At a wedding I attended a few years ago, a female friend of my parents turned to me as soon as the ceremony ended and asked, "So, when are you going to get married?"
The kid in me wanted to say, "I don't know. When are you going to get your mustache waxed?"
But as an adult, I said something vague, like, "I just haven't met the right guy yet."
Even though I'm thirty-two, I don't always feel like an adult. Maybe it's because I still carry a bookbag instead of a briefcase. Actually, when I first started teaching, I bought a briefcase, but it was hard to carry it because of all the heavy textbooks I used in my classes.
Maybe it's because I'm still buying school supplies, like notebooks, pens, and candy to throw at the loud students in the library.
I have long hair, and it grows pretty fast. So I have to get it cut every six weeks. But I haven't gotten a haircut in three months because I spent the money at Starbucks.
My iPod playlist also resembles that of a teenage girl, because it includes songs by Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, and One Direction. What? Their songs are catchy and fun to work out to! Have you ever tried to work out to classical music? I'd probably fall asleep on the treadmill!
Side note: Please don't stop following my blog because of my taste in music. I'd promise to never post a video by one of my favorite musicians, but then I'd just be lying.
Even though I'm thirty-two, I still don't know how to put on makeup. Every time I go to Macy's, I try to get up the courage to approach one of those cosmetics salespeople and ask them for tips. But they all look so polished and fashionable that I end up walking right past them every time. I tried watching a few of those Youtube videos on how to apply makeup, but I got depressed because the girls in those videos all had better hair than mine.
Every time I go to a cafe, there are always at least two or three people who think that their laptop bags need their own separate table. As an adult, I either ask them politely to move their bags so that I can sit down, or I find another table. But the kid in me wants to fling their bags across the cafe and yell, "How do you like me NOW?"
When I walk around outside, I can't help admiring the pretty dresses and high heels that women my age wear. I keep thinking that I should stop wearing jeans, T-shirts, and sneakers all the time and dress like a woman in her thirties. Maybe then when I go to the nail salon and ask for a pedicure, the ladies won't stop and ask, "Wait, are you over eighteen?" I do dress up when I teach, but that still doesn't stop some of the students from saying on the first day of class, "Wait, are you the teacher? We thought you were one of us." (On the other hand, I think that once I get older, I'll want people to think I'm younger.)
I've been watching a lot of Youtube videos where people show off the ways that they decorated their homes; my favorites are the ones posted by House and Home and Spaces. Even though I've lived in my own apartment for more than ten years, I still have pictures up on the wall that I decorated my high school locker with. (But at least I finally threw away those Backstreet Boys posters.)
Being an adult is sometimes more difficult than I thought it would be when I was younger. It means that if I mess up, I have to take responsibility for it. It means that if someone hurts my feelings (like when my dissertation committee tears apart my drafts, which is what I'm afraid is going to happen when they read my latest draft), I can't hide in bed and cry; I have to let it go and move on. It means that I can't always do whatever I want, because I'll have to deal with the consequences.
On the other hand, I do like some of the perks of adulthood. I like that I don't have to eat my vegetables unless I want to. I like that I can stay out as late as I want (even though I usually fall asleep before midnight). I like that I don't have to hide my copies of Cosmopolitan anymore (my father still tries to make me cover my eyes every time there's a kissing scene on TV). I like that I can live on my own, pay my own bills, and make my own decisions.
Also, even though some of my students initially think that I'm younger, once they start missing class regularly, sleeping or texting during lectures, or making up excuses for why their work was turned in late (or not at all), I definitely feel old.
What about you? What do you like/dislike about adulthood? What makes you feel like you're still a kid? What makes you wish that you were still a kid?
Interview with… Adam Byatt - Today it’s the turn of Adam Byatt to sit down and share his writing with us. This is my 13th interview, and there are still some wonderful authors to come!...
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