"The older I get, the more I feel a need to sterilize things. "
April 25, 2012 6:46 PM   Subscribe

Adulting: How to become a grown-up in 387 easy(ish) steps. From "Step 177: Boring and/or bad mail doesn't evaporate if you ignore it" to "Step 169: Laying in bed is not a solution to feeling overwhelmed."

Adulting also includes steps to fiscal responsibility, maintaining a clean fridge, and making two trips.
Also, don't miss the 401 (koala).
posted by redsparkler (166 comments total) 117 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm going to lie in bed and wait until this post falls below the fold.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:54 PM on April 25, 2012 [31 favorites]


Ah, making two trips. I made my first (voluntary) two-trip for groceries just a week ago. I knew at the time that it was a sign of old age and I'm "glad' to have that confirmed here.

(But don't worry, I still stack the dishes teeteringly too tall when clearing the table!)
posted by DU at 6:56 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Someone is familiar with MeFi.
posted by arcticseal at 6:57 PM on April 25, 2012


yes, beacause we invented the 'special snowflake' thing.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Laying in bed forever doesn't help but spending two hours doing only what you want can have restorative powers.
posted by dame at 7:00 PM on April 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


yeah, pretty sure that grew out of Fight Club: "Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else."
posted by tzikeh at 7:02 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Boring and/or bad mail doesn't evaporate if you ignore it.

It does if you are married. Same with having to make dentist appointments.
posted by DU at 7:03 PM on April 25, 2012 [14 favorites]


It is amazing how many of these things I stumbled onto by myself... but not until my early thirties.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:04 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I swear I remember an elementary aged elwoodwiles being told that everyone was a special snowflake. I think it's just one of those old clichés.
posted by elwoodwiles at 7:04 PM on April 25, 2012


from Adulting: now there is an adulting-themed Dinosaur Comics and I’m getting it tattooed on my neck.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:05 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Does it make me immature that a blog that lectures me makes me feel like an irritated and reckless teenager?

I was a kid who always tried to act adult, but the older I get, the more fun I would like to have. I don't cook well, I clean indifferently, and I spend far too much time reading books on the couch when I should be out in God's healthy sunshine putting in a garden or trimming the hedges. Oh well.
posted by emjaybee at 7:06 PM on April 25, 2012 [24 favorites]


Some of the information on the blog seems useful but the overall tone is jarringly condescending and know-it-all. The blog's advice on feeling depressed for instance suggests that the writer hasn't experienced serious depression and doesn't know how to empathize with those who have
posted by Bwithh at 7:07 PM on April 25, 2012 [24 favorites]


I kind of hate this (I pay all my bills -- more or less on time, even! -- and keep myself fed and all, but being an adult? IT SUCKS! and I do it as little possible), but I wanted to hate it more. This is less about being an "adult" and more "how to function as a mostly regular human being." That's a very different thing.
posted by darksong at 7:09 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


This read like someone just relentlessly nagging me.
Unpleasant.
posted by chococat at 7:13 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I kind of hate this (I pay all my bills -- more or less on time, even! -- and keep myself fed and all, but being an adult? IT SUCKS!

But on the upside you can buy beer legally, which makes up for a lot.
posted by jonmc at 7:14 PM on April 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


This was one of those blogs that had that whiff of being created specifically with a book deal in mind (and presumably using reader suggestions for a lot of the material)...

Then *SMACK* a few pages back there's mention of Adulting - The Book, which will presumably be one of those little gift idea books they arrange right at the counter of every bookstore on earth. Bleh, I feel a bit soiled.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:15 PM on April 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


Stop telling me what to do! I hate you!
posted by swift at 7:16 PM on April 25, 2012 [15 favorites]


I think she has a point about that one thing, though.
posted by box at 7:19 PM on April 25, 2012


What makes you go great, condescending disembodies voice?
posted by The Whelk at 7:20 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ask Metafilter: Some of the information on the blog seems useful but the overall tone is jarringly condescending and know-it-all.
posted by felix at 7:21 PM on April 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


Correct grammar, for a start?
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:21 PM on April 25, 2012


d'oh
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:21 PM on April 25, 2012


I like it!
posted by mistersquid at 7:21 PM on April 25, 2012



Step 181: Say what is on your mind without eight layers of filter

Surely, the opposite is more true?
posted by The Whelk at 7:23 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]





Step 178: Someone is not automatically a bad person if they reject you

now that is just untrue.
posted by The Whelk at 7:27 PM on April 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Really? I laughed out loud at a few things. Maybe because I could relate a little bit too much.
posted by bquarters at 7:28 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Know what? I love Britney Spears and Forever 21. And I could pretend like it’s this whole meta thing where I’m not actually enjoying it but rather just making this esoteric statement on lowbrow culture, but (insert handjob motion here)."
posted by box at 7:28 PM on April 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


it's not often you get to be inside someone's head *at the exact moment they're beating themselves up*. and now that that's over, on to something else.
posted by facetious at 7:29 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


it's not often you get to be inside someone's head *at the exact moment they're beating themselves up*

Psshh... I do this almost 24 hours a day.

Unless you meant someone else's head, in which case never mind.
posted by inigo2 at 7:37 PM on April 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


I thought this was pretty good until I got to this part;

Also, and maybe this is snobby of me, but I have a hard time taking non-gmail email addresses seriously, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

I don’t even understand what would make someone say something like that. That’s the weirdest, most clueless type of snobbery, and seems to go against the whole idea of the blog in a High School kind of way.
posted by bongo_x at 7:50 PM on April 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


"That's a dealbreaker, ladies!"
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:05 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


By way of rebuttal I submit Things They Don't Tell You (But Should) by Winston Rowntree. Especially this:
Everyone is full of wonderful advice that they won't hesitate to thrust upon you at the slightest chance. Everyone is full of something else, too, so you might want to pass on the advice.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:06 PM on April 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


(insert handjob motion here)

I feel like I could insert handjob motions everywhere.
posted by onwords at 8:11 PM on April 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


My take on this is sort of like my take when people want to dispense the advice about how life isn't fair and the person who is unhappy about said unfairness just needs to suck it up.

Hey, glad you're on board with that. Here, let me beat you up and take your wallet so you can lead by example. I want to help.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:12 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have a hard time taking non-gmail email addresses seriously...

Well sure because it's not like they just give those to everyone who can fill out a captcha.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:16 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I used to wake up every morning thinking "Man, being an adult fucking blows" until one day I realised I could do everything I hated without wearing any pants. On the phone to the ISP? Off come the pants, and yeah I'll be on the phone to India and I'm having a good little fumble to make sure nothing weird is going on. Going through the electricity bill trying to figure out what the fuck? Down with the pants. Pavers need weeding? Well I hope nobody pokes their dumb face over the fence because they're going to get an eyeful of me without any pants on. Jehova's Witnesses knocking at the door? You best believe that my pants are sliding right down my legs and I'm kicking them across the room before I open up. Big pile of dishes? Holy shit this hot water keeps splashing onto my bits.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:35 PM on April 25, 2012 [90 favorites]


Obligatory C.S. Lewis:

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:38 PM on April 25, 2012 [92 favorites]


This is important, because learning how to be an adult means conforming to a stranger's idea of what she considers adult behavior, only to realize on your deathbed you would have been better off doing what you damn well please, even if everyone else thinks you're a fool.

Christ, what a addle-pated, sour-hued, stick-mounted bore.
posted by Bill Peschel at 8:39 PM on April 25, 2012 [16 favorites]


This is less about being an "adult" and more "how to function as a mostly regular human being." That's a very different thing.

