At the antique age of 22 there are certain things I was lead to believe that I was going to have accomplished by now. I was told by my parents, and teachers, and what I’m fairly sure were complete strangers, that I would do great things, that I could be anything I wanted to. This unusual brand of cruelty warrants only one form of punishment, akin to that prescribed by a certain Hogwarts professor, to the tune of: “I must not tell lies.”
I assumed I would wear nice clothes and look nice all the time. When I was a child I assumed there was an age where you suddenly knew how to dress and put your hair up without strays. I thought one day I would wake up and draw eyeliner so straight you could build bridges by it. I would drive to work in my car and no one would merge mercilessly, inches from my car, I would walk gracefully in my heels that didn’t blister my feet to my high paying job, where people would treat me like the respected and talented professional I was. I would make friends easily, we would go to cocktail parties, and gym classes, and they would let me pat their children – or whatever it is people do with children. I’d probably have two or three best sellers under my belt. To everyone waiting for this mythical age to come. Just stop. You will wake up too late for markets and swear at all the fuck trumpets on the road.
So I figured I should re-write a new list of expectations for myself, and celebrate things that I expect you all to accomplish by the time you are 22. If not… Make a new list with lower expectations. No judgement.
- You will stop buying dessert for dinner
Sometimes unusual things are bad for you. When I was a child, I thought chicken kieve was good for you, mostly because you cooked it at home. Kebabs had salad materials in it, they should be healthy? Apple pies = apple. It just isn’t true. Everything but water and water based foods will make you fat. Dessert is just the first step. Amy. I fully believe that for a full week, at some stage in your life, you will have the self-control to not eat chocolate for dinner.
- Something in your house will break, and you will fix it
Be it blown light bulbs, clogged vacuum cleaners, or hitting a microwave to turn it on. A sweet wave of accomplishment will overcome you and you will know that everything is alright. You can look after yourself. No room unlit, no vacuum unsuckable, no two minute noodle unheated.
- You will fill out some personal paperwork
Do you know how many things you need in order to prove you are yourself? Lose your wallet one day and your whole world falls apart. You have to cancel your cards – all of them. Credit, frequent fliers, student cards, licenses, and the irreplaceable buy-ten meals-at-Siam-Simrarn-and-get-one-free card. Some days I look back on that experience/experiences (I’ve lost such cards more than once) and think that was the moment someone should have offered to buy me a pony – because I did it. I got all new cards, all twenty million of them, and then the café I left it at posted my wallet to me. With my $11.75 still in it. I didn’t know if I should be happy or irritated. Still don’t.
- You will go to the doctors when you feel ill
Like all things on this list, I’m sure people naturally do these things. Somewhere along the way I got the cures for ‘heartbreak’ and ‘swine flu’ crossed. Time does not heal all wounds. Antibiotics heals all wounds.
- Decorate your home
Obviously I just mean for Christmas. I really can’t be bothered decorating for any other time. And you know what. You might even take it all down before February. Because you’re an adult. Last year I did this, not the take it down before February part, but the decorate part. My sister and I used stolen Christmas decorations from her work that were too broken to be of practical use… Except in our house. Welcome to the Wallin’s island of misfit toys.
Investment items are items that you really can’t afford to buy but you do anyway by convincing yourself that they are of good quality and you will probably have them till the day you die. My frypan is an investment in my health. I cook fried eggs in it, aaaand that has been all I’ve cooked in it for the last three weeks. See? Investment.
- Spend more than half an hour on the phone to a provider of some sort
The reason my generations, and every generation to follow like to text so much is because we hate you all. Seriously stop with all your words to me, I don’t care for them. Tell me that you can’t switch my electricity back on for another three days with emoji.
- You buy toilet paper before you run out at the most inconvenient of times
You may have at some point realised that your toilet paper roll is going to come to the end of its life within the next few days. Maybe you only have one left and it occurred to you to immediately do something to resolve this impending conundrum. Being a twenty-something means never having to use paper towel as a toilet paper substitute.