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August 13, 2009

The “Kiddo” of Death

August 13, 2009

Were we really adults before?

August 13, 2009
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Sometimes the best way to understand what it means to be a new-ish adult is to stop being one.

That’s what Angela, the title character from the web series 2/8 LIFE (get it?) does in episode one of the show’s second season. She moves out of the adult apartment she shared with 3-sometimes-4-sometimes friends and back into a cereal-stocked house where tickets to the Miley Cyrus show are just a Dad’s credit card swipe away. I’d argue she stopped being an adult when she bought those tickets, but the idea is, she checked out of “independent life” and back into a world where things are just handled — car insurance, cable bill, laundry — all life’s least pleasantries.

Brian, Angela’s former roommate who secretly loves her (because this is scripted television) tries to convince her to re-enter adult society . “Well, don’t you miss being an adult?” Brian asks. To which Angela convincingly responds, “I guess that’s my point – were we really adults before?”

Trust me — you’re not an adult because you live in an apartment with other people your age and not your parents. You’re not even really an adult just because you have a job that you can’t skip whenever you’re hungover slash a particularly compelling 8:30am Saved by the Bell is on. I don’t think you even really qualify as an adult if you consistently cook for yourself; Matilda did that when she was 3 years old.

To me it’s the stuff Angela is so willing to give up – life paper work and forward mobility. You’re an adult when pay your own car insurance, do your own taxes, manage your own health benefits, and pay a credit card bill in a manner that does not forever destroy your credit. And, even more importantly, when you do all those things as part of a greater plan to continue doing those things while also saving money in something I’m told is called a Roth IRA (Abby, please confirm).

Forgive the soap box, but not all 21-30 year old’s qualify. Yes, age is just a number, but “adult” isn’t just an age.

Angela’s right. She wasn’t really an adult before. Whining about trying to figure out how to be an adult doesn’t qualify (watch season one — all on hulu now!). But if real adult is the goal of 2/8 LIFE Season 2, I’m eager to see what steps Angela takes. And as a battle cry I offer her the inspiring words the St. Francis High School Gospel Choir sings under the direction of the incomparable Sister Mary Clarence: “If you wanna be somebody – if you wanna go somewhere — you gotta wake up and paaaaay attention.”

Maybe Angela will do that throughout the rest of the season, or maybe she’ll just get a bird and call that parenting…

…proving that sometimes the best way to understand what it means to be a new-ish adult is to watch someone fail at it miserably.


  1. Hi Jessie-
    I really love your blog – discovered it through the Daily Beast and I’m so glad I did!
    Not only did I have something fun to read when I came into work this morning, but now you’ve filled me with the overwhelming desire to watch Sister Act…probably followed by Sister Act 2.
    Thanks for that!

  2. What if you do all that stuff, but don’t feel like an adult?

    I think being an “adult” is part mental attitude and part actual responsibility.

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