This is Why I'll Never be an Adult

I have repeatedly discovered that it is important for me not to surpass my capacity for responsibility.  Over the years, this capacity has grown, but the results of exceeding it have not changed.

Normally, my capacity is exceeded gradually, through the accumulation of simple, daily tasks.


But a few times a year, I spontaneously decide that I'm ready to be a real adult.  I don't know why I decide this; it always ends terribly for me.  But I do it anyway.  I sit myself down and tell myself how I'm going to start cleaning the house every day and paying my bills on time and replying to emails before my inbox reaches quadruple digits.  Schedules are drafted.  Day-planners are purchased.  I stock up on fancy food because I'm also planning on morphing into a master chef and actually cooking instead of just eating nachos for dinner every night.   I prepare for  my new life as an adult like some people prepare for the apocalypse.

The first day or two of my plans usually goes okay.


For a little while, I actually feel grown-up and responsible.  I strut around with my head held high, looking the other responsible people in the eye with that knowing glance that says "I understand.  I'm responsible now too.  Just look at my groceries."

At some point, I start feeling self-congratulatory.


This is a mistake.  

I begin to feel like I've accomplished my goals.  It's like I think that adulthood is something that can be earned like a trophy in one monumental burst of effort and then admired and coveted for the rest of one's life.  


What usually ends up happening is that I completely wear myself out. Thinking that I've earned it, I give myself permission to slack off for a while and recover. Since I've exceeded my capacity for responsibility in such a dramatic fashion, I end up needing to take more recovery time than usual. This is when the guilt-spiral starts.  

The longer I procrastinate on returning phone calls and emails, the more guilty I feel about it.  The guilt I feel causes me to avoid the issue further, which only leads to more guilt and more procrastination.  It gets to the point where I don't email someone for fear of reminding them that they emailed me and thus giving them a reason to be disappointed in me.  

Then the guilt from my ignored responsibilities grows so large that merely carrying it around with me feels like a huge responsibility.  It takes up a sizable portion of my capacity, leaving me almost completely useless for anything other than consuming nachos and surfing the internet like an attention-deficient squirrel on PCP. 


At some point in this endlessly spiraling disaster, I am forced to throw all of my energy into trying to be an adult again, just to dig myself out of the pit I've fallen into. The problem is that I enter this round of attempted adulthood already burnt out from the last round. I can't not fail.  


It always ends the same way.  Slumped and haggard, I contemplate the seemingly endless tasks ahead of me. 


And then I rebel.  

848 comments:

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sienamystic said...

Oh my god, yes. This is my life. Obviously, you've been spying on me for material.

~S~ said...

I'm being entirely redundant here as I just found this blog and read the comments but THIS IS MY LIFE!
I should be studying for a my MCAT now but nope...here i am reading your absolutely HILARIOUS entries.

thanks for the laughs!

Anonymous said...

Christine Kane has a great blog on (among many other things) avoiding "attention splatter." I haven't mastered her techniques, but at least now I have a game plan....

TakiMaki said...

Haha, LOVE it Allie...this is me every summer. I'm a teacher (ugh, speaking of way too much responsibility) and I am pretty sure I have ADHD which isn't helpful at work or at home. At the beginning of the summer I'm the same way, schedules, lists, I'm like "I'm gonna conquer this whole damn house...bwahaha." Then, a week later, when I'm tired and need a "rest," I slack off and the cycle starts over because my house looks like shit. Part of this is hte ADHD because I "start" 25 things and don't finish any of them because I get distracted. Glad to know I'm not the only one!

Terri said...

Are you effing kidding?

I am a lawyer, the epitome of adult responsibility. There are people in jail waiting for me to freaking do something.

It. Is. Paralyzing.

So, therefore, I was both relieved and thankful to see a new Hyperboleandahalf post. Grateful actually . . .

Bless you Allie . . .

Now I am off to tinker with my own blog and then blog-splunk (randomly clicking on 'next blog' in blogger.com to see what comes up) and then maybe some Word Bubbles. Hey, those people in jail probably deserve to stay there until Monday anyway!

Terri
www.whyifearclowns.com

PS: If you think I'm kidding, don't.

Jamie said...

It's like you have a window into my life and mind. And, apparently, the lives and minds of hundreds of other folks I had no idea lived the same basic existence. That thing about not wanting to remind people that they wrote you an email? POSITIVELY SPOOKY. It's strangely affirming, although not necessarily comforting, that we're all in the same boat.

