9 Ways I Regularly Fail At Being An Adult

Voicemails give me a panic attack.

Voicemails give me a panic attack.

I am 42-years-old. I moved out when I was 17, which, by my calculations, means I have had 25 years to have this figured out.

I do not. Have this figured out.

Mercifully, social media has given me the gift of at least looking like I have my shit together.

My house is clean. My children are clothed. For all you know, my laundry is even done.


Sometimes I do the responsible thing, and show people the shit show that is my existence. But most of the time I am sucking at life, I don't share it. This isn't because I want to look like I have my shit together; it's simply because not having my shit together is incredibly time consuming.

In the spirit of solidarity, and transparency, I now share with you:

9 Ways I suck at being an adult:

1. Taxes.

I do them myself. This is probably ill-advised, but that’s not the real problem.

The real problem is two-fold.

A. I don’t get a refund. Ever. Since I am self-employed, and never get a refund, the motivation to file them like, on time, is pretty much zero. I’m supposed to be paying them quarterly, which basically involves me going to the IRS website on the last possible day and just, like, paying them some amount of money.

There is no method to this. I just pick a number and hope it’s enough.

B. Itemizing. Because of being self-employed, I really have to itemize EVERYTHING. Every donation. Every parking fee. My phone bill. That time I bought Virgie Tovar waffles (I mean, that wasn’t business, but the IRS doesn’t need to know that).

The itemizing isn’t the problem. I can itemize all day. The problem is the receipts. I just shove them in my wallet. Sometimes they make it into the file, sometimes they make it into the garbage. At this point I’m just hedging my bets that they don’t audit me. If they do, I am going to have to come up with some valid looking documents REAL FAST.

2. Laundry.

How many times can you forget a load of clean wash is sitting in the washing machine?

Did you answer 157? That’s the number of times I have done it. You really don’t know failure until you smell a 5-day-old load of whites.

That is what failure smells like.

3. Voicemails.

Listening to them. Look: this is 2016, if you need me, can you just send me a text?

Voicemails give me a panic attack. I don’t know why they give me a panic attack, it’s not like anyone has ever delivered grave news via voicemail.

There are 17 voicemails on my phone right now. If anyone DID deliver any grave news? I’m never going to know. In about a month, I’ll delete them and pretend this never happened.

4. Project completion.

There are no less than four half-completed knitting projects in a box I have in my closet, to hide the shame of having four things in various stages of no-where-near completion.

The most tragic part of this isn’t the projects themselves, it’s the cost of the yarn they are made of. Which is, frankly, humiliating.

5. Birthdays.

If you are not in my immediate family, there is a 97% probability that I am going to forget it’s your birthday.

If we are Facebook friends, and I am actually paying attention to Facebook, I may be reminded. From there, it’s about a 23% chance I’ll actually remember to go to your FB wall and write something.

This isn’t personal. I am really just a horrible person.

6. Current events.

This is one of the most pitiful. I literally work in an industry that is ABOUT current events. Ask me the last time I read the news.

But actually, don’t. Because I don’t remember, and I don’t want to have to remember. Remembering will only remind me of how bad I am at repeatedly failing at knowing ANYTHING outside of the five articles on the Ravishly front page slider.

Basically my news consumption: I hear someone say something happened, I go read my Twitter timeline.


7. Kids shit.

I have asked my 18-year-old son what days he works no less than 17 times in the last 10 days. Three times this week, I asked him if he was going to be at marching band practice.

He graduated last year.

I have three calendars. I still forget when we are supposed to be at the dentist.

Sometimes I forget my kids names and I just end up yelling, “YOU. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.”

8. Finances.

Oh I have a budget, I just don’t follow it.

9. Bills.

Speaking of finances. If it is not on auto pay, I'm going to forget to pay it. I am going to forget to pay it so many times that they're going to send me a notice in a pink envelope and I am going to panic.

There's a good chance they've called me on the phone to tell me to pay the thing, but I wouldn't know because I didn't listen to the voicemail.


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