I’m not what you would call a typical “Adult” person. But then who is, right?
I do adult things like mowing the yard and doing yard work, gardening, and working on my house. I pay bills, I work a day job, and I go grocery shopping with the wife. I have a friggin’ kid, even! So why don’t I feel like an adult; why don’t I consider myself one? I do all these adult things, should I not say, “I’m an adult!”
It might have something to do with all the cartoons I own and watch (and not just anime, mind you, but things like Ducktails, Darkwing Duck, Tiny Toons, The Tick, Rescue Rangers, and on and on). An impulse buy for me is not a tool at the hardware store, or a picture for the bedroom. No, an impulse buy is a Batman action figure with karate chop action, a Jedi Knight figure set, or a video game. When we visit our friends, it’s not to talk, or to visit and catch up, it’s to pull out chracter sheets, start rolling dice, and play a structured version of “Make Beleive”.
Even when we visit my Sister-in-Law we rarely go without bringing our Munchkin deck with the expectation of playing a hand or 3. And when we visit my sister, our expectation is to play a hand or 20.
I don’t look forward to Home and Garden shows, or Boat Expos, or even the Country Fair. I look forward to Gaming Shows and Comicon.
It struck me the other day that when I was young I had expectation to someday be an adult. A real adult, not the kind I actually am. Someday I would stop liking all the things I liked as a kid, I would grow up, and suddenly be that boring adult who likes nothing more on a weekend than to watch the news and tune up his car. So far, to my relief, that hasn’t happened. So, whenever I talk to people about doing “adult” things, I’ve always said that I have to spend some time “pretending to be an adult.” We chuckle at the joke and move on.
But what the heck does that mean? I’m an engineer who works with engineers, and all of us are pretty big dorks. At lunch we talk about old 80’s era cartoons, video games, and other such stuff. We all talk about pretending to be adults, but if we aren’t adults, what the heck are we?
Looking to who/what children actually are, we definately aren’t children anymore. I daresay we have a modicum of wisdom granted as only the experience of life can give. We could give a rats ass about what others think of how cool we are and, more importantly, we now have more freedoms to make our own choices; something a child gets only in extremely limited situations (like what flavor icecream they’re gonna have).
Nor are we of the teenage ilk; which we are all grateful for being excluded there. Again, a 34 year old playing Pokémon during his lunch break obviously couldn’t really give a crap how cool poeple find him. Actually, if he’s got a spare Drowzee, I’ve been having trouble getting my hands on… er… yeah.
- If you’re older than 20 and you miss the pep rallies, I have some bad news for you…
So what is a 29 year-old who finds himself roaring with laughter while watching Tiny Toons to consider himself? Probably just a dork.
In a conversation with my in-laws it came out that apparently one doesn’t start feeling like an “Adult” until you are in your 40s. And my dad claims that not even then do you really feel an adult. My dad, 53 now, still claims he’s waiting for the ‘adult’ feeling.
It’s probably all just one of those culturally enforced expectations that you never get to capitalize on. Like everyone wanting to be a super model, or expecting to win the lottery at some point, or having a flying car by the time you turn 25. We don’t actually get these things, but we’ve been taught to expect them. Such is the “adult” feeling.
Our growth is constant. Beyond that of physical maturity, there is a continuum of mental growth. But, as each moment of our growth is based on the moments before, there is a natural inclination to carry certain things with us as we evolve. I may never be what I imagined an adult to be when I was young, but then again, when I was young I was also pretty stupid (weren’t we all), so I guess that image of adulthood might have missed the mark a bit.
I may never be an Adult™, but I’m kind of fine with that. So I’ll keep watching my cartoons, playing make believe with my friends, and all the while waving my Geek Flag high!
-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?