The Unofficial Moment We Become An Adult

26 02 2008

Being self-aware is an odd, disconcerting thing.

I know more folks who AREN’T self-aware than I know of those who are. The way we view ourselves and how others view us are usually two different things. Then again, we go through processes of when we see things clearly and it hits us like a sack of quarters upside the head.

When these moments happen, there isn’t usually a refund.

Kevin at Pointless Banter had one of those moments over the weekend at Best Buy with a cheerful salesperson while buying a washer and dryer. Perky sales girl brought up about the long-term ramifications of buying appliances, which for right now are just for him. She asked him about the “what ifs” of his purchase:

Holy sh*t! She is totally right, but what about everything else? Is my car a good family car? I don’t think my drawers and cabinets are child proof, not to mention my electrical outlets! Do I have enough room? Plus I am on the second floor, I am going to need a baby gate.

I was just here to buy a washer and dryer and now I am totally evaluating my life.

He then asks a good question.

“What do you think was the unofficial moment you became an adult?”

I can’t, honestly, off the top of my head come up with an answer on this one. Could be I’m an old broad, sicker than crap right now and the brain may not be getting oxygen. But it’s true. There are those official moments when you know you’ve been tossed into adultdom and you know it. Illness of a parent or making long-term lifetime commitments are the obvious choices of when we do “Crap, I’m a damned adult. Get me out of here.”

But there are those small moments that open up the muddy waters and we see the the path of our own development and mortality.

And if we are honest, it’s almost a moment of temporarily drowning in our own souls.

Don’t mind me being all philosophical this morning.

I have grown fangs during my restless sleep due to the steroids last night. This might even be my last day of living in the sun forging into a life in the darkness like an emphysemic vampire.

I probably need to avoid the debates tonight due to this pesky bronchitis. I might toss the recliner at the television.





14 responses

26 02 2008

Thanks for the mention, I am so going to do return them and go back to throwing my clothes on the floor. My youth can’t be constrained.

26 02 2008
Samantha Y.

Apparently this is THE question to ponder on teh internets this week. I still hold that it has something to do with realizing that the things you do today impact your life and others’ lives in the future, and trying to accommodate that knowledge when you choose to do things. That can range from the extreme (taking into consideration whether or not a car seat would fit into a car while you’re childless, for example) to the common sense (realizing that you can’t say whatever you want without consequences).

26 02 2008
Nashville is Talking » Adulthood

[…] if we are honest, it’s almost a moment of temporarily drowning in our own souls. [The Unofficial Moment We Become An Adult – Newscoma – 02-26-08] Spread It Around: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and […]

26 02 2008

the moment i became an adult was when my mom passed away. i remember standing in my kitchen thinking how much it sucked being a grownup.

26 02 2008

I got halfway to being an adult when I bought property, but I didn’t really become fully an adult until the day my wife told me she was pregnant. And I became an old man the day the ultrasound tech told us it was twins.

Interestingly enough, all of these things happened within the last three years.

26 02 2008

You mean we’re actually suppose to BE adults? sigh…. I’m lost!


26 02 2008
Joe P.

is it a moment when you realize you may be held responsible for everything which came long before you and all that will eventually will be simply because your are, at the moment, among the human living?

is it a moment you see the vast difference between having ideals and values and actually putting them into practice, sort of like knowing the bully will beat the crud out of you and never face a moment of accountability it?

i do have recollections of a time when i realized “i’m an adult” but the transitional moment actually happened sometime far previous to me realizing it had happened.

Lost, indeed.

26 02 2008

I think it was one of those surreal moments when someone who I had depended on for much of my young life, depended on me to make a decision that would affect the rest of their life.

26 02 2008
The Unofficial Moment We Become An Adult

[…] friend, Newscoma reflects on becoming an adult: There are those official moments when you know you’ve been tossed […]

26 02 2008
Jeffraham Prestonian

I don’t wanna grow up
I’m a Toys-R-Us™ kid!

26 02 2008
lovable liberal

In Union City after we buried my grandmother, a teenage cousin wanted to escape the family dinner to be with a boy, and her parents wouldn’t let her. I thought I was still young, but I had a 3-month-old daughter at the time, so I explained that someday my young cousin would understand her parents’ protectiveness. The words were still coming out of my mouth when I realized that I had changed sides.

26 02 2008

Over the past few years, there have been quite a few moments that make me stop and think “oh crap. I’m totally an adult now.” Some of them insignificant, like the day I was walking around my yard, explaining to my lawn guy what I wanted done when it struck me that I _paid_ people to do things for me. That seemed very grown up.

But some of the moments were truly significant, like when my neice was scared of something and of all the people she could run to for cover, she picked me. It occured to me that this tiny person, at a time when she was truly terrified, saw me as the best protector and guardian. That hit me hard.

But then there are days like when I open a five hundred dollar gas bill and I just wish I could not be an adult… 🙂

27 02 2008

I’m glad to see that this resonates with other people as much as it did with me.

27 02 2008

February 19, 1992….the day my father died. I think the precise time I became an adult was 3:17 pm when I got the news.

Another time was a couple years later in about February of 1994. I had just turned 25…I had a 2 year old and a 5 month old. I realized one night in the wee small hours of the morning, sitting in my kitchen in the dark, smoking a cigarette, that I was not getting younger and I would never be young and carefree again. That I never was carefree. It was kinda sad. Sorta.

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