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How do you know you're an adult?

Posted by Joanna Weiss  May 30, 2013 02:48 PM

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In the Globe last week, Alex Beam -- longtime columnist, curmudgeon, and grown-up -- surveyed the new flurry of self-help books aimed at helping twenty-somethings adjust to adulthood. He offered some advice of his own, which comes down to speaking slowly and flossing regularly. With Reach, not Glide.

Alex also recounted the day he realized he was an adult -- when a third-grade soccer player called him "Mr. Beam," and it occurred to him that his father was nowhere in sight. This got us thinking: What's the turning point, when you have to admit that adolescence is officially behind you? When you're happy to be carded? When you covet major appliances? When you realize you're unwilling to live in a micro-apartment? How did you know you were grown up? Or has it happened yet? Below are some suggestions from adults on Morrissey Boulevard. Add yours to the comments below, or tweet at the hashtag #iknewiwasanadultwhen.


You know you're an adult when you go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show and the ticket taker says, "Are you sure this is the movie you want to see?"
Derrick Jackson, Globe columnist

You know you're an adult when you start examining the cork that comes out
of the bottle.
Jeff Moriarty, @jeffmoriarty
General Manager,

You know you're an adult when your friends bring more wine to your party than they consume.
Farah Stockman, @fstockman
Globe columnist

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 11.42.16 PM.png
Heather Hopp-Bruce, Globe editorial page art director, @thebabysucks

In Boston, you know you’re an adult when you hit sixth or seventh grade and the school department hands you a free T pass instead of providing pick-up service on yellow school buses.
Lawrence Harmon
Globe columnist

There are lots of moments when it’s clear you’re older than you used to be: when bars in Back Bay don’t bother to card you; when you have strong opinions about hardware and furniture stores; when you take your mind off your sore Achilles tendon by dwelling on your plantar fasciitis. But no one ever really feels like an adult, if “adult” means having things basically figured out. That part you just have to fake.
Dante Ramos, @danteramos
Globe deputy editorial page editor

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