An Adultier Adult

I sprinkled shredded cheddar-cheese over the pan of bright-green, freshly-steamed broccoli florets. The orange fragments melted quickly on the vegetables, but the pieces that made it to the pan began to sizzle. I slid this first course of my supper onto a plate and carried it into my office. As I set it down in front of the computer monitor, the phone rang. Caller ID showed that my daughter, Tammie, was on the line.

Switching the phone to speaker, I sat down at the desk and said, “Hi sweetie! How are you this evening?”

Tammie cheerfully answered, “Good, had a great day at work…got everything accomplished that I had planned to and, since the weather is so pleasant, I’m going to go for a bike ride along the Mississippi river before going up to my apartment.”

Swallowing a mouthful of broccoli, I said, “Great! Glad to hear you’ve had a good day and are going to get out for a bike ride. I’m ashamed to admit that my only exercise so far today was two or three trips up and down the stairs and thirteen minutes of quickly peddling to no where on my exercise bike!”

Laughing, my daughter gracefully conceded, “Well, at least you got some exercise!”

Nodding as if Tammie could see me, I said, “The rest of the stuff that I did today doesn’t count up much on my Fitbit. I did a few errands in Marshfield, visited my brother and baked some bread.”

Tammie quipped, “In other words, you were being a responsible adult. That reminds me of a meme that I saw on the computer today. It showed a terrified-looking young adult. The message under the picture said, “The horrifying moment when you’re looking for an adult, but then you realize that you’re an adult. So, you look for an older adult, someone successfully adulting…an adultier adult.”

Chuckling, I said, “In some situations I still feel like that…and I’m sixty-five years old! Maybe it’s just me, but I have never felt like I’ve grown up. I dislike responsibility. Some people seem to thrive on it. What I do on most days is just maintain my life style, but when I’m faced with making big decisions or dealing with emergencies, I still want an adultier adult to help me.”

On the other end of the phone line Tammie mused, “The meme really resonated with me. I thought that was just because I am in my thirties.”

Pushing my empty plate aside, I said, “Your Grammie told me when she celebrated her 95th birthday, that inside her old body, she still felt very young. So, it’s possible that in some situations even a centenarian could desperately look around for an adultier adult for help.”

Several months later I did something that made me remember this conversation. The tire treads on my car were wearing down. Instead of just driving the car until the tires went flat, I watched for tire sales. When I found one, I took the car in for ‘new shoes’. Several hundred dollars later, I walked out of the garage office. Instead of feeling awful for having spent so much money, I felt exhilarated. I had done an adulty thing. I had behaved like an adultier adult!

That evening I called my daughter Tammie. I crowed, “Guess what? I acted like an adultier adult today…I bought new car tires because I wanted them, not because they had gone flat!”

My late husband, Arnie, must have been an adultier adult from birth. We married at a very young age and always joked about how we had to finish raising each other. In our later years, we would each say, “I did a good job in raising you.” However, Arnie always took charge of things like replacing tires, buying large ticket household appliances and our insurance policies right from the start.

I recently had my car and house insurance policies examined and was offered a cheaper bundle that would give me more coverage. The offer was advantageous to me, so I made an adultier adult decision once again.

During a telephone conversation with my daughter Tammie, “I marveled, “Do you think I’m finally growing up? In the last six months, I have behaved like an adultier adult two times!”

Teasingly, my daughter suggested, “Maybe you will even start driving in downtown Saint Paul.”

There was a pause before I answered her. Finally, I drawled, “Nah…I doubt I’ll ever become THAT adulty!”


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