Damn, life is hard. What happened? When I was
a boy I couldn’t wait to be an adult. All the
grown-ups I knew drove cars, went to R-rated
movies and had plenty of money to spend
however they wanted. Then, somewhere along the line, I
took the leap into adulthood myself, and it’s turned out
to be the biggest mistake I ever made.
It was like being invited into a Hansel and Gretel candy
house, only to find out the treats are made of Styrofoam.
It was like a Happy Meal with no toy. It was like going
out with the woman of your dreams and discovering
she’s a dude.
I just wanted to live in a beautiful house, drive a nice
car and be happy with all the millions I made. But God’s
always got his hand on the rug, ready to yank it at the
slightest sign of my contentment.
When I was on the outside, clamoring to get into this
wretched adults-only club, nobody mentioned the
unending series of crises poised to bite you in the butt.
Life is relentless. As soon as you put out one fire, another
flares up. Life becomes a Whac-A-Mole game, and
are too many moles to whack, leaving molehills to
My problems can all be sorted into two categories:
migraines and tension headaches. Migraines include my
finances, relationships and career. These are the ones
that constantly nag me. I get fired. My spouse leaves. I
don’t have six bucks for Starbucks.
Tension headaches, on the other hand, are those glitches
that blindside me, disrupting my day or mood: the unexpected
cold sore; the backed-up toilet; the teenager who
to be bailed out of the pokey.
come in waves and usually cost me several days
I foam the runway.
I never worried about any of these things when I was a
kid. Now look at me, the punk who couldn’t wait to
grow up: I went from dodgeball to dodging bills.
I never really saw my parents deal with the crap I face.
Okay, there were little things like a broken window or a
garbage disposal problem, but these mini events were
few and seemed to correct themselves. I’d go to bed,
wake up and everything was back to normal. Now, when
I wake up, reality is sitting at the foot of the bed saying,
“Ready for more?” Then it laughs like a loon. Unlike
me, it knows what’s coming. This morning’s present: cat
puke on the carpet. Even kitty has turned on me.
Everybody deals with crises in his or her own way. I try
to ignore them until they go away. People always tell me
that’s not a good strategy. I ignore them until they go away.
My favorite form of problem-solving is to take a deep
breath and hide under the covers. Mail? I throw it away.
If it’s important, they’ll write back. The key is to keep
pushing your problems back until one day they become
one humongous, insurmountable ball of fire rolling
toward you. Then you step aside, change your identity
and move far, far away.
I don’t wish problems on other people, but it’s good to
know they have them too. The fact that others wallow in
misery brings sadistic comfort. Think of how bad you
would feel if you were the only one with problems. I say,
throw everyone into the pool; I don’t want to drown alone.
It’s also nice when someone tells you about their problems
and they’re 10 times worse than your own. “My
daughter is pregnant” trumps “My poodle ran
Of course you toss in a few words of consolation,
but if you’re the one with the poodle in that conversation,
just made your day.
what would I do without you?
I’m sure cavemen had difficulties, too. The fire went
out. The kids drew on the wall. Life insurance was too
expensive. Come on! Trials and tribulations have
always been a part of life throughout time. Take Job
from the Bible. Now, that fella had setbacks. Loses all
his money. His livestock and children die. Body covered
in boils. We’re talking pain and suffering. And, worst of
all, his wife is a hater. Ol’ Job summed up the plight of
the responsible adult perfectly: “I have no peace, no
quietness. I have no rest. Only trouble comes.”
No, the brochure about the freedoms of adulthood is
tantamount to those scammy businesses where they
claim that you can make $8,000 a week while sitting at
your home computer. You shell out $62 for the stuff
that tells you how to become the next millionaire
and—booyah!—you’re $62 poorer.
Maybe kids are smarter these days. Many of them are in
their 40s, living under their parents’ roof, which reminds
me: My ceiling is leaking. Better call Mommy and
Daddy and see if I can get a loan.
by Jeff Charlebois
in the Geri Jewell Issue; Humor Adulthood is Overrated; Ashley
Fiolek Balancing Work and Play; Sen. Harkin The Affortable
Care Act; China A Teacher Who Moves Mountains; Saudi Arabia
A Princess Seeks a World of Change; George Covington The Thing
About Getting Old; Derek Amato He Sees Music; Joe Pantoliano
He Puts the Fun in Dysfunctional; Asylum Book
Excerpt; Geri Jewell A Good Act to Follow; Brad Hennefer
Loves His Tee Time; Equine Therapy Horses Help Vets to Heal;
ABILITY's Crossword Puzzle; Events and Conferences...