Tonight, my husband and I are getting ready to go to our 10-year high school reunion. At 28, we are members of the grownup world.
However, it’s a membership I’m not sure we’ve exactly earned.
Growing up, we both had sets of parents who made being adults look easy. They were responsible, mature, and seemed to know all the answers to navigating the waters of the adult life.
Ten years after high school, we’re doing okay for ourselves by social standards. We are homeowners, have secured our dream jobs, and are generally responsible when it comes to the major things.
Still, we haven’t quite mastered this whole thing called adulthood, and we definitely don’t find it as easy as our parents made it seem.
On the other side of the spectrum, the media emphasizes that being a 20something is filled with wild, crazy, social times and non-stop fun. Twentysomethings in movies always seem to be having the time of their lives, especially if they’re childless like us.
Yet here my husband and I sit, somewhere in the murky middle. We are, by many standards, terrible at being in our 20s. Here are 20 reasons why we’re terrible 20somethings.
1. We don’t plan the grocery store, relying only on impulse buys.
We both remember our moms playing cart guards at the grocery store as children; we were allowed to pick one or two impulsive buys. Now that the reins of our parents have been cut, it’s a free-for-all at the store. Most weeks, we’re embarrassed to put our items on the conveyor belt at the checkout because of the volume of candy, sugary drinks, and childish buys.
2. We don’t put clothes away; we wear them out of our laundry basket.
Who needs an organized closet? Half the time, we’re lucky if we even fold them. My husband has been trying to sport the “wrinkled” look, hoping it will eventually take hold.
3. Our bin that says “needs to be filed” is bigger than the actual filing cabinet.
While our parents could probably easily procure a receipt for a household purchase from 10 years ago within a few minutes, we would have to wade through an “organizational” bin of things to be filed.
4. We play Jenga with our sink.
My husband’s mom does dishes as soon as dinner is over. Our dish policy runs along the lines of: When we can no longer run water in the sink without a splashing hazard, we’ll get them caught up.
5. Our house is only majorly cleaned when we expect company.
Just never, ever open any of the closets.
6. The grass gets mowed when there’s danger of wild animals.
Landscaping is a very loosely used term in our house. As for the weeds in the flower bed? We like to pretend they’re flowers the previous owners planted.
7. We spend more days eating dinner on the couch than at the table.
Properly set tables? Dinner like civilized people? No thanks. We’d rather bat away the cat as we plant ourselves on the couch.
8. We’d rather binge watch Netflix than go to a party.
The media makes it seem like your 20s are an epic, decade-long party. Our partying consists of snuggling with our cats in sweatpants and browsing documentaries until we decide on one hours later. In fact, our last Valentine’s Day was spent watching Netflix and eating pizza.
9. My dad still has to tell me when I should change the oil in my car or get it inspected.
Those stickers really should be flashing, light-up signs.
10. It took us three months to remember to buy a light bulb for our lamp.
11. There are more game consoles in our house than a 16-year-old has.
12. We have literally never made our bed.
I remember having to make my bed every morning as a child. Now? I cannot remember ever making our bed a single time.
13. We fall for the As Seen on TV products.
Fushigi? Of course my husband bought one. The Pocket Hose? We bought two.
14. Our deck renovation consisted of buying a grill and a new grill mat.
What was supposed to be a deck re-do this summer began with us doing the “fun” part of renovation...buying new deck furniture, a grill, and a grill mat. We just never got around to the actual deck repair. Next year?
15. Our dog has a better social life than we do.
Our mastiff Henry is better known in town than we are and has a better social schedule than we do.
16. We have 5 cats.
I used to say I was an aspiring crazy cat lady, but at 28, I think I’m already there. As children, our parents were the voice of reason, telling us we didn’t need any more pets. As two animal lovers, we now have a really hard time finding that voice of reason when it comes to a sad pet in need of a home.
17. We have to call our parents about paperwork we get in the mail.
Papers about taxes? Insurance? What are these hieroglyphics? Good thing our parents are just a phone call away.
18. We’ve been known to eat ice cream for dinner. And Lunchables.
19. We take more naps than toddlers.
At one point, our Sunday routine was to get up, go grocery shopping, put groceries away...and then take a nap.
20. Our remote broke six months ago. Instead of buying a new one, we get up to change the channel...and complain about having to get up to change the channel.
So yes, in many ways, we are terrible at being 20somethings. We haven’t mastered this whole being a grownup thing.
But we’re okay with it.
We might be 28-year-olds who eat Lunchables, have very lax cleaning rules, and spend a lot of time on the sofa in sweatpants, but we’re happy.
All in all, I think that’s the most important thing we could be, terrible adults or not.
Lindsay is a contemporary romance author with four novels published. To learn more about her books, visit www.lindsaydetwiler.com.