I used to think the worst insult was to be told, "grow up" or "don't be so immature". I guess that's because once my body reached its adult size, I had officially grown up in my opinion. Being told to grow up when your feelings are (granted irrational) overwhelming your very being is not the thing one wants to hear. I've heard different definitions of being grown up including, learning to master your emotions, learning to delay gratification, and the ability to deny oneself one's desires. Basically, it's all about the ability to control yourself. In reality, we just learn to hide our true selves, I don't think we are ever as fully in control as we like to believe. Here I go digressing again, just can't get out of my head sometimes.
But I think a big part of growing up is learning from your experience and making future decisions based on that experience. So here are five things I never want to do again.
1. Go to a concert. It's over for me. The last three have been pleasant enough, but never as good as the album. It's crowded and it costs too much. If you're an unknown in a dive bar, I'm fine (in fact I dig the intimate live venues), but once you're famous, I'll not be seeing you.
2. Wait tables. God I hope this is true. See the trouble is you've got a room full of bosses who are not bosses in their real life. This is their one chance to control others (they're paying for that more than the food half the time). I can no longer abide it. (but will if I have to)
3. Any drug that makes you stay up all night. While perhaps useful (ha!) in college, the comedown is definitely not worth it. The only uppity thing I want is coffee.
4. Mistake two tablespoons for two teaspoons. Have you made this mistake with salt? I have. Not good.
5. Make absolute statements. Sometimes I make them anyway but I don't really believe them. We are never fully realized except in the moment. Every moment is different, and how we are in that moment is also different each time. To put it simply, I might feel like coffee one day, but hot chocolate the next. And so I grant myself and others the truth, which is that we are all a range of probabilities. Sure, we each have certain tendencies or proclivities, but if you label them, say, "I'm like that!" then you have also shut the door to some of the other possibilities for you. I'm still okay with tangible labels, like tall and male.
That was a very interesting read! I may steal the concept for a future post.
Re: making absolute statements. Boy, are you singing my song. I learned long ago "never to say never", but on occasion I still do. I guess I have not learned. :)
My favourite part of hitting my 30s was that nobody could tell me to "grow up." I have - deal with it!!!
Great list of nevers.
I live by the quote: Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional. Last heard that from a woman on TV who was 101 years old. And then she laughed and laughed and laughed.
That laughter is probably how she got to be 101 in the first place.
Ack the concert thing - what a cluster fuck and expensive.
I like that: "I will never make absolute statements again."
Your so right, it is very humiliating to be told "Grow UP!" when your 50. I never realized it but I probably never will attend another concert. Unless Elton John comes to town or Cher or Justin Timberlake or...Oh Shit!
My life philosophy right there.
I tried to explain how I felt about moment-to-moment living once to a guy I was seeing (he was an "absoluter" who only saw things in crystallized, B+W terms).
The fucker dumped me because it... he thought it made me "shallow" to think that way. Of all things.
ps. Hehe. the letters in your comment word verification are: "sspahm".
I'm totally with you on #5 in particular. Very, very few things in life are black and white. Treating them as such is often a recipe for disaster.
As for #1, I love seeing live bands. The energy created on stage by 4 or 5 musicians interacting with each other really gets me going - and lends a totally different dynamic to music that rarely comes across on a studio recording.
One of the statements that irritates me the most is a parent saying, "NOT my child!". Although I have 2 kids I made sure those words never crossed my lips. I always made sure I talked to the teacher, other parent etc., first.
Oh, and I think that you should add "SEXY" as another label...
I agree with all of them, but now my dilemma is "where does Aretha Franklin lie on the spectrum?" She's playing here in Toronto is a mid-size venue.
I like this post. I'm so with you on each one of your points and on number 4, not only have I done it with salt, I have done it with hot pepper flakes. I'm totally down with number one too. I like the amateurs.
great things to never do again! especially #3.
Those are interesting ways to define being "grown up." I am more inclined to agree with you, though. One is never really finished growing. It's all about learning from mistakes, conquering fears, and providing to others what we want to be provided.