I have at least gotten into the habit of cooking real food on a daily basis, partly because I feel guilty about being unemployed and not contributing and partly because I'm deathly tired of boxed meals.

~Alissa said...

Just promise yourself not to have any kids until you can stay out of the cycle for 3 years straight. When you're so bored of life that a little manic-depression sounds pretty good about now, then you are ready for kids. And then it starts all over and you feel like a miserable failure and for sure, my kids are going to prison and everyone blames the mom anyways...

Valentina Vitols said...

Allie, never ever keep us for 17 days without a post...it was misery!

(That's shit you have to do at least every other day!)

:-D

You're awesome!

Katie said...

You totally made me crave nachos. I said it out loud at work, and all of my coworkers laughed at me.
Anyway, your post totally described me.

Zorana said...

Heh, it is so true- you are stuck in a never ending loop. At the end, we all find refuge on the internet @ 3:17AM.

Lizard said...

Umm... I have a steady 9-5 job and I'm almost 30... BUT THIS IS TOTALLY ME!!! (For instance, I say 9-5 because I rarely get to work on time!)
My cleaning comes in crazy "flight of the bumblebee in the background" bursts that only occur when I have company coming over. Even then I never get as far as those side rooms I keep *meaning* to clean!!

Rebeccagrace said...

Great post, Allie! I think the reason you are so popular is that you are so relateable...you say what we all feel but can't express, and you make us feel better 'cause we know we aren't alone! Thanks...you are awesome.

phillipskt said...

I'm having a gall bladder attack and I thought it would be a great idea to read your newest post in order to distract myself from this hellish pain. It turns out nothing, not even your awesomeness, can distract me from the devils that are currently twisting my intestines around their pitchforks. So now I'm in pain and pissed at myself for not saving the reading of this post for a later time when my brain isn't being licked by fire and I may actually be able to enjoy it the way it ought to be enjoyed. I think it may be time to put on some clothes (I'm currently lacking pants or a t-shirt because the feel of cloth on my skin makes me feel like I'm being buried alive) and head to the ER.

Claire Strom said...

Wow. I am so glad someone else does this too! I'm not the only one! Joy!

Trope Girl (The Doctor) said...

I'm exactly the same way. Thank you for summarizing my life using MS Paint.

temp said...

Allie, you've tapped into a real global concern. Look at this army of followers, each more lazy and inept than the next, each more prone to commenting on your blog than changing their pants.

I would say that we should all start a quixotic task force or gentleman's club if it weren't for the fact that the single thing that ties us together is the fact that we can't do anything at all.

Have a lovely day. Heart!

Calla Flower said...

This is my life. this is really my life. someone understands!!!!

Smoovie said...

This is what I'm like at school, every damn year. "This year will be different! This year I won't fail half of my classes! I'll do my drudgerious homework, and not have a panic attack at the prospect! I can win school, just like a normal person!"

(the only winning move is to not play)

kelliegonzo said...

yeah this is my life.

Ellie said...

Girl, the amplitude of that cycle decreases over time, but it never stops cyclin'.

I'm thirty-two (boo old) and have recently learned that I can request help of peapod and a house cleaner, and that alleviates enough pressure for me to not crash and burn at the office...

leendadll said...

so nice to be reminded that i'm not alone!! i haven't done dishes since... I don't know when. Ditto on vacuuming. And dusting. And any other household chore.

My gardener hasn't sent me a bill since roughly Oct and I won't remind him because I know how bad the bill is going to be. But not getting a bill means it only gets bigger.

But if I avoid it all long enough, maybe it will all just go away!

Chris said...

Jeez. It's like you're in my head.

Velocigoose said...

I've done this many times... so much that now, I make it a point to -not- give myself any responsibility. At least I try real hard not to... cause I'll just fuck it up.

Like the fact I've been on "vacation" all this last week. I still couldn't manage to come up with a decent blog post all week, and the only thing I had to do today was get up and go back to work.

I didn't make it. I'm probably going to be homeless soon.

Can I come crash with you and boyfriend for a couple days?

Erika said...

Wow. I had no idea that half of the internet did this, too. I may make your 'responsibility chart' my desktop. Sadly, I am turning 40 soon, have 2 kids & a hubby to take care of, & a full-time job. Teaching. heh. Somehow we make it work--just don't let guests actually ENTER the house.

Bethany said...

This is 100% genuinely my life.

Jeff said...

Having seen the update on facebook I commenced the loudest calling of my mother the world has ever seen. We just had the greatest bonding moment I can remember so for that I thank you.

Anonymous said...

