Open Thread: In What Ways Do You Fail At Adulthood?

This may seem like a weirdly negative open thread topic, but there’s a point to it, trust me.

Something I’ve been struggling with a lot since I was 19 or 20 or so is the idea of Being An Adult and what that means. More specifically, there are a lot of things, small things and big things, that I feel I “ought” to be able to do if I am to Be An Adult, but I can’t do them, or don’t feel like doing them. Do I still get to consider myself an adult? How do I resolve the cognitive dissonance of being unable to do something that’s part of my mental schema of what adulthood means?

In some ways, I fit the “adult” stereotype. I don’t receive financial assistance from my parents. I can throw a legitimate dinner party. I have houseplants and keep them alive for the most part. I pay off my credit card in full every month. I basically take care of myself and my own needs, do the things that need to be done without reminders or cajoling from anyone, and set my own goals without needing anyone else’s approval.

But in other ways, there are still a lot of “adult things” that I can’t seem to get right. For instance:

  • I do not bring my lunch to work. I hate food that’s been sitting in tupperware for hours. I hate cooking in the morning or the night before. I hate soggy sandwiches. I hate salads. I hate cold lunch. I hate carrying around even more stuff. I hate washing tupperware that’s been sitting around all day. I hate forgetting to wash tupperware that’s been sitting around all day. I hate feeling hungry no matter what I brought because I can never bring as much as I can get at a local take-out place. I hate eating 10 granola bars for lunch. I hate that 10 granola bars cost more than lunch from a local take-out place and feel much less satisfying. I hate a lot of things. So I buy my fucking lunch.
  • I cannot arrive anywhere without being sweaty and disheveled. Even if I’m not in a rush! The city means lots of walking and lots of standing wedged in a mass of people on the subway. Unless I give myself an extra half hour so I can wait for the nicest emptiest train and then crawl down the street to my destination at a leisurely pace, I’m going to show up hot and exhausted and with my hair going all over the place.
  • I am bad at alcohol. I hate beer. I hate whiskey and scotch and all that other stuff. I don’t really like wine except the very sweet wine, and I know nothing about picking out nice wine. I don’t know how to mix drinks. When I go out to a bar I order a diet rum & coke, a vodka cranberry, or one of the special cocktails. I absolutely don’t give a fuck which wines go with which foods. The only reason I ever pay a lot of money for alcohol is because otherwise you can’t drink in New York.
  • I do not make my bed. Because IDGAF.
  • I also don’t dust anything. I hate dusting. I have no idea where to put the things that were on the surface while I’m dusting that surface. I can’t notice dust for some reason, so I have no idea what I need to dust. Also, it’s so much more boring than almost any other cleaning task.
  • I have not had a serious romantic relationship with anyone who actually lives in my city for over five years and counting. A psychoanalyst would have a field day with me. Maybe I have a pathological fear of letting anyone get too close to me. Or maybe I just don’t have time to see the same person several times a week. Or maybe it’s just a coincidence.
  • I don’t frame any of the things I put up on my walls. I don’t care if it’s “college-y.” Money’s tight, framing is expensive, and the last thing I want is for that shit to fall on the floor and break.
  • I do not wear pumps, pantsuits, necklaces, bracelets, button-downs, sweater sets (is that even still a thing), or any of that kind of Career Woman stuff. And I thank a nonexistent deity every day that I work in a field where this stuff is unnecessary.
  • I live with roommates. I adore my roommates and it’s not like I have any other option, but it’s hard to feel like a grown-up when I can’t have my own place to live.
  • I only go to the doctor when I’m sick. Time, money.
  • I miss my family to an unreasonable and depressing extent. 
  • I have no idea what I’ll end up doing as a career. I only know what I want to do, but that’s not the same as having a plan that I’m confident I can carry out.

Of course, the more I think about it, the more I realize that this isn’t really about failing at adulthood. It’s about not living up to a societal image of what a mature person ought to look like and be able to do. A lot of this is out of our control, some of it isn’t, but ultimately none of it is a reasonable way to judge someone’s value and capabilities as a human being.

But sometimes it helps to share it with other people and see that you’re not at all alone in feeling inadequate and a little like a child sometimes. Even the people we compare ourselves to when we’re feeling negative probably have these same thoughts.

