Sometimes (okay, always), when you’re younger you want to speed up your life and get to do all the cool things you see adults doing. Clearly, this is not always sensible. But it’s something we all go through – this desire to just go see an R-rated movie or get your license or be out without having to check in with your parents. These are normal I Can’t Wait to Grow Up And Do Everything things.
But I want to talk about those other (weirder) things that are perceived as adult from the comforts of youth (or maybe just by me).
1. Drinking Coffee and Coffee-Related Activities
I mean, really, what’s more adult than drinking coffee? We learned as kids it would stunt your growth and obviously we all dreamed of being 5’10” like Cindy Crawford, it exists to wake you up before work and it’s kind of gross without a ton of milk and sugar in it.
But you know what I thought was the most adult part of coffee? Shaking sugar packets to get the sugar to the bottom before you put it in your drink.
I’m so serious. Just that motion and that sound made me feel like, “Oh man, some serious stuff is about to go down.”
And now, this is an act I do every day (well, twice a day) and it merely serves as a reminder that I now depend on coffee to keep me awake. Just like those “adults.”
I mean, I didn’t even really KNOW what caviar was as a kid but I knew it was food and something adults ate. Actually, specifically something that fancy adults ate. And that’s really the goal of life as a little kid anyway, right? Either be a superhero or, barring that, a very fancy adult.
Caviar is mentioned in Clueless as one of the things Cher wants to donate from her house to the Pismo Beach Disaster Relief so we KNOW it’s fancy. Jack Dawson also hilariously can’t recognize caviar in Titanic because he is so poor he’s never seen it before. AND THEN in You’ve Got Mail, Tom Hanks steals all the caviar even though Meg Ryan informs him, “That caviar is a GARNISH!” (Also, how much do I want to yell that at someone?)
I’ve since had caviar and do enjoy it but it still couldn’t possibly live up to my little kid dreams of being a hyper-fancy adult just sitting around with my monocle, eating caviar.
3. Writing Checks
I always remember being VERY impressed with how you write out checks and paying attention to how they’re written out. I definitely was that teen who, upon getting her first checking account, wrote checks for $5 just for fun (and hilariousness). There’s just something magical about writing the amount numerically and then also writing it out for clarity and THEN you get to sign your name and that means that money can go to someone else. Just amazing.
Of course now the only reason I ever write a check, really is for my rent bill so it just makes me sad that so much money a month goes to a space I don’t own. I mean, I’m not going to lie, I sometimes still find check-writing thrilling but it definitely doesn’t hold the same mystique that it once did.
4. Being Sequestered for Jury Duty
I think this comes from my desire to go to a “lock in” at school or church or wherever one goes to a lock in. I didn’t really know what a lock in was (clearly) but I knew it sounded like fun. Like sleepaway camp but for only a night. (I never went to sleepaway camp either). But for some reason being sequestered for jury duty seemed like THE most exciting thing that could happen to a person. I mean, clearly in The Simpsons episode “The Boy Who Knew Too Much”, I was taught by Homer how to get the most out of being sequestered on a jury.
Much to my disappointment, when I finally had jury duty, I realized it is really boring. I sat in a weird room for hours with mostly crazy people (that 30 Rock about people on NYC at jury duty is pretty spot-on), watching that jury video you have to watch and then Forrest Gump. Let me tell you, crying to Forrest Gump at jury duty is not the glamorous thrill-ride I thought being sequestered would be. (Also, I hadn’t seen that movie in years, so it wasn’t until jury duty that I realized Jenny died of AIDS. Crazy.)
Maybe (hopefully not) . . . one day I’ll know the adult joys of being sequestered for jury duty.