On a slightly different note, I find your ability to capture facial expressions with stick figures on Microsoft paint absolutely astounding. I love it.

~Christian

Josh said...

Man, you haven't got any funnier in that fortnight off, have you?

Mae said...

Best thing I've read in a long time.

THANK YOU. =)

LibraryGirl62 said...

so me! Was that you peeking in my window????

not you said...

haha... that is so true! perfectly describes my life. I like your blog, it's cute and funny.

frogblog10.blogspot.com

queenofthecentre said...

Now you have reminded me that I need to start being an adult also....let the guilt spiral begin... :(


GREAT post!!! You always write about things I can relate to....At least it makes me glad I'm not the only one with this problem :D

Ckazaal said...

The solution to the problem is simple.

1) Become rich and famous.

2) Hire an assistant and pay them to be an adult for you.

Success!

cranackle said...

Hey I tried that adult thing on trial this morning but it didn't work out! When I started cleaning my room, my messy bed just looked to inviting so I went back to sleep! Allie, your good! You should consider writing 'A book of Proverbs and Other Wise Sayings!

j said...

You should move to Italy. If you can get ONE errand done in a day, that's like a really good day.

Ashleigh said...

This is so me. Gosh you made me laugh, thanks for that. Success!!

GasStation Cappuccino said...

STOP STALKING ME AND WRITING ABOUT ME!!

I really did think I was the only person who did this... It feels great for a few days and then like crap when it falls apart.

The worst part is that I'm a mom and teacher, and people look at me like, "hellllllooo? aren't you supposed to be all adult like?"

Ugh.

markus_kt said...

Oh my goodness, this is my life. Seriously. ADD sucks!

Zeppelininthesky said...

I totally do this all the time. I am really shocked I have not gotten fired from my job.

Raptor007 said...

I love your blog posts like this one and the sneaky hate spiral, because I can totally relate to them. I'm always surprised when I read them, because I thought I was very weird in these ways; maybe we're both just weird.

My biggest problem with being responsible is reading the mail. I do pick through it as it comes in to find things that look important, but everything else just piles up. Then it gets so daunting that I never make any headway; I have mail stuffed in a couple of drawers that I'm "going to get to eventually".

Oh well, I'm sure being an adult is over-rated anyway. :¬P

Rosemary Van Deuren said...

This is hilarious :)

Kate said...

This is so me it's not funny. Except it is funny. :)

tgwiy2 said...

So awesome :)

metalchick666 said...

Never realized there were so many other people out there like this. Is this ADD or something? I'm 37 and pretty sure that I'll always be in my pj's all day playing games instead of being productive.

Last week I hired a cleaning woman to come and we CLEANED ALL THE THINGS! I was so happy that I took the next two days off to play on the internet and eat stuff.

Manda said...

All I have to say is, "Me too, Allie. Me too."

If you plan to reproduce someday, let it be known that I warned you about this... It gets So. Much. Worse. when you have children. Suddenly, you procrastinate yourself into 72 loads of laundry that all have to be done NOW, as well as feeding the little monkeys, but you can't do that because the sink is full of dishes and you don't have any clean ones to cook with or serve food on... Yeah. Save a lot of money - you'll be buying many many nachos.

Anonymous said...

I'm forty and still do this. Some things never change. :)

elizadoohicky said...

WOW! Look at all the people you brought together with your seemingly self-deprecating post! Who else can do that Allie? I ASK YOU! WHO ELSE! MWA HA HA HA HA......i need a nap.

Anonymous said...

Allie,

look at all the free therapy you just gave the internet! Don't you feel all warm and glowy inside? Wish I could turn my anxiety guilt spiral into a balm for a million strangers.

P.S. There is NO profession out there that doesn't have a whole bunch of us in its ranks. Lawyers, doctors, scientists, etc.

If we didn't procrastinate and avoid responsibility, we could totally take over the world.

tucker62305 said...

If I didn't just read this at work I could claim to be a responsible adult..

Marvin said...

This definitely reminds me of me. I'm constantly trying to get myself to stick to some kind of schedule and wake up early like normal people. Just doesn't work for me.

KD Easley said...

You live my life. Sadly, I'm much older than you and the spiral is still in full force.

Good luck. :)

abainenglish said...

Just think. The more you continue this spiral, the more responsibility trophies you will win. As opposed to those real adults who win it once and then keep being responsible. So really, you'll just be 50 times more responsible than EVERYONE ELSE.

thirddegreeburn said...

I am stumped. I really don't get having to answer a lot of emails. It seems I never get any that needs any form of urgent or important reply.