So: in what ways do you fail at adulthood? What did you expect to be doing, or able to do, by now that you still can’t get right? 

As a friendly reminder, please do not give advice (to me or to any other commenter) unless they’ve specifically asked for it. And if you want advice, feel free to ask for it directly.

Open Thread: In What Ways Do You Fail At Adulthood?

37 thoughts on “Open Thread: In What Ways Do You Fail At Adulthood?

  1. 2

    Yeah… pretty much most of what you list… I am lousy at housekeeping, tend to not care about personal appearance (I’m a computer geek, t-shirts and ripped jeans are all I need), I always buy my lunch, I let my kid buy his lunch at school instead of making him a lunch every day, I don’t coach a soccer team, I don’t watch any kinds of sports, I still get excited when I watch Star Wars movies, I still listen to the same kind of music I listened to when I was a teenager (heavy metal)… the list goes on…

  2. 3

    I can’t use a can opener or corkscrew. For me though it’s the other way around – I tell myself that the mark of adulthood is, say, paying off my student loan until I actually pay off my student loan, when I think of something else.

  3. 4

    My failure at being a grown up feels even worse because I will be 50 next year (although on the positive, people usually just gape at me stupidly when I tell them my age, because I don’t look it and certainly don’t act it)

    1. 4.1

      yep. me too. Turned the corner last Feb. It just feels like something that was supposed to happen didn’t happen…But ultimately I think that’s a good thing. So much of the notions of ‘adulthood’ from the past were tied to hard-core gender normatives…Being and adult was indistinguishable from notions of being a ‘real man’ or a ‘real woman’…So the heat is largely off us progressive types, a freeing thing, but it still feels ‘off’ somehow. The next gen of ‘adults’ won’t have this dissonance as much…

  4. 5

    I don’t really think much about how much of an adult I am/am not, because I’ve become convinced that adulthood is basically a lie. It’s usually a collection of behaviors that people think of as high-status; few of them are really “necessary” and sometimes not even a good idea, and I think the people who do display them are often or even mostly acting out of being sensitive to ambient social pressure (whether or not that’s a good thing within a context). It’s the inside view label for what the outside view might call “conformity” or “conservativeness”.

    For what it’s worth, though, I’m bad at making friends, have basically given up on intimacy, and avoid actual cooking.

  5. 7

    To external appearances, people who don’t know me very well probably think I’m a responsible adult. I’ve been told I’m the most “together” person that some people know. But it’s all a facade.

    I don’t wear skirts to work. This may seem insignificant, especially since my workplace is business casual, but I want to wear skirts to work. I have several in my closet. But I can never bring myself to actually wear them.

    I refuse to clean the toilet until there’s visible mold or stains in the bowl. Yeah, it’s disgusting, but the smell of toilet bowl cleaner makes me want to vomit.

  6. 8

    Laundry. I am perpetually about a month behind on laundry. I leave dirty clothes all over the floor until they drive my partner crazy, and then I put them into piles. When the piles get ridiculous and/or I start getting dangerously low on clean underwear… THEN I finally do laundry, and I lose an entire weekend to it.

    I used to be bad about making the bed, and I always thought it was the most useless chore… until I started cohabitation with Mr. Kitties. Then I realized the whole purpose of making the bed: equitable distribution of the blankets with a bed partner. Still, I don’t make the bed until right before I get into it at night.

    I’m really bad about opening my mail. I have online accounts for all of my regular bills, and I know the due dates & have automatic payments, so I tend to let whatever comes through snail mail pile up all week before I bother going through it.

    I’m bad at dressing like an adult. I wear a t-shirt and jeans every day, and I have two sets of dress clothes reserved for weddings, funerals, and job interviews. Those outfits no longer fit me since I’m about 70lbs lighter than I was when I bought them, but I refuse to go shopping for replacements. I accumulate novelty t-shirts at a ridiculous rate, but the idea of going to a department store to try on dress clothes makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and wait until the scary adult thing goes away.

  7. 9

    Never had a car. Whenever I tell people I don’t drive most people just automatically assume I got too many DUI’s or something like that and I need to explain the practicality behind the decision. With a decent public transportation system and cabs (If I need to get somewhere in a real hurry) having a vehicle is not necessary and not having to worry about expensive things like fuel, car payments and maintenance is definitely a plus.

