I sat down yesterday amid the wedding preparations, the acres of cloth for my fiancé’s dress, and the mess we’d left in the kitchen that was screaming at me to clean (I obstinately parked my ass next to the fabric and ignored the yelling; I hope the dishes realize I’m snubbing them) and it occurred to me that I am an adult.
I know, right? Me. A grown-up. In my thirties. I have green hair, for chrissake. I watch cartoons. Sometimes, in the supermarket, I wave my arms haphazardly over my head while trying to keep my balance on the cart I’ve pushed like a skateboard down aisle 9… crying “WHEEEEEEEEEE!” I think that’s strikes against my adulting license.
It’s not just that I don’t match the traditional description of an adult. I don’t feel like I’m a grown-up. This isn’t some “hey, I’m Peter Pan, la-la-la,” not feeling like a grown-up, either. This is that full on imposter syndrome “oh shit, when they find me out, they’re not going to let me buy alcohol anymore and void all the contracts I’ve entered!” not feeling like an adult.
So in a moment of panic, I called my mother. I don’t normally do this. For one thing, liberal though she is, we have a difference of opinion on issues of gender and religion. Sometimes it’s just plain hard to talk to her, unless I want also to know the mind of god. Most times, it’s fair to say I didn’t sign up for that (…except the times when I’m feeling like a particularly combative asshole). But in this case, she has thirty years experience on me. That’s nothing to scoff at.
After we made our small talk, I nervously ventured, “Mom… when did you first really feel like an adult?”
There was a pause on the other end of the line. My stomach took that time to ooze through my toes. Then she laughed, “Honey, I still don’t feel like an adult.”
“You raised two kids!”
“Watch your mouth.”