Anonymous said...

I think you may have an effect similar to horoscopes going on here. 80% of the people read this and go "that's me!". This is because what you describe procrastinating on are chores, and everybody (or atleast most people), dislikes chores. So everybody tries to avoid the chores they dislike most. But since they are chores, they need to get done at some point, so when the guilt overcomes the dislike, we try some stuff. When we have to choose which stuff, we go, "well, why not all of it?". So you try all of it, but since you still dislike it, most of it only gets half done, and only the high priority stuff really gets through.
So that's like writing things like:
"You're tired of hiding your feelings. You want to act in the way your instincts guide you. However, you're afraid of other people's reactions. Sometimes you don't express your emotions or opinions simply because you're afraid of what they might say or think." - copied directly off a horoscope site
This is stuff everyone has, but still specific enough that it seems personal.
The important difference is that you make it hilarious, whereas horoscopes are pretentious and generally quite dull.

BTW. The solution is to take on only the high priority stuff (like bills) and only do more when you have time, motivation and energy to spare. But 1 thing at a time (that's vital). Also, once you decide to do needed stuff (spontaneously, not planned), it's usually a lot easier to do more on the same day. But if you plan on doing stuff on a specific day, it'll seem like you already did your share that day, and the rest of the day will likely not be productive at all.

lifelove'n'wine said...

Yeah, that sounds like me at the mid-point of each week. I give up on doing all necessary tasks, make guac and chips for dinner and hog the laptop for the night. Go us!

Alliallialli said...

Have you ever left clothes in the washer for so long that you were too afraid to open the washer door for fear of mold spores? Because I find when that happens, you can just run the machine through on hot water high agitation for a cycle and whatever fails to recover you chalk up to Mold Monsters.

Vaelius said...

Communication solution: Choose a few people who are really important (ie. they can help you fix your internets/car, find a job, lend you money, etc.) Keep in touch with these people all the time. It is acceptable to neglect lesser people, but the guilt of contacting the important people only when you need something... Sad face.


That's the only solution I've managed out of the list, though. ;) I have thought about hiring a maid, but that adds paying a new bill to the list. Wincing face.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I'm actually doing this RIGHT NOW, as I write this to you, so in a way, we're like conjoined twins! Very cool, and yet, very very creepy (but in a good way). I should actually be studying chemistry and biology, but instead, I write to you. And tomorrow, I will be in a total state of panic and upheaval, tearing the skin off my fingers, and getting snappy with the children.

God help us. :o)

Sara said...

Oy I totally know how you feel. The list of things to do should be so simple -- groceries, dentist, dishes -- but I always get too self-congratulatory that I get up and go to a job I hate every day that I deserve to just slack and eat chips and salsa for dinner while I watch internet tv and play Spider Solitaire. Don't even get me started on those spurts of productivity; I spend the next week thinking, "I totally deserve to get drunk after work and not do ANYTHING" It doesn't help having hyperactively productive roommates who go on 30-mile bike rides before I even wake up on Saturday mornings.

Ves said...

I am a new follower to your blog and just wanted to say that I love it (and possibly you, but stalking isn't really the best first impression to make [wait, that sounded creepy too... fuck. I love you in a platonic way?]).

Also if you're actually reading this I think you deserve some sort of recognition or award for the sheer effort it would take to read through 200+ comments and still stay sane (or at least whatever mental state one was before beginning) at the end of it.

possible congratulations.

Tiffany said...

oh.dear.god. You've written about me on the internet again. Would you please just give me a slight warning first so I can shampoo before paparazzi camps out on my front porch? Oh wait. I ran out of shampoo. 5 days ago.

CMJ said...

lol, I'm 35 but have come to the conclusion in the past few years that I'm actually only 12. Sure, I have s busy job as a freelance graphic designer, but I do it from the comfort of my home and my clients have no idea that I'm only masquerading as an adult in front of them. They have no idea how hard I work to get out of adult things like meetings, or even having to talk to them on the phone like an adult would.

And banking? Are you kidding me? If iwasn't that I needed a debit card, I'd keep my money in a sock somewhere.

Everything I do with regards to work and cleaning is only with the idea that if I work insanely hard 'til 4am and get it out of the way, I can have free time to play video games or watch movies. So I'm pretty sure my interests are actually that of a 12 year old.

oneblacksheep said...