  8. 11

    I am a first-year doctoral student in something or other at an institution of higher learning. So it’s interesting- I have a stipend (not a bad one either, and housing is cheap), plus full tuition remission, which means I can afford to live without financial assistance from my parents. I don’t have a second source of income, which means that I have to be pretty careful, but I’m doing fine, and in a general sense I’m not a very extravagant person. And yet I don’t feel like I have a real job. At this stage in my training, all I’m doing is taking classes; ie, I’m doing the exact same thing I was in undergrad, except the workload is heavier and I’m being paid.

    As a corollary to being a professional student, I don’t get dressed up for “work” (such as it is). Today I wore a T-shirt with a funny design on it; it’s supposed to be colder tomorrow, so I might wear my hoodie.

    I am also bad with alcohol. I hate beer, I hate liquor, and getting intoxicated is a miserable arduous process, so I don’t do it much. I know nothing about wine or mixed drinks or any of that shit, and I have less than zero desire to. As a happy side effect, I do save quite a bit of money.

    I still do a good bit of my reading and classwork lying on my stomach on the floor or the bed. It feels so college freshman, and not really an appropriate position for a grown ass man to be doing his paid work, yet I do it anyway.

    I can’t cook. This one is a little more socially acceptable, I suppose, because there’s that whole goofy affectionate stereotype of the young bachelor who lives on Spaghetti-O’s and waffles, but in all seriousness, I’m tired of living off Spaghetti-O’s and waffles. This is something I will actually be taking steps to rectify.

    I mentioned I wasn’t getting assistance from my parents; that’s not quite accurate. I’m still on their health insurance plan. The reason is because I am 22, it’s easier and cheaper that way, and so it’s what we’ve decided to do.

    I am not in a romantic relationship, nor have I ever really been in one. I could qualify that statement in a few ways, but it wouldn’t change the basic fact. There are multiple reasons for this, ranging from bad luck to my own shyness to the fact that, bluntly, I don’t really have very many women friends. I am generally more comfortable around other men and the vast majority of my relationships are with men. However, I am heterosexual.

    I do sometimes feel bad about the ways in which I am not the Neoplatonic ideal of an adult, but then, there’s a very nice quote in Neil Gaiman’s new book about how everyone feels that way. I think he’s probably right.

  9. HFM

    I’m pushing 30, and…

    I’ve never learned to drive. I’ve lived in urban areas where this isn’t a big thing, but still.

    I’ve never done my own taxes. My mom’s hyper-efficient with paperwork stuff and just does mine too while she’s at it.

    I don’t make the bed (I’m just going to sleep in it again anyway), and in my opinion, toilets are self-washing devices (they run water over themselves after each use!).

    I check my mail maybe once a month. Used to be about twice a year, just to clean it out, but I missed a jury duty summons that way. (All my bills are auto-paid online, because I’m terrible at mail. And I still once got myself sent to collections because I didn’t notice that the electric bill was auto-paid but the gas bill wasn’t.)

    I own one suit top and one dressy blouse. Both were obtained from “free stuff” piles on move-out day at my college.

    I read the Internet instead of doing work I’m already behind on.

  10. 13

    I feel ridiculous in a suit and tie. I’d feel more comfortable and less self-conscious dressed as a clown.
    I spend every spare minute I have playing video games, and find reading books (even good ones) to be a grueling chore, something I don’t enjoy but force myself to do because I “should”.
    Also, I never EVER want kids because I kind of feel like I still am one (and also because urgh).
    I did plumb in a washing machine on my own once, though. Felt super adulty afterwards.

    1. 13.1

      I feel similar when I dress up. A restaurant I used to work at required male Front of the House staff to wear dress shirts, ties, and slacks. I *hate* ties (still can’t tie a proper double windsor), and I hate wearing a dress shirt buttoned to the top. Wearing a tie is just too tight around the neck. If I could wear a dress shirt with the top 2 or 3 buttons undone and the sleeves rolled up a tad, I’d be fine, but even then, I’d want to choose when and where to wear that.
      I also hate dress shoes. I have wide, flat feet and the few dress shoes I’ve worn were very, very tight and my feet were cramped.