No it isn't.

If you think otherwise, please supply your own definitions.
posted by LogicalDash at 8:39 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I find the article to be hard to read because the damn font is too small, does that make me an adult?
posted by The Lamplighter at 8:46 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I find the article to be hard to read because the damn font is too small, does that make me an adult?

Not a problem for me. Because I found it all very obnoxious I took off my pants after the first paragraph, and when that happens, well, everything seems big in comparison.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:47 PM on April 25, 2012 [12 favorites]


Adulting is just Lifehacker with condescension.
posted by modernserf at 8:49 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


In the absence of a strong authority to certify individuals as adults I suppose the majority will be reduced to this kind of transactional model. I'm an adult because I do X, Y and Z. More importantly: if I do X, Y and Z I'll be an adult. I suspect deep, down inside most people understand this is nonsense; becoming an adult, becoming anything, is not a matter of checking items off a list or following a set of steps. But at the end of the day people need to believe that they are what they believe they are and what better way to fulfill this need than propaganda?

It does highlight that, as I've suggested before, the ancients never considered that times like our own would arrive. I doubt anybody seriously believed there would be a time after the death of God when there would be no strong authority to decide even the most basic questions -- who is a man? who is a woman? -- and so individuals would be left completely to their own devices. And of course they'd fuck it up. It's a sign of the unprecedented and revolutionary (?) nature of times that many people, literally millions of people, are trying to align their lives with random crap like this tossed out under the guise of "self-help."

I don't think it'll end well at all, of course. The future will be full of regret and despair. But for now there's a certain pleasure in watching what sort of nonsense people can get away with.

You are the the captain of your own destiny, even if it isn’t all that glamorous or fabulous right now.

Haha, yeah, some idiot will definitely pay to read that. The book will do well but the real play here is the long term brand. After 'Adulting' comes 'Working', then 'Living' and finally 'Dying'. I imagine the boxed set could become the gift of the season and we'll clean up great.
posted by nixerman at 8:52 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Step 200: Live Alone At Least Once

Speaking of no pants.

(Also, who can afford to do this as a young person?!)
posted by en forme de poire at 8:54 PM on April 25, 2012


Ah ha ha ha..."once". Priceless.

*turns around to stare at the bare shelf where she used to throw her bobby pins*
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:56 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


The blog, read in Martha Stuart's voice, surprised me.

I've discovered that I can no longer take serious life advice from someone who hasn't had children.
posted by underflow at 9:01 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


They lost me at Step 1:
Do it every morning, first thing when you get out of bed. You’re right there, anyway, and it takes 45 seconds, max. Then, repeat that action every day for the rest of your life seven days and see how it treats you.

When fully made, your bed should feature, at minimum:

- A fitted sheet;
- A topsheet, tucked in on three sides;
- A comforter, hopefully covered with a duvet, which is easy to launder and;
- Assorted pillows.

When you make your bed, you have as a nice, clean plane in your bedroom that you can then lay out clothes or whatever on. The whole room looks neater (fact: it’s impossible for a room to look clean with an unmade bed).

Then at night when you are tired, you’ll walk in and your bed will be made. When you slip beneath the sheets, it’s a pleasurable experience. Not like when all the sheets are bunched up and you get tangled in them and feel more like a strung-out junkie than the situation really warrants.

The longest sheets should go without washing is two weeks; wash them in warm water by themselves, using 1/2 the usual amount of your detergent. Try to have at least three sets of sheets; I always find nice, cheap ones at TJ Maxx.
I don't think I need to read more.
posted by vidur at 9:06 PM on April 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


I've discovered that I can no longer take serious life advice from someone who hasn't had children.

I often feel similarly. A problem is that I discovered somewhere around the age of five or six that you usually shouldn't take serious life advice from people who have had children.

I feel like there's a more general point lurking somewhere here.
posted by brennen at 9:07 PM on April 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


Vidur, I'm totally with you. At my house, the beds go unmade. I don't care to waste my time with such nonsense, particularly when my bed is where my kids, pets, and I all find sanctuary. Naptime today found my puppy, both cats, and the 16 year-old in there with me and the pile of blankets.

Clearly, I'm bad at "adulting".
posted by MissySedai at 9:13 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Step 1: Become independent. Financially, emotionally and in every other way you can imagine. Until you do that, you are not an adult. And yes, I'm looking at you, babies who still live with your parents after the age of about 21. Even though you make some really determined excuses for it. No, especially when you do that.
posted by Decani at 9:14 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've discovered that I can no longer take serious life advice from someone who hasn't had children.
posted by underflow at 5:01 AM on April 26


Yeah, it's always irritating to have to listen to people who made a decision that you secretly suspect might actually have been smarter than the one you made.
posted by Decani at 9:16 PM on April 25, 2012 [21 favorites]


Step 1: Become independent. Financially, emotionally and in every other way you can imagine.

Step 2: Become dependent again. Because everyone needs a hug.
posted by meese at 9:19 PM on April 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Christ, what a addle-pated, sour-hued, stick-mounted bore.

I'm just quoting this so I can find it and use it later.
posted by device55 at 9:22 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Step 147: Offer to help friends move without being asked

I thought one of the perks of being an adult with adult friends was not having to help anyone move other than recommending some good movers.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:24 PM on April 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


I thought one of the perks of being an adult with adult friends was not having to help anyone move other than recommending some good movers.

I think you're confusing adulthood with having money.
posted by brennen at 9:26 PM on April 25, 2012 [22 favorites]


Step 388: Stop turning adjectives into gerunds just so your blog-cum-book-deal will have a 'snappy title.'
posted by koeselitz at 9:26 PM on April 25, 2012 [12 favorites]


(Or only knowing people with money, I guess.)
posted by brennen at 9:28 PM on April 25, 2012


I read through a few of the more recent entries and didn't think they were too condescending - some did strike an 'adult' note for me.

That being said, whenever I don't feel adult or grown-up I remember my favorite xckd comic of all time: We're grownups now and it's our turn to decide what that means.

For me being a grown-up means buying a house with a yard and then getting a trampoline. Because I've always wanted a trampoline. If being an adult to you means having someone do your taxes, go right ahead.
posted by youngergirl44 at 9:32 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


If that's what being an adult means, I'm going full Peter Pan. My husband, cats, household and career are all much happier when I'm more focused on life than making the damn bed. Also, my fridge is strategically stocked with things that get better with age - so there, Inappropriately Verbing Blog.
posted by SakuraK at 9:33 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't read through all of them, but which step is "don't attempt to define your life in terms of the priorities of your own community, knuckle under to the values and expectations of previous generations of Western middle-class society"?
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:33 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jonathan Seagull meets Steven Seagal....my clothes no longer fit, but I'm worth it.
posted by mule98J at 9:40 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seriously Decani? Have you ever heard of multi-generational households? Are you aware that they're absolutely the norm everywhere in the entire world other than middle-class America?
posted by kavasa at 9:52 PM on April 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Step 388: Stop turning adjectives into gerunds just so your blog-cum-book-deal will have a 'snappy title.'

I assumed that was 100% about unique Googlabilitying.

see also: Stuff White People Like - a grammatically nonsensical phrase which, for that very reason, guarantees that people will find their way to the blog / book.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:56 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've gotta say, I am truly surprised at how many people don't identify with some of the underlying themes of this (purely voluntary reading) blog.

