Yesterday I got to thinking about the milestones that made me realize I was an adult. I don't mean birthdays or graduations - these are more subtle symbols of adulthood. Here are a few of them in chronological order:
- Buying your own plane ticket - Can you think of a more potent symbol of adult freedom? I remember thinking, even at the time, "Wow, I'm really grown up now!"
- Purchasing a piece of new furniture - After years of making do with other people's castoff furnishings, it's a big deal to buy something new for yourself.
- Replacing a piece of furniture you originally bought new - This is when you really start to realize you've grown up. For me, buying a new clothes hamper to replace my original one had special resonance.
- Buying a house - I know, "Duh." But it marks the transition between, "Hey, man, it's a free country - I can walk across your property if I want to!" and "Hey you kids - get off of my lawn!"
- Putting away the tchotchkes of youth - Huh? Let me illustrate: Last night my husband bought some wonderful incense and we wanted to burn a stick of it. I knew it meant we'd finally left behind our "just out of the dorm" lifestyle when it took me twenty minutes to round up an incense burner.