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OMG I'M THE ADULT
December 24, 2009 8:18 AM   Subscribe

OMG I'M THE ADULT Documenting all those little moments of realization, when suddenly it is revealed that you are, indeed, a grown-up now. [via mefi projects]
posted by hippybear (159 comments total) 63 users marked this as a favorite

 
GET OFF MY LAWN!
posted by b1tr0t at 8:26 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I realized how much I've come to hate snow and how no shower nor cup of coffee can ever be truly hot enough.
posted by stavrogin at 8:26 AM on December 24, 2009 [10 favorites]


When the teenage cashier first said: "How are you today, sir."
posted by ericb at 8:28 AM on December 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


When I actually found myself telling my son, non-ironically, to stop running with scissors.
posted by bondcliff at 8:28 AM on December 24, 2009 [11 favorites]


I am but an adult.
posted by everichon at 8:29 AM on December 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'll always be a gboy.
posted by gman at 8:31 AM on December 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


When I read the comments to a music related post on metafilter.
posted by srboisvert at 8:32 AM on December 24, 2009


I'm waiting for OMG I'm the Old Guy, 'til then, I don't wanna here you kids whine about being called "sir"!
posted by HuronBob at 8:32 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I spent the day hanging Christmas lights on my house, then got actually *pissed* when I realized I didn't have enough. And then raced to Fred Meyer at 6 pm on a Saturday to buy more, thus ensuring we had to cancel our dinner plans.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:33 AM on December 24, 2009


I just watched the Christmas episode of My So-Called Life for the first time since becoming a parent. It made me realize that someday I'm going to have a teenager. Being an adult can be scary.
posted by lexicakes at 8:34 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tonight, I'm cooking Christmas Eve dinner for my parents.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:35 AM on December 24, 2009


I'm an adult now. I see my children outside in the cold and yell, "Put on your hat and gloves, just looking at you makes me chilly!"
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:38 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Every time I have to ask tell teenagers in the library to be quiet(er).
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:39 AM on December 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


When the random aches and pains started materializing from the ether instead of being the result of drinking binges, etc.
posted by griphus at 8:41 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also: when you start waking up with a hangover even though you weren't drinking the night before.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:47 AM on December 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm getting "ma'am"ed with increasing frequency. And the local police force appears to have started taking on teenaged interns. I may have to acknowledge that I'm a grown-up ... sometime in the nearish future.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:52 AM on December 24, 2009


I remember that moment. When I'd just turned 23, I took my mom on a trip to Rome and Florence. Prior to that, my Mom had never really traveled abroad without my father. On the other hand, I worked multiple jobs while in college so I could use my money to see as much of the world as possible.

Now, my Mom is a smart, independent woman and never one to shy from taking charge in a situation. However, she'd never been to Italy and a lot of the everyday stuff stumped her. She had a hard time just figuring out where to stand in line or what money to have ready. So, I, a daughter who had never bossed around her mom, suddenly found myself constantly telling here where to stand and what to do.

Eventually, I found myself in a train station with her paying for the train tickets while she stood off to the side, waiting. Suddenly, I was struck by the realization that I was the one in charge. And worse yet, this was exactly what my dad would do: "No, you stand over there. I'll take care of this."

My mom had been my boss my whole life, and without me realizing it she stepped back and turned the reigns over to me. It was really one of many steps in replacing my parent-child relationship with a parent-adult relationship, but it was the first where I realized that the training wheels were off permanently.
posted by Alison at 8:53 AM on December 24, 2009 [14 favorites]


It's a weird thing to be 47, married 25 years, yet very much feel like you're still 16. The awkward kid reading Trouser Press in his bedroom lives on. I've never fully accepted that I'm an adult. I suppose that's both good and bad.
posted by davebush at 8:54 AM on December 24, 2009 [10 favorites]


Slarty Bartfast, I'm pretty sure your impulsive behavior says OMG YOU'RE STILL THE KID. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I've held on to my own last-minute tendencies with a death grip despite having had many of these adulthood realization moments.
posted by danblaker at 8:55 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


My wife and I lost both of her parents and my mom in the span of a couple years. (Dad's been gone for 25+ years.)

Now we are the oldsters of the family.

Off the LAWN!
posted by Drasher at 8:57 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


The first time my wife and I made a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and I looked around for someone to carve the turkey and realized, "Holy shit- there's no real adult around here to do this- guess it's me."
posted by ancguy at 9:00 AM on December 24, 2009 [9 favorites]


This has been happening more and more over the last couple of years. The phantom pains, my mortgage, the fact that I just bought a new sofa and love seat... from a store... and had it delivered... (that was a weird one).

Taken individually, it's fine, but when I look at the whole, it kinda freaks me out. There is no way I am responsible enough to be considered an adult. I still play video games, watch cartoons, and have puppet shows using my cats as actors (mainly to dance to TV theme songs. They love that.)

Every once in a while my mom likes to call and remind me "When I was your age, I had a 17 year old son. You."

And that usually brings the I'm-an-adult-now feeling home, complete with a case of the shivers.
posted by quin at 9:01 AM on December 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


I thot it was the moment when something fell into the toilet, and you realized it wasn't coming out until YOU took the hand-plunge.

Everything else...meh.
posted by hexatron at 9:01 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, all these things have been old hat for so long that ... OMG, I'm the Old Fart here!
posted by rikschell at 9:07 AM on December 24, 2009


You know you're an adult when a trip to Disneyland sounds like torture and going to bed early sounds like a treat, and when you find yourself spending money on dirt.
posted by orange swan at 9:11 AM on December 24, 2009 [35 favorites]


For me, it was the first time I addressed a little boy in public as "son." It was something like, "Son, be careful with that, now!" He didn't even notice, even though that's probably archaic now; it was just part of the constant wah-WANH-wah of grownup talk.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:13 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


The day I hired professional movers to move my stuff to a new apartment instead of paying friends with pizza and beer to move me in their rickety old beater cars and trucks.
posted by sadtomato at 9:16 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


At about 40 I was a new teacher in college. Through coincidence, had an old friend from high school arrive in my class to interpret for a hearing impaired student.

We kept looking at each other waiting for someone to come in and expose us as obviously fraudulent adults.

But it didn't happen. Because we really were the adults.

