VIII. Mythical Adulthood

“Mommy WOW! I’m a big kid now!”

We all, (all as in those who grew up in the United States), have seen the commercial where little legs of baby fat scamper to a nearby toilet from which their legs then dangle. Right at the last moments of the climatic flushing noise, (which I used to find frightening), the tall and lean, young and pretty mommy arrives, giggling. The child than pulls up his/her own diaper and in the background rings the exclamatory jingle that I have quoted above.

Growing up has always been associated, if not defined, by increasing independence, similar to using the toilet on your own.

I have some issues with this all-encompassing independence that is cited as being characteristic of the “real-world” - anything that exists outside of the campus bubble.

To all of you I say… bullocks.

I know that I am not the most independent person. I don’t drive, I don’t cook my own meals, I have never had a paying job, I don’t do the laundry at home (I honestly would if not for its particular location in my house. Let’s just say this pet peeve is similar to the scary flushing noise pet peeve I had when I was a kid).

Independence in certain cultures varies.

In Indian families, everyone should be living under one roof by default. Maybe the whole extended family living together  bit just rings true for Punjabi families.

The only time you will see an unmarried child, or married in some cases, leave a house is if:

1. He/she committed some ungodly criminal act of blasphemous proportions and is disowned by the parents. (Refer to Sharukh Khan’s character in Khabhie Kushi Khabie Gham.)

2. He/she committed the same type of criminal act, is not kicked out but is instead constantly scrutinized and emotionally blackmailed, and thereby decides to leave on his/her own.

3. The child must separate from the family in order to further his/her own education, career, or pursue a love interest that is wholeheartedly approved of by the parents. *The reason listed last is more common in Hindi films than in life.*


Also, the very institution of marriage, arguably an expectation of adulthood, is a completely antithetical idea to the concept of independence.

Since when did being inconsiderate become a form of disciplining someone into growing up?

Why must we reach some arbitrary threshold of independence to be respected for the adults that we have become?

I now completely see the need to move on - not to think about home when I’m away from it and see the past because quite frankly, that no longer exists.

Life is a lot more interesting now than it could have ever been before. I just need to exploit the interest without falling into the above two categories… or suffering from a stress-induced aneurism and/or nervous breakdown.

Here’s to trying -