OMG. This is pretty much exactly what I do, right down to the day planners and schedules. Except, instead of a few times a year, it's pretty much every week. Each weekend, I sit down and tell myself: THIS IS MY WEEK. THIS WEEK I WILL GET THINGS DONE. And one day, I do. And then I'm all, Go me! I did stuff! And I wake up the next day feeling all smug until I realise MORE STUFF NEEDS TO BE DONE.

This is when I panic, foreseeing an endless stream of days full of Stuff That Must Be Done, for which the only possibility of release is a choice between death or procrastination. Since I do not want to drive myself to suicide, I say: Oh, I did things yesterday. Lets not do anything else for an hour...or three...a day...a week...

And by the end of the week, I am so guilty and depressed about getting up at noon and spending the rest of the day in my pajamas so often I begin to forget I have clothes and essentially Not Doing Stuff that I feel the need to pull my socks up and tell myself, THIS WEEK. THIS WEEK I WILL REALLY GET THINGS DONE.

And so it goes.

Thankfully, I now know that I am not alone. I may have just used up half an hour that could have been better spent Doing Stuff, but my guilt quotient has lessened somewhat now. I'm totally going to keep referring to this post for the rest of my life. Thank you ;-)

Anonymous said...

I have my index finger pointing out straight on ceiling and thumb towards left...

Gebba said...

It's me as well

I like your washing machine drawing skills

Jennifer M. said...

This so totally sums up my life! Lol. Thanks for this - it totally cracked me up. :)

JimK said...

GET. OUT. OF. MY. HEAD!

Mr. Jamieson said...

I know that I will be checking back in on you whilst pretending not to hear my children pushing things over in their room. I'll also slide the blame onto you for me not seeing the salsa stains on my shirt and only having it pointed out to me by the neighbourhood paperboy when he comes by to collect for the ever growing bill. Thanks for nothing! Seriously. I love you interweb!

Monique R. said...

DONT EVEN FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THIS.


ADULTHOOD IS FOR THE BORING.

Melanie said...

I am 50% this and 50% OCD. So half the time I am cleaning and responsibling like mad, making even my PARENTS feel like lazy adolescents, and the other half of the time I go to work with food in my hair (no, no children yet...it's all me).

It's the worst with bedtime. I HATE (hate more than the feel of fleece, and I really hate how fleece feels, it's DRY) going to bed. For a few days I will be really amped up about going to bed EARLY, damn it, and getting sleep like a normal person. 2-3 nights of this breaks me and I end up pulling a 48 hour shift of work, internet, television, and marshmallow-and-nutella sandwiches.

It's been said before, but being an adult is overrated.

Though I wonder how we will all survive when our generation takes over running the free world. We are surely done for.

Kat said...

I am lying in bed reading your blog right now to avoid doing the washing/cleaning my room (its almost midday here in Australia)... I have been doing this for about the past 3 days since I found your blog..

By the way, you are amazing. I love your drawings.

Kelley said...

I was totally laughing out loud at this post! Hahahaha!!! The post wouldn't be the same without the pictures. I love the split leap with groceries in hand. Ha! I've GOT to add pictures to my blog, but HAVE NO FEAR (I know your nails are bitten half off...actually, not your nails but the reader you must have hired to sort through all of your 10,000,000,000,000,000 comments), I won't be wearing a pink dress. I'm 10 years older than you, have brown hair & don't normally wear pink. I'll look like Allie all depressed going to the store, but my hair will be brown with gray streaks in it. My stick legs will also be a tad bit wider. Thanks for inspiring stick-figure drawing and for giving me lots of LOL's, no make that ROTFLOL, no make that ROFLMAO, no, no...ROFLMFAO. There we go!

notnamed said...

I would like you to know that today is my birthday, you have described my life with a wisdom and level of artistic ability that I cannot match, and having my own life explained to me in this way is a fantastic birthday present.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure sometime in the [extremely distant] future, someone will find this blog, and not being able to understand our primitive language, they will revel in the pictures, and your art will be carefully hung in their equivalent of Museums, worshiped over by religious figures and studied by...something.
It'll be like..The Mona Lisa of the future! YAY!
It's that awesome. ^ ^

James Tardio said...

LOL, somehow you have managed to peer into my life and describe it to the world perfectly, or perhaps our lifestyles are comparable. Love the new blog.

Anonymous said...

I think you forgot the part where this procrastination cycle ends in crippling depression and self-loathing. It's not a rebellion, it's a pit of despair.

MFA Mama said...

Yes! YESSSSS!!! My husband lost my 90-day prescription for Ritalin (see, ADULTS use the MAIL-ORDER pharmacy, thereby saving $8 on a REALLY CHEAP DRUG) and I am in the same boat until early August at the very earliest! WHOO! INTERNET!!!

