There are a lot of things that get better as you become an adult. Independence is a beautiful thing. And I’ve already said there’s no way I would go back, though there are a few moments I’d like to do over. But there are 5 things that adulthood has completely ruined.
Cars. Do you remember your first car? Mine was an ’89 Honda Accord with 120,000 miles on it. It was a stick shift and the radio didn’t work at all until my sister jimmied it, then it only played AM radio. We used to rock out to “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady! When I was rear-ended my dad fixed the bumper with a coat rack, and when my sister was in an accident the front bumper took on the look of a crinkle cut fry. It was beautiful. It was freedom.
Now? Well, I still love my car. But let’s face it. It’s not the same. Now my car is what gets me to and from work and the grocery store. It’s got an indent where the car seat has been for the last several years, and a party mix of cheerios, goldfish, and chex on the floor. The radio works and the CD player contains Billy Joel, Sara Bareillis, Guster, Disney princess songs, and Laurie Berkner. And the feather in my cap? A little pink potty in the trunk, just in case Miss O needs to go while we’re out and about.
Parties. I loved parties as a kid. I showed up at someone’s house, they fed me junk food, often served cake, and gave me a bag of goodies when I left. What could be better than that?! Sometimes they were even at cool locations or had surprise guests, like musicians or ponies. Seriously. And when I got older, there were boy-girl parties to look forward to, and special parties like the prom.
These days throwing a party is a giant pain in the butt. Planning, making food (including cake), inviting people and the ensuing anxiety over whether or not anyone will show up. And let’s not forget the cleaning. Oy. Cleaning before so that your friends don’t see how you really live, then cleaning again after so you don’t have to live in complete squalor.
Classic TV. When we were kids we would watch anything and everything and it was awesome. My personal favorite was Growing Pains – I totally had a thing for Kirk Cameron. The story lines were relatable, the jokes were hilarious, and the fashion was adorable. I used to dream of having hair like Kelly Kapowski.
Have you ever rewatched some of those old shows? Ugh. It’s painful. Truly painful. The writing is awful, the acting is worse, and when I see the petty crap they’re getting all worked up over I just want to scream at the tv.
Food. When I was a kid, food just magically arrived at our house. Sometimes I went to shop for it, others I just carried it in from the car. On special occasions we’d go out to eat and other people would bring us food. When I got a little older I would use some of my own money to go out for dinner or ice cream, but there was still a pantry full of food when I got home. I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and it was all free!
Now? If I want food I have to pay for it! I have to shop, carry, put away, cook, and store the leftovers – not to mention convincing my increasingly picky 4-year-old to eat. It turns out, there’s no magic grocery fairy. Those people who brought us food had to get paid for it. And since eating is something we have to do, there’s no getting around it. Plus, as I’ve gotten older my stomach has started to rebel against some of my favorite foods. I’m suddenly lactose intolerant, and spicy foods give me heartburn.
Swearing. I used to love to swear. It was my only real form of rebellion, truth be told. I could swear like a sailor when my parents weren’t around. I knew curse words in several languages and used them regularly. It made me feel naughty and grown up, and like no one could tell me what to do. For us (generally) good girls, swearing was a way to be a little bad.
As a teacher, and now a mom, my cursing is more restricted now than when I was a kid, but it doesn’t feel good to let loose anymore. I look over my shoulder to see if a child of mine, or someone else’s, is listening. If a prepubescent teen overheard. If my boss overheard. If a parent overheard… it’s just no bloody fun. And truth be told, it feels a little childish. When I do let fly, it doesn’t sound like me. Where’s the fun in that?
I could add lots of other things, too. Amusement park rides I used to love, now I just see rusted hunks of metal assembled by carnies. I used to love a good horror flick, now I just root for the killer to knock off the idiot kids who always do the stupidest thing possible.
What would you add? Share in the comments.