8 Adult Things You Thought Were So Boring As A Kid, But Which Are Awesome As A Grownup
Just as there are adult things we thought were so cool as kids that actually turned out not to be all they’re cracked up to be when we reached adulthood ourselves, so, too, are there adult things we thought were so boring as kids that ended up being totally awesome once we hit the right age bracket. Funny how our sense of fun changes as we get older, isn’t it? I mean, don’t get me wrong; some things definitely are universally entertaining, like playing with enthusiastic puppies and laughing at poop jokes. (Oh, come on. Poop jokes are always funny, no matter how old you are. Don’t pretend they’re not.) But who knew that so many of the things we pitied adults for having to do when we were children would actually turn out to be kind of — gasp! — fun once we became adults ourselves?
The big question, of course, is at what precise point these boring adult things become awesome, and why. Personally, I suspect it has something to do with the pride of being able to look after your own life; more so than any other socially determined “marker” — getting married, owning property, having a nine-to-five with benefits, etc. — I would argue that being able to function mostly on your own is what really separates out a grownass adult from a child. You don't need to be married or own a house for that. Of course each individual’s situation will be different, and there’s never any shame in asking for help when you need it — but by and large, the adult things we thought were boring as kids are generally all about having control over our own lives.
Mostly, anyways. There are some exceptions, of course, and sometimes they involve dressing up in fancy clothes just for the hell of it.
In any event, as a 30-something, I now find the following things to be the height of enjoyment, whereas my elementary school self would have been all, “UGH, NO, THANK YOU.” Anyone else?
1. Furniture Shopping
When my partner and I moved from suburban New Jersey to the Washington, D.C. area last fall, we decided to jettison some of the… uh… let's call it lower quality furniture we’d been hanging onto since our early 20s and budget some money out for a few new pieces meant to last.
Shopping for them was legitimately one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done in my life.
But the hilarious thing is that I remember being dragged to furniture stores by my parents on a number of occasions and being bored out of my skull while they picked out some kind of fancy cabinet to shove our television into when we weren’t watching it. Maybe it’s because I’m shopping for my own home now… but maybe it’s just because going to Pottery Barn as an adult who’s kinda-sorta into interior design is the equivalent of going to Toys 'R' Us for an 8 year old.
2. Practical Gifts
Workout gear? Extremely high-quality socks? Kitchen gadgets?! Best. Gifts. EVER… once you reach a certain age. I mean, don’t get me wrong — as I’ve remarked before, I actually spent a lot of my childhood watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks for fun — but suffice to say, my childhood self did not have the proper appreciation for the magic of a Kitchen Aid.
3. Fancy Parties
Personally, my tolerance for fancy parties extends for maybe an hour or two; after that, I have to go home and decompress for a day, because hi, introvert. But if I have sufficient time to prepare myself mentally for the experience, I do rather enjoy them; I get to wear fun clothes and eat and drink delicious things and hang out with some interesting people. As kids, though, the thought of a party without at least one round of Pin the Tail on the Donkey and a cake decorated with a cartoon character was inconceivable.
I should probably note that a party with a cake decorated like a cartoon character still sounds like a fun time to me as a 30-something… but maybe that’s just me.
4. Fancy Dinners
Not unlike fancy parties, fancy dinners bored most of us to proverbial (or sometimes literal) tears when we were young. As adults, however, we revel in the chance to drink champagne and shove as many vol-au-vents into our faces as possible. With dignity, of course.
OK, yes, I realize people of all ages nap. But although small children in particular definitely need naptime in ways that older folks don’t, that doesn’t stop it from being so boring if you’d rather be running around outside or whatever. I hated naptime as a kid; generally I would lie quietly on my mat, but instead of actually sleeping, I would amuse myself by telling myself stories. Now, of course, I wish I had time for naps and never do. Ah, the callowness of youth.
6. Reading The News
Reading the news isn’t always technically awesome; a lot of the time, it’s rather depressing, and rage-inducing, and inspires many thoughts along the lines, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?!” But it is always interesting, and staying informed is an important part of adulthood.
I would argue that it’s important for kids to be informed, too, and many of them are… but let’s face it: When we were young, we were mostly too busy trying to figure out how to get Sonic out of Green Hill Zone Act 2 alive.
I realize that whether or not you found school interesting as a child or as an adult depends on the kind of child or adult you were or are — but honestly, by the time I got to higher education, I was all, “SCHOOL IS THE BEST.” Sometimes I still miss it, to be honest. Too bad I didn’t have the same appreciation for it when I was a wee, tiny one, too.
8. Anything That Involves Sitting Still For More Than 20 Minutes At A Time
Similarly to naptime, the wide array of adult activities that require us to sit quietly for a substantial portion of time — the ballet, the opera, the theatre, movies that don’t involve animated characters — aren’t exactly the most exciting pastimes to overly energetic children. That said, though, I also still think there’s something to be said for running around a playground for a couple of minutes, even as a 30-something.