real life

Adult things I thought I'd have sorted by now, but really, really don't.

You know what’s hard?

Adulting.

I’ve been adulting for almost a decade now, surprisingly undetected by authorities. I keep expecting someone to tap me on the shoulder and say “YOU! You’re not supposed to be in charge of stuff! Where’s Mummy and Daddy?”

Sometimes I feel like I’m a 12-year-old in a 27-year-old’s body, usually when someone mentions complicated words like ‘tax’ or ‘health insurance’ or ‘job interview’. I mean, sure, I feel capable and confident a lot of the time… but every now and then, I’ll get a panicky feeling of fraudulence when I come across an Adult Thing that I should have mastered by now, but haven’t.

Like a little kid with their nose squished against the window pane, watching all the other adults, and wondering where my teacher is so I can get some help.

Adult Things I thought I’d have sorted by now… but help?

1. A signature salad.

You know how adults go to barbecues and bring their famous salad? “Oh yes, I’d love to come on Saturday! I’ll bring my noodle salad!” I don’t have a signature salad. If I had to create a salad on Masterchef, I’d put lettuce, cucumber and tomato in a bowl, and then curl up in a ball and cry for my mummy.

2. A present cupboard.

Adults have a cupboard full of last-minute emergency gifts, like candles and soaps and white teddy bears. And gift-wrap and blank cards. Not only do I not have a present cupboard, I’ve never been in the situation where I needed to suddenly produce a last-minute gift. Surely an adult would’ve experienced that by now.

3. Bin day.

WHEN THE HELL is my bin day, and why can I never remember which bins go out when?

4. My doctor.

Sometimes I will be asked to fill in a form (gah! Adult stuff!) that requests my doctor’s details. I don’t have a doctor. I have 30 doctors. For the last decade, I’ve just gone to the nearest bulk bill clinic. On the occasions I’ve been to a nice fancy doctor (for, uh… ‘lady check-ups’…) I have immediately forgotten the name of their practice and never been able to locate them again.

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5. Tax/Superannuation/Health insurance or insurance of any kind.

It’s weird, every time any of these mysterious concepts are mentioned, I suddenly get really, really sleepy. Granted, I am particularly bad with money. My father still regularly explains to me that ‘tax-free’ and ‘free’ are NOT the same thing. But superannuation? I get distracted by the word ‘super’ and start thinking about superheroes. And insurance is a gamble either way, right?

6. Tupperware containers and cling wrap.

I have come to accept that I may never be good at cling wrap. One time, I even used sticky tape to fix up the holes. And tupperware containers – the day that I can fit them all into the tupperware drawer is the day I will know I have successfully transitioned to Adult.

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7. Meal planning for one supermarket trip per week.

How do they do that? I go the supermarket daily. Sometimes twice a day. The only way I can meal plan is if I decide to eat the same meal for the whole week, and multiply the recipe by fourteen on the first day (I won’t eat it for breakfast, because chicken burritos for breakfast are definitely not adult-y).

And lastly, but most importantly.

8. Folding a fitted sheet.

Grab one corner. Grab the other corner. Fold in half. Kick the bottom. Stuff the edges in. Give up. Roll it into one big ball. Stuff it in cupboard. Cram cupboard shut. Wedge cupboard door with chair.

Any successful adults out there with some grown-up advice, please help me. And come and hold my hand so I can cross the street.

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