I Think My Lady-Baby Days Are Over; 5 Signs I'm Nearing GrownupHood

I can't couch surf anymore. Also, I really like sniffing babies.
Publish date:
October 7, 2013
being an adult, couch surfing, puppies, being a grownup

It's only been 6 months since I wrote about things I should probably own as an adult. I still don't technically own an umbrella, jumper cables, or a hammer, but I did move into a furnished house that has all three, so that's a temporary win, I think.

Last month I had a revelatory experience that made me rethink the whole “I'm still a lady-baby” business. I guess I'm a bit more of a grownup than I realized, and I have no idea when that happened. Somewhere between filing my own taxes and getting health insurance, I guess.

I went to LA in September for work. That alone was kind of adult-like. I brought along my boyfriend, P, and we made a mini vacation out of it by crashing with his 22-year-old brother who popped out of college in May.

P's brother A is an awesome, fun, crazy musical genius who can play any instrument ever. He was gracious and hospitable by letting us set up camp in his living room. His apartment had a pretty rowdy roach festival going on, but that part didn't bother me so much. I kind of knew that might happen.

When we arrived, he pointed to a sun-faded blue/purple (blurple?) futon and said, “You guys can crash here. I found it on the street, but I vacuumed it.” Later, when I asked for a pillow, he said, “I don't really do pillows, but you can put your head on this bathrobe. It's clean. Someone left it here.”

The last time I went to crash on someone's couch for a few days, none of that would have bothered me. I once slept in a bathtub for six nights and didn't mind, although I did wake up to someone vomiting two feet to my left.

But this trip was really different. It was totally my own fault for not springing for a hotel or trolling Air BnB, but I hadn't realized yet that my couch surfing days were over. My general crankiness with the lack of privacy and pillows, coupled with a few other signs listed below, told me that I'm over my beer-with-breakfast, no-need-for sleep-phase that my early 20s provided me with.

I don't want to sleep on floors anymore. Or futons you salvaged out of the trash. I don't mean to knock on A or his apartment, because it was a pretty standard 22-year-old dude pad -- cleaner than most, actually, since A is real tidy. But after 10 days of sleeping in someone's living room, my aching back and general crankiness made me realize I'm too old for this.

I wanted a bedroom with walls, and a pillow, and some sheets. One night, I woke up around 4 am to see A standing two feet from where I lay, staring at us vacantly, eating a banana. I screamed. He was probably happy when we left.

The lack of privacy meant we didn't have sex the entire trip. That alone is enough to make me breathe fire. I used to give no thoughts to crashing on the floors or couches (or bathtubs) of my friends across the country. Now I know, I just can't do it anymore.

I can't stay up late anymore. You guys, whenever I try and stay up past midnight, everything goes bad. No matter what time I go to sleep, I wake up at 6am anyway -- and if I was up late, I wake feeling like I injected ethanol into my eyeballs when all we did was drink tea and watch Zodiac until 2. It's not fun.

Even on Friday nights. I don't even like to stay up late on Fridays anymore! I want to get to bed at a reasonable time so I can (wait for it) enjoy my Saturday. Don't laugh at me! I wake up at 5 am for work every week day, so come 9 pm Friday night, I'm exhausted, and all I want to do is put on some sweats, nest up in my man's pecs, and pass out so I can wake up early and ride my bike to the farmer's market.

I am kind of embarrassed to admit this to the Internet, because I am openly confronting how terrifyingly boringish I can be, but real talk: that's all I want to do. And it makes me feel old and frumpy. But, whatever, commence with the frumping!

Nope, I don't want to do that drug. A few fleeting years since college and I am suddenly very aware that this is my only body and I don't really want to put strange things into it anymore. When the guy I met at the beach three hours prior called and asked if P and I would like to do ayahuasca with him that evening, my brain was automatically like awwww, hell, no, whereas several years ago I probably would have jumped on it right away, or at least considered it.

What's that, dude I met 180 minutes ago? Would I like to come over and sip a hallucinogenic tea made from a blend of psychoactive infusions? Are you a shaman? Are you qualified to guide that kind of journey? No, thanks -- but come on over for some beer and pingpong if you want.

I want to sniff babies. Okay, this is the weirdest new establishment. Babies were once nothing more to me than a reason to wear a condom. They pooped and puked a lot and yeah they were kind of cute when they weren't screaming behind me on an 8-hour flight. At some point last year, the way I looked at babies changed in a terrifying fashion. Now, when I see one all I want to do is sniff their head and maybe nibble a few toes.

I've learned this is really inappropriate in most situations; always, always, ask permission from the mother before you start gumming a baby foot in the line at the grocery store. My ovaries are doing some strange Gimme Dat Baby dance and I'm trying to elude them for a few more years, or at least satisfy them with puppies.

I still have trouble giving up booty shorts or admitting that I'm wrong, but the trip to LA really made me realize the difference between me at 20 and me at 25. Hopefully I will read this post at 30 and see some more progression made. You guys, tell me what made you realize your lady-baby days were on the way out?

Zoe is being kind of boring on Twitter and Instagram. Follow her for lots of random photos of geckos on things.