For a long time I would mistakenly group myself in the "teenage" category. When I saw a teenager walking around I would describe them as "my age" even though I was twenty three and twenty four. I just still felt like a teenager, I guess. Several months ago someone asked me how old I was an my first instinct was to reply "Nineteen." But I stopped myself and answered with the correct answer.
Sometimes I still feel really young, like when my real estate agent offered my champagne; It took me a second to realize I actually was old enough to drink it. But for the most part, I now think of myself as an adult. I should; After all, I'm married, I have a toddler, I own a home, a car, and a retirement account. I have bills to pay and meals to plan, shop for, and cook. I know all sorts of boring things about car insurance and health insurance. That's an adult, right?
I think the hardest part of being an adult is that people expect me to pay attention when they are talking about boring things. Adults don't really expect teenagers or children to listen, but they assume adults are listening. I've had to catch myself a few times: "Self! Pay attention! He's talking about which forms you need to send to buy this house! This is important!" or "Self! This guy is talking about how to get your car fixed after the wreck! You need to know this!"
Even worse is when other adults want boring information out of me.
Real adult: "So why hasn't your house closed"
Me: "The lender is lazy."
Real Adult: "No, really. What exactly is going on?"
Me: "Well, the lending agent mistaking thought that once her job was over, we could close immediately, but really, after the lending agent, the paperwork has to go through a closing agent, then the title company, then back to the closing agent, then back to the title company, then we can sign, then the title company and the closing agent have to agree on the closing fees, APR, interest rate, and concessions, then it can be submitted to the county, and twenty-four hours later we can record. After that we can officially close and get the keys. Aren't you impressed that I know so many big and important words?"
Real Adult: "So are you still in escrow? What stage are you in?"
Me: "Does this seriously interest you? Because it's my house we are talking about and I'm already asleep. Oh, look! Something shiny!"
But most of the time I think other adults are just as board as I am, they are just being polite while I am pretending to be an adult. Sigh.
But I know I am an adult now, because subjects that I used to find boring, I now devour. Last week NPR (Yes, I listen to NPR. See how adult I am?) broadcasted a segment on taxes, and I turned it up and parked so I could pay close attention to what they were saying. I was very interested in what they were saying, but at the same time I was making fun of myself (Taxes? Really?). I am now immensly interested in budgets, both mine, my states, and the government budget. I love to hear how other people budget, what they budget for and how much, and in what way the government has failed to budget this quarter. Where did that interest come from?
And to top it all off, I am now old enough to rent a car. For a while there I was trusted with a child, a cat, a household, a mortgage and a bank account, but I could not be trusted with a rental car. Odd.
So, in conclusion: I'm twenty-five! I am not upset (is not getting upset over birthdays a maturity thing?). In fact, I am glad I am twenty-five. It sounds like a nice age to be.