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I'm not an adult but I play one in real life.

I’m not an adult but I play one in real life.

I’m not an adult but I play one in real life.

Dear Toy Making People,

Can you please just say ‘assembly required’? Because when you say ‘ADULT assembly required’ and I can’t figure it out and need to call someone, it makes me feel like a failure as an adult. K, thanks!

Someone who is adulty enough to be in charge of another human, but not adulty enough to put together toys for said human

– a friend on Facebook


I first lived on my own at 18. I put myself through college. I have been steadily employed for 25 years. I bought my first house, as a single woman, when I was 32.  At 35 I, with my now husband, owned our family home outright with no mortgage. I’m 45, not just an adult but a middle age adult. I have a husband, a seven year old daughter and two cats. I can put together Ikea furniture with no extra parts left over. I have my shit together. I think. Maybe? I don’t know. How do you know?

I do all the things you would expect a person my age should probably do. And all the things (I think) that a good parent would do. But most of the time I just feel like I’m winging it. I have all these responsibilities and I’m just winging it. I’m playing an epic game of fake it til you make it. And as far as I can tell, nobody has caught on.

Somehow I thought one day I would actually feel like an adult. And I’m not talking about this “you’re only as old as you feel” crap. I feel my age.  I look in the mirror and see the crows feet and those few pesky, wiry gray hairs that like to stick out. And hello peri-menopause. Yes my body knows it’s age.  And it’s not that I feel like a kid. I most certainly do not. I just feel like, well it’s hard to explain, like I missed the official adult graduation ceremony. That should be a thing maybe. If my kid can have a kindergarten grad why can’t I have an adult grad? I need to write a letter to someone about that. See – I write letters. And mail/email them. Very adulty.

Sometimes I wonder if my own parents felt this way. Were they faking it too? If they did they hid it well. But then again, so do I. I think. I’m pretty confident my daughter believes I’m very adulty. I’ll just keep on letting her believe that. Because it would have been terrifying to know my parents were flying by the seat of their pants.

I think I’m a pretty responsible person. I’m good at my job. I’m never late, for anything. My daughter is healthy and happy. I always wear a seat belt and never drink and drive. I can cook brunch for a dozen people on a campfire. I can host a birthday party  with 14 screaming six year old girls in my back yard without a hitch (well there was that one kid who went home with one less tooth but other than that it was perfect). I just renewed my home insurance policy. I have RRSPs and RESPs.  I can do all the things. But when I’m sitting in the exit row on the plane and the attendant gives me the what to do in an emergency spiel I’m sitting there hoping like hell the guy next to me in that row got all that because that is a hell of a lot of responsibility. It’s like, ok I’ll be an adult, as long as there is someone more adulty around. Someone who REALLY does have their shit together just in case we need them.

Sometimes I think, ok I’m 45, if I don’t feel like a bona fide adult by now maybe I never will. But maybe I will?  Maybe 50 will be the magic number. That sounds like an adult age. Can I get it all together in the next five years? I’m doubtful. I think I’ll shoot for 55. I mean that’s when most senior discounts kick in. Surely they can’t give the senior’s discount to a non-adult. Right? I’ll keep you posted.




This article has 1 comment

  1. Happy to hear that I’m not the only “non-adult adult” around here. As for the time frame to being/feeling like an adult, for me, I think it will be right around the time that I take my last breath or when I wake up from this dream that has me in charge of other (little) people’s live.

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