  11. 14

    Can’t endorse the alcohol one; I don’t drink, never have, and I refused to be considered childish because of it.

    Other than that:
    – I wear whatever is comfortable. I’ll dress up if I have to, but T-shirts and trackie dacks are my usual “uniform” (working from home helps of course).
    – I’ll stay up late playing video games on the weekend if I want to. Not unusual for me to send my mates home about midnight on Saturday from our weekly D&D game and then stay up till 3am on the PS4 or PC.
    – I’ve never really graduated from genre fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, etc) to the sort of Wilbur Smith/Clive Cussler “adult” fiction I’m “supposed” to read.
    – I still read comics.

    But all of those I have no shame for. The trait I wish I was more adult about is that it’s still not unknown for me to argue about something completely ridiculous to the point of frayed tempers, often about utter trivia. That, I do feel ashamed about, and am attempting to do change.

    As for the rest? I’m 42. If I was going to grow out of any of that, I would have done so by now.

    1. 14.1

      I don’t think it’s so much about feeling shamed about doing certain things. I think it’s more about looking at your life and seeing the areas where you (general you) break the mold when it comes to the societal expectations of adults.
      I too still read comic books, and have since I was 5. I’m not embarrassed about that, while I do realize that there are many people in society that would judge me as for it. I don’t feel ashamed by it, and ain’t no one going to make me feel bad for having a hobby I enjoy.

  12. 15

    It looks like I’m older than most of the commenters here. Perhaps that’s the reason, I’m not sure. Anyway, the thing is that I never think of the particular issues you discuss in terms of ‘adulthood’. Really, never; so this whole framework it a bit alien to me. Nevertheless, I will try to say a few words.

    As a teenager, I had this idea of an adult as someone free and independent. How independent and free from what, you might ask? I don’t think I had a good answer. As I remember, it was mainly about the inner strength, permitting one to withstand pressures from others. An adult does what he deems fit, that was the core image. If his peers are ridiculing him, taunting or even bullying, the adult just takes it in his stride. Nice, isn’t it?

    There is this old joke about a guy who jumps naked into a cactus; later when people ask him why he did it, he simply answers “I thought it was a good idea”. And you know what? That’s my teenage adult hero. He did it! Fuck the pressure, fuck the laughter, he did it! A real, verified adult, can you imagine!? Passing the line of adulthood, I will surely become like him, right? Right?

    Yeah … right. It’s strange but when writing this, I can’t help thinking of my wonderful wife, whose merest glance of disapproval can still send me running.

  13. 16

    I’m 41 years old. I fail at:

    1. Giving a shit about whether I’m failing at adulthood.
    2. Housekeeping of pretty much all kinds. I’m incredibly bad at housekeeping.
    3. Dating and / or romance.
    4. Going to the dentist.
    5. I still have absolutely no idea what I want to “do with my life”. Whilst I do have a pretty decent, fairly high status job, it’s something I just kind of wandered into, and I feel kind of ambivalent about it. I have a number of hobbies, but none I feel strongly enough about to want to turn into a career, and my interests still keep changing.

    Oh, and I’m waiting on tenterhooks for volume 1 of Buffy season 10 to come out. Bite me.

  14. 17

    I’m not sure if it’s a failure but at 48 years old I don’t resemble anything like what I thought an adult was. I thought I’d be more authoritative, less impulsive, less passionate about issues. I have a 13 year old daughter and she’ll often remark that I’m not a normal mom. Luckily she’s a pretty great kid and my lack of sternness, strict rules and an inability to regard obedience as a great virtue does not appear to have harmed her in any way. Now if I could just get the parking ticket problem under control.

  15. 18

    Here’s a question for college graduates: how did you build up a social network without the Band-Aid that is university? I suppose this is another way I fail at adulthood, because I really haven’t met anyone at all since I moved down here a few months back. I mean, I’m not the most social person in the world, but that doesn’t mean that I’m okay with being a hermit.

    1. 18.1

      Join a group related to a hobby you have (or wouldn’t mind picking up). I moved cross-country from where I went to school, and met my partner and most of my local friends at a weekly MTG play-group.

    2. 18.2

      queequak: cedrus’s idea is a good one, and what a number of my friends have done.