In light of some of the classic ADD questions/answers on AskMe, and Hyperbole and a Half's This is Why I'll Never Be an Adult post, this blog just seems like a natural progression for a certain type of person who feels like they're just now learning all the little bits and pieces that fit together to make a more responsible life. Acknowledging that those bits and pieces can sometimes take conscious effort feels good, to me.
posted by redsparkler at 9:57 PM on April 25, 2012 [20 favorites]


What middle-class America do you mean, kavasa? According to census data from a decade ago there are plenty of multi-generational households in the United States.

Or do you mean to (re)assert that people who have children have better advice about how to be an adult than people who don't have children?
posted by mistersquid at 10:13 PM on April 25, 2012


Step 1 to adulthood: Do not use the word "awesome" unless you are within sight of the Grand Canyon or similar wondrous thing.
posted by QuietDesperation at 10:26 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've gotta say, I am truly surprised at how many people don't identify with some of the underlying themes of this (purely voluntary reading) blog.

I think what people are having trouble identifying with are the actual, specific actions, not the underlying themes. So, yes, get your life organized. But, no, you don't need to "make your fucking bed" to get started on adult life. It is very hard, perhaps impossible, to recommend specific actions to the general populace on complicated issues like "being a grown up".

Consider this: Don't live with your parents. Sure, but what if they need my care - physically and/or emotionally? What if I can't afford it? What if I can afford it, but find it a terrible financial idea to pay rent with money that I could save for my future, or for my sister's education? And then you start tailoring the idea to specific needs - Don't live with your parents, except if you really need to - at which point it loses all meaning.

And what the fuck have apostrophes got to do with being an adult? English isn't the first language for most of the planet. Wait, what? That one is only for people who do indeed live in the English world? Really? Even those who couldn't afford good schools? They need to care about apostrophes to be a grown up? They don't. Okay, so you must care about apostrophes, except if you can't. Great!

This kind of advice is almost always presented to the broader population without specifying that it actually applies only to an incredibly narrow set of people.

A purely voluntary reading that I would recommend for people starting out on adult life is the DFW essay/speech - this one.
posted by vidur at 10:35 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


What middle-class America do you mean, kavasa?
The somewhat mythical one where all the children move out at 18 and go to college and get successful professional careers. It's not totally mythical because that does actually happen, and it happens in the U.S. more than it happens anywhere else. It's also (as we can see) an aspirational element of American culture.

Mostly though I'm saying that Decani's assertion was really dumb.
Step 1 to adulthood: Do not use the word "awesome" unless you are within sight of the Grand Canyon or similar wondrous thing.
Picking minor grammatical or lexical nits to be peevish about is actually the opposite of what I would consider adult behavior.
posted by kavasa at 10:39 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've never really seen the need for a pitcher anyway.
posted by The Whelk at 10:40 PM on April 25, 2012


Decani, re: independence, just curious - is that informed by a particular experience you've had, or seen someone else have? I'd be interested to hear a little more about where you're coming from.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:44 PM on April 25, 2012


Fuck I'm not just an adult, I've evolved into the next post-adult being!
posted by mazola at 10:50 PM on April 25, 2012


One thing the internet is not lacking is people ready to proclaim "I hope I’m never an adult" "I refuse to grow up" and the like, it’s almost a contest to see who can label themselves the most childlike. Actually, the U.S. is full of that. And it’s not going so well here.
posted by bongo_x at 10:52 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Picking minor grammatical or lexical nits to be peevish about is actually the opposite of what I would consider adult behavior.

So true, which is why I am going to be childish and note that this person actually means that he/she opposes lying in bed, not laying in bed, as a cure for depression.

Another thing...maybe this makes me a gigantic asshole, but do I really have to say "sorry" to every homeless person I don't give money to? I do say sorry a lot, and when I have time to stop I give away a lot of cigarettes and occasionally change, but...dude, does this person live in a city where there are more than, like, two homeless people? If I had to speak to every single homeless person I encounter every single morning, I would never get where I'm going. Also, the last person I said "Sorry" to called me a bitch. Maybe I am just a jerk though.

posted by naoko at 10:57 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oops, italics fail.
posted by naoko at 10:57 PM on April 25, 2012


"When fully made, your bed should feature, at minimum ..."

My bed is a post-explosion nest. Guess I'm not an adult, DARN. [jumps in, wriggles about a bit]
posted by user92371 at 11:02 PM on April 25, 2012


yeah, pretty sure that grew out of Fight Club: "Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else."

Interestingly, while you would expect this to be a reaction against New Age, Free to Be You and Me liberal self-esteemism, a search of Google Books reveals it to be a staple of late 20th century Christian writing. In particular, the phrase Like snowflakes, each embryo is fragile, unique and the most beautiful of God's creations. is used by Snowflakes, an anti-abortion group that encourages "embryo adoption".
posted by dhartung at 11:21 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Step 1 to being an adult: stop being so self-conscious about being an adult.
posted by daniel_charms at 11:22 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another thing...maybe this makes me a gigantic asshole, but do I really have to say "sorry" to every homeless person I don't give money to?

No, but would it kill you to make their beds, first thing?
posted by tumid dahlia at 11:48 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


nixerman: In the absence of a strong authority to certify individuals as adults I suppose the majority will be reduced to this kind of transactional model. I'm an adult because I do X, Y and Z. More importantly: if I do X, Y and Z I'll be an adult.

But that's okay, isn't it? An adult is someone who does things that are adult. Everything else is your own business. It's not what you think or what the Queen says.

Or to put it another way: if you pay your rent and your taxes and don't do anything criminal and are polite to others then you are an adult. It's up to you how you dress, who you have sex with, whether you have children, how you worship, and what you think. You're still an adult.

I see this as liberating, not a problem. And also, to be honest, paying your rent and your taxes and not doing anything criminal and being polite is hard and achievement enough!
posted by alasdair at 11:57 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


No, but would it kill you to make their beds, first thing?

Ok, but I hope I get a thank you note, and not on a card with a pre-printed "thank you" on the front.

She is so right about that one.
posted by naoko at 12:00 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


ADULTHOOD: Everyone is just faking it, except for the people who aren't, who probably aren't any fun anyway.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:49 AM on April 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


In light of some of the classic ADD questions/answers on AskMe, and Hyperbole and a Half's This is Why I'll Never Be an Adult post, this blog just seems like a natural progression for a certain type of person who feels like they're just now learning all the little bits and pieces that fit together to make a more responsible life.

That. There is a fairly large ready made audience for blogs/books that treat all of life's problems as software enginering questions, including flowcharts. See also any discussion of fitness regimes on the internet, ever.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:53 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for one of these posts to tell me how to be taller so I can be a baller. Come on internets! Deliver!
posted by srboisvert at 3:11 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hate the snowflake thing. It's a thought-terminating cliche by now and I don't know who thought it was a good idea to view life like Chuck Palahniuk. Other than that, good post!
posted by steinsaltz at 3:18 AM on April 26, 2012


It must be nice to shout out into the darkness that you're doing it the Right Way. Some people are like that, they need to externalize it, put it on other people. Usually they come off as excruciatingly boring themselves, though.

Sometimes I think they must have experienced something pretty terrifying, the way they put this so consciously between them and the world. The more normal someone is, the more I wonder what's their damage. Usually, though... I get the feeling hey haven't really experienced anything, and their advice is not worth much.
posted by fleacircus at 3:25 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Isn't it just supposed to be cute??
posted by bquarters at 3:32 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Decani doesn't live in middle-class America, or indeed America.

When fully made, your bed should feature, at minimum:

- A fitted sheet;
- A topsheet, tucked in on three sides;
- A comforter, hopefully covered with a duvet, which is easy to launder and;
- Assorted pillows.


