In less than five minutes of trying, I realize how much harder it is to have a blog like this one than one like mine. At www.yourlibrarycard.blogspot.com
, I pretty much know it will always be a book-related topic. Being able to write on anything you want is almost too much freedom. I had a week to think up something too, and The Sedentary Vagabond and I have been tossing the idea of doing this around a lot longer. In fact, I’ve been sitting at the computer for a half hour, with two stumps of posts deleted, and I’m seriously having flashbacks to my college creative writing classes, when I had a ten-page short story due in 12 hours and had NO IDEAS I MEAN NONE, NOT EVEN ANY THAT SUCK. So, I really give her credit for being able to keep going with NaBloPoMo.
So I did what anyone would do: I looked at Facebook, hoping to find some sort of inspiration. And I found some. One of my friends posted that she knew she was growing up when she was excited to be able to fall asleep. And it made me think of all the different “grown-up” moments I’ve had. They’re never what you think. When I got my first “real job,” I still felt as if I was pretty much approaching it the way a little kid would. I bought a quilted silver lame messenger bag as my “briefcase” to show I hadn’t totally sold out, and wound up using it primarily to carry my wallet and my CD holder back and forth after it became apparent that I wouldn’t be taking tons of work home with me. My first apartment felt like an extension of dorm life, and it pretty much was. My first car was a big deal, but didn’t make me feel all that adult.
No, feeling like an adult is in the little things. When you no longer view macaroni and cheese as a meal unto itself, that’s a real adult moment. When your Christmas list contains things like kitchen appliances, you’re an adult. When you take a vacation day to get things done around the house, that’s an adult moment. Clipping coupons, doing laundry on a weekly schedule, getting an oil change, and taking out the garbage always make me feel extremely mature and responsible.
There is such a thing as going too far in that direction, though, I think. That’s what I’ve always feared. On one of my own favorite British TV shows, Judi Dench is in bed with her husband. The character’s name is Lionel, and their backstory is incredibly romantic: they fell in love during the Korean war, when he was a serviceman and she was a nurse, but their relationship ended when a letter from him got lost in the mail. Forty years later, they met again by chance, started talking again, and fell in love once again. In the scene I’m thinking of, Lionel has decided to read all of the classics that he missed, and his current read is “Winnie the Pooh.”
“Aren’t you a little old for that?” Judi Dench’s character, Jean, asks.
Lionel puts down the book and turns to her. “God, I hope not,” he says.
That’s how I feel. I don’t ever want to be one of those people who walks out of a play ten minutes early “to beat the traffic,” or won’t do something on a weeknight because “it will keep me up too late, and I have to work in the morning,” or otherwise refuses to step outside their comfort zone, try new things, or endure a slight inconvenience. There have been many times, mostly in my twenties, where I felt that the only good thing about adulthood was that you could stop for ice cream whenever you wanted to. I’m starting to see other good things about it, but there will always be a bit of kid in me that enjoys playing practical jokes on my co-workers, goes to see Pixar movies in the theater on opening weekend, and yes, takes full advantage of being the one with the drivers’ license and wallet to stop whenever I want for ice cream.