#SWAAYthenarrative
BETA
Close

30 Signs You’re An Adult… Or In Denial About It

Lifestyle

If you were born in the 80s or 90s, the prospect of “adulthood" is ever on the horizon. But when do you officially cross the river Hades and begin the concurrent numerical-ascent and physical-descent into its imminent grasp?


Well, just like its younger sibling “puberty," this next stage of our lives can vary from person to person. But the telltale signs that you've reached the adulting threshold are there.

Ironically, there are 30 of them, and they're listed below.

"You literally just stop caring. Especially about what others think."

30 Signs You're an Adult… Or in Denial About It

1. You've fallen asleep in full makeup and clothing on a Saturday night.

With the lights on.

2. Your new [vacuum cleaner] is your favorite purchase of the year so far.

Feel free to substitute: blender, knife set, steamer, space heater, or pots-and-pans here.

If you're an Adult-in-Denial (AiD): a PlayStation console.

3. You've napped in your car on your lunch break to recover from a night out.

And have a strategy (like a blanket or hoodie left in your back seat) to do so more effectively.

4. You smile when they ask for your ID at a bar.

Instead of silently rehearsing your fake birthday and birthplace.

“Millie Thompson, June 3rd, 1986… I mean 1987."

5. You treat your pet like your child… because all of your friends have children.

Everyone knows someone in daycare.

6. The definition of “Coke" changes from a soda to a drug, or vice-versa.

But you need at least one of them to stay awake these days.

7. Your idea of “recreational drugs" are now just prescription drugs for which you have no prescription.

And you're old enough to have binge-watched “Intervention" when it was still on the air.

8. You floss. Like, daily. Sometimes even at work.

And are shameless when your coworkers walk in on you doing it

9. You pay extra to shop online from your couch rather than interact with humans.

And refuse to order anything on Amazon that's not Prime. #FreeShippingOrBust

10. You've caught yourself discussing the economy and real estate markets at parties… with people who are willing and interested.

There was probably a cheese plate involved. Even though you tell people you're “lactose intolerant."

11. You literally just stop caring. Especially about what others think.

And choose to live in a world where “sweatpants" are just called “pants."

12. Espresso makes you poop within the hour.

You also have a list of other natural laxatives lying around your place.

13. You actually get ready for bed, and make sure you get enough sleep to function the next day.

Refer to item #3 for what happens if you don't get your full eight hours.

19. The word “Colonoscopy" suddenly enters your vocabulary.

And you've probably found reviews and Groupons for the best place to get one done.

14. You no longer count the free snacks at work as a “full meal."

And have voiced a strong opinion on which foods they keep in stock. Because you've probably “developed an intolerance" to one of the ingredients, and want everyone to be aware of it.

15. You always bring a dish or drink with you when you visit a friend's place.

You used to wonder who shopped at your local grocery store bakery. Now, you bring festive cookies everywhere you go.

16. You start calling your friend's parents by their first names, instead of Mr./Mrs.

And they're now comfortable sharing what was really going on in your neighborhood, especially during birthday parties.

17. It takes you 2 hours to get drunk... and 2 days to recover.

But by now you've mastered the science experiment of hydration + electrolytes + active charcoal to avoid the inevitable hangover.

18. You buy ice cream whenever you want… and can afford to pay for the good stuff.

Most likely on a Friday night to complement your Netflix date and lack of fucks.

"You realize that you can no longer do math without a calculator."

20. You've injured yourself while simply sleeping or stretching.

On numerous, separate occasions. Like when you “bent over wrong to tie your shoe" last week.

21. You now refer to it as “adult" acne.

Subliminally, of course.

22. You no longer share one Netflix account with everyone you know.

But most likely have to keep instructing your parents on how to use it.

23. You pay your taxes on-time. Without your parents reminding you.

Though you might call them for advice just in case.

24. You realize that you can no longer do math without a calculator.

And have forgotten literally everything else they taught you in middle school. How do you even use a protractor in real life?

25. You drive around nice neighborhoods just to admire houses from the outside.

Just like your parents did before you.

26. You find random dark hairs on your face and body.

Which you pay other people good money to deal with removing.

27. You pride yourself on upgrading from shopping at Forever 21 to Zara.

Although you're “Forever 21" at heart… am I right

28. You find ways to justify “sleeping" and “eating" as hobbies.

Yelp is not an activity people. But is sleep?

29. You seriously get down with meditation.

And have probably fallen asleep once or twice while doing it.

30. You realize you're not what you “thought you would be when you grew up."

And there's no more time to do something about it.

Our newsletter that womansplains the week
8min read
Politics

Do 2020 Presidential Candidates Still Have Rules to Play By?

Not too many years ago, my advice to political candidates would have been pretty simple: "Don't do or say anything stupid." But the last few elections have rendered that advice outdated.


When Barack Obama referred to his grandmother as a "typical white woman" during the 2008 campaign, for example, many people thought it would cost him the election -- and once upon a time, it probably would have. But his supporters were focused on the values and positions he professed, and they weren't going to let one unwise comment distract them. Candidate Obama didn't even get much pushback for saying, "We're five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." That statement should have given even his most ardent supporters pause, but it didn't. It was in line with everything Obama had previously said, and it was what his supporters wanted to hear.

2016: What rules?

Fast forward to 2016, and Donald Trump didn't just ignore traditional norms, he almost seemed to relish violating them. Who would have ever dreamed we'd elect a man who talked openly about grabbing women by the **** and who was constantly blasting out crazy-sounding Tweets? But Trump did get elected. Why? Some people believe it was because Americans finally felt like they had permission to show their bigotry. Others think Obama had pushed things so far to the left that right-wing voters were more interested in dragging public policy back toward the middle than in what Trump was Tweeting.