Yikes. I still like to claim I'm really just 17, but with the knees of a 90 year old.
posted by cccorlew at 9:16 AM on December 24, 2009


Escrow.
posted by malocchio at 9:20 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


A few months ago at around 3 in the morning, the She-Mulp and I called the cops on our neighbors -- they've since moved away, thankfully, but, damn, they'd fight all the time and the girlfriend has the loudest screeching voice I've ever heard. As the police arrived, we noticed that they looked like a couple of kids right out of high school. Now, the fight, which at this point had woken up everyone living in the surrounding houses, was still going on, mind you, so they could clearly, easily hear it, but they just stood around outside the neighbor's house looking confused. We suggested that, maybe, they could ring the doorbell or knock on the door or something. Eventually they did, asked the neighbor if everything was alright, and left it at that. So the fight continued. And the policemen got back in their car, and we asked if they were going to do anything about the situation. So they asked us what we thought they should do. And we informed them that, since the girlfriend next door wasn't on the lease there, they could at the very least escort her home if not write a ticket for a noise disturbance. I mean, the police were called to this place for the same reason at least once a week by ... well, I don't think anyone in the neighborhood hasn't reported them for fighting loudly in the middle of the night. Instead, they stood around looking like confused teenagers for a few more minutes. Then they left.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:22 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


When I started getting annoyed at 25 year olds still referring to themselves as "kids".
posted by availablelight at 9:24 AM on December 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


As an adult, it's really boring to read about people realizing they're an adult.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:32 AM on December 24, 2009 [8 favorites]


When dating a 30-something is considered "robbing the cradle"...
posted by Death by Ugabooga at 9:34 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Quin, can I plz come see one of your cat puppet shows?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:36 AM on December 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Well, there's a difference between knowing that OMG I'M OLD and OMG I'M AN ADULT.

OMG I'M OLD: "Um, hey, do you mind turning the music down? I came here to eat and talk, not get my ears blasted by this stuff you kids call 'music'".

OMG I'M AN ADULT: "It's a boy!"
posted by jokeefe at 9:37 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


People often remark that I look younger than my age and "have a friendly face". Indeed, ever since my teens I've been The Directions Person, you know, the one who people approach to ask for directions All. The. Time. (Even in places I don't know, which is awkward.) I've lived in a couple different countries, and met the challenge of finding regular work, getting managerial responsibilities, and buying a home and fixing it up in one of them. I used to equate these things with being adult, and thought I'd reached a sort of "adulthood plateau", until recently.

I don't know what has changed, but in the last few months, people I interact with randomly (giving my seat to someone, asking a youngster to turn down their eardrum-ripping music, that sort of thing) have... started listening to me and stopped questioning what I say. Today I had an interaction that illustrates it well: It's raining cats and dogs here. I was waiting for a tram with my umbrella, taking care to keep it out of others' way. The tram door opens, I wait for people to get off. A teenage girl runs in from the side, running into my umbrella, one of the spokes hitting just above her brow while she tried to squeeze past me (and into the line of people still getting off...). "Ouch, dammit!" she exclaimed. "You know, you could wait, like the rest of us, and save your eyes from umbrellas," I said calmly. She then tried to shove an old lady in front of me, but I put my arm out to stop her. She ran into my bags, cursing that I was in her way, so I told her "no one's making you cut in line." She sneered, looked me in the eye, scrunched up her shoulders as if preparing to curse at me... and then retreated without another word. I didn't see her again, not even once everyone was in the tram.

Lately that's how it's been for me, and in more positive situations, when I ask for something, people will just do it rather than checking whether I'm sure. I joke with my brother that I feel like Cartman and his "RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH!!" except that's not what I'm doing, I always make a point to be respectful (even when making snarky remarks to entitled teenagers), I'm just... treated like an adult now.
posted by fraula at 9:37 AM on December 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


When my fellow theater manager said she enjoyed "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and wanted to re-watch the first film because she was too young to remember it.
posted by brundlefly at 9:38 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Listening to the radio, I heard a crappy song and thought "geez, the kids these days sure are listening to crap, aren't they."

It was on the "classic rock" station.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:45 AM on December 24, 2009 [16 favorites]


When young adults (with children of their own) were reminiscing about watching crummy saturday morning cartoons I worked on when I was 30.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:49 AM on December 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


When I started getting annoyed at 25 year olds still referring to themselves as "kids".

Heh.

When I started referring to 25-year-olds as kids.
posted by dogmom at 9:51 AM on December 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


availablelight: "When I started getting annoyed at 25 year olds still referring to themselves as "kids"."

I was annoyed at that as an actual kid.
posted by brundlefly at 9:55 AM on December 24, 2009


Senor Cardgage : can I plz come see one of your cat puppet shows?

They tend to be pretty impromptu, usually involving me grabbing whatever placid feline is closest, standing them upright, holding their arms out Frankenstein's monster style and making them stomp around the bed or sofa while narrating what they are thinking. Usually, "I will DESTROY you!" as I make them lumber towards a sleeping dog.

So yeah, I can put a show together pretty much whenever you want.
posted by quin at 9:57 AM on December 24, 2009 [26 favorites]


...the time some douchey little turd asked me "Aren't you too old for ice skating? What are you, forty?" I was about 25. In response, I asked him "What are you, twelve?" since he was one of those little shorties who's probably already 15 but hasn't really hit puberty. I think that was the first time I asked myself just what the fuck is wrong with kids today.
posted by Never teh Bride at 10:00 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


1, Someone had to explain the Edward vs. Jacob thing to me. 2, I had to suppress a snarky snort. OMG I'M THE ADULT HERE.
posted by feistycakes at 10:00 AM on December 24, 2009


They tend to be pretty impromptu, usually involving me grabbing whatever placid feline is closest, standing them upright, holding their arms out Frankenstein's monster style and making them stomp around the bed or sofa while narrating what they are thinking. Usually, "I will DESTROY you!" as I make them lumber towards a sleeping dog.

So yeah, I can put a show together pretty much whenever you want.


Well...the narrative is kinda weak. No offense.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:01 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nothing makes me feel more like a capable adult than being brand-loyal to the most expensive toilet paper.
posted by something something at 10:02 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


The first really jarring "I'm growing up!" experience was at age 17 realizing I was older than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who I'd been watching since kindergarten.

