost, but not a cute one that protects and does sexy pottery with me.

Here are a few myths of adulthood that have been proven by my research, time and vast experience to be total and utter crap:

1) You will no longer get zits.

I thought that once I left teenagedom behind, my skin would be smooth and flawless. Pimples were just supposed to be my body’s reaction to raging hormones and eating those cafeteria squared-shaped pizzas, right? Wrong!!! Here’s a fun fact I learned in my twenties: you will get zits for the rest of your life! Why was this never explained to me?  In fact, it’s actually possible to have zits and wrinkles at the exact same time. I once had a pimple that was located right in the valley of the two big wrinkles I used to call my brow line. When I get ready for bed at night, I now have to use thirty-six different products on my face just so I don’t wake up with a forehead full of zinkles (what I now call these zit/wrinkle combos). I guess after I’m dead and my flesh literally disintegrates, only leaving behind my cold, hard bones, I will finally have the flawless skin that I so truly desire. Can’t wait.

2) You don’t have to do what your parents say anymore.

“When I move out, I can do whatever I want and you won’t be able to stop me”- Danielle Schneider, age 17, to her parents after they told her she couldn’t get a tattoo of the comedy/tragedy masks on her shoulder.

Guess what? I did eventually move out, but I NEVER got that tattoo. Why? Because I heard my parents voices in my head over and over again telling me not to (and also because at some point in my twenties I developed something known as good taste). The point is that even though I am now the boss of my own life, my parents still affect almost every decision I make. I recently went a shade darker with my hair; the review from my mother fell somewhere between disgust and wanting to disown me. However, I’ve held my ground and have kept the darker color for almost a year, go me!*

*The author has since gone back to her lighter shade. Her mother was right, arghhhhh!

2)  You will finally understand guys.

In High School, guys were a total mystery to me: their inability to communicate, their fear of vulnerability, their willingness to fart openly. It was all so confusing. I assumed once I grew up and learned the secrets of womanhood, I would fully understand the male animal and learn to manipulate him with my feminine whiles. I should disclose at this time that I used to read a lot of Jackie Collins novels. That said, I’m still just as confused by men as I ever was and I’m married to one. Why after the fight we had is over do they not want to keep discussing the fight over and over again? Why do they refuse to ask for help or ever admit they’re lost? Why do they think it’s okay to go weeks on end without washing their sheets? Maybe they like the smell of skin flakes and sadness. The mysteries of men are still as dense to me as those in the show “Lost” and similarly, when it’s all over I have I feeling I’ll be asking myself the same questions I asked when that ended “WTF?!” and also “What ever happened to Walt?”

3)  You won’t be afraid to be alone at night.

When I was a kid, I always hated it when my parents would go out at night and my sister, who was only two years older, would babysit. Sure, it was candy eating and dirty HBO movies for the first part of the evening, but then it would be time to go to sleep. I would be petrified to close my eyes out of fear that the boogeyman or a ghost or a flasher was going to get me (for some reason I was especially scared of flashers, I don’t think I quite understood what they were about). I thought I would outgrow this anxiety and yet here I am many years later still nervous when I have to sleep alone in my house at night.

My husband went out of town a few weeks ago and I slept with a phone, a kitchen knife and a fake gun by my bed. I don’t know exactly how I’d use the fake gun in the event of an intruder; I’d probably just end up throwing it at them and hoping that it gave them a bad bruise or something. And as for the knife, I ended up practically rolling on top of it and almost stabbing myself in the face. I am obviously much more of a danger to myself than a flasher could ever be.

Okay, so being a grown up is not the zitless, fearless, all knowing fantasy life I thought it would be. Adulthood is sometimes as confusing, scary and ridiculous as being a kid was. On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome things about being an adult: no curfew, I don’t have to make my bed when I don’t feel like it, I don’t have to take tests, I never have to do complicated math, I can go out on weeknights… the list goes on and on. Any kids reading this right now should be so jealous of us adults. We have it made. Ha Ha, suck on that, children! Oh, and that’s another thing that doesn’t go away when you’re a grown up – being petty and obnoxious.

PS – Full disclosure, I do still make my bed every morning. My mom would be so pissed at me if I didn’t.

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