Can I ask a favor of my generation, from the bottom of my heart? Can we please do away with the term “adulting”? Ironically, as I type this out, my spellcheck reminds me that this is not actually a word…..in millennial jargon,” IT’S NOT EVEN A THING.”
For you Game of Thrones watchers out there – do you remember that disgusting scene a while back when Lysa Tully is breastfeeding her 8-9 year old son, Robin Arryn? The oddity and grossness of it all still makes me cringe. The coddled entitlement he had to his mother’s…boobie… was…confusing to the majority of us. The “normal” that was their suckling relationship, spoke volumes about the many underlying issues between this mother and child. Robin (through maybe no fault of his own) was a quick tempered, spoiled, immature, and (sorry, society) weird kid. Some things were “off”.
Some things are equally “off” with our generation too.
It’s a problem that we celebrate our immaturity. It’s a problem that we glorify our slowness to accept manhood and womanhood. It’s a problem that we take part in the fun of adulthood, yet shirk from the responsibility of adulthood. In fact, it’s not just a problem – it’s odd. In no other culture, at any point in history, was it acceptable for adolescents to reject the calling of what it means to be created beings with morality and purpose.
When I hear the quip “adulting,” I like to play a little game and substitute something equally pathetic:
“I wiped my own ass today! Adulting!”
“I ate solids today! Adulting!”
“I didn’t have any accidents today! Adulting!”
Let’s put some things into perspective for ourselves, shall we?
In many cultures there is a “coming of age” ceremony. Historically, it carried great importance, though I imagine much of that is being lost in today’s culture. Most of these celebrations take place when children reach the age 11-16 years old….when biologically, humans are capable of reproduction and therefore adult enough to meet adult expectations in all areas of life. In the past, this would mean warfare, learning, hunting, cooking, marriage….all of it. For many of us, those years were almost 20 years ago; and we find ourselves in a very changed society. A society that expects very little of us.
Things have changed dramatically in the last 50-60 years. I get that. But we would all do well to remember that most of our grandparents were halfway through raising our parents and their passel of siblings before many of us even considered marriage. For the sake of brevity, I give you the following example…but you don’t have to Google very far to realize there are infinite illustrations of the truth about which I speak.
The typical age of the Revolutionary War soldier was 20-25 years old. Yet, ironically, I never came across any record of them muttering the words “adulting” as they won this country with their blood. As they lay dying in battle, freezing to death, or assuredly being riddled with frostbite, smallpox, dysentery, among other infirmities; their boast was not “adulting”. No…. Their Creator. Freedom. Courage. Dignity. Liberty. Their wives. Their children. Their posterity. This is what they lived for. This is what they died for…They didn’t have to tell themselves they were adults…they came into that long ago. They showed that they were men on the battlefield. They won with the help and support of strong women. And, today, we are still reaping the benefits of their legacy.
So here’s the bottom line:
We have quite literally become the young Robin Arryn, looking up from his mother’s breast, milk all over his mouth, triumphantly exclaiming “Adulting!” over very minimal efforts required of us to be somewhat functioning homosapiens in 2017.
Men – It is not attractive (to women looking for their William Wallace) to listen to you brag about doinking around on your iPhone 7 to compare insurance quotes, and blast out “Adulting!” via every form of social media. Yeah. Um, real freaking impressive. Have your way with me…NO.
Women: Our eggs are going to dry up while we are still posting pictures of our once-a-month Pinterest-inspired meal prep, captioned “Adulting!”
We all need to stop. We are not “adulting”. That is not a word. And if it were, we are far too old to be celebrating our first day in big kid underwear while we nurse.