But my biggest "I'm an adult" moment was probably when I finally made my own dentist appointment for the first time. Lame, but one of those bits of parentally-provided slack I had just never picked up.
posted by olinerd at 10:03 AM on December 24, 2009


Nothing makes me feel more like a capable adult than being brand-loyal to the most expensive toilet paper.

Heh, funny. Buying single-ply business grade TP in bulk (online, free shipping) to save money and so I only have to buy TP once a year makes me feel like an adult.
posted by Never teh Bride at 10:03 AM on December 24, 2009


Senor Cardgage: "Well...the narrative is kinda weak. No offense."

If by weak you mean awesome.
posted by brundlefly at 10:03 AM on December 24, 2009


My older daughter turns 21 years old today. I had only been seventeen for a few months at the time of her birth. I chose to put my adult pants on around that time. Oddly enough, it was only a few months later I was called "ma'am" by a kid. Even weirder is that, twenty-one years later, I still get carded for cigarettes and liquor. I'm totally a "baby-face". And, honestly, I don't feel like an adult all the time.
posted by _paegan_ at 10:16 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I didn't think about it then, but my brother and I were making sure we made it back to our hotels when we were on vacation as teenagers. We had a sense of direction where my parents didn't. The most clear memory of this was in the summer after my senior year in High School, and my brother was going to be a sophmore in HS. We were wandering around Rome, trying to convince Dad that our hotel was to the right, when he was sure it was to the left. We were right, and mocked him with this fact for the rest of the vacation.

Yet here I am, almost 30, and still insisting that a t-shirt and shorts is the only way to dress on the weekends. I am both excited and afraid about being the "Peter Pan" dad or the slacker dad. I think having a kid will push me to being more adult, but until then, I'm enjoying being a child-free couple.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:19 AM on December 24, 2009


Realizing that my Mom was, at this time of year, today to be exact, only a week away from being a Single Parent at my age.
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM on December 24, 2009


This is not my beautiful house. THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:22 AM on December 24, 2009 [25 favorites]


I was recently given a Senior Discount... the cashier just looked at me and thought 'Senior Discount'... I didn't point out that I wasn't 55 yet, I was just happy to get 10% off...

I may be growing old, but I'll never grow up; if I had a lawn, I'd be getting myself off it...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:25 AM on December 24, 2009


I was at work. I worked in an office in a very large company. I was 17, so not legally an adult yet, but I still remember this moment as adulthood slapping me upside the head. Something had happened at work - someone else had screwed up, and I had to stay late to fix it. It wasn't really punishment; I was the only one who knew how to operate the telex machine. I protested, "But that's not fair!", the sentiment that always seems to make the other party stop and reconsider when you're a kid. But this time my boss just shot back, "Life's not fair." It was the first time I'd heard that expression, and it hit me like a bucket of cold water.

My "I'm the adult here" moment came in my mid-20s when I started teaching a continuing education course in calligraphy. Some of my students were 18 and 19 while a few were older than me. I felt like an imposter when I first stood in front of a classroom full of eyes fixed on me as if I was going to pull a rabbit from a hat. People raised their hands before asking me a question, like I was this grown-up authority figure who could send them to the principal's office.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:37 AM on December 24, 2009


When it hurts your knees to sit cross-legged.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:41 AM on December 24, 2009


When she was my age, my grandmother was a ... grandmother. Kinda puts things into perspective for me.
posted by mazola at 10:42 AM on December 24, 2009


This thread is woefully incomplete without a link to this XKCD comic strip.
posted by Asparagirl at 10:49 AM on December 24, 2009 [12 favorites]


When the new kid at the office isn't me anymore. AND she comes up to ask me for advice...and takes it. While I silently wonder if I actually know what the fuck I'm talking about.

Honestly, most of the time I feel 12, posing as 38. But when I was 12, my mom accused me of acting 38 (I tended to correct adults on their grammar, was a serious child). So, in some ways, not that much has changed.
posted by emjaybee at 10:50 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]




This thread is woefully incomplete without a link to this XKCD comic strip.


I always wondered why you couldn't have legos out at cocktail parties. Breaks the ice faster than "so-what-do-you-do?"
posted by The Whelk at 10:51 AM on December 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


Walking into a meeting and realising that everybody was a) waiting for me to start talking and b) acting like I knew what I was talking about.
posted by minifigs at 10:54 AM on December 24, 2009


I have several memories and this constantly comes up for me as I've slowly realized I've actually become an adult.

- When I was about 19 I grabbed a basketball and was shooting at the local park on a Saturday and a 12 year old kid came up and asked if he could shoot too, calling me sir, and then asked me how college was. That blew my mind.

- When I was 25, fresh out of college with my first real job and my older brother called to say he was so broke he couldn't afford his daily required medication, and I paid for two months of the stuff. I get one or two calls like that a year from him and I'm happy to help out (the first time was the point I realized I became the Older Brother in the relationship).

- This, posted an hour ago, seriously. I've never had to put much effort into hiding presents before but this required planning. I bought it early, left it at the bike shop, had to come home and make sure my daughter was distracted, then cover it up and stash it in the corner of the garage, all the kinds of things my parents used to do because my brother and I would rifle through every inch of our house looking for presents in the month lead-up to xmas.

(feel free to use any of these on the site, The Whelk)
posted by mathowie at 10:56 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


awesome story, and love the bike, I will do.
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 AM on December 24, 2009


1, Someone had to explain the Edward vs. Jacob thing to me. 2, I had to suppress a snarky snort. OMG I'M THE ADULT HERE.

YES. THIS.

I watched the first Twilight last night for the first time, and the whole time I was complaining about it like an old man "WTF is this? Is that supposed to be a normal interaction for teenagers? Am I trapped in a bad Judy Blume novel? Why is she falling for a potential abuser?! Ahhhh!"

I gave up after an hour, I don't know if I can finish it.
posted by mathowie at 11:04 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Quin you must tape some of those Cat Shows and post them to YouTube!

The OMG I'm the Adult thing happens to me whenever one of my kids pukes everywhere and I'm looking around to see who's going to clean it up, then I realize "Crap, I'm the Mom. I have to clean it up!"
posted by TooFewShoes at 11:05 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I dropped my daughter off. At college.