What is a comforter? Here it's fitted sheet, duvet in a cover, and pillows. That's it. You don't need more layers than that unless you're incontinent.
posted by mippy at 3:49 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Step Zero: Make your own damn decision on what being an adult means and what behaviour on your part it would entail. Then try to live up to that, to the best of your abilities.

Don't go along with rules made up by others simply because they sound authoritative, although you may want to think them over and occasionally pick useful bits and pieces out from them.

This also applies to this piece of advice.
posted by Cironian at 4:34 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is a comforter? Here it's fitted sheet, duvet in a cover, and pillows. That's it.

As far as I could tell from the time I spent in the US, a comforter is a weird hybrid between a normal duvet and one of those filthy quilted floral bedspread things you get in a bad B&B.
posted by Acheman at 4:38 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


YOU'RE NOT MY REAL DAD!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:44 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Our local Friendly's runs buy-one-get-one-free sundae coupons every month or so. Being an adult means using that coupon to have sundaes for dinner.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:57 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


There will never be a time in my life where everything is under control, when there are no swirling scary difficulties making me feel small and powerless. But there will also never be a time when there isn’t something I can do to improve things, or at least my outlook on them. I can get out of bed, put on a cute outfit, tidy my house, write a thank-you letter to my wonderful uncle, go work out, plug my amazing little sister’s new magazine [emphasis theirs]
Though I agree with a lot of the blog's points, that's where it lost me. It's awfully smug and tone-deaf to put an irrelevant and shameless plug in a post about depression for fuck's sake. "Stop feeling sorry for yourself! After all, isn't your sister doing something brilliant that you can feel happy about? No? Well, mine is, why don't you go feel happy for her?"

As an adult, I'd never actually punch someone in the teeth for being irritating, but darned if I didn't think it for a fleeting moment.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:02 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not getting the comments here about her "adulting" being stifling or whatever. She's not saying you can't run wild with the wolves. She's saying you should pay your taxes on time before you do so.

There are a few entries which attach "adulting" to extremely specific traits, such as matching your own apartment and being a good hostess in a certain fashion, but if that's not your thing, you can safely ignore them.

...

She makes a decent point about her blog being a celebration of Joan Holloway over Zooey Deschanel. Zooey is girly and awkward. Joanie is womanly and gets shit done. In general, Joanie is a better role model than Zooey Deschanel.

That said, Joanie doesn't judge or lecture strangers. She tersely lectures her co-workers, including her army of secretaries, and it's all heightened for dramatic/comedic effect. If you treated your peers (or even your own co-workers) like Joanie does, you might wind up looking like the guy at work who really wants to be House.

This person's writing a blog, though, so that's different, I guess. She's not lecturing strangers, she's writing for readers. Still, it seems a bit un-Joanie-like. That's fine.

More importantly, though, a critical thing about Joanie is that Peggy never would have become a copy writer had she followed Joanie's lead. Joanie had the idea that there was really only one way for a woman to succeed in the office. Peggy proved her wrong.

As for Zooey Deschanel, she may be a cliché of doe-eyed gawkery, she is indeed wildly successful. You can be both awkward and get by just fine. Then again, if I was a gorgeous daughter of an esteemed cinematographer, I might have a leg up in the entertainment industry, too.

You know who might make for a reasonable compromise, then?

Bones, from Bones.

Emily Deschanel's character fuses the awkwardness of her sister with the competence and getting-shit-done of Joan Holloway. She's confident without being arrogant, assertive without demeaning others, and quirky in a way that everyone sort of relates to.

She probably does most of the things on the Adulting list, but she wouldn't think twice if someone didn't RSVP to her party. She probably wouldn't be a great hostess anyhow. That's okay: not all adults are.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:03 AM on April 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


The first thing I do when I get into a hotel bed with sheets tucked on three sides is... kick them so that the side and bottom hang free. Being hermetically sealed into a bed is not my idea of adulthood, a restful night, or anything else that could ever be advisable.
posted by Currer Belfry at 5:07 AM on April 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


Coming soon, a new blog from the same author: how to recapture your childlike sense of wonder to your responsible life! Childing, from the best selling author of Adulting. On sell soon.
posted by fuq at 5:12 AM on April 26, 2012


Also, I don't get the making a bed thing. It makes the bed look too... made up... too symmetrical and paralleled and staged. A big pile of blankets and pillow, now that's what I want to jump in to after a long day.
posted by fuq at 5:16 AM on April 26, 2012


I'm put off by the fact that a blog about acting like an "adult" is written in the juvenile Internet Standard Style, where profanity, All Caps, lol-speak, and other wit substitutions are frequently employed as some sort of punchline:

"You need to harden the fuck up and be a good friend".

"Practice this in the mirror, especially if you suffer from Chronic Bitch Face."

etc. This is the Cracked formula, and it seems to be wildly successful. I'm not going to suggest it isn't popular for a reason. It works. I use it. But it's also lazy and lowbrow. In other words extremely adolescent. If you are going to maintain a humor blog, especially one about maturity, I think you owe it to your readers to develop a more original style of humor, instead of resting on cliche tropes developed by teenagers. "Adult" humor should be more literate and witty, and something you wouldn't be ashamed to say in public or at a wedding.
posted by dgaicun at 5:16 AM on April 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


Bring an adult means eating cereal for dinner and never making your bed.
posted by Mavri at 5:20 AM on April 26, 2012


This is important, because learning how to be an adult means conforming to a stranger's idea of what she considers adult behavior, only to realize on your deathbed you would have been better off doing what you damn well please, even if everyone elsethinks you're a fool.

Quite. If you follow all of these steps and become the most adult person you can be, you will eventually die, just the same as if you had done none of them. If you share your life with someone, try your best to make them happy. Do not worry a fuck about anything else.
posted by adamdschneider at 5:23 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the post. I needed it far more than I care to admit.
posted by whuppy at 5:59 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love reading sites like this, because they're the kind of motivation that can only come from a stranger. If your friend or mom came into your house and started lecturing you, I would expect the responses above. But I like someone motivating me to get my life in order! I like feeling like my home is orderly, because I'm young and poor, and damnit, sometimes that is the only thing I can be in control of. Making my bed makes me feel awesome! A lot of these posts ring true, because they're lessons I've had to learn the hard way.

If you aren't in a place where this is helpful or applicable, you can just skip over it, without the "How DARE this young woman worm her way into MY LIFE and tell me how to live it!?" defensiveness. I think it's a valuable resource.
posted by almostmanda at 6:05 AM on April 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


Holy crap I wish I read this 10 years ago!

Can someone please link to the mefi threads along the lines of "things I would tell a 10 year younger version of myself"? (there were at least 2...)
posted by Theta States at 6:05 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sticherbeast: "Emily Deschanel's character fuses the awkwardness of her sister"

What? Bones is Zooey Deschanel's sister? Holy Crap!

I would probably know this if I watched more television.
posted by I am the Walrus at 6:30 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


also, I liked the blog. It's watching a young lady mature on the internet. Good for her.
posted by I am the Walrus at 6:30 AM on April 26, 2012


OK, reading further is tempering my enthusiasm.

But at a few points in my life I have exclaimed that I wish someone had clued me in to basic things much earlier.
Most times related to home ownership... Did you know that you have to change the seals on your toilet every 10-12 years? Did you know that you can inspect your water flow meter to detect if any water is leaking from bad seals? I DID NOT KNOW THESE THINGS.

