Saturday, July 16, 2016

Low Adulthood Tolerance

I have this thing about alcohol. Basically, my body can’t accept it. If I drink too much, defined as “any amount,” I get a migraine. The result of this is a comically low tolerance. I can get drunk merely by walking past a bar.

That’s why I felt pretty foolish the other day, going to a massive liquor store. I didn’t do this on my own, you understand. I went with a friend who is a “mixologist,” which for you laypeople is defined as “a person who practices mixology.”

My goal, as an alcohol-illiterate woman-child, was basically not to come off as an arrested weenie-head. I didn't want to remark on how orangey an orange liqueur was, or whatever. (Answer: pretty orangey, and I know because the very first thing I did was remark on how orangey it was.)

I maintained a distance from all other humans present, who trotted around the store making remarks like “This one is grotty, but with undertones of nepotism.” I was out of my depth. The universe (having nothing better to do) was clearly telling me to go home and play with My Little Ponies.

But I don’t have these at home (rather, they are in my parents’ basement). So instead I walked the store and thought. I was thinking about all the “adult” things we should be versed in by our late twenties, yet aren’t. To clarify, I should explain that by “we” I mean “I.” Here is a list of adult tasks with which I have, shall we say, differences:

Hammering a Nail Into a Wall. I am a thoroughgoing wimp when it comes to this. This is because hammering a nail into a wall (a) makes noise, (b) damages the wall, and (c) worst of all, you run the very real risk of hanging up a picture. Fortunately, I have found a tried-and-true technique to help. It consists of asking my roommate to hammer in the nail for me. If you are similarly afflicted I urge you to do the same. She is available for a fee.

Issues With My Apartment. This one also involves my roommate. Every so often my chest fills with dread when she informs me something is wrong with the apartment. This is because I have a condition called Apartment-Problem Deafness, which means that every problem with the apartment sounds like this: 

“The sloon is fnurking again,” she’ll say.

And I’ll say, “What?”

“I said the sloon is fnurking again,” she’ll repeat. “Do you think you can talk to the super?”

The problem is, she’s not actually saying “sloon” and “fnurking.” She is saying something perfectly sensible that MY ARRESTED BRAIN, being unable to deal with the situation, REFUSES TO HEAR.

I try my best to play it cool, though we both know I am bluffing. “Sure, I’ll talk to the super,” I say, knowing full well all I can say to him is “Super, the sloon is fnurking again.”

Fortunately, the silver lining in all this is that the super and I do not speak the same first language and have trouble understanding each other anyway. So he does what he would do regardless, which is come over with a big filthy bucket and whack around randomly at things until the problem, somehow, is solved. So far our little system has never failed. I consider it a miracle of life.

Consumption of Breakfast. I always wake up ten to thirty minutes after I actually need to. This means my eternal plan to eat breakfast at home is never realized. Instead I end up grabbing a bagel at the Bunny Deli, where I appear so often that the entire staff has memorized my order of a bagel with one scrambled egg and one tomato. In some of them it’s so ingrained that they see my face and mutter immediately, “Egg tomato.” That’s who I am to them. One pulpy fruit and one infertile ovum. It’s what I always wanted to be when I grew up.

Small Manual Tasks, Including But Not Limited To The Operation of Coffee Makers and the Opening of My Door. I was once fired from a job because I did not know how to operate the boss’s coffee maker. I grew sixteen extra fingers and causing coffee to flood the premises. This caused her to throw a Mach 5 hissy fit, then dismiss me later that day for “lack of common sense,” which is code for bad Mr. Coffee skills. The present-day manifestation of this is that I cannot open my front door. I mean, I can open it, but not on the first or sometimes fourth try. This is because one lock goes one way and the other lock goes the other way, and – follow me closely here – neither of them goes the same way. I suspect that during the day, while I am gone, they switch themselves while giggling evilly. You can imagine the trial this was when I first moved in. But I’m pleased to report that today – following a mere three years of hard work and persistence – I am still not quite sure how to open my door.

After awhile of thinking about these things, you start to feel pretty damned incomplete as a human. At the very least you feel comical and bumbling, like a jack-in-the-box playing backwards. But then, as you go about the world, a funny thing happens. You start to observe something: EVERYONE is a jack-in-the-box playing backwards. Sure, some might play different tunes, and some might play faster or slower than others.* But not one, I assure you, is playing “correctly.” In other words, none of this keeps you from being an adult. Everybody is an adult. Nobody is an adult.

Which is why I say: give yourself a break. So what if you can’t open doors? So what if you have no breakfast talent? So WHAT if you can’t operate a coffee maker with which you don’t have a personal, deep relationship, especially if the owner of said coffee maker is a raving sphincter-head? The point is, you have value outside of these things. ... Or at least I assume you do. I don’t know you.

Is any of this a revelation? I feel confident it is not. And frankly, that’s how I prefer things: I like my insights non-revelatory, my doors needlessly complex, and my liquor minimal. But when I do imbibe, I prefer something grotty, with undertones of nepotism.

* This is profound.

1 comment:

DreadedCandiru2 said...

You too, huh? When I do drink alcohol, it tells me I can't stand up...and it's right.