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3 Futile tasks that define Adulthood

Somethings are just efforts in Futility.

Arctic Blast '08 - Truck - Round 2
photo credit: Mr.Thomas

I’m trying to be a responsible adult. I think, at the age of 27, its time for me to grow up and become one of those. I figured out a lot of things about being responsible, like, if you wait 2 weeks to buy a new transformer, you won’t overdraft your checking account and add $35 to the cost of your new robot friend. Seriously, somethings I’ve had to learn in the last year or so are that simple, and make me feel all accomplished. The things that I’m still trying to get into my head, though, are the ones that just seem stupid and futile. I think doing those things are the real definition of being a responsible adult.

1) Making the Bed

Ok. This one is probably going to the be hardest thing for me to get used to doing. I know the reasons people do it. Sleeping in a bed that has actually been made is way more comfortable than sleeping in a pile of blankets. I still can’t bring myself to do it though. It means getting up earlier, or doing it of an evening after I get off work. I don’t want to get up earlier, its hard, and making the bed a couple of hours before sleeping in it seems, well, stupid.

I’m still not even on the step where I have sheets that match my pillow cases. For that matter about 90% of the time I’m at the step where the bottom sheet doesn’t stay on my bed for longer than 1 night.

2) Shoveling the Driveway

Winter sucks. Generally, here in the Midwest, you get a few days of “warm” sunshine, followed by a blizzard. Generally, its just long enough between snowfalls for everyone to forget they’ve been driving in snow basically their entire lives. In years gone by, I would have sat in my home and and hid away from the frigid, deadly cold and watched a little television. This, too me, seems like a perfectly reasonable behavior. However, now that I actually speak with my neighbors instead of assuming that all of them are chainsaw wielding serial killers, I feel guilty when I don’t keep up with the adult home owner things.

This lead to me coming home from work tonight with 3 inches of snow already on the ground and seeing all of my neighbors standing in their driveways watching their teen sons shovel the snow and drinking steaming beverages. Of course this means a couple of moments later I was pushing around the snow in my own driveway and cursing my lack of teenage slave labor. The fact that it was still snowing while this was going on was frustrating, since by the time I got to the end of the driveway, the front of the driveway was already once again covered by a thin layer of white.

I would consider this a big step into the world of adulthood if I hadn’t spent the entire time pretending I was a robot snow plow.

3) Vacuuming the Floor

I own a Golden Retriever. She is a wonderfully loving, beautiful dog. Those are all synonyms for a machine that is capable of shedding impossible amounts of hair all over everything she comes near. I also have blue carpets. Infinite amounts of golden fur combined with a dark blue carpet equals a teal carpet. For a long time I would look at my carpet and think, “meh.” Then something really strange happened to me. My mom came to visit.

My mother, love her dearly, has a super human power to radiate an aura of guilt. When she came to visit, I could tell that she was not impressed by the fact that my floor and my dog were the same color now.  Since I have to scrub the fur up off the floor with a dog brush, she went out and bought me a cool rake thingy. This did not do much to assuage my guilt. However, my new roommate, using his hillbilly hoodoo, discovered a magical setting on my vacuum that sucks up dog hair without making it explode.

This does nothing to make me want to actually vacuum the floor everyday. If I vacuum today, by tomorrow my floor will just be covered in dog fur again. It gets vacuumed though, because blue floors look much nicer than golden retriever colored floors.

The list keeps going

At times, it seems like everything about being a responsible adult is just doing the same thing everyday because it has to be done. Cooking, shaving, watching a glass after only using it for one day. These are all things that we start to do as we transition from the extended adolescence we call bachelorhood (or bachelorettehood) and into full on adulthood.

What are the things that you do everyday just because you have to?

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.

11 thoughts on “3 Futile tasks that define Adulthood”

  1. Canaan Roling says:

    I have a couple of things to say.
    1) wish i had the teenage labor to give to you, but unfortunatley that labor moved to Ottawa…
    2) I think we can still pretend and be adults…what ever helps us get our stuff done is what we need…
    3) I like your pretty blue carpet.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      I guess the learning to cope with the futility through whatever means is what makes us learn to be adults.

    2. M.A. Brotherton says:

      I think finding ways to deal with the tedium of life is probably the secret to happiness. For now, Plowtron 356 will continue the retinue of clearing all the snow.

  2. Stereo.* says:

    Oh man number one has me written all over it. I even go as far as waking up in the morning, rolling out of bed and spend the 35 seconds it would take to make the thing staring at it with barely concealed contempt before going about my business.

    As for the things I do everyday because I have to:

    1. My hair. You’ve seen it, it’s massive. Left to its own devices it would take over my entire head and turn into one giant dreadlock.
    2. Some form of exercise. I shouldn’t be this heavy and shifting the weight is now a matter of urgency for me.
    3. Cook. If I don’t, I starve. Sucks.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      I don’t even give it a second glance. I actually don’t even clean my room nearly often enough. I just quietly shut the door behind me and don’t even think about it until I go to sleep again.

  3. Brandee says:

    Oh man. I can relate to the dog hair thing. We have a golden retriever AND a Sheltie. He should have been called Sheddie. Bleh.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      I used to think that if I brushed her often enough, eventually she would shed less. After brushing an interminable amount of hair from her in one sitting though, I determined that to be more futile than vacuuming.

  4. Brad Morrison says:

    With you on #1. After YEARS of downright nasty arguments with Her over this topic I’ve just this year started to make the bed – that is if I’m the last one up and out of the house 🙂 I still think it’s bullshit though. The 1 thing I do every day only because I have to is work. Thinking about a freedom 45 plan but unless I can put away $500k/year I think I’m going to have to delay those plans… freedom 95 seems more likely these days.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      I live in a pretty constant state of denial that tells me that sometime in the near future the Government will collapse and I won’t have to do stupid work anymore. For some reason in my brain living a simple life of manual labor would be more fulfilling or something. I’ve got myself convinced.

  5. Axiom says:

    Here’s a tip to help you make your bed. They make clips, think of them as garters for your sheets. They run under your mattress and attach to the edges of your bottom sheet to keep your bottom sheet from slipping off when you move around at night.

    When you do make your bed take a step back and admire how much that one simple act makes your bedroom look cleaner. It will make it feel more worthwhile.

    Or you could just make the bed one day and then learn to sleep on the couch so it never gets messy.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      There have been many times in my life when I did just sleep on the couch and leave the bed made. Its much easier to just put the blanket over the back of the sofa than to lay it out all wrinkle free on the bed.

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