Pseudo-Adulthood

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The Trials & Tripulations

Departs

Arrives

Fares

7:30

7:45

PEAK

Continuously snooze your alarm until you’re at the point where you won’t be able to eat breakfast and you’ll give yourself, and your Mom whose driving you, a heart attack trying to make the train.

7:45

7:50

PEAK

Search for your retainer that you still have to wear twice a week to prevent your fangs from protruding that somehow managed to fall out of your mouth and behind the bed last night.

7:50

7:55

PEAK

Get into a screaming match with your sister when you try to get into the bathroom to brush your teeth while she happens to be washing her face – “WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO BACK TO COLLEGE!!” – Think to yourself that you never thought you would see the day where you would actually miss dorm bathrooms (they may not be the most sanitary, but at least they have more than one sink).

7:50

7:57

PEAK

Look in your closet for “business casual” attire.

7:57

8:02

PEAK

That failing, look in your mom’s closet for something you can actually wear in an office setting.

8:17

8:20

PEAK

Practically burn your ear off in the rush to have more than the right side of your hair straightened and still make the train.

8:20

8:22

PEAK

Growl at your mom when she tries to talk to you about booking your plane ticket for Thanksgiving (because you clearly look like you’re in the mood to talk about this right now) as you throw food into your hot pink middle school lunch bag and yearn for either your dorm room where you could get ready in peace or middle school when your mom packed your lunch for you.

8:23

8:24

PEAK

Yell at your mom for taking too long to put on her shoes (you’re truly an A+ daughter in the mornings).

8:24

8:29

PEAK

Get in the same argument with your mom you’ve had every single morning about the fastest route to take to the train station – Mom: “If I go on Popham I’ll wait twenty minutes trying to turn.” You: “We’ve tried every way and that’s fastest because you hit both lights otherwise.” Mom (while waiting, maximum one minute, to turn): THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO LEAVE EARLIER.

8:29

8:30

PEAK

Accidentally stand next to a parent of one your friends from middle school (you can’t remember which one) on the train platform. Reach into your backpack for your headphones.

8:30

8:30:30

PEAK

Cringe on the inside as she turns to you and asks, “How was your first year of college?!” before you can get your headphones on.

8:30:30

8:31

PEAK

Respond with what you hope is a smile, “It was good!” before pausing and adding “But I’m actually transferring,” figuring that if you know your town at all, she probably already knows that.

8:31

8:32

PEAK

Don’t even pretend to feel surprised when she responds, “Oh, yes I heard that, to where??”

8:32

8:33

PEAK

Try not to show your relief as you hear the train approaching.

8:34

8:35

PEAK

Survey the packed train car and find an empty middle seat. Get the attention of the person sitting on the aisle and do a double take as you realize that you went on a teen tour with her to Costa Rica three years ago (and haven’t seen her since).

8:36

8:38

PEAK

Send a “look who I just bumped into” Snapchat to the one person you’re still friends with from the trip (who, notably, you had decided to go on it with in the first place).

8:38

9:05

PEAK

Proceed to annoy everyone sitting near you as you reminisce about how “young and naïve you were” (now that you’re practically adults with sort of jobs, that is).

9:05

9:08

PEAK

Exit the train and become part of a sea of polished professionals. Feel vaguely like you’re in a dystopian novel.

9:13

9:14

PEAK

Get to the subway platform just as the doors are closing. Feel personally victimized by public transit despite the fact that another subway will arrive in approximately two minutes.

9:16

9:26

PEAK

Listen to the only fifteen songs you have on your phone while simultaneously hating yourself for only using Pandora to listen to music and the subway system for having no service.

11:15

11:45

OFF-PEAK Get sent on an errand to go pick up a poster and end up at an upscale apartment building. Check the address again as the doorman asks you what floor you’re going to and tentatively respond, “the second?” Panic on the inside when he tells you that there is no second floor.

11:45

11:47

OFF-PEAK

Try calling your boss and get his voicemail.   Debate whether or not texting him would be wildly unprofessional.

11:48

11:50

OFF-PEAK

Have the brilliant idea of Googling the printing company’s address.

12:10

12:12

OFF-PEAK

Contemplate turning around and going home when you get to the address listed on the website and it turns out to be a Vietnamese restaurant. Think to yourself that you’re never going to be trusted with more important responsibilities if you can’t even manage to pick up a poster.

12:15

12:30

OFF-PEAK

Feel a headache coming on when you finally find the office (above the restaurant, duh,) and the poster turns out to be bigger than you are – there’s no way you’re getting that thing on the Subway.

