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Probably the best part about being an adult is having the dead weight of the universe slowly grind the idealism out of your soul with each passing day.  Also you get to have sex and drink beer, but only under certain conditions, and if you’re Baptist you can’t do both things, at least not at the same time.

Probably the worst part about being an adult are high school graduations.  That’s because adults believe, deep down, that we are still young and cool, even if we were never cool to begin with.  And then we get an invitation to someone’s graduation and we think WAIT HOW IS THAT KID GRADUATING, THAT KID IS ONLY 13 I SWEAR SHE WAS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL LAST YEAR and then we have to do all the math and get sad because yeah buddy it’s been 20 years since Dawson’s Creek was on television and you’ve been turning into your father this whole time, you even wear socks with your sandals now.

Graduation ceremonies are dumb.  Every high school has to bring in some blowhard speaker who rambles on and on about Opportunity and The Future, even though 18-year-olds don’t listen to anyone, which is why being 18 is so great.  Then the class valedictorian has to give a speech, which is usually an insufferable jumble of cliches that all the parents will make fun of later when no one is looking, because come on, that kid doesn’t even know how to write a check, why do we have to listen to his hot takes.

And then they hand out diplomas, and this part takes forever, even if it’s a small school, which doesn’t totally make sense, but whatever.   Then every family has to take several hundred photos of their graduate.  Then there are finger foods and that one girl cries and if you go to a Christian school you might get to eat a cross-shaped cake in a dusty annex where they didn’t even put away the extra chairs:

Almost immediately, before the cross-shaped cakes are even eaten, the graduates will feel pressured to change the world.  If you watch enough teen movies or sit through enough sermons from your youth pastor, you sort of get the idea that 18-year-olds are supposed to change the world.  This is dumb, too.  At 18 you probably only have two choices: underpaid labor or crippling college loans.  It’s not like the captains of industry are sliding into your DMs to ask your advice because they heard you were the Senior Class Vice President.

Most of the time, you don’t get a chance to change the world until you’re in your 20s.  This is when a lot of people just sort of look around at the festering hellscape of sin and misery and decide to have a kid instead, because even though having a kid is horrifying, it’s still easier than changing the world.

And then when you start having kids you just sort of sink into a fever dream where linear time ceases to exist.  You don’t get to sleep or have sex or have money anymore, but what does it matter, those things aren’t even real.  Nothing is real but the caffeine.  By the time you tumble out of the black hole, you’re in your 30s and have no memory of anything that happened while you were 26-31.  Then you stagger down to the mailbox and pull out a handwritten letter and you think cool, that’s probably not a bill but then you open it up and it’s a graduation invitation from the kid you think is 13, anyway feel free to book me to give the commencement address at your school, I bet all the kids will really like me, I’m still super young and cool.


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