And I used to be terrible at making my bed. Now I can't get away with not doing it. And fresh sheets, every week. So boring, I know, but worth it.
posted by Theta States at 6:37 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I understand a lot of the hate being focused on the blogger, let me try and defend for a second. This blog is focused at a very specific readership - me, almost. I'm a guy and Im pretty sure that it's more female focused. Anyways, I'm 28, I've never taken money or lived with my parents past the age of 18, and always had enough money to eat and pay my bills. But shit like this:

Do it every morning, first thing when you get out of bed. You’re right there, anyway, and it takes 45 seconds, max. Then, repeat that action every day for the rest of your life seven days and see how it treats you.

When fully made, your bed should feature, at minimum:

- A fitted sheet;
- A topsheet, tucked in on three sides;
- A comforter, hopefully covered with a duvet, which is easy to launder and;
- Assorted pillows.

When you make your bed, you have as a nice, clean plane in your bedroom that you can then lay out clothes or whatever on. The whole room looks neater (fact: it’s impossible for a room to look clean with an unmade bed).

Then at night when you are tired, you’ll walk in and your bed will be made. When you slip beneath the sheets, it’s a pleasurable experience. Not like when all the sheets are bunched up and you get tangled in them and feel more like a strung-out junkie than the situation really warrants.

The longest sheets should go without washing is two weeks; wash them in warm water by themselves, using 1/2 the usual amount of your detergent. Try to have at least three sets of sheets; I always find nice, cheap ones at TJ Maxx.


I JUST FIGURED THIS SHIT OUT. Like in the last year. Does a made bed matter in the context of a life with a spouse and kids and mortgage and no free time? Fuck no. Does it matter in the context of being 21 and getting wasted every night in the beer long room? Fuck no. It matters in the context of "I'm a 28 male who would be described under protest as a hipster, I sort of have my shit together and after dating completely helpless needy babies for the past OOOH 12 years I would really like to meet somebody who also at least sort of has their shit together, and if I do these things (have a cleanish house and room, wear niceish clothes, not be afraid to answer the phone because it could be a bill collector, etc..) then maybe through the mysteries of the universe, I will meet somebody like that." I'm reading this blog as an attempt to signal to the outside world not so much "I am totally a big (boy/girl) look how frown up I am!" but something more like "hey, guys - I am not a completely retarded baby, I have my shit sort of together."
posted by youthenrage at 6:37 AM on April 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


That's... weird.
posted by Edison Carter at 6:45 AM on April 26, 2012


Also: Clean the kitchen counters before bed. Only dishes out should be clean ones drying.
And put coffee on a timer.

World of difference.
posted by Theta States at 6:46 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lord, Metafilter, I don't know why I'm always surprised at your ability to hate on anything.

I like this blog! I found it right as I'm moving in to my first solo apartment and turning 30, so a lot of the tips are really handy for me in rebooting my slacker 20s lifestyle. It's a good "get your shit together" blog, paired appealingly with The Billfold.
posted by whitneyarner at 6:48 AM on April 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


What is a comforter?

It's a blanket. Just a blanket.
posted by ceribus peribus at 6:54 AM on April 26, 2012


Man, Reactance is a hell of a drug. I find making the bed to be unnecessary, but I don't take a random blog extolling its virtues as something that warrants the "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME" I see here.

In fact, in MY experience, the people who crow the loudest about how "adulthood is whatever I want it to be! Yay bouncy castles!" are usually the ones who can't hold down a job, engage in petty high school style drama via facebook, have kids they can't support, or spend hundreds of dollars on tattoos or collectable baubles instead paying down the credit card debt they complain about. People pushing 40 who still speak of some mythical war between "jocks" and "nerds" they feel they're still fighting; it's like people are so afraid of the idea of "selling out" or being told what to do that anything even remotely critical of the forced Wonderland they've turned their 30s and 40s into is seen as the work of "the oppressors", and is met with more childish resentment.

I read through this blog and I find most of it to be basic, like that Simpsons where Homer and Marge are at the meeting like "and put the TRASH in the TRASH CAN people, I can't stress this enough", but I'm not offended by it, in fact, it makes me want to take my parents out to dinner or something.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:56 AM on April 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


What is a comforter?
It's a blanket. Just a blanket.
posted by ceribus peribus


Optimized for weeping in to.
posted by Theta States at 6:56 AM on April 26, 2012


Wow - fuck posting from an iPhone. I realize the typos and autocorrect errors in my previous post might make it look like I don't actually have shit sort of together but I swear I do. I also thought of some other justifications for this blogs existence.

1. I, in the last month or two bought band aids for the first time, after I had to cobble together a bandage with toilet paper, packing tape and rubber bands because I cut the shit out of my finger with an incredibly sharp kitchen knife (that I was using to cut vegetables, that I bought from the grocery store, because I'm almost thirty and I should sort of know how to cook, and so on.) Retarded babies make bandages with toilet paper, slightly less retarded ones use a rubber band as a sort of tourniquet to slow down blood flow, regular almost thirty year olds just open the cabinet and put a band aid on. This stuff might seem obvious to some but I promise you there are more people out there like me.

2. My parents didn't teach me SHIT except for teaching by example of what not to do. I had great role models for what to avoid, but that's it. I don't think using proper manners at the dinner table is that big a deal, but my girlfriend had to teach me the right way to cut food with a knife and fork WHEN I WAS 22. Now, a huge part of me theoretically thinks people who care about these sorts of things are stuffy a-holes, but I like eating at nice restaurants without getting sneered at by the staff and other patrons, the whole "take a fucking picture, it'll last longer" shitty punk attitude, I'm over that. I could have used this book 5 years ago.
posted by youthenrage at 7:08 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lord, Metafilter, I don't know why I'm always surprised at your ability to hate on anything.

I just saw this post, haven't read much of the comments, but it rubs me the wrong way. Not because it extols the virtues of some version of adulthood that I think is worthless, paying your bills, opening bad mail, and not laying in bed when you get overwhelmed are all good things. They don't really read like a list of "adult characteristics" to me, so much as a list of "characteristics of not depressed people." As a not depressed person, I find these activities to be of moderate, but hardly insurmountable challenge, but for my wife (who has mental health problems) they can a real problem. This chart pretty much actually looks like the scary red bar for her. It's pretty condescending to tell her that to be an "adult" she needs to not ignore bad mail when for her opening a medical bill requires more bravery than anything I've ever done.

I know it's probably not the intention, and a lot of the advice doesn't read that way, but some of it reads as kind of mean to people for whom these things are difficult.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:10 AM on April 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


I realize nobody is even reading this far but goddamn - only in the last year or two did I figure out that if I make my bed, and cover it with a sheet, held down with pillows at the top, then my dogs will not dig up the covers and roll around in the bed all day. If they don't do that, then my bed won't FULL of sand, and girls won't think I'm a fucking weirdo.

My late 20s mantra - being punk is cool, but clean sheets feel good.
posted by youthenrage at 7:12 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nitpicking ninny here:

Hydrogen peroxide (for cleaning out wounds after they have first healed; use soap and water on a fresh wound)

No.

Hydrogen peroxide initially on a fresh wound, but not used on the wound after, especially not as it is healing.

Hydrogen peroxide kills cells. It doesn't discriminate between invading bacteria and your own body cells. It can be good to use initially on a "dirty" wound to kill bacteria that might cause an infection, but if used on a "clean" wound it will slow the healing process because it is killing cells that your body is producing to heal the wound.
posted by de void at 7:14 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


she wouldn't think twice if someone didn't RSVP to her party.

