Today I paid a bill on time. That's so adult of me!
Look at me adulting, I went furniture shopping!
These clothes make me look so adult!
Growing up can feel surreal, and many times, the mundane duties in our daily lives can feel like they are taking over. But that still does not fully explain why people feel the need to advertise the fact that they do simple, everyday tasks that most well-adjusted, responsible humans should do regularly and why they feel the need to applaud themselves as though these things are really something special.
Why are people using the word "adult" as a verb, or as an adjective to describe anything and everything they do that smacks of responsibility?
When I was a kid, people typically used the word "adult" as an adjective to describe the following:
- movies that were kept in a place where kids were not allowed to go
- magazines and websites where people weren't wearing any clothes
- alcoholic beverages or tobacco products
When I was a kid, the actual adults in my life used the word "adult" in verb form: NEVER. I never once heard any of the real adults in my life say anything to the effect of, "look at me adulting!" Actually, I just tried to type "adulting" into this post and it keeps getting marked as misspelled because it's not actually a fucking word.
As I sit here in my late twenties, I picture the people I currently view as adults in my life: my coworkers, my older family members, my friends' parents. I try and recall a single time anyone of them has referred to the things they do as "adulting" or spoken of a single time that they have pointed out the fact that they regularly pay bills, showed up to work, or bought themselves Kitchen Aid mixers and said something to the effect of "This is so adult of me!" Not a single instance comes to my mind.
So, this is a plea to my peers: stop abusing the word adult and remove "adulting" from your vocabulary, especially when describing the way you navigate life. It's one thing to use the word adult as a noun when referencing yourself or someone else who is, in fact, an adult. If you are over the age of 18, you are legally an adult. Respect yourself by not begging for the spotlight to be placed on you for doing everyday tasks like paying the bills or fulfilling basic life responsibilities. When you call attention to yourself for doing such things you reveal yourself to be anything but an adult, and trivialize the fact that you are actually growing up and taking real steps toward becoming a mature and responsible member of society.