During the process of setting up my new place, I've realized that there's a certain line crossed the moment one starts living "like a grown-up," and it's not about having high-thread-count sheets or furniture you didn't have to assemble yourself. For me, keeping house like a grown-up means having the predictable little things that one is definitely going to need. You know, the stuff grown-ups just seem to always have.
Living like a grown-up involves realizing that magic pixies weren't really doing the dishes and stocking the refrigerator and making sure there were batteries and light bulbs in the house when you were a kid, and accepting that that's your job now. We might not have to do homework anymore, but the trade-off is that we have to remember to restock the toilet paper.
The payoff to being a grown-up is knowing that your house is set up to shield you from many of life's petty little annoyances. In a temporary, non-grown-up sort of house, one never knows when the next thing is going to break or when the next irritating need will send you running to the corner bodega at three in the morning. Setting up house like a grown-up lets you relax comfortably and worry about fewer things.
What do you need to feel like you're living like a grown-up? Here is my list:
• Batteries — I feel like a grown-up every time I open my freezer and see the pack of AA batteries in the door. I feel so prepared! When my wireless mouse runs out of power again, I won't have to steal the batteries from the TV remote or the Xbox controllers or run around the house checking cameras and vibrating mascara wands to see if they take the same size. I feel like a grown-up for having bought the pack because I know I'm going to need them someday, and when I do they will be there.
• Light bulbs — Having a couple of spare light bulbs around is a grown-up move because light bulbs go out eventually, and there's nothing that will make you feel like a disorganized child more than having to explain to someone who wants to use your bathroom that the last light bulb in there went out just five minutes ago, honestly, and you haven't had time to replace it yet. (Especially when that's a lie, the light went out weeks ago and you've just been leaving the door open because you don't have roommates and the cats don't care.)
• Basic cooking supplies — My freshman year of college I mixed up a batch of chocolate chip cookies in a novelty plastic hard hat because I lived in a dorm and didn't own a bowl. As proud as I was of that outside-the-box solution when I was 18, now I am a grown-up and have a bowl. Heck, I actually have two. Sometimes it's odd to think of myself as the kind of person who has two mixing bowls.
• Toilet paper — When you think about it, there's really no good reason to ever run out of toilet paper. It's not like there's ever going to be a situation when you don't need it. I give myself grown-up points whenever I remember to buy more before running out.
• Living things — Whether it's pets or plants or sea monkeys, being able to take care of something besides yourself is pretty darn grown-up.
Please add your own markers of grown-up living to the comments...
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