That's because she failed to send out invitations, probably. That is, if she could be persuaded to throw a party, even.

- A fitted sheet;
- A topsheet, tucked in on three sides;
- A comforter, hopefully covered with a duvet, which is easy to launder and;
- Assorted pillows.

I have all these things, along with sheets of a respectably adult thread count, it's just that I rarely make the bed.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:18 AM on April 26, 2012


I make the bed every day, but I have dinosaur sheets. Where does this put me?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:23 AM on April 26, 2012


Another difference between Joan and Zooey is that Joan is not real.

Which makes the comparison sort of unfair. Whether you like Zooey's public image or not, you don't know what Zooey does to stay on top of shit or not in her daily life. And how adult is it to snark about celebrities like this really?
posted by naoko at 7:26 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


In fact, in MY experience, the people who crow the loudest about how "adulthood is whatever I want it to be! Yay bouncy castles!" are usually the ones who...

Confirmation bias is a hell of a drug.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 7:27 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I make the bed every morning with my partner still in it.
(True fact!)
That's just how adulted I am, kids.
posted by Floydd at 7:43 AM on April 26, 2012


Uther Bentrazor's comment sticks in my craw a bit. People that lead the lifestyle he describes may be adults, but they're not doing it responsibly. You get the responsibility thing down first, then you can go all crazy with bouncy castles and tattoos if you so choose.

I'm fortunate to have held just four jobs over the past 15 years, created a stable home with my long-term boyfriend, have very minimal debt, and keep my life (and FB) virtually drama-free. Getting a trampoline is possible because I've been a responsible adult. Just my bit of anecdata.

Although this blog isn't perfect, it does offer some good information on how to become that responsible adult - so you can get your bouncy castle.
posted by youngergirl44 at 7:45 AM on April 26, 2012


"Hello--my name is George, I'm bald, unemployed and I live with my parents . . ."

"Well, hello George!"
posted by eggman at 7:53 AM on April 26, 2012


Uther Bentrazor's comment sticks in my craw a bit. People that lead the lifestyle he describes may be adults, but they're not doing it responsibly. You get the responsibility thing down first, then you can go all crazy with bouncy castles and tattoos if you so choose

Exactly, which is why the scads of people who seem to take grave offense at a list of things that reflect said responsibility, here in this thread and otherwise, is so troubling to me.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:03 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


In fact, in MY experience, the people who crow the loudest about how "adulthood is whatever I want it to be! Yay bouncy castles!" are usually the ones who can't hold down a job, engage in petty high school style drama via facebook, have kids they can't support, or spend hundreds of dollars on tattoos or collectable baubles instead paying down the credit card debt they complain about.

That's funny- I have a good career, I have no consumer debt, I am managing my student debt responsibly, I'm saving for retirement, I don't have kids (although if I did, I would be able to support them), I have spent hundreds of dollars on tattoos, and thousands of dollars on bikes. I maintain a relatively tidy dwelling, I am an excellent cook, I like a beer or two in the evening, but am also knowledgeable about wine, and I have both a fully stocked first aid kit and an adequate set of tools for household repairs.

ADULTHOOD IS WHAT I WANT IT TO BE! YAY BOUNCY CASTLES!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:10 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


And I rarely make my bed
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:11 AM on April 26, 2012


Yay bouncy castles!

For a time, a friend of mine had a bouncy castle in his living room. No furniture, just a bouncy castle. That was the best.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:19 AM on April 26, 2012


DON'T YOU TELL ME HOW TO LIVE!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:20 AM on April 26, 2012


It never even occurred to me.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:23 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Zooey/Joan comparison is interesting. I think the author of this blog is conflating competence with manner. What she seems to admire in Joan is this sort of cool competence, but that's not really the opposite of Zooey (and by Zooey I mean "the public perception of Zooey/how Zooey presents herself--I agree that it's not really fair to compare a real person to a fictional character).

I think there could be an adulting matrix. It's not Zooey to Joan though. It has two axis (axes? axiis? axi? help) of maturity: Competence and manner. Competence is getting things done: having a career, paying your taxes on time, managing your finances, being organized, being clean, having a bed, giving your friend a key to your apartment in case you get locked out. Manner is behaving well: not saying mean things about your ex-boyfriends in public, not spreading news via facebook, not telling people what to do with their bodies, not dressing inappropriately.

I don't really know much about Zooey, but she seems to have a career and she probably has a bed.
posted by millipede at 8:29 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are, I would guess, a billion or two adults in Asia to whom hardly a word of this applies. And possibly a lot of them are more grown-up than the author.

It looks like the author is a 27-year old writing for 22-year olds. So maybe the title should be "how to be marginally more adult, now you're not actually a teenager".
posted by philipy at 8:29 AM on April 26, 2012


Step 169: Laying in bed is not a solution to feeling overwhelmed.

Sorry, but I call bullshit on this over-simplistic, lifestyle advice. Sometimes lying in bed is the right thing to do. When I heard my grandmother died the news hit me hard, overwhelmed me if you like. Rather than take the above advice I stayed in bed for 24 hours. It comforted me and, while it didn't make me happy, it gave me what I needed: time to myself to begin to come to terms with what happened.

This blog seems to confuse "being an adult" with protestant work ethic. Doing stuff might help you feel less overwhelmed or it might indeed contribute further to that feeling, or it might do nothing at all.

Being an adult is not about following a thousand stupid steps. Its about knowing yourself, your capabilities and your limitations. Its about understanding that lying in bed is a short-term stop gap and accepting that. If you can't trust yourself to lie in bed when you need it, you've probably got a bit more growing up to do.
posted by axon at 8:31 AM on April 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos: It's pretty condescending to tell her that to be an "adult" she needs to not ignore bad mail when for her opening a medical bill requires more bravery than anything I've ever done.

I know it's probably not the intention, and a lot of the advice doesn't read that way, but some of it reads as kind of mean to people for whom these things are difficult.


That's the impression I got, too. Sometimes someone will say "why don't you just go ahead and get [mundane task] over with? it doesn't take that long" or "if you start X now, you'll be done before you know it", but actually starting or doing those tasks can be prohibitively challenging for me. This, of course, means I often wait until the day before a project is due to start working on it.
posted by cp311 at 9:08 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


What part of looking to web-based psuedoauthority is a mature life skill, again?
posted by mrdaneri at 10:54 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Unless you find it soothing or ritualistically important, making the bed is a completely pointless waste of time and I defy anyone to prove otherwise.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:01 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why should I make my bed after sleeping in it? I don't tie my shoes after taking them off. /Gaffigan
posted by Brocktoon at 11:02 AM on April 26, 2012


I think the idea is that a fully made bed is harder to fall back into. If you want to be really hardcore you can put something heavy on top.
posted by LogicalDash at 11:08 AM on April 26, 2012


For a time, a friend of mine had a bouncy castle in his living room. No furniture, just a bouncy castle. That was the best.

I wish there was a way I could make sure you weren't friends with the guy I (sort of) knew who slept in a tent on the floor of his bedroom after he sold his bed when moving.

This guy never changed his middle name to a date in the future did he? 'Cause that guy was only sort of eking by at the adult thing.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:20 AM on April 26, 2012


I never did the whole making the bed in the morning thing either, but have picked up the habit now from my boyfriend of a year. When we're together he usually makes the bed, but I now tend to make it myself when I'm not sleeping with him. It really does make a difference (to me) to how cozy it feels when I get in. On the other hand, my bed is way comfier than his, so I'm looking forward to when we move in together this summer.

