Monday, September 5, 2011

How to be a Grownup

I was reading blogs at three in the morning, as I often do, when I found one that struck me as strange. It took a while for me to figure out why I was having trouble with it. I was, literally, reading the blog... of a grownup. I know. It was quite a shock for me as well.

Alongside other members of the Breakfast Club generation, I watched Ally Sheedy tearfully tell Judd Nelson, “When you grow up, your heart dies.” Based on this, I always had the expectation that something would suddenly snap to make me start drinking decaf and wearing shoe supports. This hasn’t happened to me yet. It is hard to convince myself that this whole thing about going to work and dropping my kid at school isn’t some long extended game developed for my amusement. Apparently, not everyone thinks that way.

Allow me to use the blog The JackB to demonstrate the inner workings of the grownup mind.

Grownups have Moral Fiber

In Jack’s well written post, “Bald is Beautiful and Other Things You Need to Know," Jack’s son is having second thoughts about playing soccer. 

Here is what a grownup tells their son who wants to quit soccer:
“My job as his father is to help him reach his potential and that I see things in him that he might not see. I said that he is much tougher, stronger and smarter than he realizes and that soccer would help him see that.”

In contrast, here is what I told my son when he wanted to quit soccer:
"Chasing a ball around on the field is stupid and these people yelling at their kids are insane. Let’s get out of here."

Also, here is what I told my son when he wanted to quit baseball:
"Waiting in the outfield for a ball to come to you is stupid, and these parents are even crazier than the soccer ones. Plus, it’s hot out here."

We finished out the season though. Not because we were seeking some sort of moral high ground, but because that’s what you do when you’ve already paid for something.

Grownups have Political Viewpoints

Here is Jack on politics:
“I am not a fan of President Obama but I wouldn’t say that I am a detractor. Part of the problem is that our government doesn’t feel the pain of the average person. My second largest monthly expense is healthcare. Thankfully we are healthy, but it wouldn’t take much to make life exceptionally difficult. One serious injury/illness/accident and the whole house of cards could tumble.”

Don’t get me wrong, I know what is going on in the world. I watch the Daily Show. I just never bring up politics around any one because it quickly results in people becoming opinionated and boring. For example, you should see the posts at the end of this guy’s blog.

This was going to say, “…I find your political agenda annoying” but why impose unnecessary limitations?

Sure, it is ridiculous that if you live in the United State you have to work for forty hours for someone else in order to have access to affordable healthcare. Lots of things about games are ridiculous. For example, the terrier on the Monopoly game board is the same size as the horse. Can you imagine the size of that terrier? But if you don’t like the illogical size of the terrier, you can choose the racecar, or maybe the top hat. On the other hand, I find it creepy to have a top hat bouncing around the board on its own, so don’t pick that either.

Jack is right, of course. The house of cards is tilting slightly. Eventually, despite all preparation and moral fortitude, life will spin slightly, if not entirely, out of control. I think I just saw a damn card flying by just now, so I had better hurry and make my point.

I thought I would become someone else when I grew up, and I never did. Apparently, some of you have grown up. Kudos to you, and I don’t even mean that sarcastically. I am glad you have your shit under control.

My appreciation goes out to all of you who didn't grow up. Everything spins around us, but we handle it with the irreverence and sarcasm that these situations require. Sure, we act like grownups. We politely share public transportation with crazy people. We care for aging parents and placate annoying neighbors. We clumsily blend career, family, and last minute trips to the grocery store. But, we deal with the daily crap life hands out with the joyful abandon of children in a complex game.

In closing, please do not harass the grownups with their grownup blogs. They are very serious and may get pissed at you.  Also, please do not post your political viewpoints. I find them boring and inane. Unless, of course, your political viewpoint is that political viewpoints are boring and inane. In that case, knock yourself out.

My next blog entry will be some timely advice on how to avoid orange ass explosions. It could happen to anyone. In fact, you should probably go ahead and read @so_wakeup's critical warning to us all: “Alli-oop! And Then My Ass Exploded.” It never hurts to be safe.


  1. I told my kids when they were younger that they could play soccer if they wanted, but I would never go to a game or a practice because I thought soccer was a stupid sport.
    And, just what can a parent yell during a soccer game. "Run" "Kick it" "Run faster"
    My kids played basketball. Had a lot of fun. I went to everything and even coached for a few years.

    I think there is a point in a person's life where they consciously have to make the switch to being a grownup . I was probably watching the Marx Bros. with my kids that day.

    Here is a formula I remember from studying logic:

    A: Soccer is stupid.
    B: Grownups send their kids to soccer.
    C: I refuse to be a grownup.
    D: <-is the grade I got in logic.
    E: I am going to go watch Duck Soup.

  2. Hey now, I am 240 pounds of child. Don't go calling me a grownup or I'll pull your hair. ;)

  3. Surely you aren't talking about me?!

    I may PRETEND to be a grownup but the reality is I have no freaking idea what I am doing over here!

  4. Enjoyed how you moved from Breakfast Club to *orange* ass explosions. Couldn't pay to close attention to the other stuff. Is that the ass of an orange? Or an ass explosion that's very orange? I guess I need to wait and read the next post.

    The only lesson/moral I learned from The Breakfast Club is that if you have lice, you can use it to your advantage if you need snow for a winter scene. That was like the whole point of that movie, right?

    The only thing that regularly irritates me about this blog is that these t-shirts are virtual. More often than I care to admit, I stumble over here only to find yet another *message* on a shirt that would be absolutely perfect for me.

    What? You're saying I could go to a custom t-shirt maker and get each one made? By the time I got to the shop, I'd have forgotten what it was I wanted printed.

    Blasted virtual message t-shirts.

  5. I've always thought it was dandruff, not lice. Lice is just, umm, ok not even thinking about that anymore.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that my husband is a grownup because he never watched Breakfast Club. That's what you were saying, right? OK, back to sneaking potato chips for breakfast while my kid eats his oatmeal.

  6. I'm with you. I keep wondering when that grown up switch will flip, and I'll suddenly be serious and responsible and not lazy at all. Also- one of the reasons on my "why I shouldn't have kids" list (I actually have a list, so see- the whole grown up thing?) is that I find sports boring as hell, and I would refuse to sit and watch them play stupid sports games.

  7. Yeah, I think the last generation of grownups were in 1954. The rest of us are all still kids.

  8. i'm pretty sure that i'm never gonna be a grown-up. i mean, my dad still isn't a grown-up, and he's 60. so i'm not too concerned.
    and if i grow up, could someone kindly slip some LSD into my coffee, to remind me that being an adult is boring?
    thanks in advance!

  9. I find myself more focused on making sure my daughter grow up to become a proper geek, than any of that boring suburban grown-up stuff.

    So if humming the Darth Vader theme seems to be the best way to get her go to sleep, who am I to fight that?