Monday, December 5, 2011

I Don't Want to Grow Up & You Can't Make Me.

Note: it's not terribly necessary to mention it (until you get to the link, anyway), but for the sake of full disclosure, I wrote most of this several months ago then forgot about it until looking through older drafts tonight. I blame pre-early-onset Alzheimers. That or vodka.

 Image from HERE.

I'm not sure what age I was when I realized that I was never going to feel like a grown-up. I'm pretty sure if I dug up my old diaries, you would find me lamenting about the unstoppable march of the hands of time sometime around the time I was turning 10 (I was an angsty child - what did you expect?). I always thought that the "grown-up' feeling/actualization must be something that comes with being a parent, and therefore I was never going to get there. But lately it's come to my attention - on several fronts - that it has nothing at all to do with having children. Or a mortgage, or increasingly high rent, or having a job or a lot of responsibilities...

When I turned 30, my parents treated me to a birthday dinner at a fancy steakhouse. My mom and dad got me a beautiful black leather bag - sort of a half-purse/half briefcase dealie. There were clips and buckles and locks and it smelled divine and expensive: I adored it. I gingerly picked it up out of its tissue paper swaddling, help it up against myself like a kid playing dress-up, and announced "This makes me feel like such a grown-up!"

My mom looked at me quizzically for a minute before coming back with "You ARE a grown-up." (This wasn't meant as a glowingly proud pronouncement of my obvious maturity, either.)

Funny, I didn't FEEL like a grown-up. I still don't.

The first time someone called me "Ma'am" in a store, I almost threw up. I've heard it enough since that it only makes the bile rise to the back of my throat, but I still cringe. The hurl-y feeling is generally directly proportional to the age of the person uttering the word.

I may share Bella's worries...aaaand I am not 17. 
Paging an immortality-giving Cullen: any Cullen will do! Well maybe not Jasper; he has iffy self-control.

A few years back, I ran over to the Barnes & Noble near my office to pick up a few new CDs. I am far from cutting-edge in my musical tastes, but the things I bought were probably charting on college radio boards (or whatever you call it these days). When I got to the counter, the late-teen dude behind the counter (who can tell - all these whippersnappers look the same to an old coot like me) gave a nod of approval and said something like "Good choices!" It was only later, when I got back to my desk still high on the random affirmation of some kid making minimum wage, that I came to the realization that he was not acknowledging my decent taste in music; he was acknowledging that I had notably decent taste in music for someone my age. If it hadn't been time for my afternoon nap and Geritol injection, I totally would have went back and given him what-for.

When Poppa Snarky stopped by my house for a visit a couple of months back, we were chatting about who knows what, trying to avoid discussing politics (or at least I was...). At some point he states, "Well, I guess it's time to stop messing around and start acting like a grown-up." Interestingly, he wasn't talking about me. My father is 68, and he was talking about himself (I'd also like to note that he is taking my subsequent advice to NOT start acting like a grown-up and recently purchased a Harley).

So when I saw one of my online (and offline, for that matter) heroes post THIS the other day, it really struck a chord with me [note: yes, this link is to something The Bloggess wrote a couple of months ago. I also blame red wine]. And with Sister Snarky. And the hundreds and hundreds of other people who read it and felt compelled to comment. And the thousands who read it and didn't comment, I'm sure... If you don't have time to read the post (and you should make time but whatever), you can get the gist from the video below (which might make you cry if you pay attention to the words, but in a good way especially if you watch the whole thing) - 

There's something supremely comforting about knowing you are not alone in this feeling of " when do I grow up again, exactly? Do I even want to aspire to this? Is it ok if I don't???" The answer to that last one is "yes" by the way... In case you were wondering... I might not have a choice with the whole physical aging thing, but nobody can make me grow up.  Nah nah!


  1. In love with this post and song! I still have a tattoo(or seven) to get...Fuck YES!

  2. That video makes me cry. Every. Damn. Time. xoxo

  3. Why didn't our mothers ever tell us this?

    I guess I figured it out around the time my second child was born. I'm never going to feel like an adult. I'm 58 now and I still don't have a clue what I'm doing.

    I look at you young people and chuckle to myself. I know you're waiting for that eureka moment, but it's never gonna come!

  4. Oooh, my favorite AP video (FLOVE her!) I'm just a coupla years behind TheRugbymom and here's my philosophy: We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public:) Thanks for keeping us young at heart, Twitarded!

