How To Be Adultier


That is actually a question. How? Because I suck at being a grown up. I’d be totally cool with not being great at being an adult, but sucking at it? Well, it pretty much just sucks.

It’s not that I haven’t acquired any adulting skills. I have. My progress is plodding, but moving in the right direction.

For instance, something that adults do, is they purchase items to enhance their basic comfort levels.

When the weather turns cold, a functioning adult will say: “I feel uncomfortably cold. I think I will put a hat on my head to minimize my discomfort as much as possible.” They don’t spend nearly every winter with a cold, damp head because they haven’t gotten around to buying a hat. Not that I’ve spend every winter hatless. I used to have a really cute black felt hat, but a few years ago, it opted to go live with all my missing socks.

Anyway, this winter, I bought myself a hat. It’s adorable. It’s a black and gray knitted bucket hat with a bow on the side. I would take a picture and show it to you, but I lost it.

I’m not even kidding. I literally got the hat from Amazon in the mail, today. I opened the package, tried on the hat and I love it. I thought to myself Self, don’t lose this hat. You can do it. You haven’t lost that one pair of sunglasses for two years now so I know you have it in you. You can hang on to this hat. I know you can. Go you!

Then, I put the hat somewhere and I think it might be gone forever. I looked for ten minutes for that stupid hat.

Losing things is a central theme in my lacking adult skills.

Like my bifocals. I really need my bifocals. I don’t need them to watch TV or to drive, my vision in those areas are fine. Mostly. But I do need them for computer work and for reading.

I lost my bifocals three years ago. I’ve been relying on drugstore readers since. I finally decided to do the grownup thing and get an eye exam. It’s been so long that they didn’t have my records. My prescription changed a bit. Anyway, Randy and I both got new glasses. We sent our prescriptions in to one of those online eyeglass places that are super cheap and it mostly worked out. Well, it worked out for Randy. He can see. It did not work out so well for me. My glasses distorted everything. I can see with them, but the world looks like one big fun house mirror.

Did I return them in time? Nope. Did I order new ones? I did not. Am I still using drugstore readers at work that have two broken places in the frame and sit whopperjawed on my face? Yes. Yes, that is what I am doing. Those broke ass readers are the only thing between me and unemployment. I can’t see my computer screen at work without them. Which means they stay on my desk at work. So I don’t have any here. I can’t see shit on this laptop. I think I’m writing about losing shit, but I don’t fucking know for sure. I might be writing about Peter Dinklage and beer that tastes like grandma’s sugar cookies.

I want to do a little better next year. I want to improve my adulting skills more in 2017.

I will be honest here, 2016 wasn’t my best year at learning lessons and making improvements.

2016 was a dick. I know I’m not alone in feeling this. I mean, it appears our president elect is stocking his cabinet with batman villains. We started out the year with Randy in the hospital for nearly half the month of January. Anxiety has been kicking my ass for a while now, but I know I am not alone. I don’t know anyone who isn’t going through some sort of shit.

Just because I didn’t learn a lot in 2016 doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything about being adultier.

I learned while Randy was in the hospital that I can still go to work and mostly function while being terrified. I made my peace with the fact that one day, either Randy or I will have to finish up our time on earth without the other. By “made my peace with it” I mean “I hate it and it can suck my dick”. 

I learned that no matter how bleak life gets, Randy and I can always find something to laugh at. I am pretty sure that skill is going to come in handy for the next 4 years.

I also know that no matter how difficult the year was or how difficult next year will be, I am still thrilled and grateful to be walking this earth. What a kick it is to be alive.

Even if I suck at being an adult.

Note: The use of the word “whopperjawed” is a tiny tribute to my sorely missed and much loved mother in law, Bonnie. 

So, good news. I found the hat. Maybe, I’m going to be successful at adulting after all. 

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  • First of all, if you figure out how to adult you have to share the secret with me. Because I don’t think I’m really doing it. I mean, I own hats and all… I’m even technically in possession of a hat that doesn’t belong to me (long story) but I’m afraid of my mail – no joke, I have mailbox anxiety – and I have this great big yard full of weeds that I’m apparently nurturing and lovely plants and flowers that were here when we bought the place are slowly disappearing because I have no clue how to stop that from happening and I know for a fact that the neighbors are judging me for this. Probably my mailman, too.

    Secondly, the Internet has assured me, many times, that this is perfectly normal and that we’re all just faking it. Now, that might just be a bunch of fake adults posting on the internet to reassure each other, but the mere fact that there are so many of us is comforting, right?

  • The biggest problem with being an adult is admitting that I am one. Grandchildren prove that I’ve been around a long time– but my behavior with them just proves I’m more their age than mine. I got my first hat too and warm everyday coat that isn’t trendy its just warm. I’m growing up very slowly.

  • I relate with this.

    There are people where I work who do stupid things – they fall down, they forget where they’re going, they leave important parts of presentations at home, whatever.

    In every case, here appears to be an excuse. “He is an alcoholic.” “His father just died.” “He has Alzheimer’s.”

