Issue #91 – “Adulthood” – June 19th, 2006

-I turned twenty-seven yesterday.  It was a great day because I got to spend the afternoon with my five-year-old cousin Daniel.  I’m convinced that, for the most part, the traits one exhibits as a little kid later express themselves in adulthood.  For instance, I can already tell that when Daniel gets to be my age, he’s gonna be both a ladies man and a troublemaker.  He may or may not still be obsessed with Spider-Man.  When I was a little kid, I was selfish, obnoxious, and whined a lot.  All of these are still true today.  I was also so overweight that if the ball I was playing with rolled away, I couldn’t move to get it.  Thankfully, I’ve dropped the baby fat.  For all intents and purposes, turning twenty-seven means that I can no longer reasonably resist being labeled an “adult” by society.  There, I said it, I’m an adult.  Now, if the ball I’m playing with rolls away, instead of being too fat to get it, I’m too lazy and just order another one online.  Adulthood has its privileges.

-Remember that feeling in the air at the first fraternity date party you went to in college, when all the guys were scrambling at the last minute to figure out who to ask, where to get flowers, and how to tie a tie?  I still get that feeling every time I go out on a Saturday night or buy someone a bottle of wine.  Life to me has never ceased to be like one big game of childhood dress-up.  Though the introduction of girls in thongs during my late teens was a much-welcomed addition.

-Girls my age have funny birthday parties.  I love that they wear a little party dress and crimp their hair and invite 500 dudes.  Like I do every year, this weekend I organized a mid-afternoon pub crawl through New York City for my friends in lieu of a birthday party.  There’s just something about drinking during the day that appeals to me.  I think it might be the drinking during the day part.

-Have you ever been about to wish someone a Happy Birthday, but before you could say anything they just happen to mention their birthday first, which sucks because you actually knew that and now you won’t get any credit for it?

-When your birthday rolls around, it’s tempting to start comparing yourself to your peers.  I recently noticed that alumni who are younger than me will sometimes submit pictures of their children to Penn’s alumni magazine.  Now I don’t mind if you’re already married and have kids – if you want to throw your life away, that’s your business.  But do you really need to include a picture of your baby?  Because the baby always looks like it’s fucking staring directly at me with that little baby smirk that says, “Karo, I’ll be Bar Mitzvahed before you ever even attempt to procreate!”

-You know how when you get on the treadmill, set the speed at which you’d like to run, and it starts accelerating, there’s always that brief in-between moment where the treadmill is going a little too fast for you to keep walking, but a little too slow to break out into a full sprint, so you’re kind of stuck in an awkward half racewalk, half jog for a few seconds?  To me, turning twenty-seven is like that moment.  Everything before my birthday seems so easy in hindsight.  Everything in the future seems so daunting.  But right now, I’m stuck in the middle, simultaneously running in slow motion and walking as fast as I can.  It’s scary, and uncomfortable, and exciting.  I guess that’s what adulthood is all about, though.  It’s time to stop dropping the ball.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Ever notice that in the movies when someone is rescued from a horrific explosion or gunfight, the first thing they do is give them a blanket?

-Why is it that when I call a friend to ask for a phone number, and they have to scroll through their cell phone address book to get it, they’re only able to recall and relay the number to me like two digits at a time?

-My American Express card expired and they sent me a new one.  It’s so fucking hard to get a good signature in that little box on the back.  The one I scrawled looks like such crap that even the most indifferent store clerks give me a hard time.  To add insult to injury, the new card doesn’t expire until 2010.  That’s just great.  I’m saddled with an undeserved reputation for bad penmanship until next decade.

-It bothers me that every liquor ad has a little line at the bottom that says, “Enjoy Responsibly.”  First of all, you can’t really enjoy liquor responsibly – that’s an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp.  Furthermore, responsibility is subjective.  Two weeks ago, I visited Triplet #2 in London, drank too much, and threw up in his apartment.  That was irresponsible.  But I threw up in the garbage can, which was responsible.  But the garbage can didn’t have a bag in it, which was irresponsible.  And it was mesh, which is just plain gross.

-I want to give a special Father’s Day shout to my dad.  I stayed in my parents’ house on Long Island for most of last week, which was confusing for everybody because I sound exactly like my father on the phone.  I swear one time my dad called the house, I picked up, and he was like, “Wait a minute… me?”  I’ve also taken to calling my father “Pop.”  I don’t know where it started, but I think it’s fun and just like living in the ‘50s.  So, Pop, thanks for sharing Father’s Day with my birthday yesterday.  I know that kind of sucked for you, but I’m sure you know that when I was born twenty-seven years ago, you were given the greatest gift of all – the gift of life.  I’m also sure that you’re reading this right now thinking, “My son is full of shit.”  I love you, Pop!

-So I’ve noticed the new trend for girls’ jeans is to be extremely tapered and tight at the ankle.  I think it looks dumb, but then again, what the fuck do I know.  My only real concern is that they’re hard to remove while hooking up.  What I’d like to see next season is girls’ jeans that rip off like basketball warm-ups.  But I’ll settle for boot cut.

-And, finally, in my old age I’ve become disheartened by people who apologize for engaging in activities that society deems “nerdy.”  While both sexes are guilty of self-deprecation, I’ve found women are much more prone to it.  For instance, if I ask a girl what she does and she’s like, “I’m an accountant.  I know, pretty boring, right?”  Or if I ask a kid what he’s majoring in and he’s like, “Biology, Economics, and Statistics.  Yeah, I’m kind of a nerd.”  No, you’re not.  So many twentysomethings are unfulfilled these days that I think if you’ve found something you’re passionate about, no matter how dorky it is, you should be celebrated, not shunned.  I actually find girls who do nerdy shit pretty hot.  (Of course, it helps if they’re actually hot.)  Hell, I’m twenty-seven and still spend a few hours a week on the “Lost” message boards.  I guess what I’ve realized is that when my cousin Daniel gets to be my age, if he still loves Spider-Man, that’s OK – as long as he’s happy.  After all, if you’re gonna fawn over someone in tight pants, better it be a superhero in costume than a chick in tapered jeans.  Fuck me.