Adulthood–Who’s Keeping Score?

hot pink grownups

hot pink grownups (Photo credit: niznoz)

Every so often, it gets brought home to me that I’m even worse at being an adult than I used to be at sports.  The most recent round of self-flagellation was brought about by the realization that my Mysterious Engaged Friend, now Mysterious Married Friend, has never been to my apartment.  The problem is mostly that, at any given time, my meal plan consists of Diet Coke and Doritos, I have a hamper full of dirty laundry that I can’t wash because I haven’t yet put away the clean laundry from last weekend’s chore-a-thon, and I’ve been saying I’ll mop the floor for approximately three weeks.  My total score at being a grown-up wouldn’t get me past the first elimination round.

It starts early in the morning.  I hit my snooze button about five times before I end up getting out of bed.  I always mean to get up early, hope to get up on time, and actually get up late. It continues with lunch; when I go grocery shopping, I always fondly imagine my lunch will be a healthy salad with chopped broccoli, grated carrots, and cherry tomatoes.  It usually ends up being stuff I got at the convenience store around the corner from where I work, so– pop tarts and fruit snacks.  Then, when I get home, I think “Oh, I’m totally going to do chores now.  This place is going to look great by the time I go to bed.”  It could happen.  No, it couldn’t.  That’s never going to happen.

But Mysterious Married Friend is moving away (sad!), so I invited her over, along with her husband and another friend.  I did this in total good faith, and also because my apartment is actually in fairly good shape for once, having been the subject of a recent cleaning marathon.  I forgot one vital fact, though:  I can’t cook.  At all.  I could have invited them over for tea, or a movie night, or–I don’t know–poker, but I didn’t.  As I sort through various takeout menus and wonder what would seem the least obvious when I serve it on my nice (read: not paper) plates, I can’t help but wonder if I’m alone in this.

And, you know, I don’t think I am.


Golfing (Photo credit: emersunn)

So I’d like to propose handicaps for adulthood, like they have for bowling and golf.  For me, I think I should be able to add on to my total score another 50% of what my Sainted Mother would have been able to do in the same situation.  If I can manage to have the dinner table completely clear by the time my friends come over, that’s like my mother having polished all the silver and ironed the tablecloth.  If I find takeout that suits everyone’s dietary restrictions and doesn’t cause an allergic reaction in anyone, that’s like my mother cooking a four-course meal.  Right now, my Sainted Mother is falling out of her chair laughing while thinking about all the Hamburger Helper she used to fix, which actually makes me feel better.  Ooh, Hamburger Helper!  I can totally manage that.

Problem solved.

Thanksgiving Stew

Here is the Little Blind Girl’s recipe for Thanksgiving Stew:


  • Eighteen relatives from four generations
  • A kitchen that can only hold three people
  • A turkey that’s been cooking since before dawn
  • Seven different desserts
  • Small children in dress clothes who’ve had too much sugar and not enough sleep
  • Half a dozen cars trying to share a driveway
  • Ten family stories that have been aged for at least five years
  • Assorted pets, dietary restrictions, conflicting commitments, & long-running grudges

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of ...

Directions:  Put the turkey in a home that hasn’t been this clean since last Thanksgiving.  Add the four generations of relatives gradually.  Sprinkle in the small children, the desserts, and the overcrowded driveway.  Let simmer, then add the kitchen that can only hold three people (beware of elbows) and the family stories (use liberally and without discretion).  Garnish with assorted pets, dietary restrictions, and conflicting commitments.  Add the long-running grudges to the after-dinner drinks.  Serve warm and eat until you fall asleep in your chair while watching football.  Serves:  a small nation.  Leftovers should last for approximately two weeks, depending on the strength of the grudges.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I’m grateful for each and every one of you.  Thank you for reading my blog, and being kind enough to let me know when you like it.

In defense of not waiting

Cliff jumping in Busan, South Korea circa 1993.

Cliff jumping in Busan, South Korea circa 1993. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Warning:  inspirational thoughts ahead!

I got stuck in line in the store the other day, waiting to check out.  I always think it’s a little funny to look around at everyone’s purchases and wonder what’s going on in their lives that led them to select a baby bottle, a pair of spaghetti tongs, and a phillips-head screwdriver for their purchases that day.  Of course, I’m usually holding something like a coin-sorter, a pack of pens, and an extra-large energy drink, so who am I to talk?

Then I went home and cooked a meal on the stove.  This is rare for me.  I’m a microwave girl.  I can estimate microwave times like my mother’s mother could estimate how much sugar to include in a recipe; I just know, without really knowing how I know.  I don’t need the back of the box to tell me.  So the whole stove thing was taking way too long for my post-modern impatience.  “Patience is a virtue,” I reminded myself, just like I did while I was waiting in that interminable line in the store.

But here’s the thing:  I don’t think patience is always as much a virtue as we seem to think.  I would like to stand up in defense of not waiting.  Most of the good things in my life I have because I grabbed for them before I let myself get scared of trying, or before someone else with more guts got to them first.  My most precious memories are of seizing the moment, even if I didn’t have any particular reason or need to, and getting as much out of life as I could right then, without waiting.  A lot of the time it wouldn’t have made much difference to wait a little longer, but when it does matter, it matters so much.

