Your parents. They tried. They explained not all the money you earn goes toward fun things, and you’re like “Yeah, yeah, I gotta pay rent and car insurance, I get it.” But then you go out on your own, and at some point, there’s a purchase that you make and shit, it gets real. You plunk your money down, deeply resentful with steam nearly coming out your ears, but you do it anyway because you’re a grown-ass adult and that means spending money on things that scream YOUR CHILDHOOD IS OVER FOREVER. For me, that was a $90 vacuum (and then, two years later, another one, because it turns out a good vacuum is not $90).

In honor of that moment, here’s a list of things that, when you fork over cash to pay for them, you kinda want to crawl back in the womb.

1. Vegetables. Meat. Eggs. All food not candy or restaurant food. Every time I buy a vegetable, I am surprised nobody is there to pat me on the back and congratulate me on my healthy life choices. Like, it turns out the hard thing about being a grown-up is you have to have all this strength and resolve and initiative on the inside where nobody can see it, when you spend most of adolescence wishing more people *would* see XYZ about you. Then you graduate and get a job and you realize everybody just wants you to keep on keeping that stuff quiet. Having dreams doesn’t make you interesting. It makes you a liability.

2. Ribbons. Confetti. All the little extras that make gift-wrapping look especially thoughtful and elegant and pretty. I *do* want to give a present wrapped so prettily that it clearly conveys to the recipient that I am a lovely, feminine person who is thoughtful and gave great care to the present I am about to foist upon them. I just, like, don’t went to spend fifteen bucks on gift-wrapping crap. But every time I show up at a bridal shower, I look at the gift mound and I’m like, “Welp, I guess I’m the slacker here.”

3. New mascara every six months?? WTF is that? I own make-up for those rare social occasions where it’s important to me to look like I *know* I’m supposed to be wearing make-up. I don’t use it that often and the stuff’s overpriced in the first place. Now I have to buy it every six months? Are we *sure* there’s solid science behind this and it’s not just a racket being run by the cosmetics people?


4. Inserts for your shoes. There comes a point when your feet have stopped growing and your back starts not being 100% dependable and you realize you’re going to have to start making adjustments to your footwear. This is also about the same time that you have to stop taking quizzes online titled “What Your Shoes Say About You.” You start muttering whenever those quizzes hit your Facebook feed.

5. Cover at a bar. Now, as a general rule, I won’t pay cover at a bar. Never if there’s no band. Sometimes if there is a band. Rarely if I’ve never heard of the band. But there’s always that first time when you go out with your friends and get duped into getting in line at some place without a band and the nerve to still charge you a cover charge, cash. You realize 1) you’re going to have to fork over your emergency ten and 2) your life is not going to be like that of the hot girl in the movies who waltzes by with a wink and a shimmy for the bouncer. Then you thinks, “Oh. I see where my place is in the world. Here’s my ten dollars, I guess.” Honestly, I still don’t know what the right thing to do is. Is it better to just go along because being the spoilsport is also not fun, or is it better to peace out?


Ok, that’s my list for now. What’s yours?