But a lot of this advice is just plain unnecessary. Don't chew gum in public? Why the hell not? My middle-aged parents chew gum in public when the feel like it and they're about as adult as it gets.
posted by peacheater at 11:24 AM on April 26, 2012


Also this is a load of unfeminist crap:

More practically, the wife’s life is made easier by taking on the responsibility of organizing all gifting for the mother-in-law’s birthday, anniversary, and Mother’s Day (this should include the mother-in-law’s mother, if she is living). The father-in-law and siblings-in-law should be similarly cultivated out of respect for the spouse.

My boyfriend is perfectly capable of buying gifts and sending cards to the important people in his life and I don't expect this ability to magically disappear once we get married.
posted by peacheater at 11:29 AM on April 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


Probably more info than anyone wants, but: if, like me, you tend to sweat in your sleep and wake up in the nightmarish sleepytime equivalent of a Vietnamese rice paddy, making your bed immediately upon waking is a really bad idea, at least if you want to use your sheets for more than a day or two between laundering. You gotta let that shit breathe.
posted by chaff at 11:40 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


More practically, the wife’s life is made easier by taking on the responsibility of organizing all gifting for the mother-in-law’s birthday, anniversary, and Mother’s Day (this should include the mother-in-law’s mother, if she is living). The father-in-law and siblings-in-law should be similarly cultivated out of respect for the spouse.

Peacheater, I clicked through your link to see if the poster was copying an "Advice for a Young Bride" type of 1950's self-help book, but no, they meant it. Grr. It IS a load of unfeminist crap. "Kinkeeping" is not in my job description, kthx. If my (hypothetical) husband or boyfriend can't get cards and gifts for his own relatives under his own steam, he's an overgrown manchild and I don't want him. Or he's estranged from his family, which may be for very good reasons, but it's not in my job description to play peace-weaver.

How about "Part of being a grownup is not expecting your wife to be responsible for gifts, cards and so on."
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:44 AM on April 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


I wish there was a way I could make sure you weren't friends with the guy I (sort of) knew who slept in a tent on the floor

I think it's pretty unlikely. AFAIK, friend never changed his middle name to a future date (but he might!)
posted by octobersurprise at 12:37 PM on April 26, 2012


There's some useful stuff there, but there's also weird stuff (wife in charge of gifts of hubbie's rellies...wha...?) and pointless stuff (made beds = better bedbug breeding grounds) and even patently childish, offensive stuff ("The more recipients I know about, the less likely I am to care. It is like the Kitty Genovese thing, except with email instead of murder." WTF?).

She's in no danger of losing readership that I can see, but I won't be joining the ranks.
posted by batmonkey at 1:12 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I had horrible influenza and couldn't stand the feel of my sheets, my cool smooth sleeping bag was the only thing I could stand to sleep under. I ended up doing that for a couple of years. It was kinda awesome.

But I do find that if I can, smoothing the comforter over my bed in the morning keeps the cats from rolling around wherever and getting my sheets filthy. (OTOH, they are often piled up on my bed when I get up in the morning and I have to smooth out the comforter around them.)

Mail and the phone, however, are my nemeses. I'm actually procrastinating a phone call Right Now.
posted by epersonae at 1:58 PM on April 26, 2012


Googlabilitying

UbuRoivas, you have a sick, twisted, evil mind.
posted by twirlip at 2:04 PM on April 26, 2012


Exactly, which is why the scads of people who seem to take grave offense at a list of things that reflect said responsibility, here in this thread and otherwise, is so troubling to me.

I could be wrong, but I don't think people are reacting to her advice to pay down debt or whatever. Personally, the stuff that leaves me cold is the exhortations to have a good corkscrew, or get a "nice, actual bed" that you make every day no matter what, or to take care of a plant. Those are just the trappings of one particular style of adulthood.

I think it's totally fine for her blog to be strongly geared towards her own personal values, but she doesn't write much about what those values are and how she arrived at them, which would interest me more. This isn't to criticize her for caring about being able to open a bottle of wine perfectly, but it doesn't have much to do with adulthood -- except if you connect it back to something like "I care about entertaining flawlessly because it's how I show my friends that I like and appreciate them, and maintaining close friendships is important to me."

And even then, while this explanation would make a lot of sense, other adults will come to entirely different conclusions about what's important in life, or how best to move towards these important things. That process of figuring out for yourself what's important, and then doing the hard work of living according to that compass, seems to me like a much bigger piece of becoming an adult than following an arbitrary list of rules (which incidentally is exactly how children are taught to behave).

All of which makes it sound like I hated the blog, and I didn't - I just think this kind of thing can come off as condescending and superficial rather than helpful, especially when you're focusing on things you do and not really why you do them.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:09 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why the hate? It's like this. The other day I did design critique on someone's imported furniture and it got a silly number of favorites. I'm still kind of surprised.

Now imagine that Old Man Charlemagne from the Mirror Mirror universe made a similar comment where he described good furniture design and construction techniques, but also took the opportunity to suggest that if you had furniture that didn't match his criteria then you were an immature slacker of substandard intellect. Even if the information in the comment was 100% rock solid, I can't imagine it getting a lot of favorites (or being seen as anything beyond trolling.)

That's the problem with writing a blog where you basically are saying adopt all my values and priorities, even the subjective ones, or you are not an adult. Most of the shit you have to deal with as an adult is not so simple as a list of IF-THEN statements.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:02 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you don't need a bouncy castle you are not working hard enough.
posted by fuq at 4:09 PM on April 26, 2012


In light of some of the classic ADD questions/answers on AskMe, and Hyperbole and a Half's This is Why I'll Never Be an Adult post, this blog just seems like a natural progression for a certain type of person who feels like they're just now learning all the little bits and pieces that fit together to make a more responsible life. Acknowledging that those bits and pieces can sometimes take conscious effort feels good, to me.

I can identify with Allie Brosh. I can't really identify with the kind of thinking that went into that blog. Living with ADHD is all about letting go of guilt, learning to play to your strengths instead of hammering on your weaknesses. It's especially not about trying to live up to someone else's expectations.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:17 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nobody asked (q.v. my comment above), but here is my own list recommendations for how to act like an adult:

Nobody gets out of here alive. The best you can really hope for is to be able to be comfortable in your own skin while you live. Do the things that make that easier on you. Don't do the things that make that harder. Forgive yourself when you fail at either one.

Don't be so proud of yourself. Always remember that you didn't get to where you are on your own. The people you meet have their own story of how they got to where they are when you meet them. Be gentle with them whenever possible.

Try not to be too judgmental. Everybody is an asshole to somebody. Indeed, there are thousands upon thousands of people in this world who think the Dalai Lama is an asshole. There is assuredly somebody out there who thinks you're an asshole too.

Friendliness, generosity, and forgiveness go a long way towards smoothing over the vagaries of life. Save your hardened heart for those extremely rare situations that call for it. Vanishingly few things in life are truly matters of honor that can only be settled with pistols at dawn.

Accidents happen, so don't beat yourself up over them. Nobody can do everything perfectly all the time. If they could every competition would end in a tie. It's all too easy to let a tiny mistake eat at you for decades. Apologize if it's warranted. Laugh it off if nobody got hurt. Try to do better the next time.

We all have to live here, so do your best to get along with those around you. Any argument or policy prescription that starts with, If we could just get rid of all the <group of human beings> isn't a good idea no matter what the idea is.