      Additionally, if this isn’t utterly terrifying for you…. dating sites. Specifically, OKcupid. You can set yourself as looking for just friends, and use various filters and hacks to avoid some of the more unpleasant types of attention (the messaging system now lets you screen out everyone below a certain match percentage into a separate inbox that you never have to look at –I set mine crazy high and answer a bunch of questions related to gender issues and consent, marking them “very important”. I still get socially-inept-leaning-towards-creepy or super entitled dudes on occasion, but the active hostility that fucks with my head the most mostly gets screened out. And I don’t do this, but a number of my queer friends simply make it so straight people can’t see their profile). Then message people who are into stuff you’re into, stating explicitly that you are newish to the area and looking to make friends. If you are super enjoying messaging with the person, then make a “friend date” (again, make this super explicit) to do something super low-stakes (coffee/drinks are classics) and get to know each other. If that goes well, then the friend-ing can continue. If you’re really lucky, they may introduce you to their friends.

      That may sound like a weird usage of OkC, but at least where I am (Los Angeles) and in the circles I run in (nerdy weirdos in their mid 20s–mid 30s, with a fair number of queer and poly types), it seems to be a relatively common way to build a social group. I’ve been very lucky in that I have quite a community here (I’ve lived here four years), and I’ve been able to introduce a few awesome people I met on OkC to that amazing community.

      1. Hmm… well I appreciate the advice, but I tried OkCupid a few years ago, and I did not have a very good experience. My conclusion is that, while I think it’s a very nice service for women, it’s horrible for men.

        I suppose I could try it again and specify that I’m just looking for people to hang out with, but honestly, I’m a bit skeptical that very many users are really interested in platonic friendship.

  16. 19

    I frequently have whole boxes of Count Chocula for dinner.

    I cannot get myself to pay bills on time, even if I have the money.

    My favorite television show is still Gargoyles.

    I stumbled into my current decent job, can’t convince myself that I’m half-smart enough to work at something worth being proud of.

    The single funniest thing in the whole world, to me, is farts.

    The single most terrifying thing in the world, to me, is talking to other people in real-time, like in person or on the phone. I cannot make friends or have casual conversation with anyone except my wife and girlfriend and very best friends.

    I’m 32.

  17. 20

    Strange, I thought bringing a lunch was more or less for kids, and that grown ups got to go out and buy a lunch? Amazing the lack of consensus on adulthood. I figured showing up with a bag lunch of a little box would make me look like my Mom made my lunch.

    For me, ways in which I am not an adult:

    1. My entire life, I have been scribbling comics at all times, even when I should be paying attention, though this can be a pretty big faux-pas in many settings. Grown ups don’t half tune-out while the department head is talking at a meeting while scribbling comics about battling war-bunnies. The fact that I have not improved artistically since 10 does it as well.

    2. Drinking. I kind of have the opposite – I feel my level of drinking and my propensity for heading to a pub is a bit excessive for an adult, kind of more in line with a college student.

    3. I buy all my furniture used, so my house has no ‘decor’ scheme. I’ve had to adjust a bit since my partner is more into the idea of having this home that is more adult, but I refuse to take part in any of these decisions, and told her that I honestly never cared about whether I slept on a mattress on the floor or had lawn chairs instead of real chairs.

    4. I like to play games that probably seem a bit childish, in terms of board or card games. Part of this is that I know a few table-top gamers and it’s become a big social thing, and I never had the patience for games like chess.

    5. I have never hosted any kind of dinner or party.

    6. I aspire to ride a unicycle.

    7. I love puppets.

    8. I return books and movies from the library late, and have occasionally broken them by accident, or spilled something on them.

  18. 21

    I’ll be twenty six at the end of the month, and I’ve been freaking out about not feeling adult enough… probably since the day I turned eighteen, but especially in the last year, since I dropped out of a ph.d. program without much of a plan for what would come next.

    I’ve never owned a car, even though I’ve lived in a city where they are commonly considered mandatory (LA) since I graduated college.

    I will not try on clothing at a physical store, even though I should probably shop at second-hand places at least sometimes to save money. Instead I buy my clothes from a handful of places where I roughly know my size, ordering online most of the time and occasionally grabbing tees/socks/leggings from Target. This is to minimize the body-hatred meltdowns that sometimes happen to me in dressing rooms. I still have irrational emotional freakouts when trying on clothes sometimes, but damn it I’m going to have them in my own fucking space where I can do it alone.

