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4 Ridiculous Things No One Tells You About Being an Adult

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When you're a kid, it seems like everything awesome in life is going to happen as soon as you're an adult. Are you materialistic? As an adult you can start making money. Are you civic-minded? You can vote. Do you want to drown the memories of your terrible childhood? You can drink. Do you want to make money, but in a faster, slightly more dishonest way? You can gamble, or buy a gun. You can also look at boobies or, if you're a lady, you can have them all to yourself. Yes, being an adult is awesome.

Thing is, once you reach adulthood, there's a pantsload of shit waiting for you that no one prepared you for. And it's not stuff like jury duty and taxes, it's stupid shit no one saw coming. Like this!

#4. Grocery Shopping

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Children take food for granted. Except those hungry kids in commercials late at night who need your money. But you, as a kid, probably took food for granted. You probably never knew the horror your parents experienced every single time they went grocery shopping. But you'll know it once you start buying your own groceries.

From the outside, grocery shopping appears to be triumphantly mundane. You go to a store, put the food you want in a cart, buy it and go home. But God, when you're there in person doing it, it's so much worse.

You walk into the store and the first thing you're going to see is produce. Why? Because. Maybe it's because produce looks fresh and inviting and the produce section is mostly open and it eases you into the experience. It also leaves you putting soft, squishy things like tomatoes and bananas into your cart before anything else, so you're constantly looking to arrange everything so they don't get squished.

Do you want to buy milk, eggs, butter and bread? Of course you do, those are the basic staples of grocery shopping. They're on the far side of the store, so you have to walk past everything else to get them. And that would be cool if you were the one person in the store. But you aren't, are you? No. No you're not.

Inevitably, every time you go grocery shopping, 80 percent of the other shoppers will be the vanguard of an elite squad of shopping morons, trained in secret to not have a goddamn clue about anything and probably unable to find their own assholes with a road map and two Sherpa guides. They will stop in the middle of aisles, they'll take the last one of whatever it is you went to the store to get, and once they get to the checkout, they will decide they don't want half of what they picked up, and they'll debate the pricing of whatever they bought based on a flier that clearly states they're more wrong than a Ron Paul supporter.

Everyone else grocery shopping is there only to buy groceries as a secondary goal. Their primary goal, despite how little sense it makes, is just to piss you off. Every week. Every single week.

#3. Non-Authority Figures

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If you were a child ensconced to a greater or lesser degree in some kind of sociopathy, then adults meant nothing to you and you probably set fires or watched innocent people die in accidents with a detached indifference and a nearly imperceptible look in your eye that said "Yes, I'm going to put on this William Shatner mask and slaughter anyone who has ever eaten Activia yogurt." To every other kid, adults were imposing figures of authority, especially those elevated adults in the roles of teachers, police, shopkeepers, bus drivers and the scary old ladies who constantly swept their own driveways as though no one had ever had the decency to tell them that the outside is where dirt comes from and thus they will never clean it off because they are, in fact, outside.

Once you grow up, you are welcomed into that world of imposing adult authority figures, but the thing is, you don't get a memo. So there will be a day, as a full-grown, in-control-of-your-own-sexual-urges, eating-vegetables-without-being-told adult, when you speak to a teacher and find yourself deferring to them and asking permission for things like some kind of epic wank job of a person.

You're conditioned from childhood to respect elders, listen to your teachers, do as people in authority tell you, because they know better than your empty, worthless child's brain does, and then the day comes when you're one of those old people and you're not even aware that the illusion of authority that these people have is still pushing you around. You know for a fact, as an adult, that a school principal is one missed paycheck away from scouring the gutters in his discount suit, trying to eat homeless people's faces, so what authority does he have? Not a lick. Sure, you can still respect him if you have to deal with him, but if he takes a phone call in the middle of talking to you, it's not only OK, it's expected of you that you'll piss on his desk. If he tries to protest, you raise a finger to silence him until you're done, and you make sure he expresses sincere thanks for your effort or you just walk right out. Right out.

Some of us are predisposed to not bending over once we're older, but some of us get stuck in patterns -- thankless fast food or chain store jobs where our shitty bosses take the place of shitty teachers, and we never really develop that spine we should have as equals because we're still treated like children. So, as a favor to me, if you work a throwaway, bullshit job for a douchebag boss who doesn't respect you, the next time he's being a totally unreasonable dick, feel free to tell him you have a gift for him, then drop a deuce in his coffee mug. You'll have to be stealthy, as most people's first reaction is to immediately pull their mug away once you've depantsed and taken up a squat mount on their desk, but you'll figure something out. Make me proud.

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Ian Fortey

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