Things I Assumed We’d Outgrow As Adults

Adults know what it’s like to be a child, but we don’t think about it often because being an adult means mostly thinking about yourself. Children, however, have very little understanding of what it’s like to be an adult. As a child, I thought I knew what lay on the other side, but there are a number of things that have unexpectedly persisted.

  • Having cousins: It really seems like once my siblings don’t live with me anymore, they’re my cousins. Especially if I find their political views offensive. But no — I can have cousins and siblings and nieces and nephews all at the same time, which I assume is what Computer Scientists mean when they say “Exponential Growth.”
  • Blisters: When I was little, I had this idea that calluses were like big-kid teeth. Once I engaged in the overwhelmingly satisfying process of popping a baby-tooth blister, that area of skin is protected forever — right?
  • Buying stray loose candy from a bodega: As a kid, I bought whatever I could afford with the three quarters in my hand. I never imagined I’d become an adult woman who just walks around Los Angeles eating a Cow Tale, but here we are. I also didn’t realize I’d walk around Los Angeles — I just figured I’d own a car by now.
  • Acne: On the bright side, at least it hides my wrinkles.
  • Being twins: At least have the decency to stop being identical — it’s the plot of a horror movie. The Kardashians weren’t beholden to their natural faces, and neither are we.
  • Delight at the Trader Joe’s free samples: I’m almost 30 and this still makes my week. Especially when they do a sweet and a savory one.
  • Bloody noses. I figured that once I started menstruating, the blood would redirect. Does anybody have a humidifier I can borrow? If not, do I achieve the same effect by spilling water on my floor?
  • Financial dependency on my parents: I’m still a child of 32, so I may outgrow this any decade now.
  • Random crying fits: These actually ramp up. The good news is that I now understand the cause of at least 20% of them.
  • Fighting with my family: Alas, I thought the movie Lady Bird was about the last fight she ever had with her mom. Not so (my mom just said I should get my own Hulu).
  • Imposter syndrome: How many years do I have to work a job before I become confident in my ability to do that job? Because all existing evidence suggests it’s more than eight.
  • Feeling like I have no friends: It’s like — is Janie my friend, or just my follower (we’ve never met).
  • Fear of discussing the future: I just thought, “where are you applying to college?” was the last question nosy relatives would ever ask about my life.
  • Fear of the future: I just thought once I got to college, they’d tell me what to do next.
  • Fear of the present: I just thought once I understood how cars worked, I’d stop thinking I was going to get hit by one.
  • Fear of the dark: I just thought once I started having sex in the dark, I’d be able to ditch the nightlight for good. I blame True Crime podcasts.
  • Laughing at farts: These will always be funny.

An LA-based writer and stand up comic. I write for a bunch of places and I wrote a book, follow me on Twitter @ginnyhogan_ to learn more

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