The Rant

I Don't Wanna Grow Up

When exactly did we become the United States of Perpetual Adolescence?

I know someone who took her daughter to see one of the presidential candidates speak, even though she's voting against this candidate. In fact, they went especially because she wasn't going to vote for this person.

"I wanted my kid to see firsthand what it's like to live in a democracy," she said.

But that's not exactly what her daughter learned. The people protesting outside the venue? They were making fun of what people were wearing.

They weren't shouting about the candidate's stance on anything. They were shouting about the oppositions' outfits. My friend took her daughter and went home.

Which leads me to ask you: When did we all get stuck in the seventh grade?

It's not just politics, in which we've lost all sense of reason or respect for any opinion that isn't our own—it's everywhere.

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I'm talking about men in their fifties who're still in bands and wish only to play the field with "all the cool chicks out there" (which is an actual quote from a 52-year-old I went out with). I'm talking about women who think it's adorable that they can't read maps (which, by the way, I'm guilty of). If you're doing any online dating, I'm sure you've stumbled upon the many "I'm just a big kid!" profiles out there.

Uh, hello? You're not a big kid. You're an immature middle-aged person. You're not whimsical, you're stunted. It's time to grow the heck up already!

How many articles have you read on social media entitled "What (insert affliction here) Needs You to Understand"? We need to understand why you're an introvert, or an insomniac, or what it's like to have anxiety. We NEED to know how you suffer, so we can tiptoe around your many, many feelings.

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The thing is, everyone has an affliction. But when you're an adult, you know that your problem doesn't have to become everyone else's problem. No one needs to understand your … anything.

"What you kids call stress, we just called life." A friend told me her mother says this, and I think there's something to it. We have a fit when our comic strip—our comic strip!—is discontinued from the paper—at least, those of us who still read a paper and don't get our news from late-night TV or Facebook.

Our movies are about superheroes and Disney characters. How many times have you heard people say, "Well, it's technically a kids' movie, but they make it so adults can enjoy it too"? Or, alternatively, you could try … um, movies made for adults. The few they still release, that is.

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Adults do paintball. We wear pajamas on flights. We need whipped cream and syrup in our coffee. We don't save our money for things because we need it now. Monogamy is passé, and there are 60-year-olds on Tinder. We eat cake pops.

What's happened to us?

Is it because so many of us came from broken homes, and we didn't really have childhoods? Or were our childhoods so wonderful that we never want them to stop? I don't know the answer, I just know I want it to be over already.

Let's bring back respectability. Let's bring back restraint. Let's keep a cool head when we disagree with someone. Let's learn to enjoy delayed gratification.

Look, I'm guilty of being not such a grownup myself. But it's starting to feel pretty empty– buying shoes I can't afford or unfriending someone forever because I hate their stance on guns. Remember when it was impolite to discuss religion and politics? Maybe this is why.

Growing up is part of the cycle of life. A hundred years ago, there wasn't even TIME for people to be teenagers. And now there appears to be no desire to STOP being one.

Let's embrace dignity, and let's act our age. You big, stupid poopyhead.

Tags: aging