What makes someone a grown up? I suppose, on the surface, age has alot to do with it. I turned 40 a couple of weeks back, so I suppose that makes me a grown up. It certainly puts me in a new demographic block when I fill out online surveys. But am I REALLY a grown up?
I haven't done many "grown up" things. I have a job and I've purchased a few cars. (I've only managed to keep one long enough to actually pay it off.) But I haven't bought a house, truly and deeply fallen in love, gotten married or had kids. I came close to buying a house once. My offer was accepted and then I had nightmares every night for two weeks. Vivid awful scenes of exploding water heaters, flooded bathrooms and pea-green carpet. The actual non-nightmare house had brown carpet, so the pea-green part was pretty creepy. Luckily, someone else made an offer and I was off the hook.
And then there's the no marriage and kids part. I'm not shy. In general. My job involves talking to strangers, speaking in front of groups as large as 400 people and giving training classes to people who are way more well-educated and high ranking than I am. Does that scare me? No. In fact, I kinda like the rush. And I truly love the attention, as any only child would. But you get me in front of a man I'm attracted to...or a man who shows even a little interest in me, and I'm useless. Where the hell does that come from? So yeah, I wind up spending alot of time at home by myself because I got no game. And the having kids part? That was something I used to want, but now I am at least mature enough to see babies for what they really are: tiny little bundles of never-ceasing responsibility. Maybe I have grown up just enough to know I'm not grown up enough to be having kids. Does that make sense?
Back to the not feeling like a grown up, and what brought this topic into my head to begin with...the first presidential debate between Romney and Obama is in about an hour. I have no desire to watch. I really have no interest in what they have to say. I'd much rather watch my novela. (Currently addicted to Corazon Valiente) Or a football game (but alas, it's Wednesday). Or read a book. (I'm on my 121st reading of Pride and Prejudice. I wonder if I could muster up some nerve if I were to meet Mr. Darcy?) Or just about anything other than watch the debate. As a "responsible adult" I feel like I should care, but I just don't. I know who I'm going to vote for. I doubt anything they say tonight could possibly change my opinion. And anyway, I'll get all the best quotes of the night on Twitter tomorrow anyway.
So yeah, I still pretty much feel like a kid. Except then I go to work (at a college) where I'm surrounded by actual kids and I feel old. Oddly enough, I have a feeling I'd feel a little more grown up and more like a kid again (all at the same time) if I could quit comparing myself to everyone else. Perhaps a little more responsibility on my part will help me feel a little more grown up (I don't really want to feel older). And maybe taking better care of myself will help me feel younger...but that's a blog for another day.
All you mature types and political junkies, please enjoy tonight's debate. I'm going to go work on my moves with Mr. Darcy.