Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Welcome to Adulthood, Population: Me (+ a few billion others)

A lot of days, I don't feel like much of an adult.  Sure I have things like a kid, and a mortgage, and a really awesome corner office, all to myself.  But I also do thinks like eat Milk Duds (and nothing else) for lunch, or just wear whatever old skirt and shirt combo that was initially bought because it fit my Christian high school's dress code.  (If you've met me more than once, it's likely that you've seen me in clothing that's almost a decade old.)

So there's a lot of times when I feel only like a pseudo-grown-up. I have this mythical image in my head of a "real" grown-up being someone who can change the oil in their car, or make a casserole from scratch, or knows how to get stains out of things using club soda. ("Real" grown-ups are also people who own club soda, presumably for the express purpose of getting stains out of things.)

Last night I was talking to my Dad about how I'm always baffled by how completely useful my husband is.  He's a hands-on daddy, he can repair almost anything, and he can look at a kitchen full of ingredients and assemble them into magical, restaurant-quality meals.  I have a hard time even recognizing raw ingredients as food.  If there's nothing in the pantry that isn't single-serve, with the cooking directions printed on the label, I'll just go hungry.

My Dad and I were commiserating about how confusing cooking is, like, "Why does flour go into everything?  I get it for stuff that's baked, but what about the other stuff?"  My Dad responded, and I am not exaggerating this quote in any way:

"You know what makes me mad?  Eggs.  People put eggs in everything.  Like, a cake is mostly like bread, but you have to put an egg in there.  I don't know why.  I feel like eggs are like paper clips; you run through a whole lot of them for no good reason."

Now, my Dad is someone whom I respect as a "grown-up".  He generally seems like he has things together, and that's he's capable and competent enough to do whatever needs doing.  But seeing his utter bafflement at the ubiquitousness of eggs made me realize that there are a lot of basic things he probably can't do, either.  He gets cooking about as well as I do, and he probably couldn't change the oil in his car, either.  I don't think he even owns any club soda.

So maybe I'm setting the bar for "adulthood" a little too high.  After all, I do a lot better at playing grown-up than a lot of people my age.  I own a house, and I pay my bills on time.  My son has regular check-ups.  I get good performance reviews at work, and people at church trust me to watch their kids, and I'm a regular blood donor (my blood, not the kids').  Sure, a lot of the time I feel like I'm just improvising, but I don't know if that feeling ever goes away.  My college freshman English teacher, whom I absolutely adored, once told me that you will never, ever, truly feel like you know what you're doing, and she was in her sixties.  (She also had a butterfly tattoo she had gotten on her 50th birthday, and nicknamed me "Penny Lane" the first day of class, so, obviously this is someone I respect.)

I may not be sixty, nor even halfway to sixty (not yet!), but I'm starting to feel like Mrs. Huyck was right.  After all, if one of the smartest grown-ups I know is still confused by eggs, maybe there's hope for an idiot like me.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (even if they're dating somebody else now) you got to watch this video
right away...

(VIDEO) Have your ex CRAWLING back to you...?

Post a Comment