This post is a response to the prompt on Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop: Please list the 7 Worst things about being an adult.
- Maturity. The single worst thing about being an adult is the fact that, after you have waited your whole childhood to get to eat, listen to and wear what you want, it turns out you can't do any of this after all. I had my first son at twenty-two and immediately found myself in the awkward position of being held up as a model for one entire human being to base his notions of normalcy upon. No cold pizza for breakfast. No Megadeth in the nursery. No hooker boots. No, no, no. It was worse than childhood because at least then I could dress up as a fairy princess. Maturity also demands that I refrain from yelling "fuckface" at people driving on the freeway, that I wait to watch Game of Thrones only after my children are in bed, and that I search diligently for the clean version of my favorite Disturbed songs, which means that basically all the lyrics are gone. It's an untenable amount of work and all so that my own children can go off to college and live on mac and cheese while listening to Eminem.
- Pickled eggs, art museums and Bach. There are various things you are supposed to like as an adult which I do not. I suppose this means I am a hick. Any meat which has been "gently simmered" in "a reduction" of anything is actually not good. Eggs should never be pickled. That is quite obviously wrong. Also, I hate art museums. I do like art. I like it one piece at a time, like a proper girl. I do not wish to be forced into an orgy of art, my senses inundated with that which is meant to contemplated piecemeal. In that kind of situation, I become so traumatized, I have to dissociate and wander aimlessly about, shutting out the visual assault and humming pleasant, meaningless remarks about the beauty of the pointillists. Classical music is intended to be played in department stores where you can ignore it. Please do not make me sit and watch the people playing it. This is as useless as watching the sound of rain. Somehow, my lack of appreciation for what people call "the finer things" makes me a sub-standard adult. This was never an issue when I was a teenager. Those were the days.
- One-eyed Alien Duck Kachinas. This is actually a problem of being a parent, which is a frequent hazard of adulthood. Two or three times a day, a child approaches me with great delight and presses into my hands the ghastly visage of a dragon, a superhero cat or a "one-eyed alien duck Kachina." I am naturally expected to treasure each and every one of these pieces and not to secret them into the garbage when no one is looking. Last month, I sent my seven year-old to an art camp and he returned home with twelve three-dimensional robots made of bits of junk connected with hot glue. The next week, he went to Camp Invention and returned home with a patented device–of which he had made three demos–designed to deter our cat from pissing in the house by attracting him to relieve himself on a chunk of Styrofoam and bubble wrap. So far, several robots have succumbed to what appears to be spinal degeneration and the cat has ignored his toilet, but we have kept them all. We have to.
- Plague. Almost every nasty chronic condition that I read about is most commonly discovered in women in their thirties. Nature, I suppose, senses that our eggs are getting moldy and is trying to kill us off. Thyroid disease. Fibromyalgia. Chronic Fatigue. Various cancers. The longer you're alive, the less Nature wants you to feel wonderful. Right at the time most of us need to be most productive, great numbers of us are struck down by a condition that makes us want to languish on the couch, moaning and ordering meals in bed. Who needs to make dinner? Why us, of course.
- Sexual Peak. This period of my life is supposed to be characterized by a wanton lust and ensuing orgasmic Heaven. That may be true biologically speaking, but honestly, it is rather cruel that this is happening when I never have time to enjoy it. I fall asleep at 9. My physical interest in sex peaks during the afternoon when my husband is at work and I have to make dinner. By the time my teenager is in bed, all I care about is my novel and Rozerem. Sexual peak, indeed. Wasted.
- Dandelions. When you are a child, dandelions are lovely. Upon seeing a lawn covered with dandelions, you encounter a world of wishes yet to be granted. You try drinking dandelion milk. You knit dandelions into chains. You give them happily as teacher gifts. Dandelions are one of the things you can love about life. But, in your thirties, dandelions are an ethical quandary. Shall I spray these dandelions with poison, thereby killing songbirds, poisoning the groundwater and joining the forces of Voldemort? Shall I harvest all of them and cook the greens, only to have my children look at me with horror as I explain the health benefits of weeds? Shall I pluck each dandelion carefully and place the seed heads in a plastic bag like Grandma did before Round-Up was invented? Or shall I simply pretend that they don't bother me–try to recapture the joy of dandelion-studded innocence, blowing seed heads with my children while suppressing the thought that I have just spread noxious plague about my whole front lawn? Adulthood ruins dandelions utterly.
- Farts. Everything makes me fart. I cannot eat dairy or gluten or fruit. I have to watch my intake of whole grains. I am a rotting corpse whose intestines cannot absorb the simplest nutrients. My children look at me, pity in their eyes.
"What can you eat, Mom?"
And, so it is, slowly, that we decay–intestines first and then vital organs as we slump toward old age, all of us gathered for coffee together, the counter speckled with soy milk, rice milk , almond milk.
"Please pass the gluten free millet cookies," we say.
I can only hear the sound of dirt being thrown onto my grave.