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.
Victoria's Secret is best known for what it has to offer women. However, a few days ago as I was strolling around the flagship store on Bond Street, I discovered that the store also has a lot to offer men as well. Just not exactly what you'd think.
My experience began like many other shopping excursions, casually browsing for a few practical items. The store was bustling with women who were relaxed but focused on their own purchases. The women in the store all displayed a quiet confidence in knowing what to do and how to do it. My browsing journey took me into another room where I noticed a man behaving quite awkwardly while being guided around by one of the many well-trained twenty-something shop assistants. My first thought was: "Good for him coming in here alone! I imagine it isn't the most comfortable experience for a man." It was clear he felt out of place. His discomfort was obvious by the way he was shuffling around and avoiding eye contact with any women nearby.
This otherwise unremarkable experience sent a spark through my mind. This man was professional and smartly dressed; perhaps he could have worked for one of the many private equity, hedge fund or banking firms in the nearby area. I imagined that he was confident in his own world of work, but in this female haven he was not. He was the only man in the room, and it showed.
This world - that of Victoria's Secret - was not created to make someone like him feel comfortable. In this environment—a store catering to women, filled by women and selling feminine merchandise—the familiar patriarchal dynamics of the world had completely shifted.
This was a world that can transform an otherwise confident professional into an introverted, self-conscious and indecisive man who needed the help of a twenty-something female to make one simple purchase.
I have seen this story play out with the gender roles reversed many times throughout my career in the corporate world. Today, the culture of many companies are built and sustained by men, for men. Traditional male characteristics are still encouraged, rewarded and expected from female professionals, especially if they expect to reach the executive suite. Being the only woman in the room is still an everyday reality for so many women in business; most men do not understand how corrosive this situation can be to a person's confidence.
I have often heard men say that they believe gender inequality is not an issue in their firm. They hire women and now even have some women on their teams. Well, on those terms this man should not have experienced any issue either. There is no sign at the door of Victoria's Secret barring men from entry. Men are allowed to freely enter and buy whatever they choose. No woman in there would tell them to leave or suggest that to get to the front of the queue they must behave in a certain way. So, what was the problem? Why did this man appear so uncomfortable? Why did he suddenly lack the confidence he seemed to have in the outside world?
It's all in the numbers. If that store catered towards the needs of men, or if there were simply more men in the store (either equivalent to or greater than the number of women), then it is likely that man would have felt a greater sense of belonging.
Just because women are allowed into the workplace now, does not mean their experiences are equivalent to those of their male peers. Women, as the minority, simply do not have the same sense of freedom to be their true authentic selves in many corporate environments, even today.
Just like that Victoria's Secret shop assistant guiding the lone man through an ostensibly unwelcoming environment, so, too, do women benefit from the guidance of sponsors, helping them navigate the male dominated corporate world.
Before a man talks about gender parity, perhaps he first needs to take a trip to a lingerie store and experience what it is like to be the only one in the room. Maybe if more men had experiences like this, they may begin to understand what it is to feel so out of place. Maybe they would join us in creating greater gender equality in the workplace.