Adulthood: a side effect of the four-year plan

Morgan Day

The back of my shorts doesn’t talk anymore. In fact, it stopped talking a long time ago.

In 2006, I retired my “short shorts” that say Class of 2004 across the butt, and I never looked back (except on laundry days). That was the first of many steps in this all-consuming act of growing up.

It was actually that little voice up there (you know what I’m talking about) that said, “Morgan, I think maybe there’s a better, more respectable place to get your message across, rather than the seat of your pants.” And I listened. Each time I climb a level on the adult-o-meter, it lets me know.

Not that I necessarily want to become an adult; it just keeps happening. I would rebel, but there are actually some pretty awesome things about growing up. I’m convinced that once the transformation is complete, I will be privy to a multitude of powers.

• For one, I’ll finally be able to finish a crossword puzzle. Now listen, this sounds silly, but trust me. Ask any adult to help you out with No. 19 down and they’ll know. I don’t know how they know, but they know.

• I’ll be able to navigate my way around a grocery store. I’m positive adults have a special nodule or something near the frontal lobe that has grocery store blueprints encrypted in there. I won’t have to search for hours to find corn tortillas. Being an adult, I will already know Giant Eagle has three sections of tortillas, only one of which has what I need. If you haven’t hit, like, Level 9 of 10 on the adult-o-meter, you’d never know.

• On a related note, adults can cook. Just look at your moms and dads. I, for one, am terrified of cooking. When I’m feeling especially daring, I make soup, possibly adding a can of milk if it’s tomato. Anything other than that, I rely on my Hamilton Beach Toastation — my godsend. Once I’m truly a grownup, watch out. I’ll be able to mince, sautee, you name it.

• Controlling my giggles at really inappropriate times will no longer be a problem. Adults just don’t deal with the giggles. Like when some lady dropped her popcorn on the floor during The Counterfeiters, a super-serious foreign holocaust film, I absolutely lost it. The sound of the full bag hitting a sticky, disgusting floor in a tense movie theater was too much. Adults deflect those sounds. Anything that might be a teensy bit funny during a serious moment never crosses their radars.

• And forget about locking yourself out of your apartment or locking your keys in your car. Very un-adult. But disasters involving locks and keys simply won’t happen anymore because right there beside the grocery store blueprints is a mental checklist, and it will not let you leave your house or car until you’ve checked everything off.

And there are some levels I’ve already completed. I am on my way there, I like to think.

• First off, my road rage has (slightly) subdued. Sure, it was fun to fly the finger and lay on the horn to really let people know they should have a second helping of driver’s ed, but this really strange thing happened. I realized that although some people obviously shouldn’t be behind the wheel, I’ll be the one running the stop sign or parking slightly over the line tomorrow.

• I now know that there is an undergarment to suit every purpose, every event, every outfit. This one is a little tricky, though, because when you are too much of an adult (and that is possible), you may become stodgy and frugal with your undergarments. Don’t do that. That’s no fun.

• I find myself eyeing items such as wicker baskets, place mats, salad bowls, apple corers and home furniture. Something’s up with that. My roommate and I had this conversation the other day about her ex and how he spends his money. She said he doesn’t have a bank account (red flag: adults have bank accounts), so he just spends his cash. And, she said he doesn’t even spend it on things he needs. His last big purchase was — brace yourself — a tennis ball launcher for his dog.

We’ve all got these little things that tell us, “Look, kid, I think you’re growing up,” and they’re different for everyone. And our reactions are different to them as well. Sometimes we welcome them; other times we try to figure out where we went wrong and recede back into adolescence. I just try to take them like an adult. Happy growing up, Kent State!

Morgan Day is a senior newspaper major and a Web editor for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].