Whenever we think we have grown up and are finally adults, and everyone around us has as well, and magically all of us behave mature, reality hits us. Somehow we could have suspected it – did our parents always act rationally and wisely? The people we looked up to because they were older and more experienced than us – were they really that advanced?
Probably not. Looking at our possible future always feels different than actually living it. As if it should be more spectacular, we should have the answers to all questions and know what we are doing, which for some reason we don’t. Luckily, life as an ongoing process lets us grow little by little, and most likely we seem wiser and more rational to those younger than us, whose turn it is now to look up to us.
What paradoxically never seems to change though is this weird and unexplainably omnipresent urge to segment into cool and uncool people. In high school coolness starts to be defined by wearing certain clothes and continues with being the first one to kiss, get drunk, and have sex. Oddly the people in the club of the “first ones” are the ones making the rules, and defining themselves as the cool ones. Or as the ones who are doing it “right”.
Now in our adult lives, as all this is old hat, we still recognize some patterns: the certain clothes are replaced by cars of certain brands, and less materialistic, but equally coloured by competition are the grades in university, first jobs and other titles. And what about the first times from back then? Well, that’s easy – you find them in who gets married first, who has kids first, who settles down first. And then you are blamed if you don’t get on the boat! A friend of mine was invited to her friend’s son’s second birthday. The whole party consisted of kids, mums, dads, married couples – and her. If she had brought a friend, she would have been considered gay automatically – it happened before. So they decided to place her at the kids’ table, and, after bombarding her with questions about her non-existent boyfriend (“how can you be 24 and still single???”), they invited the neighbour’s son over, ’cause he seemed in a suitable age.
Suitable for what? For making her share the common view that after years at school and the university she should, instead of enjoying her new freedom as a fully educated grown-up – probably the first time in her life with enough experience and money to discover this beautiful planet – commit to the next restricting binding agreement? Who are those people who suddenly decided getting a hobby that lasts at least 18 years is the one and only thing to do once you are in a “suitable” age? Are they the same ones who tried to convince you at 14 that now it’s the right time to have sex for the first time? Or to get hammered?
If they are, it doesn’t make them seem very trustworthy. In general, there should be a common agreement to never trust people who try to force their lifestyles upon you. But if they come in bunches, and they used to be your friends, it might be difficult to not get hurt by their accusations of you not wanting to join in the club of the “cool” people. What if we told them that in fact it is impossible that everyone has kids, ’cause our anyways already crowded planet would just be totally overpopulated, with spreading diseases and even more lack of food? Well, maybe it would make them feel even cooler because then they are suddenly special again.
In fact, instead of wanting to force people to join their club, they should rather celebrate their side of the coin by themselves. If we were all in the same club, who would be the uncool people to torture then?