  5. Thanks for the video STY. I recently had a similar music buying experience. I was over in Seattle for meeting, thought I'd swing into a store before heading home so I'd have some fresh music to listen to while stuck in rush hour traffic. Couldn't find what I was looking for so asked not one but two 20 something clerks if they had the latest Eddy Vedder CD. They'd never heard of him!!! WTH? He even lives in Seattle. I said excuse me, you've never heard of Pearl Jam or their front man? Am I that old? Here I thought I was being young and hip.

    PS: I still don't know what I wanna be when I grow up and I'll be retiring soon.

  6. There is never an old person that says to me that they wish they grew up. Growing up and growing wise are 2 different things. I would like to think that even though I have maturity issues, I'm quite wise. I hope to never grow up either.

  7. I'm waiting to watch the video until DG passes out...which should be in about 35 seconds. Oh no wait, he arose from the dead and said he needs to go cover the grill. Christ on a cracker, go to sleep already! He had his eyes closed for a good 2 minutes while listening to Rocky installment #4,650...I hate these movies.

    Anyhoo I just wanted to say that my Mom has always felt this way, as has my Grandma....I think it runs in the family because at almost 32 I still don't feel like a grown up. Oddly enough, just the other day I bought a new "work bag" holds my lap top and has plenty of room for me to cart my files home if need be. As I trotted into work one day last week with my new iPhone, my new bag & the realization that I "could" be a parent in the very near future, I laughed to myself. I ALMOST felt adult..but not quite. I'm sure I look like it to everyone else, but I know the thoughts running through my head, and I am FAR from it ;)

    PS Is it just perception? Do we all NOT feel grownup? Or are some people really in "adult mode" all the time? Losers.

    Great post!

    xo J

  8. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! This very week, I wrote an entry on Facebook about how much being a grown up sucks and what the fuck was I in such a hurry to get here, even though most days I truly forget that I am here (i.e. Grown up) because I just don't feel it. This post of yours and the share from The Blogess resonates deeply!

    Also, I cried watching the video....but a good cry!

    Thanks also for this gem: "Paging an immortality-giving Cullen: any Cullen will do! Well maybe not Jasper; he has iffy self-control." Laughter thru tears is awesome!

  9. Can Y'all please provide me with the artist's name? This was the first time I'd seen the video....and I need more!


  10. *Bloggess....correction!

    Obviously, I cannot spell while laughing, crying, drinking wine & having an epiphany simultaneously. ;)

  11. Oh my i'm stealing your "Paging an immortality-giving Cullen: any Cullen will do! Well maybe not Jasper; he has iffy self-control." Line for my fb status! lol Love it!!

  12. I think that's why I write my novels about college age kids...sigh. I miss those years.

  13. I'm so glad - again - to be in such great company here! I feel like an imposter playing grown-up some days at the office...and I also don't think I will ever figure out what I want t be when I grow up, and I am well into the age when I would have thought I'd have a clue by now - lol...

    I like the idea of making a distinction between "growing up" and "growing wise" - I wouldn't really want to be a teenager or whatever again - I like me much better now (well, most parts of me, anyway).

    The artist in that vid is Amanda Palmer. You should be able to while away a few hours on YouTube armed with that information. Have fun!

    : )


  14. P.S. I had that song SO stuck in my head all night last night! Still absolutely adore it and it's waaaay better than some of the other dreck I have had on constant replay in my addled brain at various times, but GAH.

  15. I had a husband, a mortgage, and a job where I managed 300 volunteers when I was 24. Talk about feeling like an imposter! I kept waiting for someone to laugh in my face and tell me that I had no clue. I still don't, and my next birthday is a large milestone. I think I'm just now figuring out what I want to be when grow up... whenever that is. I'm in no rush.

    I can't tell yall how much I wish that I could dye a purple streak into my hair, get a wrist tattoo, drive too fast, and paint my nails black (well, I do that sometimes now - look out, I'm letting loose!). I live in The South where I'm supposed to be proper, but the 17yo who still lives inside of me wants me to say "screw what they think, be a little bit wild." I don't mind having the responsibility of family and home, but I wish I could do it with a purple streak of rebellion in my hair.

