Maybe it was the well rounded, gainfully employed characters of Friends, or that luxuriously stable economy my parents enjoyed in their 20s, but when I was a kid, I truly believed that being 25 was the equivalent of being a fully grown adult. I’m talking 9 to 5 employment, mortgages and marriage.
Well I’ve got news for all you kids reading this, there are now things called student debt, Donald Trump and Tinder. Ross and Rachel would have blocked each other by season 3, Chandler would be a promising but unpaid intern and Monica’s 17k followers on her instafood account would be non monetizable. Sorry Mon’. I don’t even want to think about the fate of poor old Joey and Pheebs in this wifi dystopia.
Last year I moved into my own apartment, no roommates, no shared spaces just a teenage woman and about 23 square meters. Within the first week I had blown a fuse. Electrical and metaphorical. The lights wouldn’t turn on. I didn’t know where the electricity switch board was for my apartment, but I went and fiddled with any switch I could find, like a kid trying to glue a broken vase without an adult seeing.
As the sun set, I thought about buying a lamp and moving on with my new dimly-lit life. Unfortunately my lamp budget had been woefully depleted as I had spent my (bank borrowed) life savings on a generous deposit and rent in advance. So I left a message with my property manager. Was the gig up? Would he tear up my tenancy agreement, sighting a strict ‘no children’ policy? Would he come and point out the fuse box to me like you point out a cat to a toddler? Did real adults have these problems? What the heck even was a real adult anymore...
Finding out about the elusiveness of adulthood, the social construction of grownups, came at a delicate time for me. Like I’m sure it does for everyone. I was mournful for an emotionally and financially stable “adulthood” that may not exist. Maybe my affinity for wearing denim overalls holds me back from becoming the Rachel Green I've always wanted to be. Maybe I need to invest in pair of apartment pants, or maybe I’m the Phoebe.