Anonymous said...

was SO happy to finally see a new post from you -- now I understand what took so long!

I have a picture in my office that is captioned "masquerading as a grownup every day is exhausting!" So true -- way overrated!

Tropical Thinker said...

Wow, I thought I was the only one who felt this way about adulthood. And responsibility.

Thank you for giving me hope that there are others who share that same feeling. And yes, Internet... FOREVER!!! At 3:17 AM. (Because I've stopped having a functional sleep cycle at some point.)

Miss Amy said...

I go through the same stupid spiral...maybe not as deliciously dramatic as yours. It's more like a I'm-averagely-responsible-and-my-irresponsibility-is-equally-average kind of thing.


Oh, and btw...I enjoy your monster saying "hello" at the bottom of your page. I'm glad to know you meet the needs of those who are curious by nature and have to see what's at the bottom of every web page.

Ben said...

I love those drawings!!!!
Laughed so hard!
:)

Dologan said...

Yep, yet another one chiming in to remark how well my life is described by this post.

INTERNET! FOREVER...

Proudly posted at exactly 3:17 BST

kris said...

Are you watching me? I swear, it's as if you hiding in my house somewhere... or in my head. Keep up the brilliant work!

Anonymous said...

I am totally in love with the pictures in this one. Everytime I was amazed by the detail in the picture (washing machine!) I found something else I loved in the next. I can't decide if I love the glazed eye No.1 best or Internet Forever, but great job!

_Candice

Anonymous said...

This is my life. Somehow I thought I was the only one.

Anonymous said...

Allie, let me be your slave and I'll do those things for you wholeheartedly...

-slave

Anonymous said...

If you agree with these posts, that's fine...just don't have any children. Children need responsible parents.

Bill

Bloody Gneisha said...

Adult? But...but I LIKE eating gummi bears for dinner! D:

Molly said...

Your drawings are hilarious. I love the grocery shopping ones, they definitely capture my feelings of grocery shopping.

I just wanted to let you know, you inspired me to do my own blog with drawings. In fact, I also copied the way you make a face (with the eyes and the mouth and the roundness).

Imma be stealing your life next.

Thanks :)

Bloody Gneisha said...

OH! And @Bill (this doesn't work like Twitter, does it?) this is why we don't have childrens. Well, some of us have childrens. I dont' have childrens. They're even messier than I am.

And who are you to bring such responsibility like offspring here?! You should be ashamed.

Gawd.

<3Gneisha :D

Bonnie said...

This is so spot on me. Last night i scrubbed the floor behind my cats' litter box. Today my husband asked me to clean out the vacuum. I talked up my floor cleaning skillz until he felt bad and bought me ice cream :D Now I'm tired.

Stacey said...

yeah that right there; funny shit.

Kelly at Talking on Common Ground said...

I know everyone already said this but WHY not reiterate:
this is 100% my life.

HeatherM said...

... It's kinda scary how much I identify with your posts. Especially because I look at your drawings, and go "omg do *I* ever look like that??".

I've never HAD to be an adult. I'm 23 and I still live with my mom, due in part to bipolar and anxiety that won't let me be Super-Responsible. When I *do* get that "I want to be an adult!" feeling, it goes pretty much like you described. And after I go go go and get tons of crap done, I LET myself slack off.... it's always like "well okay I didn't do anything today, but look at all the stuff I did YESTERDAY! *beams with pride*". I'll do that for days. "LOOK! I did like eight big responsible things on Tuesday! So what if it's Saturday and I haven't done crap since then, I did those things!". And it's alllll downhill.

Seriously, creepy how much I can relate to your stories.

Momlarky said...

Hahahaha! "Cleaning ALL the things" is pretty much where it falls apart for me too. And thanks for clearing up why I hate the grocery store - because adults go there, and I'm not one.

xtinab said...

I don't have the attention span either to clean all things. why? I am not a trained monkey.

Sharon Needles said...

All y'all are missing the point. The whole POINT to being an adult at all is that you can choose to do or not do the banking, the cleaning, the correspondence, etc. When you're a kid, you hafta do everything everyone else tells you to--parents, teachers, babysitters, the guinea pig, whoever. And if you don't, then it's two more weeks of being locked in the hall closet and being fed cold eggo waffles that are slipped under the door at irregular intervals.

"Reponsible" is such a subective term...

asha said...

Story of my life. Thank you. For one moment, I am not so alone. ;)

Nick said...

GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!11one.