Yeah, it took that long.
posted by sidereal at 11:09 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've had a couple. One of the biggest was when I found myself getting quotes for renter's insurance - everything up till then had been "fun, but with a serious edge," like getting an apartment of my own and signing a lease, but doing so in large part so I could bring girls home without also bringing them home to my parents. Renter's insurance, though, that's 100% Responsible Behavior, exchanging dollars I could spend on booze or video games for something that is in no way cool.

Also: Business trips. Holy shit. "Oh, yeah boss, total costs came to a couple hundred bucks more than I originally planned, due to X and Y." And the response was "Oh, sure. Here's my sign-off." Yeep.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:13 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


When I stopped a bratty 10 year old boy from telling a younger boy that there was no Santa with just a disapproving look.
posted by Soliloquy at 11:21 AM on December 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm An Adult Now
posted by davebush at 11:25 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


When, just about a year ago, a New Year's Eve loft party somehow attracted about 5,000 people, and the rowdy crowd blocked the street to the point that taxis had to back out of the block, I, a mere casual guest, ended up handling damage control with the chiefs of both the police and the fire department.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:33 AM on December 24, 2009


I think the anecdotes in this thread are far more interesting than what was on the actual blog, which was pretty mediocre.

Is there anything Mefites don't do better than the net at large?
posted by modernnomad at 11:36 AM on December 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


(yes, I realise many of the comments on the blog are probably from mefites, but.. you know...)
posted by modernnomad at 11:38 AM on December 24, 2009


Everyone finds out they're an adult the exact same way :)

It's the very first time you're truly, terribly, horrifyingly ill and you have to heat up your own can of chicken soup.
posted by Point n Click at 11:40 AM on December 24, 2009 [22 favorites]


(I can't even phrase this in my head without it sounding a bit pretentious, but bear with me as that's not my intent.)
I've been feeling like I finally got my training wheels taken off my musical brain: as the ur-text version of Hadyn's sonatas I'm playing from has no dynamics markings or other indication of mood written into it, it's now entirely up to me how I want to shape the pieces... so much responsibility and decision making. But I don't miss them, and am quite enjoying wearing my big pianist's pants.

This type of responsibility is much fun. Real life adult authority stuff sort of sucks and I wish I didn't have to do it.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 11:46 AM on December 24, 2009


I gave up after an hour, I don't know if I can finish it.
posted by mathowie at 11:04 AM on December 24 [+] [!]


It is dangerous to go alone, take this
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:48 AM on December 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


When I turned on the "classic rock" local radio station, and heard Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:50 AM on December 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm calculating my own mg/kg for illegal stimulants and risking arrest for distribution. OMG I'M MISSING THE POINT
posted by infinitewindow at 11:50 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think my moment was during the Seattle WTO debacle, when wandering around my neighborhood, I kept sneering at all the "little hippie fuckers," as I mentally categorized them. All of whom, naturally, were basically just copies of me from five or six years earlier.
Then I got teargassed! So did a bunch of the little hippie fuckers, of course, but I was like, "I've been teargassed!" Like it was some rite of passage. Anyway, the point is that I frequently make no sense, and, as an adult, I'm okay with that.
posted by Skot at 11:54 AM on December 24, 2009


When I was 11 my mother and I took our old and very ill dog to the vet. The vet said she wasn't responding to treatment and would have nothing but pain for her remaining few days. I looked at my normally pragmatic mom, and she was frozen. I looked back at the vet and told him to put our dog to sleep.

I went back to being a kid, but for that momment I was the adult.
posted by obol at 11:55 AM on December 24, 2009 [10 favorites]


I realized I was an adult three years into college, when my best friend from high school took two trips up to State College with a satchel of mushrooms, got busted on the second trip and had to do an eight month stint in jail, and having gone with him on the first trip was openly wondering to him if I would be going to jail myself. That wasn't why I realized I was an adult, so much as asking the question itself ended up finishing our friendship, because as shitty as I still feel about it today, being an adult also meant to me being aware of being selfish or having instincts of self-preservation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:58 AM on December 24, 2009


The day I realized there actually are consequences to my actions.
posted by gman at 12:01 PM on December 24, 2009


Serious answer:

When there was a friend over at my apartment who I was gradually realizing had way more serious mental and emotional problems than I was equipped to deal with. I had somewhere else I needed to be, and she refused to leave, and was threatening to try to kill herself with whatever was in my medicine cabinet if I left.

Eventually, I actually asked myself, If there were an adult here, what would he do? And I thought, He would call 911. So that was what I did. An ambulance came and took her to the hospital, and I got on with my day. I only ever saw her a few times after that. I don't know what she's doing these days, or where she is, but I hope she's all right.
____

Less serious answer:
When I realized I was too old now to pretend to be Superman. Not that, you know, I shouldn't be pretending to be superheroes, but because Superman's only supposed to be 29.
posted by webmutant at 12:07 PM on December 24, 2009


I clearly remember the first time I had the thought 'OMG I'M AN ADULT'. I was 19, walking to work, and I stopped at a convenience store for a drink. Walking past the candy isle, I paused and realized that I could actually eat candy ANY TIME I WANTED TO.

I'm almost disappointed with myself though. With the insane candy lust I had when I was a kid, I can't believe I've never truly taken advantage of the fact that nobody can tell me not to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even more OMG I'M AN ADULT, I guess.
posted by Bageena at 12:08 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Many, but the most recent: Realizing that my mother never made it to the age that I am now.
posted by matildaben at 12:10 PM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Getting a crush on someone in a TV show/movie, looking them up on IMDB, then realizing they are significantly younger than you.
posted by greenland at 12:31 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


During my bachelor party, when my brother took me aside, and said that he was proud of me for finding such a great girl to spend the rest of my life with. We hugged so hard.

I held her hand in mine, bound with ribbon. I read my written vow to her. She was glorious when we danced.

During our honeymoon. Top of the John Hancock... both of us in casual clothes. We were escorted to last table next to the kitchen. While ordering wine, I faked it and made it look like I was a pro. It was my first time. Watching movies was good for something.

New years day, 2006. My brother and I were looking through all the family photos... recalling the days of our childhood. His own son was there with us, we were all laughing and remembering what we knew we could never lose.

Nineteen days later. Just after 7PM. I have never driven faster. The night of my brothers accident. It's just a distant blur now.

