Saturday, February 11, 2012

I Wanna Throw A Tantrum

It's all a farce.

Nobody ever grows up.
Oh, we go from little tiny chubby bodies, fresh from the womb to big bodies that grow hair in weird places and we get to drive. And pay the mortgage. And all that other stuff that comes with the God given right to eat ice cream for breakfast.
There are subtle ways in which we age, but most of them are as superficial as Joan Rivers nose.

Hopefully by the time we reach school age we've managed to figure out what and where the stuff goes that comes out of our butts, and hopefully along the way we acquired the sense to not put our hands in it.

When we start school we learn what "society" expects. We learn to share, and compromise, and apologize for our wrongdoings. We learn that fresh air is good for us, candy is bad for us, and macaroni isn't just for dinner anymore. We learn to observe the things and people around us, and respect them. Hopefully. If we're really lucky, we'll be raised by parents who teach by example, and raise us to be open-minded and accepting of people different than ourselves. If we're lucky, we advance in age without bigotry.

By the time we reach adolescence all hell breaks loose. The "eat or be eaten" mentality has officially set in. The basic primal habits we learned as toilet training toddlers metaphorically changes, and now we can't keep our hands out of other peoples shit.

There is not enough love or money in this universe that could convince me to return to adolescence.

When we finally become adults, as in, we turn eighteen--nothing changes. I've said it for years, "Congratulations! You're eighteen. You can now vote, get drafted, and die in the electric chair."

Sure, as we advance in age, we do get privileges, but do we really change?

No. We do not.

We're still riddled with angst. And those wonderful examples, if you were lucky enough to have them, are no longer there on a daily basis to reaffirm those good habits and mindsets. No, now we are subject to the world and all the biases that come with it. We're raised within the confines of society, and then thrown out into the world to figure it out.

Take for example, the job market. Rarely will you find a company that offers the training that it expects from it's employees. More often than not, you will be given a short overview, reminiscent of Cliff Notes as to what your job really is. That job description is more fluid than one might expect, and the three jobs that you were hired to do, quickly becomes thirty-six. Unfortunately, your pay did not increase twelve fold along with your responsibilities. This lack of training and fairness are in direct conflict with what we have grown up with.

And sometimes, all we want to do is throw a big 'ol tantrum about it.

I've been in the grocery store, stuck at the end of the long ass line behind the cart with the kid that's coming apart because they're tired, hungry, bored, lonely, or just plain undisciplined. And I can't count the times that I have looked at that red flustered face and thought "I wish that I could do that." because I'm so tired, hungry, bored, lonely, and a wee bit undisciplined myself. My day at work sucked, I have to go home and make the food that I want to eat. I sat at a mindless job bored and lonely, and all I want to do is go home and see the familiar faces of people (and animals) that love me. And I'm undisciplined, because deep inside I am still just a child, and somehow I feel entitled to a come apart in a crowded store.

We find, in the grown-up world, that things are rarely fair. Rental car places require a bachelors degree for a job that requires basic math and the ability to look at a yelling customer and refrain from assaulting them. The ability to count and make change requires an accounting class, never mind the fact that any and all adults should be able to make a simple financial transaction without a college degree. Filing and office work requires more than knowing the alphabet. And with all of that education, some of the most lacking individuals that I have dealt with throughout my lifetime, have been in possession of such a degree.

Many of those folks doing your taxes at the corner franchise are able to do so with a few short weeks of training, and they're making eight bucks an hour, but rental car places are requiring a college degree? It's astounding.

We complain about immigration, without considering what would happen if those day laborers packed it in and went home. Not to mention the fact that many of those same workers, willing to do the shit jobs, are doing it for the family they have back home. They make more picking strawberries in a foreign country, than cleaning up barf from the tourists that seem to think that their poverty stricken country is a playground.

Now does that sound like proper behavior?

The people who get the most flack and do the most grunt work are paid and respected the least, and that is just the way it is.

Then we hit old age, a time where the parent becomes the child. We are once again given a free pass to throw tantrums and talk back. We don't get to drive, pay the mortgage, and I bet we'd be given a ton of grief if we ate ice cream for breakfast. People talk to us like we're children.

Because that is essentially what we have been all along.


  1. I think a lot about how my perspective has changed as I've gotten older. I would never be able to put it nicely into words like you can :) but I agree, we are all just children. Seems like aging is just the slow coming and going of self control, the underlying feelings stay the same.

  2. I love this. I think I'll make a point to throw more tantrums.
    Seriously. :) I love what jill said: "the slow coming and going of self-control."