Funny stuff, though. Keep it up.

deep breathe AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!1

TokyoVeggie said...

No way! This is totally me - 100%! But I still have hope that JUST AS SOON AS... something happens... I WILL become a responsible adult! I WILL be able to get up in the morning and get to work at a decent time!! When this magical act occurs, I will tell you!

delphipsmith said...

Love, love, love the sitting in the corner huddled over the #1 Adult Trophy looking like Gollum with the One Ring LOL!!! And the second, forlorn "Clean ALL the things?" I know just how you feel :)

Miss Anonymous said...

http://iamneurotic.com/

i felt like you should see that :D haha also nice post. i do that too and im only 14

lyndsey said...

I enjoy getting things done AND being on the internet until 3 a.m. It's the best of both worlds.

Irate Irrelevance said...

You ate cookies to the point of nausea to spite your boyfriend? Yeah, I think you came out on top here, for sure! :D

Anonymous said...

There are ways to combat this. One is to have a hierarchy of responsibility. I don't like to clean but I'm allowed to procrastinate by exercising or cooking. And I'd rather do laundry than bills - I can listen to internet during laundry. Then, there's the food issue - if my frig is cold, then I can buy enough vegetables every week that will stay good 2 weeks if I Just Don't Feel Like Eating Vegetables. Also, frozen, steam-in-the-bag vegetables are great - not even more expensive than fresh, and freezer to table in 6 minutes. This still fails - I had salad today for the first time in a week and yeah, a pound of vegetables were irretrievable and some mushrooms were unappealing raw but fine cooked. My nachos are frozen pizza. Or a loaf of bread. Frozen dumplings. Can of tuna. Deli meat straight out of the pillow case. individually frozen fish, chicken, hamburger. hummus.

Barry said...

Life is tough. If you want to live on this planet get tough or go home. Life's not fair for you? Think how your ancestors survived. Don't embarrass them with your whining.

dooflotchie said...

I love how your hair looks like a yellow shark fin. (A blond shark fin?)

It's cute. Don't change it.

Amber said...

You most definitely are not 100% exactly like me in every way and you most definitely did not just reduce my entire "adult" life to a group of Microsoft Paint comics.

*snort*

Aimee "The Great" said...

I am 25 1/2 and feel I will never get that award. Can I touch yours???? hehehe

<3 your blog ftw!!!

p.s. just as a side note I read your fishing story and I laughed so hard I vomited. ..I thought you ought to know that I loved it that much!

Under Urooba's Umbrella! said...

OMFG OMFG OMFG.


STORY OF MY LIFE.

Btw, Allie Brosh...you're my hero. No big d.

mamamoos said...

zomg, get out of my head -- this describes me PERFECTLY!

random_llama said...

Yaaay you're alive and posting! You haven't been eaten by your internal organs! It's good to see you back here :D

I also think your drawings are getting much better, every single one of these pieces could go on a piece of clothing that I would wear proudly.

Funnily enough this is pretty much what I was thinking at 2am last night while I was making my flourless cardamom and chocolate cake.
My brain has this baking mechanism that clicks over at stupid o'clock. Even though I've spent the entire day wrapped in blankets, surrounded by mess, avoiding my PhD and surfing the intertubes I'll be filled with culinary zeal at some ridiculous time of night and spring from my couch to whip up some kind of masterpiece.

Then at 4am I'll sit back on the couch munching my creation and surf the intertubes until I fall asleep on my keyboard.

I'll try to feed some to my husband too who will look at me like I'm mental and say "GO TO BED!". I'll reply with something like "Wheeee chocolate cake!" and dance off in a cloud of crumbs.

indieamazonprincess said...

So this has got to be hands down the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life. :) I'm crying and my stomach hurts from laughing so hard. :) Thanks for making me feel remotely normal. :)

JMH said...

I won't read through 200 comments to see if anyone's already said this, but the drawing of that balding woman clutching the #1 trophy is probably the best representation of American culture I've seen. You are supremely talented.

dogimo said...

You know what would be a great extra thing for you to do? Start an "adult blog" that would be supposed to be your non-comic/non-tragicomic side. It would just be all text posts, you describing the most boring possible things from your daily day-style existence (or if no boring things happen, make them up). And people would be reading through it, saying "why am I reading this?" and "wow, Allie is secretly boring like I am boring sometimes." But nobody would ever ever get that the whole thing was just a goof!

If somebody else earlier in the comments thread already said the exact same thing I did, I apologize. I couldn't read that whole thing.

dogimo said...

