Sofi Papamarko is an award-winning writer and matchmaker based in Toronto. She has been a columnist for Metro Canada (Relating), Sun Media Newspapers (Sex Files) and is currently a columnist at The Toronto Star (Sassbox). Her byline has appeared in The Globe & Mail, The National Post, Chatelaine, Reader’s Digest, Maisonneuve, The Huffington Post, Flare, Exclaim!, Shameless, Taddle Creek, Salon and many more newspapers, magazines and online outlets. She is hard at work on a debut collection of short stories.
Sofi Papamarko explains the quiet signals of adulthood. Among them: you start pickling things other than your liver
Remember the 1980s comedy Big where Tom Hanks (secretly a 12-year-old boy in a thirty-something man’s body) does such ridiculous things as play with toys, ride roller-coasters and wear jeans to work? Since those heady days of shoulder pads and charting Huey Lewis singles, the lines between adolescence and adulthood have become increasingly blurred. So put aside your adult colouring book and read on, for some surefire ways to tell if you’re a real, live grown-up — even if you don’t feel like one yet.
1. You realize with dismay that it’s too late for you to become a professional figure skater, competitive gymnast or international rock star — even if you start practicing today.
2. You start pickling things that are not your liver.
3. You have matching dishes, cutlery, towels and/or socks.
4. You purchase a slow cooker and are really excited about it.
5. You purchase a cordless vacuum and are really excited about it.
6. You purchase a mortar and pestle and are really excited about it.
7. You use the aforementioned mortar and pestle to grind herbs you grew yourself in your window garden and later dried on your reclaimed wood harvest table.
8. You’ve stopped listening to any and all music that came out after 2009 (except for the oeuvre of Taylor Swift, which you own none of but have somehow managed to memorize by sheer osmosis).
9. Sheryl Crow really speaks to you.
10. You have an RRSP, a TFSA, a CA and an IUD.
11. Revelation: the sooner you go to bed, the sooner you can eat breakfast!
12. You’ve stopped caring what other people think. Mostly.
13. You won’t even look at apartments that don’t have air conditioning and a dishwasher.
14. Reitmans is actually carrying some pretty cute stuff this season, you guys!
15. You find yourself telling white lies to small children for your own amusement.
16, You look forward to cleaning. Not for the act itself so much as for the satisfying results.
17. You have strong opinions on olive oil.
18. You casually drop Saturday Night Live references from the 1990s and your twenty-something colleagues have no idea what you’re talking about. No one invites you to lunch.
19. A hangover now lasts two to four months.
20. You still eat macaroni and cheese sometimes, but you toss in basil and sun-dried tomatoes or add panko and Sriracha to really just class it up.
21. The only thing better than napping is … no. No, I’ve got nothing.
22. It blows your mind that you do whatever you want to do within the limits of the law, but what you mostly do is watch Netflix and fall asleep on your couch at 10 p.m.
23. Back-to-school commercials fill you with maudlin nostalgia.
24. Salt and pepper? No thank you! Freshly ground peppercorns and Himalayan pink salt? Yes we can!
25. You remember when overalls were cool, and then not-cool, and then cool again.
26. Your body feels like a giant bruise for two full days after you go to the gym. Once you start to recover, it’s time to go back to the gym.
27. You’re older now than your parents were when they had you.
28. You purchase concert tickets based solely on two factors: Is there cushy seating? How far is the venue from my couch? (Conclusions: it is not worth going to any concerts not held at Massey Hall or in your living room.)
29. The show Friends seems unfunny and dated. When did that happen? (Answer: 2008)
30. You’re unreasonably excited about your artisanal ice cube tray.
31. You buy all sorts of fancy cookbooks by celebrity chefs but only ever make the easiest sounding ones that don’t require a double boiler or Dutch oven or too many pots and pans that you have to wash later.
32. Brussels sprouts are actually kind of delicious, if you know how to cook them/add bacon.
33. It’s OK to use the nice soap.
Sofi Papamarko is a writer and matchmaker who lives in Toronto. Reach her at facebook.com/sofipapamarko