Another theory is that Trump's lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable behavior was deliberately designed to make Democrats feel comfortable campaigning on policies that were far further to the left than they ever would have attempted before. Why? Because they were sure America would never elect someone who acted like Trump. If that theory is right, and Democrats took the bait, Trump's "digital policies" served him well.

And although Trump's brash style drew the most handlines, he wasn't the only one who seemed to have forgotten the, "Don't do or say anything stupid," rule. Hillary Clinton also made news when she made a "basket of deplorables" comment at a private fundraiser, but it leaked out, and it dogged her for the rest of the election cycle.

And that's where we need to start our discussion. Now that all the old rules about candidate behavior have been blown away, do presidential candidates even need digital policies?

Yes, they do. More than ever, in my opinion. Let me tell you why.

Digital policies for 2020 and beyond

While the 2016 election tossed traditional rules about political campaigns to the trash heap, that doesn't mean you can do anything you want. Even if it's just for the sake of consistency, candidates need digital policies for their own campaigns, regardless of what anybody else is doing. Here are some important things to consider.

Align your digital policies with your campaign strategy

Aside from all the accompanying bells and whistles, why do you want to be president? What ideological beliefs are driving you? If you were to become president, what would you want your legacy to be? Once you've answered those questions honestly, you can develop your campaign strategy. Only then can you develop digital policies that are in alignment with the overall purpose -- the "Why?" -- of your campaign:

  • If part of your campaign strategy, for example, is to position yourself as someone who's above the fray of the nastiness of modern politics, then one of your digital policies should be that your campaign will never post or share anything that attacks another candidate on a personal level. Attacks will be targeted only at the policy level.
  • While it's not something I would recommend, if your campaign strategy is to depict the other side as "deplorables," then one of your digital policies should be to post and share every post, meme, image, etc. that supports your claim.
  • If a central piece of your platform is that detaining would-be refugees at the border is inhumane, then your digital policies should state that you will never say, post, or share anything that contradicts that belief, even if Trump plans to relocate some of them to your own city. Complaining that such a move would put too big a strain on local resources -- even if true -- would be making an argument for the other side. Don't do it.
  • Don't be too quick to share posts or Tweets from supporters. If it's a text post, read all of it to make sure there's not something in there that would reflect negatively on you. And examine images closely to make sure there's not a small detail that someone may notice.
  • Decide what your campaign's voice and tone will be. When you send out emails asking for donations, will you address the recipient as "friend" and stress the urgency of donating so you can continue to fight for them? Or will you personalize each email and use a more low-key, collaborative approach?

Those are just a few examples. The takeaway is that your online behavior should always support your campaign strategy. While you could probably get away with posting or sharing something that seems mean or "unpresidential," posting something that contradicts who you say you are could be deadly to your campaign. Trust me on this -- if there are inconsistencies, Twitter will find them and broadcast them to the world. And you'll have to waste valuable time, resources, and public trust to explain those inconsistencies away.

Remember that the most common-sense digital policies still apply

The 2016 election didn't abolish all of the rules. Some still apply and should definitely be included in your digital policies:

  1. Claim every domain you can think of that a supporter might type into a search engine. Jeb Bush not claiming www.jebbush.com (the official campaign domain was www.jeb2016.com) was a rookie mistake, and he deserved to have his supporters redirected to Trump's site.
  2. Choose your campaign's Twitter handle wisely. It should be obvious, not clever or cutesy. In addition, consider creating accounts with possible variations of the Twitter handle you chose so that no one else can use them.
  3. Give the same care to selecting hashtags. When considering a hashtag, conduct a search to understand its current use -- it might not be what you think! When making up new hashtags, try to avoid anything that could be hijacked for a different purpose -- one that might end up embarrassing you.
  4. Make sure that anyone authorized to Tweet, post, etc., on your behalf has a copy of your digital policies and understands the reasons behind them. (People are more likely to follow a rule if they understand why it's important.)
  5. Decide what you'll do if you make an online faux pas that starts a firestorm. What's your emergency plan?
  6. Consider sending an email to supporters who sign up on your website, thanking them for their support and suggesting ways (based on digital policies) they can help your messaging efforts. If you let them know how they can best help you, most should be happy to comply. It's a small ask that could prevent you from having to publicly disavow an ardent supporter.
  7. Make sure you're compliant with all applicable regulations: campaign finance, accessibility, privacy, etc. Adopt a double opt-in policy, so that users who sign up for your newsletter or email list through your website have to confirm by clicking on a link in an email. (And make sure your email template provides an easy way for people to unsubscribe.)
  8. Few people thought 2016 would end the way it did. And there's no way to predict quite yet what forces will shape the 2020 election. Careful tracking of your messaging (likes, shares, comments, etc.) will tell you if you're on track or if public opinion has shifted yet again. If so, your messaging needs to shift with it. Ideally, one person should be responsible for monitoring reaction to the campaign's messaging and for raising a red flag if reactions aren't what was expected.

Thankfully, the world hasn't completely lost its marbles

Whatever the outcome of the election may be, candidates now face a situation where long-standing rules of behavior no longer apply. You now have to make your own rules -- your own digital policies. You can't make assumptions about what the voting public will or won't accept. You can't assume that "They'll never vote for someone who acts like that"; neither can you assume, "Oh, I can get away with that, too." So do it right from the beginning. Because in this election, I predict that sound digital policies combined with authenticity will be your best friend.