Everyone has words they dislike. Many people, for example, hate the word moist. I’ve never really understood it but I’ve heard it from many different people, although now that I see it italicized it seems a little more pervy. Personally, crisps has always pissed me off. It’s like you start saying a word and switch to beat boxing halfway through. It’s annoying and stupid. I hate saying it, I hate hearing it, and I hate that it exists.
A new word has popped up in the last few years that rivals crisps, not because it sounds fucking stupid, but because the word and all of its connotations are stupid: Adulting. According to Urban Dictionary, the ultimate source on everything stupid:
Adulting (v): to carry out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals.
Like going grocery shopping, going to bed at a reasonable hour, or paying bills instead of buying a video game. Obviously, taking a noun and making it into a verb is a little silly, but that’s not my problem here. The problem is that people use this as a badge of honor as if they should be lionized for getting their oil changed.
Hey Josh, why don’t you chill the fuck out, old man? It’s just a word.
No, you chill the fuck out. Sure, it’s just a word, but the words we use not only signify our thoughts but shape them. If we’re going to use a self-congratulatory term for completing the basic necessities of adult life then we are creating assumptions within ourselves that these duties are superfluous.
But they’re not. It’s just called being alive. And when you’re alive you have to do a bunch of dumb shit you don’t want to because that’s the way our stupid lives are structured. There’s a huge section of society with a severe case of Peter Pan Syndrome (myself included) and we seem to be finding ways to justify the fact that none of us really want to grow the fuck up.
Disclaimer: I submit there is nothing wrong with not wanting to grow up. Our younger selves are almost universally more idealistic, optimistic, and adventurous. Those are positive qualities that can soften the grind of full-time work and bullshit responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean these responsibilities don’t exist. A childlike worldview and adult pragmatism can co-exist. They don’t cancel each other out unless you pit one against the other. Mailing out your rent and then hashtagging adulting! negates the actual act of getting something done because it switches your motives from completing a necessary task to gaining approval from others.
There’s only one section of society that gets a pass from my eviscerating judgment: Minors. Anybody under 18 can go totally bonkers saying they adulted by getting their homework done or “owning” a level of Pokémon (or whatever). As soon as you gain the ability to vote for president, however, that word should be erased from your memory.
The next time you buy some weed killer or sign a lease, just breathe a sigh of relief and go about your day. Save the childish verbiage for people that need help buying cigarettes. Imagine the soldiers on the beaches of Normandy picking up their friends’ arms and saying to each other, “It’s a good thing we adulted more than the Germans.”