Entry 627: All Growed Up(ish)

“Have you heard about adulting?” my wife Barbara asked me recently.

I cringed, as I do the first time I hear any noun turned into a verb by adding “ing.” (I still 635804464155681575499091444-mtmwndaxmjaxmdaxota4mjm0-imgopt1000x701remember how I winced in a “nails on chalkboard” manner the first time I heard the word “texting.”)

“No,” I replied. “I have not. Is there a way that I can unhear about it now?”

Evidently, Barbara had heard something on the radio about “adulting,” a word millennials have invented to sarcastically describe their own, often reluctant transformation into actual human beings who are able to function independently in the world.

Much to my dismay, adulting is now a thing.

Time Magazine thinks that millennials use “adulting” to imply that “they’re still so young and hip that it is laughable for them to be, say, ironing the serviettes before a dinner party.”

Personally, I would like to state that I, a 62-year-old baby boomer, have never ironed a serviette and, further, that I am not entirely sure what a serviette actually is, although, if pressed (hah!) I would guess that it is some sort of napkin.

Anyway, millennials seem almost proud of the fact that they have managed to reach their late 20s and early 30s without ever having learned to, for instance, buy car insurance. Or buy a car, for that matter. (If they have a car at all, it’s often an old one of their parents’, which they park in their parents’ driveway, which makes sense, since they’re still living in their parents’ house.)

bookApparently, millennials are so lacking in basic adulting skills that someone has written a book to help them. It’s called Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown, and it includes essential advice like (according to its Amazon listing):

  • What to check for when renting a new apartment-Not just the nearby bars, but the faucets and stove, among other things.
  • How to avoid hooking up with anyone in your office — Imagine your coworkers having plastic, featureless doll crotches. It helps.
  • How to ask people on friend-dates

What the hell is a friend-date? Is that like when you say “Let’s go grab a drink?” Millennials need instructions for that? Okay, millennials, here’s how to ask people on friend-dates: Go up to someone in your office and say, “Hey, wanna go for a drink after work? There are many great bars in my neighborhood and, don’t worry, I won’t invite you up to my place afterwards because my stove is leaking gas and, in any case, your asexuality is not appealing to me. Meet you in the lobby at 5:30?”

Where was I?

Right. Adulting. I don’t think a book of adulting instructions is what millennials need. After all, if you are a millennial, you have never read a set of instructions in your life. You just buy some complex piece of technology, take it out of the box, and start using it. That you can do. But somehow you’ve never figured out how to address a friggin’ envelope.

No, you don’t need instructions, Mr. or Ms. Millennial. You need a school. Millennials love schools. Being in school is a wonderful way to avoid not being in school.  If you’re not in school, you have to begin an actual life, and no millennial wants that.  It’s like in the early 60’s, when people went to college just to avoid the draft.  Except nobody is shooting at millennials.  Yet.

But I digress.

The school for millennials is The Adulting School of Portland, ME, whose website says:

”We know you’re sick of feeling like you’re pretending to be a grown-up and that someone’s going to realize you don’t know the sh%#t you’re supposed to know. You’re putting together the pieces of the puzzle for successful adulting and we’ve got the pieces you’re missing!”

These people have some missing pieces, all right.  The school hasn’t actually started yet, possibly because the founders, Rachel, Katie and schoolRachel (pictured) are busy binge-watching Friends for the 12th time. But it’s scheduled to begin next month, and you can pre-enroll now and get 14 days for free. Afterwards they’ll bill your credit card because the school is pretty sure you won’t know how to write them a check unless they teach you how. If you want more information, or as the school says, “The Deets,” (ugh!) click the link above.

All of this got me to thinking: how did I learn all this stuff? I mean, I don’t remember my parents ever showing me, for example, how to use a supermarket. Then I remembered: they didn’t. We just figured stuff out. Whereas millennials simply call their parents. And we allow it, even encourage it. We’ve become an all-in-one reference source for our grown(ish) children, with information on everything from how much income to set aside for taxes to when to call the super.

Yes, that’s right: our children’s inability to function in the real world is our fault. We are enablers. They are bad at adulting because we are bad at parenting. And you know what? At this point, I don’t care, because it’s time for me to concentrate on senioring.

See you soon.

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