Growing up is overrated.
You can delay it as much as you'd like, but eventually, you don't have any choice but to give in. I never wanted to grow out of Limited Too clothing. Never. But one day, their size 16 dress fit me like a crop top and when I tried to browse the store, little girls smelling like strawberry Tootsie Rolls walked up to me and asked me to grab a shirt for them off the rack because they were still doll-sized and I was a giant.
That's the same way I feel about going out now. Three years ago, when the clubs shut down at 4 a.m., I was sad -- why did the deafening beats and the dance moves have to end at 4 a.m.? Why, why, why? Now, when (if) I go out, I'm starting to plot my exit strategy to be out of the overcrowded, sweat-smelling bar and into my bed before the clock strikes Cinderella's curfew.
Even though, sometimes, I am scared of my own shadow -- when I see myself wearing a pencil skirt and carrying a leather briefcase that was so out of my budget it was a Hanukkah present, or when I order a small side of fries at McDonalds instead of a large because of something called a stubborn metabolism, or when I section off 5 percent of my paycheck and put it in a retirement fund that I won't be able to touch until I'm at the age where golf and watching "Judge Judy" at 2 p.m. finally make sense -- there's still some things I find myself doing and saying that make me feel like the ultimate child.
Here are 10 things that never ever make me feel like a grownup:
1. Wearing jewelry that turns my fingers green.
Because I can't afford the real stuff. The real metals and the stones and the diamonds that cost so much people buy insurance for them. I've never bought insurance for anything wearable -- though maybe I should have. I've lost heirlooms worth more than the sum of all my belongings and I've broken jewelry that the jeweler said was unbreakable. That's why everything I wear, accessory-wise, comes from Forever 21 or Claire's.
2. Throwing temper tantrums.
Mostly when I'm hungry and tired. OK, always when I'm hungry and tired.
3. Eating kid's meals, because they are cheaper, more fun and proportional.
Grownups order one main meal and then spend a good 10 minutes debating if they should get an appetizer or a side dish, and then another five minutes dripping sweat over if they should order dessert. And they rarely do, because the giant slice of cheesecake they order will be 1,672 calories and then they'll leave this fancy dinner feeling all bad about themselves and their choices, and the fact that they can't stop, won't stop when it comes to stuffing down food at the dinner table. (This is my typical Saturday night.)
Kid's meals solve all those problems for you. Just pick a main course. Though it will be smaller, it will come with something before (a side salad perhaps -- or a side of French fries) and after (a sliver of pie or an ice cream sundae). So you'll be just fine. If all meals were served kids meal-sized, I wouldn't have to wear jeggings to a restaurant I can't contain myself at.
4. Doodling on important documents.
I'm sorry, I had no idea the piece of paper I drew a unicorn eating Chex Mix on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro were your notes that your boss left you after your mid-year review.
5. Eating gummy vitamins. (Vitamins taste gross. Gummy vitamins taste amazing.)
Real vitamins are awkwardly shaped and smell bad before you take them and leave a stale taste in your mouth after you take them. Gummy vitamins make you feel like you're eating candy -- and you are -- candy that's packed with Vitamin A, B, C and D. It's a step up from taking Flintstone Vitamins and a step down from taking a Women's One-a-Day.
6. Embracing old-school lunch rules. PB&J > Salad.
PB&J takes seconds to make and fills you up for a good chunk of the afternoon. Salad is boring and adult-like and these make your own salad restaurants will charge you $1.50 a topping -- so after you've loaded up your lettuce with enough ingredients to make it a hearty lunch, you've spent $14.50.
7. Eating dessert before dinner.
Sometimes dessert (a pint of ice cream) counts as dinner.
8. Buying a children's ticket at the movie theater.
Because it's cheaper -- and I hope, I really hope, that I have a better chance of passing as a child at the movies than I do as a senior. Until there's something in between that doesn't require a student ID to snag a discount, us 20-somethings have to pull the, "Oops, did I really buy a child's ticket?" when we're caught, in order to try and save a good $5 at the movies.
9. Eating foods that have mascots.
Chester Cheetah, Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam -- all live inside of my pantry.
10. Using pinkie promises as formal contracts.
You pinkie-promised we'd eat Chinese food after I came with you to watch Transformers 2! You pinkie-promised me you'd let me borrow your collection of Kerouac books. You pinkie-promised you would never do the Gangnam Style dance ever, ever again.
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