Adulting is not what I thought it would be. I’ve been mis-sold.
Remember when you were a kid, and you couldn’t wait be a grown up? When it seemed like grown-ups got to make all the rules, eat whatever they wanted, do all the cool stuff, and stay up late reading any time they felt like it? I mean, being a kid sucked. All “turn out your light!” and “eat your sweet potato!” (I still refuse to eat sweet potato. It’s just wrong.) Once I was a grown-up, I was sure, I would read all the books, all the time, go swimming at midnight whenever I wanted, and never eat a sweet potato again.
I guess I got one thing right.
Being a grown-up is really, seriously overrated. It’s full of far too many things I don’t want to do. I mean, okay. I can not eat sweet potato, which is good, and while I may not eat all the cake, I eat a substantial quantity of it. But rather than going swimming at midnight, I’m grumbling if I’m not in bed by ten, and anyway it might be cold, and I’ll have to go to bed with wet hair, which means the pillow’ll be soaked, and…
And as for reading all the books, all the time – well, I would, if I didn’t have horrible grown-up things to do. Obviously I’d rather be reading (or writing) than doing pretty much anything else, but as an exhaustive list is beyond the scope of this blog, here are the ones that really annoy me.
It’s 2018. Why do we not have self-cleaning houses? I mean, there are self-cleaning loos, and self-driving cars, and smart fridges that make shopping lists for you – why am I still dusting the house every week? I wouldn’t mind it so much if I could do it, say, twice a year. But I like stuff being clean, and while the SO and I are both generally tidy people, a soft covering of dust descends over everything at a startling pace. I half expect to get up in the morning and have to dust my eyebrows. Plus there’s the Little Furry Muse. How she’s not entirely bald (rather than just having a bald tummy), I don’t know. Within a day of cleaning, there are drifts of cat hair collecting in the corners of the hall. I try to ignore them, but by the middle of the week they’ve been joined by copious strands of my hair (I should really be bald, too, the amount that I seem to lose), and formed alarmingly large tumbleweeds that start patrolling the house and give you a fright if you come across one in the middle of the night. I think there’s a good chance they’d take over if I left it longer than a week between vacuums.
If I was a slightly different person, I’d really be tempted by the whole naturist thing just because it seems it must really cut down on laundry. But, as I’m not, all I can do is be happy that the SO does his chef’s whites at work, so I only have to wash clothes once a week. Sheets and towels are okay (although changing the bed always involves an immense amount of procrastination when it comes to actually putting the new duvet cover on), but socks and underwear are ridiculous. There’s always so many of them! And unless Layla’s taken to covering her naked tummy with sports socks, there’s only the two of us. How do people with families cope? All that hanging out socks and taking in socks. This is why wearing shoes is overrated. Being barefoot takes an immense amount of hassle out of doing laundry.
I love food. Food is a wonderful, wonderful thing, and for this reason I will always cook. I prefer baking, to be honest, because not only do you get a certain satisfaction in watching a cake rise or seeing the cookies come out of the oven all domed and brown and beautiful, you also get to lick the bowl or (and) eat a couple of cookies worth of dough while you’re at it. You know, if that’s your thing (and if it’s not, I don’t think we can be friends). But actually cooking – well, in one of my previous lives I cooked full time on a sailing catamaran. I may not have been entirely honest about my cooking skills when I got the job, and to start with I taught myself how to make seven days worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, and stuck to them. I did eventually get better at it, and always took pleasure from the fact that the guests enjoyed the food, but since then I’ve not cooked much. These days I mostly make salads when the SO’s away, and occasionally throw a bunch of things in the slow cooker and cross my fingers. Most other dishes seem an awful hassle when a fresh baguette, some cheese and a bit of fruit pretty much tick all the food boxes I need.
I am not a shopper. A few times a year I’ll mission around some shops and get some new clothes, but I don’t really shop for pleasure. And food shopping – food shopping is the worst. I have to choose a day and build up to it, especially in summer. All these people, charging around and flinging food in their trolleys, fighting over the cheese like they expect the cows to be on strike for the next six months. Old ladies squeezing all the tomatoes. All of them. Small children screaming in the cake aisle. Impatient men digging through the spinach looking for some mythical perfect packet. And let’s not even talk about how it’s a law of the universe that whichever checkout I choose will have the chattiest cashier, plus the person who’s forgotten half a dozen things and keeps leaving and coming back.
One day I will have home delivery, and never go to a supermarket again.
And we honestly thought being a grown-up meant doing whatever we wanted…
What about you, lovely people? Do you have any adult responsibilities you particularly object to? What’s been the worst let-down about becoming a grown-up? Let me know below!