Finally, remember that all of the above is actually pretty hard to do. Hatred, anger, jealousy, resentment, frustration, embarrassment, depression, et cetera, ad nauseum are powerful emotions that can be nearly impossible to overcome. As long as you're not being malicious, you're probably doing the best you can under difficult circumstances. Just like everybody else.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:30 PM on April 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


I make the bed every day, but I have dinosaur sheets. Where does this put me?

I feel the same. I buy my sheets from the kids section of Target because they are softer, and cheaper. The owls just earn them bonus points.
posted by cholly at 4:33 PM on April 26, 2012


If you follow all these rules, like Aesop's ass, you turn into an...old person (stereotypical). The guy who reads all his boring mail, indeed he does nothing but read boring mail from mutual funds because he's retired and lives on investments. The living room floor is covered with stacks of mutual fund reports and with copies of The Economist. He always takes his vitamins. He lays them out for the week in juice glasses. Each glass contains several vitamins in different colors and sizes.
posted by bad grammar at 5:29 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you think about it, there's multiple levels of adulthood.

(a) Technical adulthood: you're over 18, period. However, you may still be in college, living at home, or living apart from home and someone else is paying your bills. Basically you're still dependent, and at least somewhat still living the life of a child. This may be more of an adolescence adulthood more than anything else.

(b) Recession-kicked-me-in-the-ass adulthood: you're over 18, you've probably managed to be somewhat to all self-sufficient in thee past and you'd like to be supporting yourself, but you can't get a job for shit and thus you're mostly living the life of a child at home again. Or some other shitty living situation that makes you feel somewhat childlike and dependent and broke and bummed. (New category!)

(c) Self-sufficient adulthood: you're over 18, you are not living with relatives, you pay your own rent and bills and are managing to survive from month to month, hopefully with little to no help. You may be shacked up with roommates or SOs or not, may have pets or not. You could totally do that adulthood bouncy castle thing if you wanted to. Whether or not you are taking on The Trappings Of Adulthood is optional.

Now, this one's clearly more "adult" than (a) or (b) in that you are functioning by yourself fine. And that does get some respect. However, you get a lot less respect than...

(d) Actual/Trappings-Of-Adulthood Adulthood. You guys know what these are:
* You're employed steadily--or at least your spouse is. Preferably in a "management" position, probably in a job you don't like that much but pays well-ish.
* You are married/life partnered-- because god knows nobody considers you a true adult without someone joined to your hip.
* You are heavily financially indentured--at the minimum to a car, preferably indentured to a house.
* You are personally physically and financially responsible for at least one human life that depends on you in order to survive. In our culture it's preferred that this requirement be fulfilled by at least 2 children (or you'll get nagged like hell otherwise), but could also be referring to dependent relatives, your parents, or anyone else who needs to be taken in.
* Bouncy castle? You're kidding me, right? I've got a mortgage to pay and kids to take to Chuck-E-Cheese. You're trapped and not having much fun any more.

Unless you're doing most to all of those first four, you don't really "count" as an adult in our society. For example, I have a coworker who I always thought was several years older than I was. She's on her second husband, first kid, house, etc. and actually looks and acts our age. Yes, she turns out to be most of a year younger than I am. I haven't done shit compared to her and feel like I should be sucking my thumb under my desk with a binkie.

I think this blog is shooting for (c) and transitioning you to the required niceties of (d). Which is why it goes on about the bedmaking and the like. I agree on the "pay your bills" sorts of tips, but at other times I am a bit annoyed. Like I hate "hospital corners" and "fresh clean sheets" that come with a daily made bed. Who thinks of hospital beds as ones they want to sleep in, anyway? Fuck that. I don't have to please my mother or my nonexistent SO with my neat housekeeping skills and I hate making the bed. I prefer one that has a gajillion blankets and pillows in there and I can just roll into a nest of softness every night.

But I think she's trying to toilet train (so to speak) people to prepare for the fourth level. And there's a difference in adulthood between "single survival" and "family living" (to quote from high school home ec), where you have to start appealing to what other people want rather than following Mommy and Daddy's rules.

I hate most of adulthood, really--always feel like I'm not living up to everyone else's standards. Except for the parts where I come home late without anyone bitching about it, and eating croutons for dinner if I effing feel like it. Come to think of it, my coworker was talking about the joys of single survival today, way back in the day for her by now. Sounds like she might miss it a little.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:40 PM on April 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't think that it's as awful as many people here make it out to be, but neither is it nearly as good as she (and, I guess, her future publisher) seem to think that it is. It's a mix of pretty good advice, some bad advice, a lot of staggeringly obvious advice (well, to someone who's not heavily into avoidance and binge drinking, anyway), and a few things that don't make sense until/unless you grasp just how deep her Joan Holloway fixation is. (She doesn't really seem to get why the Mad Men-themed party that her friends threw where they absolutely required women to wear a 60s-style dress got a lot of negative feedback precisely for that reason.) But her book will sell well, I'm sure.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:52 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


BitterOldPunk: "ADULTHOOD: Everyone is just faking it, except for the people who aren't, who probably aren't any fun anyway."

Adulthood is faking it. We act responsible and mature, we pay our bills and eat with cutlery. We have corkscrews and know how to use them. We do all that. But we're faking it all the way* because what we really want is to sleep in a tent with a fucking bouncy castle in the next room.


* except the bed-making. I hate hate hate sleeping in an unmade bed and sometimes resort to trying to make the bed after my SO is already in it and asleep. This doesn't usually end well.
posted by dg at 8:06 PM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


All important things about life are conveyed in this song narrated by Baz Luhrman. I listen to it, in my bed, whenever I get down and need hope/inspiration.
posted by lotusmish at 7:52 AM on April 27, 2012


I think there could be an adulting matrix. It's not Zooey to Joan though. It has two axis (axes? axiis? axi? help) of maturity: Competence and manner.

Staying within the pop culture realm, I nominate Kristen Wiig's character from Bridesmaids as the opposite of Joanie.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:16 AM on April 27, 2012


She doesn't really seem to get why the Mad Men-themed party that her friends threw where they absolutely required women to wear a 60s-style dress got a lot of negative feedback precisely for that reason.)

IT's a fancy dress party - it'd be rude to come in in your street clothes. Unless you mean that those who couldn't for cost/size/whatever reasons were turned away at the door, it seems a breach of etiquette to essentially ignore an event's dress code in my view.
posted by mippy at 9:09 AM on April 27, 2012


Actually, just read the link.

I am the "Josh" from the party...This party was for city slicking 20- somethings

*cough* WANKER *cough* Christ, he sounds like a not remotely pretentious barrel of laughs.
posted by mippy at 9:12 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mippy, my "favorite" quote from that comment was:
Perhaps if you haters would loosen up you would be invited to smashing retro parties with great people, laughs, food and drinks! In the mean time I will leave you off my invite list.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:40 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's like the opposite of an adult party invite to me.

No, you can't bring your awesome friends, and you have to dress exactly like I want you to. That's childish. I think being hospitable and accommodating are part of being an adult.
posted by peacheater at 7:43 AM on April 28, 2012


'Haters' is one of those words, like 'politically correct,' that when I hear someone say it, it makes it harder for me to listen to them.
posted by box at 8:54 AM on April 28, 2012


Need to sterilize stuff as you get older? That's probably not a bad idea considering your Thymus atrophies with age.
posted by uswestcool at 1:43 PM on April 28, 2012


My point exactly, mippy. "We will all be judging!" gets someone crossed off all my list, save for the wanker one, which is more like her "Chernobyl closet."
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:15 PM on April 28, 2012


lists, of course.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:15 PM on April 28, 2012


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