June 5, 2006... 1:05AM... Running my fingers through his hair one final time. Mother and Father, Grandma and Grandpa... tears of disbelief all around. He fought so god-damned hard to stay with those he loved.

It was the third bout of pneumonia... and a shattered immune system that pulled him from us.

More than eighteen months later... We had been trying so hard. She told me that yes... we were pregnant. There are no human words to describe how happy I was. Telling mom and dad... a new beginning for our family.

Twelve weeks later... we're going to bring a boy to the world. Knowing I was going to have a son.

Week sixteen, calling me in tears. Literally running to the car... again driving like a mad man. Holding her and sobbing. Crying for hours.

December 29, last year. It was after 8:00 PM. She was done. Too much heartache... too much loss. I couldn't make her a mommy...

December 30... finding out she had planned it for months.

I called her just two nights ago. Poured it all out again. Realizing that she was far happier the hell away from me. She will never look back.

Last night... walking alongside the river... watching the burning lights of the city... wind blowing from the northeast... cold and licked with salt. Shivering and knowing that only I will be here to shield the cold.

Telling myself that the world doesn't need another cast iron sonovabitch... and trying to believe that I can avoid it.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 12:33 PM on December 24, 2009 [60 favorites]


Heh.
We were waiting outside Iowa State University's Maintenance Shop, here, waiting for the doors to open. Arlo Guthrie was appearing that night, with Greg Brown, as I recall.

A pimply-faced kid just ahead of us in line turned and asked, "How do you folks know about Arlo Guthrie?"

Hmph. Grump grumble.

Wonder how he knew about Arlo?
posted by drhydro at 12:36 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for making me cry Prod. I lost my mother and father-in-law this year and my brother-in-law the year before. Being a pallbearer at 3 funerals in 18 months nearly broke me. I can imagine your pain, but I can't at the same time. I want to say something clever, but I can't. fuck.
posted by Bageena at 12:41 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I was about 15 my mom dropped me off at the dentist - I was old enough to take the bus home by myself. I got my first-ever filling, just a tiny one but I felt like I'd been violated (hey, angsty teen, cut a girl some slack, OK?) I flounced home and informed Mom, preparing to wallow in self-pity. Mom, who has a mouth full of fillings, flipped her shit and started screaming about mercury poisoning and mental illness and that's why she's always depressed and on and on. I ran upstairs and hid in my room while Mom kept screaming in the kitchen and banging pots and pans around. At that point I realized OMG NOBODY'S THE ADULT HERE and that I better never get into any real trouble because I can't count on Mom to help me out. Not that I was ever a troublesome kid but I felt like I was really on my own after that, even though I still lived with my parents.

For their part, though, my parents didn't think OMG SHE'S AN ADULT until I got married. Despite earning a Ph.D., completing a postdoctoral fellowship, getting a real job and buying a friggin' house (admittedly, with some financial help from them, but mostly my own money), I was still a kid until I became somebody's wife. Somebody else's responsibility, in other words.
posted by Quietgal at 12:41 PM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Realizing that many veteran NFL players who are nearing the end of their professional careers... are younger than me.
posted by rhiannon at 12:50 PM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ok.

Everybody, on my lawn.

Tear it up.

Just rip the shit out of that thing.
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:00 PM on December 24, 2009 [13 favorites]


I was in a tourist information center. A kid- maybe 12 or so- knocked a few magnets off of a display rack. He looked down at his feet, clearly wondering if he should pick them up or simply walk away. I was trying very hard not to laugh at the little scene when he noticed I was watching him. We looked at each other for a moment and he tentatively began putting the magnets back on the rack. I quickly ran outside to finally laugh when it occurred to me that I had just inadvertently flexed my Adult Authority Figure muscles.

Sorry, kid.
posted by cheap paper at 1:10 PM on December 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm only 37! I'm young and FREEEEE!!!!
posted by kyrademon at 1:24 PM on December 24, 2009


When I was at Rita's running the store by myself and a teenage girl came up to me sobbing because she'd lost track of her little sister and the little sister had wandered off somewhere in the massive shopping center (complete with 2 streets that were easily always humming along at 50-60mph and one crosswalk).

And then everyone else working that day looked at me to figure out what to do to try and find the missing child. (It turned out that the little sister went around the back of the building trying to find the older sister, who had run out to make sure their car was locked.)
posted by sperose at 1:31 PM on December 24, 2009


I have a million examples of this, especially from the workforce (I'm 27, going on 47), but recently I did the following which proved that I was no longer even the 'cool uncle' kind of adult:

I finished a load of laundry and put it out to dry. Due to the sun hitting the terrace at just the right angle, all of it dried really quickly allowing me to another load within a matter of hours. I actually did a (mental) fist pump, went 'yeaaah!' and felt really good about the whole thing. Then I realised that the most joy I had gotten out of that day was the fact that I was able to do TWO loads of laundry instead of one in a single evening.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:37 PM on December 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


quite enjoying wearing my big pianist's pants

FYI, don't ever say this out loud.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 1:41 PM on December 24, 2009 [18 favorites]


I think being an adult is mostly having to care about stuff you don't want to because there's no one else to do it for you... So my big one was realizing that I had an opinion on traffic. As a kid, I never really cared about routes and so forth because I wasn't driving, and in college, I had ample time to get anywhere I needed to go mostly, so I was willing to take the long route or sit through a random jam. Then I got a job that started at 6 AM on the dot and let out as rush hour was starting to begin... Suddenly I cared a lot about how I got to places, because I didn't want to get up any earlier than necessary and I wanted to get home as early as possible to nap. The first time I started swapping secret passageways and alternate routes with other people I was a little taken aback, because I'd never really used any brain power on it, but now this mundane thing was an integral part of my life. I cared about stuff squares cared about.

Also: becoming a coffee drinker. I never really wanted to start and still don't really like it on some level, but come on. 6 AM. At some point, going it alone isn't worth it.
posted by Kiablokirk at 1:47 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I realized that, despite how hot he might be, I probably wouldn't be all that interested in a long-term relationship with a 20 or 22-year-old because of his relative maturity / life experience level.

