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.