Whether you’re moving into your first real place as a “grownup,” or you’re firing up the pricing gun to create your wedding registry, there comes a time in every twentysomething’s life when you have to buy something “adult.” No, not like that. The kind of adult that shakes your young person foundation and makes you think, “Wait…am I old?” (Spoiler Alert: you’re probably not.) What sorts of items can trigger this crisis of youthful identity?
The realization that I needed one of these to fall asleep, inspired me to write this post. No matter how fly the dance you do as you introduce your air-moistening machine to the guy you’re sleeping with, this doesn’t change the fact that dry air means you don’t sleep. Trust me: Lemon tried. And as someone who used to be able to pass out pretty much anywhere (including planes- now waking up from a flight nap feels like swallowing knives), it made me profoundly sad.
A Standing Mixer
Blenders are for kids. Ask Rudy and Peter, based on that one episode of The Cosby Show. But a standing mixer? That means you’re doing some cooking. Not microwaving, not defrosting, but cooking. And real, no -break-and-bake, baking. Nothing screams adult like the ability to make pie from scratch with no notice, two hours, and a dream.
Technically, I think you’re old once you know what a trivet is. A metal or cork piece that goes on your counter or table to keep it from warping your surfaces, a trivet is what separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and your laminate counter from irreparable melty death.
Matching Pots and Pans
There is nothing- I repeat, nothing- wrong with buying your cookware here and there from TJ Maxx or Target. But there’s something that makes you feel composed, competent, and chef-ly when your pot lids are designed to transition effortlessly between one another. This is one of the few things on this list that I do own, and it makes me feel a little less settled to go to the kitchen and think, “at least my food has its stuff together!”
Anything from Chico’s
Moving away from housewares for a moment, let’s focus on your closet. Where does one shop when leaving the comfort of Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Urban Outfitters, and the like? If your answer is “Chico’s!”, you’ve missed miles of middle ground. I remember seeing Chico’s catalogs in the mail and thinking “MOM! Don’t let it touch my dELiA’s!” And I’m pretty sure you instantly age 20 years the moment you pass a storefront and think, “I wonder if they have that in my size?”
Somewhat related to this: we’ve all had that moment where someone says “Nice shoes…are they comfortable?” and you instantly worry that they’re ugly. And we’ve also met people older than us who just don’t worry about the ugly- they just settle for comfy. My way of avoiding both extremes is by buying insoles- Dr. Scholls’ solution to heels that feel like torture devices after twenty minutes. Yeah, 85% of the time I’m gellin’. I don’t have to explain myself to you! I APOLOGIZE FOR NOTHING!
For someone who plans to shave her legs on a (semi)regular basis for the foreseeable future, you’d never know it from how I buy razors. An electric razor, for men or women, seems to say, “I’m resigning myself to the idea that I have to do this” in a way that a disposable razor does not. Same goes for electric toothbrushes, by the way. That’s a commitment.
Freestanding Alarm Clock
Yes, I know my phone has an alarm clock. But I’m also the sort of person that loves the finality of shutting off my phone at the end of the night to tell the world “See ya tomorrow!” So I have a freestanding alarm clock, along with roughly 15 other people my age. And I wake up to NPR. Wait, I am actually old, aren’t I?
Kitchen Magnets (That You Bought)
At some point, my fridge decor will consist of magnets that didn’t come from my realtor, my local sporting team, the pizza place up the street, or my engaged friends who really want to “stick” it to their single counterparts with their Save the Date. Eh, maybe next year.
Business Card Holder for Your Desk
Lots of us get business card holders for our wallets, pockets, or purses as a rite of passage. But what do we do when we’re at our desks? Pull them out of the box they came in? Bury them in a drawer? As I have, store them in a Ziploc as though they’re threatening to turn? If you’re an adult, you buy a proper holder- and keep your AARP card in the back, just in case.
Sonic Jewelry Cleaner
This means you own jewelry that doesn’t turn the skin it touches green…an outstanding start. Extra adult points if you bought it on Skymall, marveling at the convenience of running errands while 30,000 feet in the air. Go ahead and pack it up for your grandkids to inherit, while you’re at it.
What other definitively adult items are there? How many do you own? And if it’s most of these, when’s your retirement party? Can I come?