Pretending to Adult

Amy wakes up to the sound of her alarm. She groans, swatting at her phone until the sound goes away. She wakes up to the sound of her alarm repeating a few minutes later, having only hit the snooze button before. Groaning and twisting around through a stretch, Amy turns the phone alarm off and struggles out of bed to the bathroom. She inspects herself in the mirror. “Just… make it through the day,” she says to herself.

That’s all Amy wants. Just to make it through the day. Just to play the part she plays every day, do her job, earn her pay, and get back home to bed. Just the usual adult stuff, no more and no less. Well, maybe less of the political stuff. Lately she finds herself paying attention to the news and getting annoyed by it all. Amy hopes she hasn’t passed a point of no return in terms of political activity. “That’s for my thirties,” she whispers reassuringly to herself, not wanting to acknowledge just how imminent her thirties are for her.

“Just make it through the day.”

Amy dresses herself, leaves her house and boards a train to work. Like so many of her working days, it becomes a blur of generic working adult activities. Her work goes by, task after task, phone calls, spreadsheets, emails, answering emails, other people’s tasks that they land on Amy. Every so often, she checks the messages and notifications on her phone:

So-and-so is getting a new job!

So-and-so got approved for a mortgage!

So-and-so are engaged now!

So-and-so is having a baby!

Amy takes her lunch break; a dreary salad since she is trying – sincerely trying – to be healthy and a cup of tea that she makes for herself in the staff kitchen. Disappointing lunch over, Amy goes back to work and emails, email after email after email, with one eye on the clock. Although it isn’t quite 5pm, Amy decides that she’s had enough for the day. She leaves without a word to her colleagues so as to avoid any further delay. One train journey later and she arrives home, closing the front door behind her.


“That’s right,” Amy realises, “I actually have the house to myself.” For whatever reasons they gave that Amy has clearly forgotten, her housemates are away for the weekend. She looks around the house to be absolutely sure and finds that she is, indeed, alone. Amy smiles, knowing now that she can eat whatever she wants, watch whatever she wants on TV, and go to bed whenever she wants, without a moment’s consideration for her housemates. “Wait…” Amy stops, an idea taking shape. She can do better than any one of those things. Amy can do all of those things at once. All she needs is a simple blanket fort.

Amy races upstairs to her room where she sheds her work clothes and bounds into her favourite pyjamas. She grabs the blankets in her room and carries them downstairs to the sofa in the living room. Some quick changes to the furniture in the room and Amy is able to raise her fort around the television and with a bed of cushions for comfortable viewing. Happy with the structure of her blanket fort, Amy scurries inside and relaxes back into the cushions, eating Nutella from the jar with a spoon. As she hops through the channels on TV, settling on a cartoon marathon, she feels an immense calm that she hasn’t felt in days, maybe even weeks. It’s like a spa treatment for the trials of adult life. Amy thinks about ordering a takeaway pizza to cancel out that disappointing lunch-time salad. She contemplates her evening’s entertainment, perhaps a movie or a boxset and split up episodes with naps as she sees fit. If she wants to, Amy could even pull an all-nighter. The evening is entirely at her leisure and it feels so very, very good.

“This is what being an adult is supposed to be,” Amy thinks, with an unapologetic smug-face. “I wonder if every adult does this?”  she wonders, licking chocolate from the back of her spoon. “Everyone should, though, it’s fantastic…”