12:38

12:45

OFF-PEAK

Try to hail a cab and feel like a fool standing in the street with your hand in the air. (You may have been born in NYC, but you’re clearly not a native).   Decide to call an Uber.

12:46

12:55

OFF-PEAK

Drag the poster to the Starbucks on the corner while waiting for the Uber to arrive. Spend a solid two minutes at the cash register trying to decide whether you should be using your own money or your parents’ money to pay for your medium iced coffee. Give up and pay in the two dollars and some-odd loose change that’s floating around your bag (and probably still isn’t yours but feels better than using the “for emergencies” only credit card that has taken on a very liberal definition of what exactly constitutes an emergency).

1:15

1:18

OFF-PEAK

Get back to your office and feel an uncontrollable need to tell everyone what you just went through. Think better of it.

2:15

2:18

OFF-PEAK

After thanking you for retrieving the poster, be asked by your boss to send him an email with any ideas you had from yesterday’s meeting about training that you were allowed to sit-in on. Feel one part exhilarated that he actually cares about your ideas and nine parts terrified to be expected to have ideas of your own.

4:00

4:05

OFF-PEAK

Stand there awkwardly as a relatively mundane office conversation shifts to the topic of everyone going out for drinks after work.

5:30

5:35

PEAK

Self-consciously tell the people sitting nearest the door to “have a nice night” while wondering whether it’s okay that you just left – you still haven’t gotten used to this whole “come and go when you please” policy.

5:40

5:50

PEAK

Think to yourself that there has to be a more efficient way of getting to the correct train platform as you go down three flights of stairs and up two.

5:55

6:05

PEAK

Push your way onto the standing-room-only subway car and realize that you have a newfound respect for the parent who has done this commute twice a day five days a week for the past twenty-five years – it hasn’t even been twenty-five days of this and you can barely contain your anger at the man who decided it would be a good idea to bring his large dog on a rush-hour subway.

6:10

6:13

PEAK

Put your backpack on the seat next to you and open the book that you’re too tired to actually read in the hopes of coming across as unfriendly enough that nobody will want to sit next to you.

6:16

6:17

PEAK

Feel slightly disappointed that your plan didn’t work when a tired-looking middle-aged man drinking a beer (where did he even get it?) makes a motion for you to move your bag so that he can sit down.

6:30

6:35

PEAK

Try to find the least rude way to text your friend saying that, no, you can’t go out tonight because you have a job that you have to wake up for in the morning.

6:35

6:38

PEAK

Realize that you can’t find a viable excuse to turn down her following offer to spend the evening watching a movie and drinking tea even though you’d kind of rather just crawl into bed and pass out.

6:40

7:00

PEAK

Fight the urge to take off your shoes on the walk home – the extent to which your feet are killing you is making you feel like a certified old person.

7:02

7:10

PEAK

Be asked by your mom how your day was and feel like you’re in high school again when you respond “good.” Groan when she asks you for more details.

7:30

7:35

PEAK

Grab the keys off the counter and tell your mom that you’re going to Gabi’s. When she asks you what time you’ll be home, fight the urge to ask her why she even cares and if it even matters – is a work night the same as a school night? – and instead tell her that you’re not sure while walking out the door.

With only one year of college under our belts (and really more like half a year considering the hot mess that is first semester), being back home for an extended period of time is, well, bizarre.  From working out whose supposed to be paying for what now that our parents are no longer legally obligated to support us (though buying us iced coffee was never exactly a legal obligation), to dealing with ears that have somehow become allergic to run-of-the-mill parental questioning and concern after a year spent reporting only to ourselves, navigating this in-between stage of a relationship with parents can be tricky.  At the same time, with an internship in the city (especially one that involves the infamous hour-long commute), it has become easier to appreciate certain sacrifices they have made, such as their sense of humanity (as opposed to sardine-ity) every time they have to step onto a packed subway car.  As far as a social life is concerned, an internship can certainly get in the way of one.  And if you were to decide that it would be a good idea to visit the high school on your day off, make sure to time your arrival during the middle of a period rather than the unfortunate right in-between lest you end up in the middle of a sea of high schoolers, feeling equally out of place as when you’re surrounded by well-dressed professionals in Grand Central.  Yanked from the newfound freedom of “college!!!”, we have to confront the fact that we may no longer be in high school, but we’re not adults yet, either.

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2 thoughts on “Pseudo-Adulthood

    Rachel said:
    June 11, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    Yet another amazing post.

    Like

    Dena said:
    June 12, 2015 at 4:49 PM

    I’m smiling as you transport me back to those youthful days of pure innocence where every experience is a first. You have a gift Rachel!!!

    Like

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