I Don't Want to Grow Up, I'm a Toys "R" Us Kid

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County
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As I was riding into work this morning listening to NPR, dressed in my gray slacks and button-down shirt, I started to think to myself, “Man, I think I’m an adult now!”

The thought sank even further into my cerebral cortex when I started cleaning off my desk at work to move to a new job; loading up my Avengers tin lunch box with my Super Mario figurine, Optimus Prime transformer and Matchbox racecar.

Somehow, someway, somewhere down the road, I turned into an adult.

Goodbye childhood.

Goodbye teenage years.

Goodbye young adulthood.

I think, therefore I am, therefore I know that I am a full-grown, big-boy pants wearing adult.

Wow! Let me take a moment here to regain my composure and wipe the tears away using my Ninja Turtles shirt…I mean, wait, that shirt’s for kids. I’m wiping my tears away with a handkerchief, or oxford shirt, or maybe my crisp polo.

Whatever I’m wiping my tears away with, it’s because I’m saddened by the fact that it’s now considered weird for me to wear a Star Wars shirt. I guess I have big problems because I get overly excited when I play with Max’s Kylo Ren light saber, or because I jump for joy when Max gets a new toy for me to play with, I mean build.

Luckily, I think I still have an excuse to stay “forever young”, as I can live vicariously through Max. However, in the eyes of the people outside of my world, I need to act the part of a grown up and do grown up things like balance our family budget, take out the trash, cut grass or fix a hole of some sort.

It’s these tasks that let me know adulthood has arrived. It’s moving up in your career field that lets me know I’m an adult. And it’s also the following items that make me realize that I’m a child from the past in the present, which makes my presence a present for Max, since I’m a child he’ll grow up with in the future.

RJ’s Top 10 Reasons Why He Thinks Adulthood Has Arrived

1.The Aches Have Arrived – Every time I get up from the floor after playing with Max, I find myself saying, “Ohhhhh, my legs, my legs!” I guess my age is finally catching up with me. I guess I’ll be ordering myself a Life Alert in the near future; you know, just in case.

2.Financial Decisions – I want Chick-fil-a every single day of my life. I want to buy a handful of toys for my new desk. However, these things aren’t always in the budget. Majority of the time, when my wife and I come into extra money, we find ourselves spending it on Max or things for the house. Our house is a very very very fine house…That drains our extra dough like a pimp version of the Pillsbury Doughboy. “Ahoo hoo, where’s my money mother fudger?”

3.Money Well Spent – Speaking of money, I would love to go out and buy a new PS4 to connect with my brother-in-law, but I know as soon as I’ve saved up enough money, I’m going to go out and buy some new dress clothes, because that’s what grown-ups do, they buy boring things like a new tie, trousers or belts. “Yippee,” says 28-year-old me; “Boring,” says 15 year-old me.

4.Retirement – Early on in my career, I never put much weight into the idea of retiring. I knew (fingers crossed) I would one day, but when you’re 21 and fresh out of college, we all know where your paychecks are going. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I got serious about my retirement, diversifying my funds among a few high-risk stocks to boost my 401, while also managing some lower-risk options to keep a soft cushion should my high-risk options tank. Look at that, talking about stocks, retirement and what not!

5.Student Becomes the Teacher – I’m helping my brother-in-law coach my nephew’s baseball team this fall. The younger version of me would be out there in the market for a pick-up baseball game. However, now I feel it necessary to impart my wisdom on the sport to the younglings, teaching them the fundamentals and ways to respect the game.

6.Yes Ma’am, No Sir, Please and Thank You – These were things that my father drilled into my head as a kid, to the point where if I didn’t say them out of respect to my elders, I’d be shunned from the Bean family. I’ve always said them from that point forward during every stage of my existence, but I find myself teaching them to Max now. But that’s not what makes me feel like an adult, that’s what makes me feel like a good dad. What makes me feel like an adult is the fact that people are now calling me sir! I’m 28 years old for goodness sake! I still feel like I’m a young whippersnapper!

7.Goodbye to Music that’s no Longer a Good Buy – Today’s music sounds like the equivalent of taking six blind gorillas, putting them in a recording studio with three drum sets and two keyboards (one of which is a keytar), and allowing them to do whatever it is blind gorillas do to musical instruments. It sounds like my head is stuck in an underwater tunnel while a laser show is keeping time to the tune of forty six dying seals trying to belt out “Livin’ on a Prayer” by a Bon Jovi cover band. When I hear new pop music, I feel as if the Devil himself is reaching up from the pits of Hell to drag my soul down into the eternal flames of doom, making it suffer through the likes of Major Lazer, any person with “DJ” in their name and Taylor Swift. The young adult version of me was attuned to the newest tunes. The adult version of me just wants that old time rock and roll.

8.Shaking Hands and Taking Names – I find myself reaching out to a lot of individuals in my career field, forming working relationships that are mutually beneficial for all parties involved. I’m networking in the truest format; shaking hands, taking business cards and kissing babies…Well, maybe not the ladder, but the former two are happening!

9.Count Your Sheep to Go to Sleep – Back in my day, I could run on only 3 to 4 hours of sleep. Nowadays, if I’m not getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep, I’m Mr. Cranky Pants McGee. According to my JawBone, I’ve been averaging 5 hours, 45 minutes of sleep over the last week. That’s a manageable amount for my jet-set lifestyle, but only if coffee is at the ready for my belly. No coffee? Get out of my face before I break it with my fist. Coffee? Hi, hello, how are you today?

10.Words of Wisdom and Old Age – Last but not least, I can tell I’ve reached adulthood by some of the things I say on a daily basis, such as:

  • Back in my day
  • Nowadays
  • An apple a day
  • Don’t do as I do, do as I say
  • You’re as old as you feel
  • My legs are killing me
  • Do you know where my keys are?
  • This song sounds terrible
  • When did music start sounding like cats farting?
  • Did you see where the markets closed today?
  • Our budget is balanced
  • Where’s the baby powder?
  • Selfies are selfless
  • I don’t understand kids these days
  • When I was your age

You know, things of that nature!

Please excuse me while I mail out my Maryland property tax form to my mortgage company so they can pay the amount due via my escrow account.

Regards – RJ

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