The Thrills of Adulthood

21 Nov

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.  


16 Responses to “The Thrills of Adulthood”

  1. patricemj November 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    It’s like a dawning realization, isn’t it? Nice post. I remember standing on chairs and looking around the room to try to see what the view would be like when I got older. Funny, I really thought that extra foot or two would produce a revelation. Better be careful though, why do you think grownups have kids?


    • Jackie November 21, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

      Oh man, I remember how awesome it was to be picked up and be so close to cupboards and ceilings and high shelves. Now it just means I can see the dirt there and I have to clean it.


  2. Jules November 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Grats on being an adult. One benefit at a time. 🙂

    Oh and whatever you do… don’t supplement with dental HMO.

    Just say not to HMO. NO NO NO NO

    Stick to PPO’s. Thank me later.


    • Jackie November 21, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

      Did the PPO. It was a 4 dollar difference so… I mean… that was easy 😉


  3. becomingcliche November 21, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Dental coverage is not to be taken for granted. Ever. You are a wise person. I choose to think of my plan as the tooth fairy for grown ups.


    • Jackie November 21, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

      Trips to the dentist would be much more enjoyable if he would dress up like the tooth fairy. I think I’ll leave that in the comment box the next time I visit.


  4. whatimeant2say November 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    I still wake up a lot of days and it takes me awhile to remember that I’m an actual adult. The other days it’s all too clear all too fast.


    • Jackie November 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

      I like to ram my head against the wall right when I wake up just to try to forget.


  5. pegoleg November 22, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    My 22-year-old daughter emailed me all her numbers and links and I spent half of Friday going through, setting up separate accounts and passwords for each website, analyzing and making all her benefit elections for next year. Friday was the deadline. When co-workers razzed her for having her mom take care of it, she pointed out that I am an insurance agent, so live for this shiz.

    I was also stoked to select dental for her, because we haven’t had that coverage for years and have been paying for her out of pocket! She didn’t even go last year. Whoo hoo – dental!

    She’s worked there 8 months already and has yet to go to the PPO member dentist I found right near her office. At what age is dental exciting, Jackie?


    • Jackie November 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

      Peg I actually need insurance advice. So if you’re serious about that mention back when, I’d like to take you up on it. Just a few questions from a dumb mid-20’s mind.

      You know what’s funny is I had quite a few folks email and Facebook me to say they get excited about coverage too. Perhaps no age is too early to get stoked about free cleanings 😉


      • pegoleg November 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

        Yes, I’m serious. I specialize in medical malpractice, as well as life and health, but ours is a full-line agency, so I do just about everything. I don’t know that I’d be able to help with auto insurance questions because I don’t know the laws in your state, but anything else…sure. Send me an email, ok?


        • Jackie December 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

          As it turned out, it was a very state-specific thing (Dave had a license in NY, we needed insurance for PA, car was bought in NY, we need to pay on it in PA) Big mess but it’s all sorted now! Thanks for being willing to help 🙂


  6. themovieblog8 November 22, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Fascinating! I want to live a life like Betty White. She’s young at heart, but I bet she gets excited about dental coverage, too.


    • Jackie November 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      Foul as hell though. I really hope that someday I can just say whatever I feel like and then get famous for being old and funny.

      Not that she wasn’t famous before the potty mouth. But it’s certainly helped.

      Also, grats on FP! Didn’t I see you there this morning? 🙂


  7. Marylou November 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    I hate to burst your bubble but even health insurance is not at all what it’s cracked up to be. In fact, having health insurance means that if you’re generally a very healthy person, you will still have to pay for everything. Until you GET. CANCER. you have to pay, not only a monthly premium, but a deductible. And co-pays per visit. Hilarious.

    However, my dental insurance *is* pretty sweet. No co-pays for visits. However, when I need fillings replaced, etc. I’ll have to shell out the dough.

    Being an adult is hard let’s go shopping.


    • Jackie December 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

      I can’t – I need the money for fillings 😛


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