Today I have to be a member of an interview panel. It's one of those grown up things that I never feel one hundred percent ready for. You might think that sounds ridiculous at my age, but being a grown-up is something that only seems to happen to other people.

Or is it? I am beginning to suspect that the reason that other people seem to be quite capable of being grown-ups is that it's a perceptual thing. Something only visible from the outside and, like being confident, a lie.

Inside I feel like the same person I always was; there's an unbroken stream of me-ness going all the way back to my earliest memories. At no point was the child I was switched off and the adult I supposedly am switched on. I think this is true of everyone. How much like an adult you appear depends merely on how good you are at acting. When I spent a couple of years attending a weekly drama class (just a bit of fun really) I was told that I was good at it - I suppose I just need to learn how to apply these skills to real life and then I can be an adult too.

But whether I'm actually an adult yet or not, I still don't find those lists that people email around funny. You know the ones, things like "25 ways to tell you've grown up". None of the points are funny and most of them are spurious anyway. For example:

  1. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
  2. Your car insurance goes down and your payments go up.
  3. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonalds leftovers.
  4. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle your stomach.
  5. You hear your favorite song on an elevator.
  6. You watch the Weather Channel.
Personally my resonse to this kind of nonsense would be:
  1. I never knew what time Taco Bell closes. When I was younger I doubt I even knew what it was. At least now from constant exposure to popular culture I've got a fairly shrewd idea that it's some kind of fast food outlet. In any case I don't think I've ever known when any fast food outlets close.
  2. I don't have, and never have had, a car, so that's point two out of the window.
  3. I don't have, and never have had, a dog. I've been a vegetarian since I was allegedly young so I don't go to McDonalds either, so don't have any leftovers with which to feed said non-existent dog. Besides, I always finish take-away food. I have absolutely no idea what Science Diet is and wouldn't even know when to start. It sounds like a chemistry set. Even though I'm not a dog person, I wouldn't want to poison the beast.
  4. see three.
  5. What the hell are you talking about?
  6. No I don't. Fuck off.
Anyway, you get the picture. In addressing these points I have of course inadvertently revealed a side of my personality that some would describe as an adult quality. I'm more bad-tempered than I used to be, but then again there are more things to get annoyed about these days.

But perhaps there aren't - it's just that living in the information age means that people can spread their irritating behaviour far more widely than they used to be able.
  1. You haven't found a single item on this list funny, but you decide to forward it on to everyone you know anyway, just in case.