36-Have It Your Way

For almost all of us, there are markers we remember in our life, when we take particular notice of our own lives and think, “I have arrived.” For many, it is their first sexual encounter. For others, it’s their first car. For me, it was making a C in college algebra and realizing, triumphantly, that I’d never again need to take another math class in my lifetime. I had one friend that told me the mark of her adulthood was buying the skinless AND boneless chicken breasts at the grocery store.

As a kid I looked at adults in an entirely different light than I do now. They knew everything they needed to, never had doubts, and always had enough money. Wouldn’t THAT be a world you’d like to live in! Instead I found out that the biggest difference between adults and kids is size. Except for a brief period as a teen when I actually DID know everything, being a “grownup” has been a remarkably similar experience to being a child. I still enjoy the world just as much, I’m still occasionally scared of unseen things in the dark, and I can still sit and amuse myself for hours at a time with a pencil and a piece of paper.

Sex rocks, but really, I think most folks would agree that it takes a pretty minimal amount of growing up to realize that. I’m afraid that my own experiences in this regard bear that out. Driving is cool, but again that’s just a number, an age, and has almost nothing to do with growing up.

Probably the single biggest grower-upper in a person’s life is having kids of their own. (Though I may only feel this way because I’ve never done it.) Lena and I opted for dogs instead of kids, because we wanted children we could leave in the back yard when we went to Disneyworld. ?Oh yeah, married and no kids, Disneyworld is WAY more fun than just going as a child. Hm?possibly a heretofore unnoticed Mark of Adulthood? Enhanced enjoyment of theme parks? No, that’s not it. Enhanced enjoyment of resort hotels! That’s it!

Like I said earlier, the experience of adulthood means something different for all of us. As we were exiting Carrabba’s the other day Lena looked across the parking lot and said to me that she finally felt like an adult. When I asked what she meant she pointed to the other side of the strip mall at a Chuck E. Cheese and said, “I never have to go in there ever again.”

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