(Note: Zac Efron is exempt from this guideline. Call me!)
posted by darkstar at 2:00 PM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've gpne past adult, straight into cranky old man country. Now I have a comfy chair in the living room, and I yell at the TV. FUCK YOU DICK CHENEY! FUCK RIGHT OFF!
posted by gamera at 2:08 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I found myself comparison shopping for arch supports.
posted by applemeat at 2:30 PM on December 24, 2009


When my parents stopped feeding me consistently...13? 14?
posted by kathrineg at 2:37 PM on December 24, 2009


When I noticed that the Playboy playmate of the month was now younger than me.
posted by zardoz at 2:42 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Standing in a pumping night club, realising the 20-something girls I had gone with had only used me for the cab fare and dumped me as soon as we were inside, looking around thinking "I don't belong here".

Haven't been to a club since, and don't miss it.
posted by Diag at 2:52 PM on December 24, 2009


When there's a big discussion about something on THE INTERNET, and I can easily tell who are the teenagers because they're the ones that annoy me.
posted by qvantamon at 2:54 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


The sports one has been mentioned, but the other big moment for me was when my parents started asking for my advice on "serious" matters from stocks to computer purchases.
posted by drezdn at 2:56 PM on December 24, 2009


Heh.

When I started referring to 25-year-olds as kids.


Heh.

When I started referring to 50-year-olds as kids.

(sorry. couldn't resist)
posted by notreally at 3:09 PM on December 24, 2009


Two for me.

#1 is finding out that I am much, MUCH more capable of handling money than I'd been misled to think. Seriously, my mother and older brother were convinced that I had no sense of financial self-control and that I'd blow my share of my late father's life insurance payout within a month, and generally just being total jerks about it. I wasn't really out to prove them wrong for the sake of throwing their fear-mongering and pooh-poohing back at them (not that either would ever admit to being wrong... well, my brother would, after awhile) but it was one of those "oh... that's not so bad, I can do that" kind of things.

Now if only I could replicate that kind of self-confidence into other areas of my life...

#2 is more in tune with the season. I find that I am much more bored with the whole "loot, OMG" aspect of Christmas in recent years. Maybe others with personalities that emphasize generosity/de-emphasize greed arrive at this conclusion much earlier.

I know there is a #3 in my (hopefully) near future when I get my freaking driver's license (a RL pal who has previously been EXTREMELY timid about driving just got her license earlier this week-- I had been the front-runner but got bogged down by clerical errors and glitches involving the DMV and my insurance, and also test admins who graded to a much different standard than what the freaking DMV manual and EVERY FREAKING DRIVING SCHOOL says). Blah.

Overall, I think what I am trying for is to not perceive the onset of adulthood as a negative. I realize that being an adult is not always fun, but what bothers me more is how my age-superiors keep piling on the fear-mongering, trying to make it look like being an adult is NOTHING BUT MISERY. Some would argue that this approach is meant to keep expectations low and reduce disappointment later, but... I don't know. I just want to think that it's indeed possible to not couple "maturity" with "downer."
posted by Yoshi Ayarane at 3:13 PM on December 24, 2009


I woke up one morning and realised: all those MILFs and Cougars I like to joke about? They're MY age now!

(Thinking back, I'm not sure how the rest of the day went. Probably went back to bed and had an age-appropriate dream about Laura Linney...)
posted by spoobnooble at 3:19 PM on December 24, 2009


It wasn't getting divorced.
It wasn't leaving the wonderful man after that divorce.
It wasn't marrying another wonderful man, the one I'm still with.

It wasn't being pregnant or even labor
It was buckling that very very tiny red faced baby into the car seat the very first time and realizing OMG it's not just that I get to take her home, I HAVE to! I'm the mommy now.

She's 7 so there have been a lot more of those adult moments, but that was really the first.
posted by pywacket at 3:25 PM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've been an adult so long I forget I wasn't always an adult.
posted by trii at 3:48 PM on December 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


OMG wehen I had 2 bye mai own lamp 4 mai dorm room!!!! U guyzz!!!
posted by clockzero at 3:49 PM on December 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


I've never understood the "ma'am" thing. I've been called "ma'am" since I was 15, and I don't think anyone has ever called me "miss". I know the following sounds bitter and self-pitying, but I promise it isn't: I think only pretty girls are called "miss."

So anyone who actually had to age to get the "ma'am" -- consider it a compliment. :)
posted by Toothless Willy at 4:04 PM on December 24, 2009


Oh god, this was really recent for me. We'd just got out of seeing Transformers 2 (yes, I like crap movies, what of it) and some high school-aged guys on line were talking about Megan Fox and her various female attributes in really nasty, graphic terms. When they followed up by making similar comments on all the girls leaving the theatre, I flipped out and told them in equally graphic terms to shut the fuck up, loudly enough to command the attention of the entire line waiting to enter the IMAX. I realized I am apparently old as hell when, instead of getting into an expletive-laden shouting match, the guys looked horribly embarrassed/terrified, apologized shamefacedly, and, horror of horrors, CALLED ME MA'AM.
posted by elizardbits at 4:15 PM on December 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


The first time I lent my parents money.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:28 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


When my best friend and I, instead of heatedly discussing music or culture, had an hour-long argument about the various 401K options available to us.

I'm starting to eye those weird fiber commercials with dread, as that's apparently the next phase.
posted by winna at 4:31 PM on December 24, 2009


Realizing that I can buy as much root beer as I want.
posted by Skorgu at 4:53 PM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


When I noticed that the Playboy playmate of the month was now younger than me.

Another cultural rite of passage tragically terminated by ubiquitous internet porn.

The first time I had a boss that was younger than me was the day I realised it was all gonna be downhill from here on in.
posted by Sparx at 4:55 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


The first time somebody broke Space Kitten's heart, and we both realized there was fuck all I could do about it.

*sniff*
posted by Space Kitty at 5:00 PM on December 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


When my neighbor's kids asked if I could stay with them while their parents went out so that they could keep their campfire going.
posted by IndigoRain at 5:21 PM on December 24, 2009


When I realized I was too old now to pretend to be Superman. Not that, you know, I shouldn't be pretending to be superheroes, but because Superman's only supposed to be 29.

