I think I’m becoming part of the club no one wants to believe in. I don’t want to be in it, and I certainly grew up affirming to myself that I’d never be a member. But, therein lies the problem: I grew up.
I was once five years old, playing house with my Cabbage Patch baby, feeding her invisible food from a plastic pink spoon and cradling her on walks with my own mum to the mailbox.
“I can’t wait to grow up, then you can do whatever you want!” I looked up past her shoulders to her curly blond hair.
“Oh no,” explained my mum. “In fact, there are many things you can’t do. And many more grown up things you don’t want to do, like pay bills, go to boring dinners, and read books with no pictures.” That certainly did not appeal to me. Nonetheless, I was driven, perhaps by an instinctive independence, perhaps by virtue of being an oldest child with big aspirations, and I grew up.
I pay bills by budgeting my meager pay cheques, I sign contracts that bind me and become the perimeters of my actions a year or two, or seemingly forever. I buy clothes that will be grown up appropriate, as opposed to what will make for comfy couch surfing attire or fun hanging out with friends apparel.
I can go to Sugar Mountain and spend all my allowance on Lemon Heads if I want to, but a voice inside my head has become my grown up reasoning, reminding me that I have other obligations. I can fake sick, stay home and watch Price is Right if I want to, but I have to sacrifice a day’s pay or go in and make it up.
I can cry on the phone to my Daddy and tell him to make all the bad stuff go away, but now he tells me that I’m a member of the grownup club, and part of that means making the decisions that are not fun. He says it means having to do the tough stuff. I know it means that I can’t work my way out of situations by saying I’m sorry and giving someone a hug.
There are definitely perks they advertise about being a grownup, and for the most part they’re true. But, as with any membership, there are unwritten codes and slowly revealed small print terms, and they wait until you’re in to show you. Like a cult, I guess, there’s no backing out, the only way out is, well, the Kool Aid cocktail. (In one final act attempting to return to childhood, I guess).
Now is one of those times where I think it sucks to be an adult, and so I defiantly use my 10-year-old lexicon to describe it so.