    I still don’t know what I want to do for a living, and I’m not even actively trying to plan that anymore right now. I have a full time job that pays okay and isn’t awful, and selling myself to employers makes me feel desperate and worthless.

    It usually takes me at least a week to put laundry away after I do it. Sometimes two.

    The best paying work I can get currently is tutoring math, science, and test prep to high school kids, which is exactly how I made my spending money all through college. I’m currently working a full-time gig that pays less hourly than I make tutoring, because it’s more stable and feels like a “grown up” job, but I have started tutoring again on the side because my grown up job doesn’t give me health insurance, and turning 26 this month = getting kicked off my parent’s plan. I have some health issues and take prescription meds, so I’ll be paying $330/month for premiums.

    I’ve never had any substantial savings. Sometimes I manage to put aside money for a little while for a short-term goal, but every time I start putting away general savings, something happens that wipes it all out in one go (medical bills, etc), and I give up. I know it’s really, really dumb, but I’ve basically resigned myself to credit cards serving as my “emergency fund”.

    I have roughly five grand in credit card debt, and that number hasn’t changed much since I first acquired it (moving cross country for grad school with no savings or financial support from my parents). I’ve paid off $1000-$1500 several times over the years, but as is the case with my savings, that progress has gotten wiped out by unexpected expenses repeatedly.

    I’m currently payed as a contractor, which means taxes aren’t withheld from my paycheck, and I should be saving for my tax bill/making quarterly payments. I’m not doing either. I’m seriously just hoping that my year end bonus will cover most of my taxes.

    I used to tell myself that my financial issues were totally understandable, as I lived on a graduate student stipend in an expensive city. My choices weren’t ideal, but they were the least bad options. But I’ve been in my full time position making ~30% more than I made as a graduate student for nine months, and things haven’t really changed. I paid off a good chunk of debt, then had to move unexpectedly and got it all back. I was back to making progress a few months later, and now I have to move again.

  19. 22

    I often hear from adults that they would be uncomfortable with nothing to do. When I am between jobs, I never get bored. Especially now with the internet.

    Also don’t make the bed. I have heard that dust mites breed better in a made bed, though.

  20. 23

    You know, if it wasn’t for the way my mom talks to me every chance she gets, I’d feel like an adult with some disabilities, some stuff to sort out, and a life situation that’s shitty in some way sand amazingly privileged in others.

    But instead I keep periodically wanting to flip ALL the tables and go curl up in a corner.

    She insists she isn’t doing anything wrong and it’s just my “mental illness” and character flaws that make me react to it.

  21. 24

    I never make my bed either. Or fold my clothes. Or organize them in any way. I have a clean hamper and a dirty hamper.

    Same as you on the alcohol as well. And the not framing things. And not dusting. And the length of time between me and a serious relationship.

    Also I don’t have a “real” job, and all of my current work right comes from family that needs it done. I only speak one language. I can cook…two things, basically. Which is two more than two years ago. The “furniture” I actually own is all made of plastic (courtesy of the Container Store–I like my places for stuff to be modular, which limits my options significantly, along with price also limiting my options significantly). I rent rooms in houses rather than my own apartment or similar. I am generally SUPER insecure about the way I look.

    I have never figured out how to make myself practice something I want to learn regularly. As far as I can tell, I’m incapable of sticking to any sort of practice regimen of any kind for any significant period of time.

    People generally bewilder me. I have no idea how to express anger in a productive way. I can reason and communicate about the problems that cause it well, but just letting myself be angry at someone without constant, overriding metacognition about how it’s not fair to be for XYZ reasons is not a skill I have yet.

    I still get incredibly anxious (like, somewhere in the realm of terrified) most times it takes someone a while to respond to a text that requires a response. WHAT IF I SAID SOMETHING WRONG AND NOW THEY HATE ME?

    I have cuddle buddies. I mean, this is an ostensibly good thing, it just doesn’t jive with my image of a Real Adult person, in the same way that still having sleepover parties (however awesome it might actually be) wouldn’t. I’m glad it’s a thing, it just causes dissonance with whatever sense of Real Adult-ness I might have.

