Adulting is Hard
Adulting sucks. Admit it. Accept it. Move on. No one likes to adult. My best memories are sitting on a small hill in corn country Illinois, flying a kite. Parents could open there front doors in those days and let the kids run. Be home when the street lights come on. That was the one hard and fast rule. We knew not to steal or break other people’s shit. That doesn’t mean we never borrowed, or explored those things – usually rusted tractors or trees larger than those we could obtain from our own yards and neighborhoods. We normally left it like we found them – except a little more climbed upon.
Getting the kite airborne was the most difficult part, and that relatively easy and joyful. Lay the kite flat, wait for a breeze, tug. Simple. If there wasn’t a stiff enough breeze you made your own with a quick, lazy sprint. The gentle, resistance across the string told you if you had done it right. No need to look. You could feel it and be happy.
Once securely caught on a current, let the string out just enough to keep it tethered to both you and the sky. Enjoy the sense of simple accomplishment, victory, teammates with the kite, the string and the breeze.
Then, simply sustain that happiness. Watching the kite gives an excuse to look up at the blue sky. Watch the clouds. See the animals. You know what I’m talking about. That cloud is a brontosaurus (those things still existed in my day). That one is a rocket ship. That one is giant dong. I had no idea how much my junk would rule my life. There was always a cloud dong. There was always a dinosaur. There was always a dog, either in the clouds or running along beside me.
The kites were always $3.99 K-mart, plastic with large menacing eyes and tails whipping up high. Trashbags with wings. I think I spent as much time making eye contact with those eyes than I did with anyone else since. Angry, but unfraid, we had a simple understanding. I’d bring it to the heavens and every summer day it would bring me along for the ride.
That’s what I remember best from my youth. There were hundreds of three person games of baseball and neighborhood Witches Out. There was a stash of old playboys behind the bushes that my blood brothers and I would peruse, confusedly. Each unwilling to admit we wouldn’t know what to do with a real Bunny if we had one.
I don’t know when my Summers ended and adulthood began. What was the trigger? Was it when the folks got divorced? When the dog died? High School? Did it start when street lights ceased to matter?
I need to caveat some things. Number one, I’m a dude. I can’t speak directly to lady things. I have never experienced getting my first period in Mr. Matthew Rocco Maggio’s “Introduction to Physical Science.” I’ve never tried on bras (that I’ll admit). I have not experienced things first hand through the eyes of women. I was though raised by a Mom and two older spitting cobra mean sisters. I didn’t experience lady stuff, but I lived it daily. I write from there.
Also, I was raised in both the flat fields of Illinois, the suburbs of Chicago and was pushed into manhood by the United States Navy. I can speak unequivocally from the perspective of a middle-aged white guy, veteran, straight, mildly Jewish, mildly Atheist, liberal democrat from the Midwest who loves his dog Phineas J. Whoopee. Everything this else is just an empathetic guess.
Also, these chapters are written out of order. It’s just how the moment strikes me. Maybe someone cut me off in traffic. Maybe a movie made sad. I’m most likely writing based upon the lessons of the most recent Judge Judy (love you, call me). So, ignore any timeline.
But I digress. When adultness arrived it gave no pause. Adulthood when it hits, will hit hard and gives no fucks about clouds or kites or streetlights. Even when you’re acting like a child, after a certain age you’re still a grown up.
That comes with rules and courtesies and a shit ton of responsibilities. It’s not easy. I’m here to cuss, drink coffee and offer whatever advice I can give. Take it, don’t take it. It’s OK, while I’m easily offended and terribly fragile, well, I can’t really control anything you do. That’s up to you to make sure you have things locked up tight.
Finally, let me just say:
WELCOME TO ADULTHOOD. THIS FUCKING SUCKS.