I’m excited for electing dental coverage with my employer for next year and that reality makes me very, very sad.
I don’t want to be excited for such lame things. It makes me feel all gross and grown-up inside. In fact, I drooled over my benefit elections for open enrollment like a kid in a candy store. I got to shop for the adult goodies that I wanted to cash in on in 2012 and it was thrilling. Medical, dental, retirement, tuition assistance, buying time off, and even child care assistance.
I don’t need that last one even a little bit but I still worked up a good saliva at having the option.
I remember back when I was a tiny tot, I looked up to an older friend of the family as a sort of role model for a short time. I remember going out with her somewhere one day and her having to stop at the post office to mail out some bills first. I thought it was so cool that she was so mature. “Are you officially a grown up now? Do you feel like an adult? I’ll bet that’s so cool,” I said like a stupid little kid. She furrowed her brow and shot me a crooked, almost fearful smile. “I guess you could say that – I don’t know,” she responded.
She was a little younger then than I am now and I can only imagine how that inquiry must have made her feel; I know what it would do to me.
I’m finding that more and more often I’m excited for stupid little things that aren’t actually fun at all but I get thrilled for nonetheless. You know, like adult things.
Not those kind of adult things. Stay with me here. Things like dental work and finding a car with an engine that isn’t already waltzing toward the grave, or a cheap ticket to another city or good customer service. I get excited for bargains and good budgeting and direct deposit. I don’t want to like those things – but I can’t deny that I am truly thankful for them because being an adult sucks sometimes and when things can be made even slightly less awful it’s hard not to feel a thrill in the pit of my stomach.
I’m still being shocked by the reality of adulthood every single day. There are all sorts of little things here and there that aren’t at all like I imagined them. Or rather, I never thought to consider them so they take me by surprise. Like when my brothers had babies and got bills from the hospital. I was shocked. Shocked! It cost so much just to get a human out of your body. That’s a serious medical condition, having someone in your body. And you won’t get any help with it unless you can pony up the dough.
Of course, I imagine those things tend to take care of themselves even when unassisted. But that can’t be pretty.
When people say kids are expensive, they didn’t just mean clothes and food and education. They mean that having one in the first place requires you to take out a loan.
Maybe that’s why parents resent their children. Man, everything is coming together. You really do understand more when you’re older. I guess I just that I thought when I understood it all, I’d be excited. But I’m not, because it’s all pretty depressing.
Except dental coverage. That’s pretty sweet. ♣