  22. 25

    I don’t think you ever get over that feeling. I am 40, have three kids and lead a small research team, and I still feel like I am still 12 sometimes.

    I think my main pushback against adulthood is not having a driver’s licence. There’s a long story behind why I haven’t managed to get one, but I suspect there’s definitely an element of being able to avoid responsibility in at least this area of my life.

    Also I haven’t been to the dentist for more than 15 years.

  23. 26

    I haven’t gotten married and raised some children in some suburb of somewhere.

    I once tried to learn how to drive, but nobody would let me practice with their cars, and driving lessons were eventually too expensive for me to continue.

    I’m not very good at housekeeping, and I don’t usually bother to make my bed.

    I’m not very good at cooking, though I can cook a few simple things, like rice. I do, however, love my microwave oven.

    I don’t see a doctor or a dentist very much, in good part because I can’t afford very much. 🙁

  24. 27

    I love this thread! Laughed out loud at so many things 🙂

    I’m 41 and I think I have every problem listed here except the one about not drinking. Not boozing like a college kid always seemed like the adult thing to me.

    Nearly all of my sheets are hand-me-downs from my mother and none of them match.

    I don’t make the bed because why? I don’t even sleep on it it. That’s what couches are for ^^

    Couldn’t pay my bills on time if I wanted to.

    Never check my voicemail because I can’t remember my stupid 4 digit pass code and I’m too lazy to reset it every time. Yet I still refuse to select 1-1-1-1 as my code. It’s like I have hope that I might magically become an adult and remember my code like a goddamn normal person.

    Like Christopher Stephens up there, my own farts make me laugh. Other people’s farts? Not so funny.

    I cuss way more than a normal person should.

    I have never had laundry machines in my own home. As a consequence I fucking hate laundromats. I wash my clothes in the goddamn kitchen sink like a frontier washerwoman. Minus the helpful board. And I lie and tell people it’s because my clothes last longer that way lol. I don’t even own a laundry basket. That’s what my mom’s old army bags are for!

    I have never owned a winter coat that someone else didn’t give me. Yes, I live in a place renowned for it’s horrible winters and I still made it 4 freaking decades without doing anything proactive to protect myself against the elements. Technically I think that means I don’t even deserve to be alive.

    I owe my parents thousands of dollars I can’t pay back anytime soon.

    My shoes are horrible and falling apart and I still can’t find 25 stupid dollars in my budget to replace them.

    You know, this list would have been way shorter if it had been ways I succeeded at being an adult.

  25. 28

    •I feel like I’ve failed at adulthood because I’ve been fired three times between 2011 and 2014, which meant I had to ask my parents for financial assistance (yes, they didn’t hesitate to help, and I’m grateful, but they raised me to be independent and feel ashamed at having to ask for help and I’m angry that society has instilled in us the idea that asking for help is somehow bad and that you should be able to provide for yourself even when situations are beyond your control and holy wow run on much?)
    • I have a roommate, rather than having expanded my family (I dislike the phrase ‘create a family’ as it implies one doesn’t already have one). Have had one since I moved out of my parents house at 20. I’m 38 (almost 39) and going by society’s rules, I should be married with kids now. Of course I live in Florida where gay marriage isn’t yet legal (then there’s the little problem of not having anyone with whom marriage is an option)
    • I’ve been single 11 years this month and I feel like I’ve failed at being someone who can maintain a long term relationship as I’ve never been with someone longer than 3 months. On one level I know it’s not completely my fault, but on the other I just feel like a relationship loser sometimes.
    • I don’t know what the heck I want to do with my life. I’ve been bartending for 15 years, and while I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life, I don’t know *what* I want to do. Getting involved in the Atheist community online has awakened in me something that I’m passionate about, but I’ve no idea how to channel that into something I could do for a living
    • I never graduated college, which is what you’re supposed to do if you want to amount to anything or at least that’s the message society pushes. I would like to find an occupation where I have some amount of job security and can’t be fired for having my shoelaces untied (just an example). But I live in Florida, which is a ‘right to work’ state (what a misleading phrase)
    • I hate doing housework. I hate doing dishes with a passion. I hate folding clothes-I’ll clean them, but fold them…ugh (which is why there are 3 clothes baskets of clean clothes in my garage)

    I’m sure there’s more.

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