#1. I just can't handle the noise. I may have not grown up, but I've definitely grown old.
#2. Never did. Knew I couldn't handle it. I also try to be nice to the wait staff.
#3. I was always naturally way up in college, so I didn't need that stuff. It scared me anyway.
#4. My big goof is confusing the yolk with the whites when I have to separate eggs in a recipe.
#5. I don't believe in absolutes either. It's all shades of gray to me.
I couldn't agree more with your decision to 'never use absolutes ever again'. :-) I used to do this, and say 'I'm only this way', or 'I'm only that way' but as you said found it too limiting.
I loved your statement "I grant myself and others the truth, which is that we are all a range of probabilities. Sure, we each have certain tendencies or proclivities, but if you label them, say, "I'm like that!" then you have also shut the door to some of the other possibilities for you."
I'm like that!!!
I agree with most of your list - though I would add an early mistake - when mixing drinks, "add glass" means add a shotglass of alcohol, not a 12 oz tumbler.
I think when people say, "grow up" or "mature" it is more when they are trying to control your behavior to conform to how THEY want society to act - I would just like to say to a bunch of guys, "Oh grow up! and I expect you to have some sort of piercing by monday!" - I guess that's not going to happen soon?
All of the above, minus tablespoon. I have been needing extra cash and thought about going back to my old talent, but aside from number 5, I just can't put up with rude, hungry and drunken assholes anymore.
I loved #5. This is something that I need to remember for myself and all other people. I really don't want to "shut the door" on myself or anyone else.
There's a sense of security in absolute statements, but it limits your freedom if you truly buy into it.
ooooh I am definitely stealing this idea for a post. I shall give you cred though!
mmmm hot chocolate.
I so agree about concerts. Waste of money, except like you note, in smaller venues. I'll even go up to larger capacity places, but big event stadiums? Never again.
Brilliant, especially the last. Though I sometimes think that absolutes are okay, so long as we understand that they're really not absolute at all. I'd elaborate, but I'm not nearly high enough. :-)
I'm not much of one for concerts, either -- I've been to less than ten in my life.
I just don't like the ringing in my ears for a few hours afterward.
I like your five points. Had to laugh at 4 - what were you making? Growing older is a tricky business, I have come to realise. It's got nothing to do with being 40 plus, or having a mortgage or a responsible job. You're right, I believe, that it's about controlling ourselves - censoring our words and deeds. Thinking before acting.
A very thought provoking entry - thank you!
I love this post. I learn so much just by reading your blog. Thanks heaps. :D
The tablespoon/teaspoon thing made me howl with laughter! I love you!
"I might feel like coffee one day"...
Funny, you don't look it(Accompanied by guffaws and knee slaps).
oops! I guess I meant 4, not 5.
I've trained myself almost never to use the words "mature" and "immature" since they normally function as masks for questionable values. If someone tells me it's immature to, say, get in a rage and swea or to sulk, I always want to say, "What exactly is immature about it?" They then go tongue-tied and don't know what to say: they have just been used to associating "immature" with a certain range of commonly frowned-on behaviour. One might remember, too, that being gay has often been said to be a mark of immaturity: one more way of stigmatising gays and pretending there's something wrong with them. Regarding someone as a shit or a bastard is fine; regarding them as immature - no, go wash your mind out with logic.
I can't stand big concerts anymore either. I'd rather go to a small, intimate venue or not at all. Plus the sound quality in stadiums isn't the best.
umm.. I generally agree although I do believe there is an appropriate time to tell people to grow up..usually its when people over the age of ..say 8.. whine, pout, thrown tantrums or give silent treatments.. what IS that? and I am shocked by how many people over the age of 25 do that..GROW UP..ok I said it and now I feel better
Sure, silent treatments and tantrums and suchlike are a rotten way to carry on. But the people who behave like that haven't failed to do something called 'grow up'. They're just obnoxious and should cut it out.
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