We adults have no idea what the heck is going on, writes stand-up comedian Bo Guthrie.
When I was little, adults had three main properties. They tucked in their shirts, they just looooved that person’s house, and they watched the news. My mom always told me to seek one out if I was ever lost or in trouble, but other than that they were just a monolithic group that I mostly ignored unless one of them got in the way of my play. But now I am one, and I’m realizing that, although my childhood vision of adulthood wasn’t entirely inaccurate (people have some gorgeous houses), there’s a little more to it. Here are my observations:
First, adults have no idea what the hell is going on. How could we? Humans are the product of billions of years of evolution and living in an incredibly complex society. Anyone who claims to have any mastery over this mess is, in my opinion, not to be trusted.
Second, adulthood is synonymous with limitation. When you’re a kid, life’s ahead of you – you’re going to get bigger, stronger, you’re going to know more, have more. When you reach adulthood, that potential hits a big fucking wall. Hard. Nope, you’re not going to be six feet tall. You passed up the chance to be a pro athlete when you were twelve, buddy. Sorry, that wonderful charismatic personality of yours is going to get beat up, shit on, and thrown in a blender until you’re left with a lot less of that charisma and far more bitterness, regret, and fear than you had bargained for.
Finally–and this is the most important bit–most of what makes us who we are as adults is how we deal with it all. For instance, there are the adults who find religion. I can’t knock it: someone else is in control, it comes with a ready-made community that will probably accept you, and, oh, by the way, here’s a guide book. But it’s not for me. I just have trouble swallowing the whole “god” thing.
Then there are the adults who find drugs. If anyone has trouble understanding addicts, I’m going to lump them into that “not to be trusted” group I mentioned earlier. I mean, there are pills that will make you calmer, ludicrously happy, and give you an erection that lasts for hours. I’m surprised all of us aren’t walking up to our pharmacists saying, “Yes, I’d like infinity of each, please.” But, once again, it’s not really for me. I wish I could be one these kinds of adults sometimes. Really, I do. I’m not trying to be patronizing. I’m simply way too wimpy to handle it. I’ve done some drugs, and I like beer, but you’re talking to a guy who became severely depressed after having a “bad pot experience.” Yeah, I’m the kind of guy who has a “bad pot experience.”
There are the adults who fuck everything, the adults who try to dominate everything, the adults who go crazy because it’s all too much, and the adults who sort of drift along the current of life straight to their grave. There are the adults who say “fuck it” and choose not to do it anymore. It’s all a result of how we deal with not knowing shit and not being able to do much about it.
My observations have led me to question the kind of adult I am. I think I’m still figuring that out. If I had to speculate, I’d say that I’m the kind of adult who seeks understanding but is mostly okay with the fact that he doesn’t have it. Also, I’m the kind of adult who doesn’t tuck his shirt in…
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