Young Adult
AGES 20-24

  • Begins to drink wine from a plastic cup
  • Can smoke a cigarette, but does so like a French film noir actor
  • Babbles nervously about self to others at parties
  • Walks while holding onto furniture for support after a mad bender
  • Can feed self ramen noodles
  • Can say, “Mama, Dada, can you help me pay rent this month?”
  • Can locate paying work, but gets fired or laid off a lot
  • Understands the word “NO,” sort of at least

Emerging Adult
AGES 25-30

  • Begins to drink wine from a mason jar, and has tried craft beer
  • Can roll a proper joint, but prefers vaping
  • Able to use more words about topics other than self at parties
  • Able to run from toxic relationships, pivot away from a volatile co-worker, and walk backwards out of an awkward conversation
  • Can feed self copious amounts of cheese at art openings
  • Can say, “Mama, Dada, can you help me pay for graduate school?”
  • Can direct self to arrive at work on time most days
  • Understands how to use the word “NO”

Kind-of Adult
AGES 31-35

  • Begins to drink wine from a proper wine glass (one of a Christmas gift set of four)
  • Can point to body parts and complain about them
  • Can name pictures of common objects to order on Amazon
  • Able to climb stairs to burn extra calories and can pedal bicycle to job
  • Eats most meals using dishes that are breakable
  • Can direct self and sometimes others at work, but doesn’t earn a lot more to do so
  • Begins to enjoy using the word “NO” a little too much

Actual Adult
AGES 36-45

  • Begins to consume and appreciate aged bourbon
  • Begins to take interest in running marathons
  • Imitates speech of others who take a certain tone, “echoes” words back into the faces of hypocrites
  • Masters walking in a crowded department store or train station
  • Can occasionally find time to use the stainless steel cookware that was a mandatory “adult” purchase
  • Says “Mama, Dada, can you watch my kids while I go to Cancun?”
  • Understands when not to engage in a political debate
  • Can manage to make it through a workday with the help of coffee and free snacks
  • Begins to say “NO” all the time, for fun and sport, like some kind of “NO” monster

Emerging Senior
AGES 46-65

  • Begins to try making own gin
  • Begins to train for yoga certification
  • Recognizes and labels colors using catalog lingo; i.e., understands that “heather” is “grey,”
  • Able to use a few more words to describe own feelings
  • Begins to take a tango class, but won’t ever actually dance the tango
  • Uses spoon to feed self ice cream in times of doubt or anxious bouts of relaxation
  • Says, “Mama, Dada, I really wish you’d stop driving, it makes me nervous”
  • Begins to yell “NO!” non-stop, sometimes for no reason, occasionally during sleep

Senior Citizen
AGES 66 and up

  • Begins to drink the blood of virgins out of a chalice
  • Begins to train for the Olympics
  • Forgets to ask existential questions, but remembers to ask strangers wildly inappropriate ones
  • Feeds self small meals usually before 6 PM, and also feeds pigeons, crows, squirrels
  • Says delightfully offensive pick up lines to nurses and department store clerks
  • Shares opinions with others about politics, religion, and celebrities with embarassing shamelessness
  • Has two PhDs, a penthouse duplex in the nice part of town, a luxury automobile, a fully prepped end-of-the-world bunker, lives off the residuals of smart tech investments, and has absolutely smashed all these milestones as well as pretty much every other life goal
  • Says last words which are both funny and poignant, then passes away painlessly and peacefully while asleep a short time later surrounded by doting family and a few close, life-long friends
  • Discovers that death is a quantum leap, looks into a mirror, screams “NO!”