    I have no such excuse, and it sucks.

  • Baby Steps are big successes. Go to the dollar store and buy 9 pairs of readers and place them in every room in your home and in a coat jacket pocket, your car and your purse. Pick up an extra hat there to, what the heck, that is will spent $10.00.

  • I am so happy when you post! it feels a little like hearing from a funny, kind, friend, but without that part where you feel guilty because you didn’t contact them first…
    Your hat is sweet. You should wear it, even around the house or around the office. You could get a way with it, because it is cute.
    My favorite readers were really expensive, about $25, and they have huge lenses and big chunky frames. My eye doctor said the lenses were better made than the cheaper ones. I wear them for the computer, so I can see the whole screen. I’m supposed to go buy a couple pairs of stronger ones for reading books, because I read books closer to my face than the computer is.
    Hubby has been quoting SwearTrek twitter lately… “I don’t have a singly fuck to give. It’s like some kind of a fuck deficit. You actually owe me fucks.”

    • Hahahah..thank you so much! I agree about that kind of friendship. Total low maintenance. I am all for low maintenance.

      I’m going to have to deal with the eyeglass situation at some point. And I didn’t wear my hat today because it’s like 41 degrees head would get sweaty.

  • My sister was talking on the phone with my granddaughter and had to tell her, “Give the phone back to Gramma.”
    BLEW her mind 😀
    Ummm…. adultier? I dunno. I’m already pretty obsessive/compulsive over chaos and disorder and timeliness.

    AND I WISH I WAS DRUNK (more often than not not, these days, but… )…

    But, other than that, you’ve pretty much captured a segment of each of our lives… OK, FINE!! Just mine, that I know I could improve on…

    ‘Eh. Fuck it. I’d hate to have something tangible to worry over. I’ll keep my ‘need to make that eye appointment’ undercurrent of irresponsibility going… and I need to get the horses hooves trimmed, too, but that is much better than, ‘Haven’t changed the sheets for a month.’


  • I am so happy that 2016 is almost over although, but I’m terrified to find out what 2017 will look like. I suck at being an adult. I forget when the bills are due, I forget to check the bank account before buying that $5 book on Amazon that ends up costing me $40 because I only had a $1 in my account at the time. My memory is shot and the only reason I don’t lose everything I own is because my husband is so OCD anal that he not only keeps up with this own stuff he keeps up with mine too. Being an adult is overrated.

  • Thanks for the Monday laughs, now following Swear Trek too. I keep my very expensive eye-doc-reading-glasses right under my big monitor so they don’t leave my home office. I just wish they lived up to their high price but drug store readers are my go-tos also. Have a great week and yes, 2016 was/is a rough one and still more to go…

  • What a relief. With my middle-aged eyes, I thought the title of your post was “How to Be an Aldulterer.” I wondered what Randy had done!

    I have OCD (for reals) and one of the byproducts is that I compusively manage clutter. This is handy as my husband is ADD and leaves things everywhere. What I’ve found that kinda works is making a “place” for things. There is a frizbee in the kitchen into which my husband’s wallet, keys, sunglasses and anything else he carries in his pocket is supposed to go. Sometimes he even puts things there (usually it’s me). I also made a “home base” for glasses. Everybody in the house has at least one pair – all prescription. So there’s this little chest of drawers in the dining room with a big plate on it. I stick the glasses I find around the house on the plate. So far, we’ve kept them all. BTW, Costco has the best prices on frames and exams I found. Hubby and I are both in bifocals and both use readers for computer work and we got everything replaced for about half of what we’d pay anywhere else.

    Hats go right next to the door, as soon as we get home, since that’s where I’m going to need to grab one, quickly, if I need one going out. The only drawback is that sometimes the hats tuck into each other and it looks like you’ve lost one, when it was just hiding out.

    Anyway, I’ve noticed that all of my favorite people are funny, smart, messy people. They help my tweaky brain relax and realize that the world will not end if the bed isn’t made or I leave the paperwork on the table. All of our brains are wired the way they’re wired and we’d best just get used to ourselves. Besides, I’ve heard being disorganized is a sign of genius. By the looks of your writing, I’d say that pans out ; – )

  • Check out Kohls online, they have the best shirts. One I have says I can not Adult today. Another is Snoopy on his dog house and just says NOPE!!!! I am 53. Yep I can’t adult, but at least I warn people LOL

  • I have decided to bypass adultiness because I am no good at it. The occasional old battiness-that’s where it gets fun. And fun we need-this year has been a bad one.The only joy I get out of the Trump affair is imagining the mental gymnastics the republican politicians must be going through.

    I’d rather have ice cream, though.

  • I can relate…once I had 3 pairs of readers on my head & never felt them so kept searching. I can’t seem to toss out the ones with missing lenses and cracked frames. I pulled out a lens from the bottom of my purse 2 days ago and just dropped it back. Haven’t owned a hat since childhood. I rely on parkas cuz hoods are attached. On Black Friday I purchased winter boots. Haven’t had any in, umm… over ten years. Just wore Fall ankle booties. (Appreciated that purchase this morning as I cleaned off over 5″ of snow from my car.) What is wrong with me? Same thing that’s wrong with you. Here’s to becoming more adultier in 2017! It’s never too late! (or is it…?)

