I am going to be 38 in six months. Inside I feel like I am 15 (minus the kid, husband, mortgage, job, etc.). Sometimes it scares me to think that I could be 95, in a body that doesn’t work, and still feel this way in my head. Besides just “feeling” 15, there are a number of things that other adults my age know about or do on a regular basis that I am clueless about. I thought a fun way to deal with my existential anxieties would be to list some of my perceived inadequacies.
Knowing about flowers/plants
I can probably count on one hand the number of flowers of which I know the names. It’s even worse for plants. Does “mum” count? Is that a flower or a plant? Every spring and fall, when people around me say things like “I need to plant/trim/buy my [insert flower or plant name here]” I just stare blankly and nod my head like I know what they are talking about. The one house plant I had that I managed to keep alive for some time, I want to say a year, died as soon as I had my daughter. Baby care trumps plant care and I couldn’t manage both. Sorry.
Investing money in wise ways
My mother is very money savvy; she has handled my parent’s taxes their nearly 40 years of marriage and is always talking about opening a new CD or cashing one out to use for major purchases. I have no idea what a CD is. I have a checking and savings account, and a retirement account through my work. Are people my age opening CD’s? Is there a You Tube video that will give me the basics on doing so? Does that fact that I don’t really have any money mean I don’t need to worry about it?
Being up to date on current world events
For better or worse, I have a hard time keeping up with world events that aren’t trending on Facebook. I rarely have time to watch local or national news and we don’t get a newspaper. I do try and visit local and national news websites regularly but am often sensory overloaded by the various headlines and images all competing for space on the same page. I recently re-subscribed to The Skimm, which provides a summary email daily of the day’s top news stories. I had been bad about reading it in the past but am resolved to give it another shot. I hate knowing more about the Kardashians latest goings-on than the upcoming Presidential campaign simply because they pop up in every other story on my news feed.
If it requires ironing I don’t want to buy it and I don’t want to wear it. This doesn’t mean I don’t have clothes that could benefit from an iron. When I first met my husband, he was very “bachelor pad” about many things but he did iron consistently. I guess I was a bad influence on him for now he too doesn’t iron. Wash, dry, fold and put away is the extent of our laundry process these days. Some weeks, clothes washed on Saturday don’t get put away until the middle of the following week, just in time to empty those baskets for another load. Ironing has no place in this constant rotation!
Wearing perfume and lipstick
Two more things my mother has done since she was younger than me, that I don’t do, is wear perfume and lipstick. I remember always associating lipstick and perfume with being a “woman” and “adult” growing up. But it comes down to this: perfume is expensive and I am allergic to many scents; lipstick cakes on my lips or teeth, and gets all over if I want to kiss my husband or daughter. When I get a whiff of a nice smelling woman, or see a really put together lady with slickly hued lips, I stare in awe and feel like a little kid. But again, these are things that just aren’t happening in my day-to-day life anytime soon.
Fish is good for you! Eat it at least twice a week. Ugh, I wish I could get on board with this practice. I like shellfish but “regular” fish is a tough sell with me. I will eat white fish like sea bass or halibut but only if doused in a lot of spices and sauce. Fish like salmon, which “adults” seem to love, is just too fishy for me. I have tried it cooked and raw but have yet to smack my lips in delight. And I am not a fan of cooking fish in my house because I can smell it for days afterward.
Decorating for the Holidays
I grew up as an only child with parents who weren’t too into holiday decorating. My mom wasn’t crafty so Halloween costumes consisted of the plastic masks and poncho that came in a box (remember those?!) and Christmas involved a fake tree, stockings and some candles in the windows. This lack of holiday spirit has been passed down to me. I loathe putting up our Christmas tree (also fake, I could never handle pine needles all over the floor) and other decorations. I feel like our small house is cluttered enough by toddler toys and these decorations only add to the chaos. As soon as Christmas Day passes I start itching to put everything back in storage for another year. We have managed to buy a few pumpkins for Halloween the last couple years, although instead of carving them we just let the chipmunks gnaw away at them, and have dipped some eggs for Easter. But that’s about it. My daughter will be turning two this fall so I am sure she will want to do some more holiday things in the coming years. I will try to put on a happy face about it, although inside I will be dreaming of a home free of holiday décor.
I did do one thing last week that made me feel very much an adult. My husband and I got our wills done, our first time doing so. Nothing says responsibility like putting your affairs in order, giving your husband the right to “pull the plug” on you, and seeing the words “Last Will and Testament of…” in that spooky, swirly, death font (I had to laugh that it actually looked like that!). Existential anxieties resuming in 3, 2, 1…