  16. Wow, yeah. Remember the Greatest American Hero tv show?, there still is no user manual to being a human. To keep wondering what is next in the big picture and really not having a clue is what keeps us young. Accepting that we don't have a clue and living life at the moment also keeps us doubly so. However, one caveat.. As years pass I have learned what and how to enjoy myself and life better (with many a heartfelt thanks to all yous twatwaffles to boot!), and compared to what I was, this now feels a little more grown up, but in a fine way.
    ..annnnnd... Just started running with headphones on. HOLY CRAP it makes me run sooooo much further and I don't even get half as tired. I think it's the energy and life force it helps you generate and be. Talk about feeling young - my strides felt like I was 25 again.
    Put a little classic samba in them headphones and pour on the miles...

  17. I was just called ma'am the other day and wanted to stomp the kids face. I'm not a ma'am!

    I have felt like a fraud as far as this whole grown up business goes since I graduated from college and my parents told me I was officially a grown up. Now at 42, I think I am more immature than I was at 22.

    I LOVE that video and remember when The Bloggess posted it. It made me cry then, and it does now. THanks for posting it STY!

  18. Thank you for the info, STY! My non-grown up self needed a new distraction from this crapfest of being a responsible adult today.

    Oh, and the Jasper quote will so be used by me, somewhere, in the near future. It's still making me laugh this morning.

  19. Wow I didn't realize how great it could be knowing that others feel the same as you, until I read this. Everything you said, I feel. Thanks for saying it out loud.

  20. It just one of those "santa claus" lies that are told to kids to make them feel safe. "Child go to your room, you can´t behave like that, I know, I´m an adult!" Then the poor kids grow up waiting for the day they "grow up", but like santa, it´ll never come....
    WHOA, that was dark ;-D

  21. Love me some AP! I remember seeing that post when we got home from our wedding, and I was all happy tears and "FUCK YES!" and then... "Uh-oh...Am I grown up now that I'm married?" and I looked over to The Bentist as we opened our Hungry Hungry Hippos that came from one of my favorite Twitards. It was on our registry. So much for grown-up :)

    Now we face ourselves with the crazy desire to be parents. But it doesn't make us grown up. It makes us want rooms full of awesome toys to play with. The idea of raising another human to appreciate the idea that not growing up might be the best approach? That will make me one proud mama!!

  22. I'm turning 40 in a few weeks and I am freaking the fuck out.

    My 19 year old nephew told me I'm creepy because I like Twilight. CREEPY!

    I'm an 18 year old stuck in a creepy 40 year old's body.

  23. Now I'm depressed. Where's the vodka? (aka Creepy Fuel)

  24. So, this kinda makes me cry a little bit. Not the post, the video. The post makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside because thank fucking OME I'm not the only one feeling like a teen year old who has wandered off into Adult-land by mistake.

    @My After Car - Manic Panic, my friend. The purple tends to linger and if you're not a fan of dying your hair, then stay away. But truthfully, I miss my purple hair. I think everyone should sport a streak of silly color, even for a weekend. (Kool-Aid used to do the trick but I don't know if it's the same formula, lol.) Oh, and get an ankle tattoo before the wrist. Ever Last Job Stopper and all. Still the same thing, ya know? Just a slightly more hidden.

    I keep wondering when I'm going to grow up - when I'm going to stop wearing short skirts and silly dresses with extravagant bows and such. When I'm going to start wearing sensible shoes and stop talking about having a jar full of goddamn dollheads for a dining room centerpiece.

    Honestly? I hope that shit doesn't happen. Ever.


  25. The minute I read that post by The Bloggess I had to share it, not only because she hit the nail right on the head but also because I LOVE Amanda Fucking Palmer so fucking much!

  26. 48 & still regressing...every single moment of every single day!

  27. I guess I'm not alone. I hate the thought of being a grown up. I'm 41 and I have the exact hair cut I had when I was 8. It doesn't help that I have a job where I don't need to dress up on a regular basis either.

    Hopefully if I don't think I'm old, I'll never get old. I'm banking on having my grandmother's genes -- she's 83 and still plays golf!!

  28. I tried being a grown up for a while....not all it's cracked up to be....then I found this whole world and truly felt more myself than I have in years. So I may not get the Director position but I will be a whole hell of a lot happie being myself in my middle manager position. Someone above stated there is growing up and growing wise...I like the growing wise part. Great song/video. Great post my dear glad I found you. xo

  29. I've been 17 for the last 20 years. I'm convinced the next 20 years won't change that!


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