    • Damn..I don’t know. I don’t THINK it’s too late. I don’t have winter boots. I haven’t even thought that far ahead. Maybe I should get some. I have boots..but they’re just boots. Not weather boots.

  • You amaze me in your ability to be funny and profound at the same time.

    I lose my glasses All. The. Time, My boyfriend suggested I buy one of those chains so I can just wear them around my neck and I looked at him like he had lost his damn mind. Which he obviously had. I still can’t even comprehend the fact I am supposed to wearing glasses–I refuse to make glasses part of my wardrobe. As much as I hate it I realized I’m my mother in the fact that aging…yeah, it’s not going to be my friend–I hot mid thirties going “Yay!” on my birthday then after that it was like “Give me presents and cake but I refuse to be older. Just refuse”

    Anyway-everything I learned in 2016 I want to forget actually.

  • OK, first that picture is adorable. Second, glasses are a pain in the ass. I wore prescription glasses (or briefly, contact lenses) since seventh grade. My vision was 20/52. During years when I wasn’t making much money, my $350 glasses would undergo this metamorphosis where the frames would slowly turn into home-modifications. I swear that the last plastic frames I wore (’90s, early ’00s) were more super glue than original plastic by the time I replaced them. Then, the pair I replaced them with in 2002 were spare parts, heat shrink and super glue in most major areas (both arms and one nose-piece) by the time I had my surgeries last year and threw them in the trash.
    Since then it’s been cheap readers for books and the computer, and no damn glasses at all otherwise. (I love you Dr. Huang!) I went with dollar-store readers for about six months, until three pair of them had fallen apart, then my friend Sara dragged me into a Wal Mart on the way home from Truckee one time, and I bought a pair with spring temples which I am wearing right now, for $7.
    Adulting might seem like an annoyance until you have to hang out with a 22 year old for a while, and end up feeling like “Nope, I was never that young.”
    That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
    I think Molly Ivins called it “whomperjawed”…

  • No good at getting adultier? Join the club. Or maybe can I join yours? I’m way too disorganised to run a club.
    Anyway, I have a theory and guess what? It all comes back to being a child of a narc.
    There was a thing on the radio the other day about people who are shit at directions or finding their way anywhere. And the reason they concluded? Stress!!!
    Stay with me here!!!
    Yes, stress makes you panic and therefore not be able to think straight. No shit, I thought.
    So stress and confusion from living with narcopaths makes us dysfunctional in all kinds of ways, including organising anything, paperwork, our lives, a piss-up in a brewery, whatever.
    Anyway, that’s why I can’t think to find my way anywhere, or remember to pay a bill.
    I know. We can’t blame our fucked up childhoods forever.
    But I’m using that excuse at least until 2017.
    So don’t be hard on yourself.
    If you could see my clutter and crap and lists of still to do stuff, you honestly would feel so much better!!!!!

  • As someone who has had crisps, chocolate and JD for dinner twice this week, as I was too tired to cook and have also forgotten to actually buy some actual food for a while, I can say I’m not really doing well on the ‘being an adult’ front. I also really do need to clean this place, I’ve forgotten when I last vacuumed and there is a mountain of plated to be washed in my sink. This has not been my proudest month on that score but being a student is my excuse, even if I’m old enough to know better!
    I might try to be a grown up for a couple of weeks till I go back to college.

  • I have given up feeling guilty about my yard. Now, I am embarrassed by the state of my checkbook. Oh, and the loose shingles hanging off the roof. I don’t lose my glasses very often, because I am supposed to wear them 100% of the time. Yes, even while sleeping…How do you feel about loving family members and their helpful helping? I managed not to say something rude to my sister, when she suggested that it was time for new towels. But, just barely.

  • Consider this: you’ve raised great kids. You have a husband you laugh with. You’re holding down a job.
    That’s pretty fucking awesome for anyone. You’ve succeeded at the three major challenges of being an adult. The rest is gravy.
    And hats. Seriously, the hat is fantastic. Strive for self-improvement but now that you’ve found, lost, and found the hat again take a few minutes to enjoy the hat.
    Adulthood moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a look around you might miss something.

  • Of course the 5 year old that lives inside of me is so jealous of the hat. Would you mind emailing or posting the link to it? I have never found a hat that suited me as well as that hat suits you. If I was an adult I would be satisfied with the hats I have!

  • Okay, I read this through twice and I still don’t know how to be an adulterer. Except that it has something to do with losing hats? Is there a metaphor in there?

    Oh, wait… not adulterer, adultier!

    Been there… done that. For about five minutes. Then I woke up from the dream, or nightmare, more like it! *shudders*

    I need a shirt that reads “Adulting…. know the dangers before you begin.”

By Michelle


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