What is it like to be an adult? I am genuinely curious about this process, the process of growing up and entering full fledged adulthood, because I am a 29.6666-year-old manchild that has no idea how it all works. One day you are an immature youth that is telling your parents that “alcohol is the only thing you care about in your life,” and yet are not sent to AA because they are currently spending $40k/year for you to go to college where this is considered a semi-normal attitude. The next you are wondering if sucking down a third beer on a particular Saturday night is going to cause you to look like a deathly ill former professional wrestler who has “really gotten into bath salts lately” in your engagement photos the next day. What happens in-between? What allows someone to be able to take this step?
A grown-up. An adult. A fully developed man. I am none of these things yet, but, deep down in my soul, they all represent who and what I want to become. Long story short, I have a plan on how to do it. This is it...
Changes That Can Help Me Become A Semi-Functional Adult
1) Dress Better-I used to be a giant fan of striped polo shirts. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because Andre Agassi occasionally wore one. And everything Andre Agassi does is cool, including crystal meth. Then I watched one, or hundreds, of episodes of Two and a Half Men, because I (like everyone alive in the 1960’s) am too poor to afford cable, and discovered that Jon Cryer’s character is a fan of the striped polo look as well. Then, during one particular viewing, my feyonce pointed out that seeing Jon Cryer in a striped polo reminded her of seeing me in a striped polo. Then I contemplated murdering myself. Then I gave my striped polos to a homeless guy who called me a nerd, and asked me if there was any crystal meth in chest pocket. See. Everything always comes full circle...
2) Be Less Basic-My feyonce--yes this is how the word for "the person you are engaged to be married to" is and should be spelled in America--recently showed me this video, and asked me if it reminded me of anyone. And yes, I must admit, it did. Because I like to wear backwards hats. And talk about being honorable mention all conf as an OT in high school f-ball. And have a cartoon as my Facebook picture. And, while I prefer sausage patties to bacon, breakfast meat does play an oversized role in my life. And I am pissed at Zayn for leaving the rest of the boys, even if I love his collabo w/ T-Swift. And...I could go on forever. Yeah. I am kinda basic. So I am going to put on my Warby Parkers, read a Zadie Smith novel, and discover how to be learned and cool and stuff. Yeah. I fit no stereotypes now. F you Trumpy (the president, not the former Cincinnati Bengals tight end).
3) Notice More Stuff-Allow me to illustrate this point through a hilarious and illuminating story: My parents still live in the house I grew up in, a house that I have personally resided in for more than 2 decades during the course of my life. Across the street from their house there is a tree, but not just any tree. This is a tree with several toy horses, presumably plucked from some sort of carousel or merry-go-round, tied to its trunk, running 20 or 30 feet up towards its lower branches. Now as you can imagine, this tree is pretty spooky. In fact I’d be shocked if there hadn’t been several unreported ritual murders and weird supernatural sex parties directly underneath it in the years since my parent’s neighbor fashioned the aforementioned horses to the tree trunk as an “art project.”
Here’s where I come in. One evening, several months ago, my feyonce (™, my bad for not saying that already...) and I were having dinner with another young couple who had just moved into my parent’s neighborhood, when the subject of the horse tree came up and I was asked, point blank, how long it had been there. A correct response would have been: “Uh, at least a few years now. Super creepy right?” What I said, on the other hand, was this: “What horse tree?” I legitimately had no idea what they were talking about. After my response the other young couple stared at me in disbelief and, in the mind and not at all out loud, accused of lying about where I grew up because I was ashamed to be from Glendale like all the other white people on the planet. My feyonce drove me by the tree the next day and forced me to get out of the car in order to look at it and imbedded its existence into my memory. Turns out, I had driven by this monstrosity no less than 758,000 times in the past 5 years. This is why those ritual murders and supernatural sex parties went unreported by the way. Cause I never have any idea what’s going on.
4) Chase My Dreams-I recently had a dream that I was lying with DJ Khaled on the white sand beaches outside a Caribbean mansion, using the TurboTax app on our smartphones to do our taxes (and yes, the mogul takes way more deductions than me if you were wondering) and drinking regular cow milk because I have finally convinced Khaled that milk from a nut tastes, as they say down South of somewhere, shittier than poop on a daggum hog. What have I done to make this dream a reality? Nothing. Because I am currently a child. But soon, when I become a man, I will send DJ Khaled a handwritten letter asking if he would like to make my dream a reality. And he will say yes. Nobody can turn down a handwritten letter. Wait, are stamps still a thing?
5) Eat A Salad Every Now And Then-I actually just did this. That’s right, I just had a chicken caesar salad. Well, to be fair, it was a chicken caesar salad wrap. And yes, that tortilla made it infinitely better. But the point remains the same. It appears as if I am betraying everything I have ever stood for by eating the occasional salad in my attempt to be a grown-up who lives longer than Jesus did (3.3333 years left baby!). But is this really a betrayal? Let’s think about it in a different way. What’s my goal in life? To eat as many dead animals as possible. How can I accomplish this? Well, to paraphrase Nick Offerman, aka real-life Ron Swanson, the more spinach I eat, the longer I will live, and therefore the more dead animal carcasses I will consume throughout the totality of my life. So eating a salad here and there is actually helping me to consume more meat in the long run. That is a level of thinking I was inherently incapable of as a man-child, but now totally grasp as I enter emotional adolescence.
6) Listen To Other People-Listening is not my strong suit. Let’s not get side tracked here, because discussing what is, actually, my strong suit can take some time (right now it’s between awkward conversations with authority figures and not owning sports jackets), and focus on the main point, i.e. my inability to acknowledge or tune into other people’s input. I have lived on this earth for a long time. And I have spent the vast majority of that time doing whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it, guidance and consultation from the men and women around me be damned.
What it comes down to, what this entire post comes down in the end, is my need to be less selfish. Selfish people, obviously, live their life for one person: themselves. Selfish people get caught up in their own world, get trapped by their own opinion, only think what they want to think. Selfish people don’t listen. Selfish people don’t change. I want to change, for the better. I want to hear what society is telling me about my its level of comfort with my stained basketball shorts with boat shoes style. I want to go through the world secure and set in my knowledge that I am not alone. I am a man. A man who cares about other people. And a man that other people care about too. Well, at least the drive through lady at Taco Bell seems to be invested. Or she would be, if she got commission on the 13 Triple Double crunchwraps I just bought from her. At that point I can only image how much she'd actually care.