What I Thought it Would Be Like to Be an Adult

This is not a poem. This is a response to a writing assignment from http://www.writeanyway.com.

The assignment is: "spend five minutes writing about what your younger self thought being an adult would be like. What sorts of freedoms did you think awaited you when you were finally all grown up?"

And here is my answer:

My clearest memory is standing in The Barnstable Newstand in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where I would go to buy candy. I was 9. A man walked in. I think he had a son but that didn't matter. He reached out with his hand and he grabbed a handful of M&Ms. He didn't think twice about it or count. I didn't see him stopping to count his change. He just grabbed a bunch of M&Ms. I thought, "Wow, well I guess he has thousands of dollars so a few M&Ms doesn't make such a big difference for him. Maybe when I grow up I will have thousands of dollars and I will be able to buy a bunch of M&Ms without thinking about it." Because usually, I would stand there at the candy counter for - I don't know, 45 minutes? Trying to decide what to buy, looking at the prices. It's not like I had nothing to do, but ...

What else I remember about what "growing up" meant? Well, I thought I would drive when I was grown up. And I think part of the reason I still don't feel like a grown up is that I never learned to drive. I was always traveling, or had transport arranged for me, and then wound up in Europe where we use bicycles. And have always been so busy ... but now I wander off the subject.

What did I imagine it would be to be a grown up? Well, I thought I would be able to get a job in a bar after I was 18. I never did, but if I had been allowed to, I'd have worked in a bar when I was 16 or 17. By the time I was 18 I didn't need it anymore.

I imagined that when I grew up I would be able to have a dog. Cuz my mother always said that we could have a dog when we grew up, and not before that, as she knew that if we got one when we were kids, she would be the one who would wind up taking care of the dog. We never managed to convince her otherwise ... smart woman.

My five minutes are up.

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