In my younger years, I frequently looked forward to what I would be able to do in adulthood. Some of these things, like buying things with my own money, hooking up with high school teachers and going to bed whenever the hell I want have been pretty great.
Still, I miss my younger days. There is so much from my past that I can no longer do, because society deems them inappropriate and unnecessary, or I am physically unable. For instance:
I can no longer…
…Say “I’m too young for this.”
I am not too young to do anything now except collect social security (which won’t be around when I hit 65 anyway). People my age are married with multiple children. They have taken bullets and bombs in foreign places. They have gone bald and gray. I recently realized that if my dad had felt at my age he was too young to settle down, I would not exist.
…Indulge in fake sadness.
Growing up, I would take things unreasonably hard and stare forlornly out of windows while listening to emotionally evocative music. You reach a point where you realize how absurd it is to glorify being sad or emo. You experience some true sadness, and you realize it’s not something people should lionize.
…Sneak out of the house.
I come and go as I please, even when I’m at home visiting my parents. The other night, my friend picked me up to go to a party after my mom and dad had gone to bed. I walked right out the garage door. When mom called at 5 a.m. and asked where I was, I said I was with a girl and I’d be home soon. All she said was, “Well, next time turn off the lights before you leave.” If I had pulled that shit in high school, I would’ve probably gotten my nuts cut off (or worse, told by my parents that they were not angry, just disappointed).
…Get as excited about drinking and partying.
I have actual responsibility now, and need to use the weekends to run errands and do chores. During the week, I’m too busy getting my soul sucked out of me and weeping in my bed to get stuff done.
Furthermore, the ability to drink massive amounts of alcohol on consecutive days with little or no sleep was something you were occasionally lauded for in college. Now people just regard it as sad and problematic. (I don’t get it.)
…Resist from feeling my crown for where the hairline begins every time I get a haircut.
My hat collection is growing. My hair isn’t.
…Impress women by showing off.
In grade school, I would simply hit the playground and wow the ladies with my jungle gym prowess. These days we have to engage in conversation, usually about jobs, and other grown-up things. If I were to go to a playground now and start swinging on the monkey bars, I would probably get arrested. (The good news: at least being mean to women still seems to work.)
…Sleep with stuffed animals without being chastised.
This one is self-explanatory, I hope.
…Snap my towel at some dude’s ass and bellow, “Smells like teen spirit!!!!” when I walk into a locker room.
Dudes would beat my ass if I tried this. There’s some sort of unwritten rule that after age 17 you can’t have fun in locker rooms. Those places become defined by the fact any man over 50 will walk around with his junk unnecessarily hanging out. (Your face is not the only part of your body that gains wrinkles through the years.)
…Believe that health care is some sort of birthright.
I never questioned how much medical stuff cost when I was little, because my parents would always foot the bill. I didn’t understand the concept of insurance until my late teens (I’m not very worldly). I was just about out of college when I realized that health insurance becomes a high priority in your decision making process.
…Not vomit when I think about what I knew at age 12 and realize my cousin is now 12.
I just yakked everywhere.
…Pull my phone out of my shorts and yell “Who wants to sext Mutumbo?!?!” after I dunk a basketball during a pickup game.
This is mostly because I can no longer dunk due to physical ineptness, and that display after a slapped-glass lay-up just doesn’t have the same effect.
…Base my ability to lead a great social life on my performance in a quiz about 19th Century European history.
Because school’s out. Forever. And my parents can no longer ground me. If I’m at home on a Saturday night, it’s purely voluntary.
For more from Scott…
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