Last weekend at Target, I saw a t-shirt with the words I Can’t Adult Today printed across the chest.

Have you heard adulting used as a verb yet?  It describes the completion of a normal adult duty, like cooking dinner, or washing a load of laundry, or even, yes, putting on pants.

It’s an internet word, like squad goals or FOMO.

As the kids on the internet say, I can’t even with this idea of adulting.

Some real-internet examples:

  • I drink coffee because adulting is hard.
  • I’m done adulting today. I’m going to have a bottle of wine and watch Netflix.
  • Made a dinner with a vegetable. Now I need a nap. #AdultingIsHard
  • I can’t adult today. (Usually accompanied by a picture of a cat or dog stretched out on their back and covering their eyes with their paws)

I don’t object to coffee, wine, or Netflix. But I hate the implication that adulting is inherently a drag, an endless Groundhog Day of going to a boring job, washing dishes, paying bills, cooking dinner, and doing laundry.

Also, it is only used to insinuate that the person is not doing all that great a job of being a grown-up. I mean, since when do you get a trophy for cooking dinner with a carrot in it?  Nobody says, “Just got a big promotion. Can’t wait to stuff my kid’s college fund full of money like a boss!”  Now that’s adulting.

Can you imagine if some of history’s biggest heroes had this attitude?

What if John Wayne had said, “There are some things a man just can’t run away from. Unless it’s early AF and I’m still in my yoga pants. #ApacheComing

Rhett Butler: “Frankly, my dear, I literally can’t even with you today. And I totally get where Arie is coming from.  I never should have given you the final rose. #PullingAMesnick

Patrick Henry: “Give me a strong WiFi signal, or give me death! #LibertyFromDeadZones.

JFK: “Ask not what your parent’s basement can do for you, but what you can do for your parent’s basement. #RenovateBeforeYouInhabit.”

Scarlett O’Hara: “As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again.  Unless the battery is dead on my smartphone and I can’t order takeout.  #CerealForDinnerAgain. #OopsNoMilk  #MakeItDryCereal.  #AdultingIsHard.”

Martin Luther King Jr: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin or the fact that they called in sick to work to binge-watch Game of Thrones all day because spoilers! #WinterIsComing

Ronald Reagan: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!  Wait, what?  He already tore it down?  Oops, I missed it.  I was playing Candy Crush on my phone. #Awkward.”

But let’s be honest—being an adult is great. Sure, it doesn’t have the carefree lightness of a great childhood, but it’s got choice.

And choice is never a drag. So let’s all buck up, put our inner child on ice, and remember the difference between minor modern inconveniences and real problems.

Unless my cable goes out during Outlander.  Then prepare for #EpicMeltdown.