Because sometimes things happen, and people are taken from us, or opportunities are unexpectedly lost, and if we didn’t go for it before, we’ll never get another chance.  The future is so uncertain in this ever-changing world.  I’m not old, but I’m not young, and here’s what I’ve learned:  if you see something you want, go for it right then.  Don’t wait.  If you think to yourself, “My husband is completely fantastic.  I can’t believe I’m this lucky,” tell him right then.  If there’s a girl you like, or an activity you’ve wanted to try, or a project at work that’s got you scared but intrigued, go all out after it (or her) right then.  Don’t wait.

Skier carving a turn off piste

Something on my blind bucket list (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m going blind, very slowly.  I’ve got a whole list of things I want to do before I completely lose my vision.  I’m proud to say that my list isn’t as long as it might be if it weren’t already part of my nature not to wait.  There are things I was able to do years ago that I could never do now, that I’ll never be able to do again.  But I’ve done them.  I don’t have to put them on my list of regrets, because I didn’t wait–I just did them, because I could, because they were there.  It’s one of my rules:  if life leads you up to a great big cliff, don’t wait for a parachute:  just jump.  Right then.  Figure out the parachute on the way down.  Sometimes you’ll go splat, but sometimes you’ll learn to fly.

And if a second register opens up while you’re waiting in line, don’t wait for someone else to get there first.  Elbow that old lady out of the way if you have to!  But, from time to time, it can be worth waiting for a meal cooked in the stove rather than the microwave.  Sometimes, you can wait.

Things I will never do, so stop asking

English: Illustration of a shocked, or frighte...

Image via Wikipedia

There are many situations in which I get asked if I’ll do something that I would never in a million years do.  This happens slightly less often since I graduated from school, but it still comes up a little more frequently than I’m really comfortable with.  It only takes one drunk friend on Facebook, you know?  Plus, now that I’ve started a blog, I get random requests from people I don’t know but who think they know me because they read the blog.


So here’s a list of some of the more frequent and/or bizarre requests that I will never, ever do, so stop asking.  Please.

1.  The cinnamon challenge

This is where people attempt to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon in under a minute without drinking anything and without vomiting or inhaling the powder.  Apparently, this totally sucks, although I really think I could have figured that out on my own when part of the challenge involves not vomiting.  Schools are banning kids from sneaking in cinnamon to do this during school hours, and at least one principal has been suspended for not cracking down on this growing menace.  Cinnamon as contraband?  Well, whatever, I guess.  But no, I’m not taking the cinnamon challenge.  Stop asking.  As a consolation, here’s Jenna Marbles, one of my favorite vloggers, taking the cinnamon challenge dressed as Drake.  Awesome.


2.  Eat my broccoli


Broccoli (Photo credit: Cookthinker)

I’m a grown woman, living on my own, and I don’t wanna eat my broccoli.  You can’t make me.  No you can’t.  No you can’t.  No you can’t.  No no no no no!  I don’t like the way it tastes, I don’t like the way it smells, and I don’t want to eat it.  You know what?  Broccoli’s going in the trash!  Oh, no, is that the sound of a green vegetable hitting the bottom of the trashcan?  Yes, I believe it is.  Broccoli’s gone.  Never gonna eat it.  Stop asking.  On with the ice cream!

3.  Make a sex tape

Never gonna happen.  Stop asking.

4.  Drink tequila.


tequila (Photo credit: doviende)

That stuff’s nasty.  And there are worms, and if there are worms anywhere near any beverage, I’m not drinking it.  I’m not exactly one for little frou-frou girly drinks, but tequila is seriously icky.  I think people keep drinking it because they don’t remember in the morning how nasty it is.  They just wonder why they have their underwear around their necks.  In my experience, there are much more pleasant ways to end up with underwear around your neck–although when tequila is involved, it’s probably just as well to black out.  So, no, I don’t want a shot of tequila.  Not the cheap stuff, not the expensive stuff, not even if there’s no worm.  Stop asking, and bring me a beer.


5.  Learn to cook

I’ve tried.  I have cookbooks and I’ve watched cooking shows and I’ve planned romantic home cooked meals for current honeys.  But, dude, I’m blind.  As a result of my attempts at cooking, I’ve got scars all up and down my arms, nearly chopped off a finger, and ended up in the emergency room more than once.  I also set off the smoke alarms about a third of the time, and whenever I try to chop onions I have to lie down for twenty minutes with a damp cloth over my eyes.  Take out rocks.  Delivery rocks even harder.  I can order chinese food like a mofo.  Little Kung Pao Girl, that’s me.  I tried to learn to cook, and I failed.  Stop asking, or my health insurance company is going to drop me.

So there it is.  Five things I Absolutely Will Not Do.  Unless Johnny Depp asks me, and even then, he’d have to be dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow.  So stop asking.  Unless you’re Johnny Depp dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow.  Are you?

Captain Jack Sparrow

Image via Wikipedia