You shut your dirty mouth.
posted by device55 at 5:26 PM on December 24, 2009


I've had the same epiphany as Darkstar. My friends and I go to the beach every summer here, and it's like Dazed and Confused. The beautiful Japanese girls (in a land where girl's swimsuit only means bikini) stay the same age, but we definitely get older. Before I met the woman I've married, I was going through a pretty lonely time, and so, along with everyone else, there I was, at the beach, trying to talk to college aged Japanese girls, when suddenly, I realized I didn't have anything to talk with them about. There wasn't a single facet of my life they'd likely be interested or understand, and for me, I doubt I would enjoy listening to them talk about shopping, brands, part-time jobs, and so on. So I stopped. I still go to the beach, and my friends (who are older than I am, FFS) still go at it. I just sit, drink my beer, swim, and enjoy the scenery.

Possible earlier entry: at 19, just havin been paid from my summer job, walking through K-Mart, and realizing that after cashing my check, I was old enough, and had enough money to buy a shotgun and take it home. That terrified me, making me wonder what society could even imagine allowing someone like me to own a firearm. Maybe that wasn't OMG at myself, maybe at the country instead.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:59 PM on December 24, 2009


When I casually asked my mother if I could pick up anything while I was out and she just handed me the household shopping list. Oh. Right, then.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:03 PM on December 24, 2009


This isn't going to happen to me until I'm in my 40's. The other day a receptionist told me I didn't look old enough to drive. I turned nineteen in '08.
posted by biochemist at 6:36 PM on December 24, 2009


When I was sitting around at a "party" and most of the guest were sitting around talking about septic systems and it was relevant to my interests.
posted by beccaj at 6:42 PM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


#2 is more in tune with the season. I find that I am much more bored with the whole "loot, OMG" aspect of Christmas in recent years. Maybe others with personalities that emphasize generosity/de-emphasize greed arrive at this conclusion much earlier.

This happened to me, last year. I realized I was looking forward to the looks on my family member's faces more than I was looking forward to getting stuff.

Maybe also the year when I asked for a mattress as my only birthday present...

Of course, at 22, I know that the REAL omg moment is still to come.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:44 PM on December 24, 2009


when i caught myself saying "when I was your age..." to a thirty something research manager trying to finish his PhD
posted by infini at 6:45 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the anecdotes in this thread are far more interesting than what was on the actual blog, which was pretty mediocre.

Is there anything Mefites don't do better than the net at large?


As one of the contributors, yeah, thanks a lot.

Yes they are from MeFites, who kindly jumped in and offered a few stories to get this fantastic idea for a blog started off. I'm glad it grew large enough to garner enough content to make it to the FPP. But let's be a little more careful before going off half-snarked. "The general internet" project you're reading was created by a MeFite and posted on MeFi Projects initially. Is MeFi better than the general internet? Or is it the general internet?
posted by Miko at 7:08 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Scene: At my 3rd grade son's basketball game. There are these ginormous dividers made of fabric between the courts. The kids "on the bench" are actually sitting on the floor and on the other side of the divider is another team with kids on the bench. As kids are known to do, they begin to poke each other and push stuff under the divider, making the whole thing begin to wobble. Realizing the coaches are too distracted to notice (or care) I walk over and tell them to stop. I also was on the verge of saying something like "Watch the game and support your team". Caught myself though. I'm not that old yet.
posted by jeremias at 7:23 PM on December 24, 2009


Meant to say I turned 19 in July. I was thinking "last year," but it's still '09.
posted by biochemist at 7:41 PM on December 24, 2009


For the week during which my maternal grandmother died, my aunt and I were in charge of her, because my mom (her usual caregiver) was out of town. I was in grad school, and had just walked in the door from school one Thursday afternoon, and my aunt walked up to me with a face full of terror and tears. I calmly guided her to sit down, talked to her and helped her start to breathe more slowly, got her some water, and went to my grandma's room. Assessed that situation, and started mentally listing the things that I needed to do. Got the phone, called my mom to tell her to come home. Called the hospice care company/nurse. Found all of the info for my grandma's arrangements. Called my uncle to come to sit with us while we waited for my grandma to be picked up by a van. Started to call other family members to notify them. I was there with 2 adults who had changed my diapers, babysat me, fed me, not all that long ago, and neither of them could really even process how to be involved in any of these tasks, and I could feel how much they wanted me to just do it for them. It hit me that I was responsible for being the adult that day, and later on, I realized that it was the first time that my family truly saw me as an adult too.
posted by so_gracefully at 8:09 PM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Going to Las Vegas and being happiest to discover that all of the Casinos have easily accessible free parking.
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:00 PM on December 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


My dad had an unexpected heart attack and died two days before Christmas my junior year in college. I comforted his secretary, I offered to drive home (fortunately his colleagues who were there insisted on driving, because I was clearly in shock) and I told my mother that my father was dead. I had turned nineteen the month before.

I didn't feel it again until I was in my late 20s discussing retirement options with a good friend. (I was divorced by then, so neither the wedding nor the divorce had done it.)
posted by immlass at 9:03 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


1. The day I bought an actual bed, with an actual bed frame, instead of a futon.
2. When I realized that I had: a lawyer, a real estate broker, a plumber, an electrician, and a tax accountant.
3. The unknown point when we went from running out of booze at parties and sending folks on a beer run to having more liquor in the house after the party was over, because everyone brought some and we didn't drink it all.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:04 PM on December 24, 2009


Realizing that as the Tutor, even my educated guess on test material was pure gold to these "kids", and they're at best a year younger, and some of them probably older than me.
posted by rubah at 9:05 PM on December 24, 2009


Sitting here on Christmas Eve reading these and realizing I could have written everyone of them.

I add, taking my child to the emergency room for the first time. Lying on an operating table having to decide whether to put in stents or do a bypass.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:13 PM on December 24, 2009


A couple of things:
Realizing that I have to be financially responsible for grad school, unlike college which my parents helped with.

My first year teaching. That I was actually entrusted to shape young minds. And that I did a good enough job for them to ask me me to come back and then write a letter of recommendation for grad school.

Adopting my cat. That a small furry animal was my responsibility and not my parents was slightly scary, given my track record with plants.

