Today’s Daily Prompt asks when was the first time I felt like like a grown up (if ever)?
This DP is apropos for me since I’m less than 15 hours from turning the page on my 30’s. I’ll miss you 30’s, not as much as my 20s, but I’ll miss you.
Alas, lamenting lost love for past decades is going to come in a subsequent post devoted solely to my thoughts about turning 40.
I haven’t decided how I feel about it yet, so it’s not written or even been considered.
In fact, I may get too drunk tonight and into my birthday to ever get around to writing that particular post, so don’t hold me to it.
In light of that last sentence, my response to the DP question has to be never………I’ve never really felt like a grown up.
I’ve wanted to, and even expected that I’d just feel grown up at some point.
I thought turning 21 would cause me to feel all grown up, but it actually retarded my mental development because I no longer had to sneak beers into my system behind closed doors. I was free to drink whenever and wherever I wished, and I did so.
I worked as a bartender at 21 and slid in nicely with the good timin’ folks in the restaurant industry. Good Lord, those people work hard and boy, they play hard too!
I met my wife back then, so the liver abuse was completely worth it! Still, I was out partying too much to ever feel like I was a grown up.
Around that same time, I managed to graduate from college and got myself a job with beer giant Anheuser-Busch. The job was in the Dallas/Forth Worth area, so I had to move 900 miles from where I grew up. Surely, this would force me to feel all grown up!
Not so much…Neither the degree or the job did the trick.
I was initially relieved to have a new job, in part because it meant I could keep better hours and quit partying so much. Boy was I wrong about that.
Beer industry people are worse than restaurant people! They drink for a living and then drink some more when they “get off work”!
Part of my job was to schmooze people in bars and buy drinks for young adult beer consumers.
Well, that entailed drinking with those people, right?! It really did, actually!
All that hanging out in bars and drinking with my backwoods boss, Johnny Earl, was almost more than I could handle. My body was taking some serious abuse and I never felt like a grown up during that first job out of college.
I didn’t feel like a grown up toiling in the bars of North Texas, I wasn’t satisfied professionally, and mostly, I missed my girlfriend (wife), so in my mid 20’s I moved back to the midwest and became a police officer.
Strapping on a bullet proof vest and carrying a firearm to interact with the fine citizens of what has been falsely labeled the most dangerous city in the country more than once, AND being old enough to rent a car would surely make me feel like a big boy all grown up, yes??
This may be shocking, but I deal with most things in my life with sarcasm and humor. My job is no different.
There are parents of terminally sick kids out here in blog land with hilarious blogs about the challenges facing their families. They use humor to cope with difficult circumstances. I love that. It’s not for everyone, but it works for many.
That’s how I was/am as a police officer. I’ve been told countless times that I’m not like regular or usual or other police officers. I don’t know what that means, but I always assumed it was a compliment. You can treat people with respect and dignity and still be yourself, even if yourself (myself?) is steeped in humor and sarcasm.
While it works for me on the job, sarcasm and humor admittedly does not convey “grown up” in most circles.
But wait, KIDS! You have a wife and kids now, right?!
I do, yes.
And just like turning 21, having kids has retarded my ability to feel grown up even more.
With kids, instead of watching the History Channel and PBS shows, now I like to watch Dora and Spongebob and oh look, a Blue’s Clue, right there! Haha, I found it before you did, Cdawg!
I also like to:
Eat Cookie Crisp with them,
We wrestle on the floor,
We play video games,
We play legos,
I drink chocolate milk whenever I want,
We eat oreos – double stuffed!
I coach tball so I can play ball with lots of kids,
I like to ride my bike,
We shoot nerf guns at each other, and
I like to color on the place mats in restaurants again!
You do that without a kid at the table and people come up and pat you on the head and say “look at you, eating out like a big boy” like you’re “special” or something.
Having kids has allowed me to be the kid I’ve always enjoyed being, without feeling the judgement and guilt from a stick in the butthole society. Ha, butthole is a funny word, isn’t it??
While I’ll admit to not ever feeling grown up, I’d like to state for the record, that I don’t equate that to being immature.
An immature person, it seems to me, acts unlike a grown up, but does so to the detriment of his responsibilities.
I don’t do that. Well, not most of the time…
We play when it’s time to play, but the kids are in bed by 8 during the week and they eat a semi-healthy dinner before they get those Oreos. And it’s not every night that they’re eating cookies!
We play games after homework and we take turns and share.
So while I may not feel grown up, I guess I do have some grown up instincts that I must acknowledge. I don’t feel as though I’m the fun parent and my wife is the disciplinarian. We both discipline and we’re both on the same page with most decisions.
Don’t mistake my jackassery for immaturity or total irresponsibility. A little bit, yes, but not TOTAL.
I’m a kid when I can be a kid and I’ll grow up when I’m ready.