Not looking forward to my birthday for the first time. (I'm turning 28 in a few weeks.)
posted by Hactar at 9:15 PM on December 24, 2009


Every time I log onto the internets!
posted by HTuttle at 9:21 PM on December 24, 2009


am teaching Spanish at a university. we're working on the difference between simple and imperfect past. i use "the first time i went to see STAR WARS at the movies" as jump-off point. i see faces full of shock & horror in the classroom. no, it's not the subject matter. it's the fact that all were too young to have seen SW at a movie theater and nobody could believe i was THAT old :D
posted by liza at 9:45 PM on December 24, 2009


Yoshi Ayarane, there definitely are some pluses to getting older that they don't tell you about. I really enjoyed being 30-35 once I discovered that it meant that people suddenly started listening to what I had to say. I dunno, maybe that's when I stopped being a twit and that's why, but I suspect it had more to do with the way I looked and presented myself. Besides, I'm pretty sure I'm still a twit . . . .
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 9:52 PM on December 24, 2009


When I found myself walking through the department store and being excited about the furniture and appliances sections.
posted by emmling at 10:41 PM on December 24, 2009


When I got genuinely excited about getting socks for Christmas.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:53 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Realizing I was now the person in charge of nagging my husband to go to the doctor.
posted by subbes at 7:01 AM on December 25, 2009


Watching The Big Chill--which I'd seen in the theater when it was released in 1983--and realizing I was older than all the actors were when they made the movie.

When I realized that some of you weren't even born when The Big Chill came out.

Watching Singles and thinking the bands all looked the same (why is their hair so long?) and sounded the same (why is it so loud?).

A young guy in our office just had a baby, and I realized I'm old enough to be the baby's grandfather.

The president of the United States used to be someone my father's or grandfather's age. Now it's a guy who was in high school the same time I was.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:52 AM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Friends and hallmates in college coming to me for first-aid.

Not just being grateful for the annual influx of socks every Christmas, but truly, genuinely looking forward to them. I need new socks so badly.
posted by clockbound at 8:37 AM on December 25, 2009


Today, when my mother broke her wrist slipping on the ice, and despite having three MAs and a PhD between them my father, sister and brother-in-law went into headless-chicken mode and I had to get the snow to pack around her wrist and tie her sling and make her tea and make sure she kept it elevated and reassure her that no, she hadn't ruined Christmas. Honest. No. Don't be silly. Mum. Now, Dad, stop flapping and bring me some more towels...
posted by aihal at 8:39 AM on December 25, 2009


When I saw a shapely young lady at the mall, and instead of thinking "Hubba Hubba," I thought, "Your mother let you wear that?"
posted by jonmc at 9:52 AM on December 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


The president of the United States used to be someone my father's or grandfather's age. Now it's a guy who was in high school the same time I was.

Oh yes. When you realize that you shared popular culture with the people who now make up what we used to call the Establishment. Because back in the day, our music what was made us different from our parents.
posted by jokeefe at 11:30 AM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I was a child, I thought I had hit the big time (Grownupville) when I could eat an entire Big Mac by myself.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 11:51 AM on December 25, 2009


I've avoided all kinds of responsibility for my entire life. I'm still waiting for a moment that makes me feel like an adult.
posted by dogwalker at 2:56 PM on December 25, 2009


Your favorite generational/cultural touchstone sucks.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:41 PM on December 25, 2009


Let's see...it had to be when I was working in Alaska in a fish processing plant. I'd gone hiking with a bunch of newbies, and we got lost somewhere in the hills above town...not badly lost, since the direction back to town was pretty obvious, but well off what trail there was. It was late spring, and there was still a lot of wet snow on the ground. I'd been acting as Trail Mama, making sure no one got left behind. We got to an open space, and I looked the group over, saw there were a couple of people who were definitely blue-lipped, so I said we had to stop and make a fire until they felt better.

There was a bit of argument from some of the more rambunctious kids and from one of the hypothermic guys, but I was adamant, and they gave in. I seriously felt like The Adult (even though the hypothermic guy was about my age), and that they were actually glad to have an Adult there.

We ended up finding our way back to town through the dump, where there was a strong smell of bear. Being the Adult, I didn't say anything about it.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:09 PM on December 25, 2009


"You know you're an adult when [...] you find yourself spending money on dirt."

Aaaeeeiiiii!
posted by Mitheral at 1:57 PM on December 26, 2009


I still haven't really had that experience and I'm in my 30's.* And I'm married, have lots of bills, a post-graduate degree, have called the cops on loud neighbors, eat what I want, etc. I keep waiting for it to happen, but it just hasn't. The closest I've ever come was drinking a Jim Beam and Coke at a bar and remembering how I used to take sips from my dad's Beam and Coke when he would leave the room when I was a kid.


*This is not a complaint
posted by Kimberly at 9:57 AM on December 28, 2009


"Dad, come in or go out, you're letting out my heat!"
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 1:03 PM on December 28, 2009


When we settled in with pizza and beer to watch the Olympics, and I realized that every single competitor was younger than me.

and

When we got to the emergency waiting room at 1am on a frozen Minnesota December night, and I realized that my mom wasn't wearing socks because I had only directed her to put on her shoes, and then her jacket, as we watched the ambulance drivers wheel my dad out the front door.
posted by vytae at 2:09 PM on December 28, 2009


Here's an example of the difference between realizing you're an adult and realizing you're old:

Adulthood: when you find yourself hiring a teenaged babysitter to look after your kids.

Old Fogeyhood: when your said former babysitter calls your house wanting to hire one of your kids to look after hers.
posted by orange swan at 12:54 PM on December 29, 2009


I'd say that adulthood has more to do with maturity than with age. OMG IM THE ADULT is the feeling you get when you realize that you're the one who sees the downside of the upcoming adventure and (this is key) does something about it.

Being old means you see the upcoming adventure as nothing but an irritation to be avoided.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:16 PM on December 29, 2009


The "sir" or "ma'am" happens pretty early from clerks. A shocker is when it's just another customer saying it.

For my generation? Just about any glimpse at what our parents were doing (and how many kids they had) at the same age.

Any (school) teaching will do it -- in an especially dreamlike way if you haven't twigged to adulthood already.

And taking care of your ill parents definitely will, though (I hope for all of you) you've had many signs of adulthood before then.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:35 PM on December 29, 2009


Giving directions to my place. I grew up in a small town, and everyone who might have come to my house already knew where it was. Then lived in the dorm for most of college. So learning to give coherent instructions to the place I went every day - that was it for me.
posted by dorey_oh at 4:52 PM on December 30, 2009


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