You know what would be a great extra thing for you to do? Start an "adult blog" that would be supposed to be your non-comic/non-tragicomic side. It would just be all text posts, you describing the most boring possible things from your daily day-style existence (or if no boring things happen, make them up). And people would be reading through it, saying "why am I reading this?" and "wow, Allie is secretly boring like I am boring sometimes." But nobody would ever ever get that the whole thing was just a goof!

If somebody else earlier in the comments thread already said the exact same thing I did, I apologize. I couldn't read that whole thing.

Camille said...

OMG this is my life's story. I LOVE THIS SOOO MUCH.

Anonymous said...

I had the worst day at work today, then stumbled upon this. I cannot stop laughing -- this is my life! You made my day!! Thanks!

mollination said...

maybe you, me, boyfriend, and apparently every reader of this site (who has commented) should all move into a house together where we can hire people to take care of us like an elderly home or a halfway house. Because apparently, all of us hide from adulthood in the internet's comforting embrace. In fact just today I was to write thank you notes to like, four people. NOPE. I can tell you everything posted on dlisted and my facebook though.

I don't know if you know who Sherman Alexie is, but he's an extremely talented author (he also wrote the movie "Smoke Signals") and I took a "writers on writing" class once where he spoke. He, along with others, thinks the internet is an addiction, and is especially detrimental to writers because he thinks the same energy used for mindless crap like facebook is the creative energy used for writing.

The difference is that facebook is a lot easier and you get to "be" with others instead of forced to sit with your own thoughts. To hear him explain it is more convincing.

Anonymous said...

IDIOT.

You just killed my eyes with an extremely long way of saying "i am a manic depressive"

idiot.

Cathal McCosker said...

Nail on the head. Great post!

Dan said...

I just, love this blog so much.

Kelly Hoffer said...

I don't know how you managed to find out my secret spiral of shame lifestyle and draw such good likeness of me. well done. seriously awesome.

Just.Kate said...

...You just described my past week. What. The hell.

Anonymous said...

When I was younger I always assumed one just turns into an adult at some point.
I'm disappointed that it doesn't work that way. :(

Also, your blogreaders, me included, are all lazy irresponsible bums HOW DOES THAT FEEL

Rebekah said...

I'm not so much relieved at the post as relieved at the high number of people who do this too! Also, I've always kind of wondered. Allie, do you get tired of reading comments? Do you even read when it gets to like 278 (which it was last time I updated my screen)?

Kaytie said...

Be a real adult?

Sit in front of the computer with a bowl of cereal?

I vote for the latter....and choose to ignore the job application leering at me in my periphery

anthropsychopathy said...

...have you been secretly watching me and using my behavior as a guide for this blog post???

Let's just say I know exactly how you feel. Except I'm too lazy to cook nachos. I've managed to fall on Stouffers TV dinners for the bulk of my meals. Sometimes I toss in a Lean Cuisine to convince myself that I'm eating healthy. O.o

Anyway, the last drawing pretty much sums up my life for the past 4 months. Thank you.

Lori said...

This is a chillingly accurate description of my life right now, too....

Kyle Wimberly said...

some of you might consider using your smartphones' built in planners? maybe try to find out if you have adult ADD? (possible) or you could just grow up.

Alexandra said...

Don't worry about emailing me back until you're ready. I won't mind if I get an email a long time from now. I'll just be like, "ah, so today is the day I was meant to communicate with her by email. Before? It wasn't meant to be." See, if you get all on your spiritual high-horse about it, procrastinating can be deliciously pretentious!

Joygazmic said...

haha, I just got through the clean up part... now things will begin to suffer... :P

Jeff Moore said...

OMG, you speak truth! I did not even realize this was the cycle until you totally pointed it out. It is like you've written the biography of the last four years of my life. Wow.

Arlene said...

Lol yay a new post. I missed seeing all of your drawings. Now this has made my day. I can't stop laughing as I feel like you when it comes to being responsible and actually cleaning something.. lol

Tao Tzu said...

My face hurts again. No, seriously. I feel like the freakin' Joker over here. You either need to post more frequently (or I need to read your previous posts more often), so I can build up a tolerance or I need more PURE JOY in my life 'cause after a few minutes of visiting your site I find myself grinning so hard I'm afraid I broke something. At least I didn't pass out this time making dolphin noises, so that's something. Nonetheless, I think you should put a warning banner at the top of the page the reads something like: "Warning. Posts and images contained within may cause facial twitches, spasms, dolphin noises, and the loss of consciousness and/or motor or bladder control. Peruse at your own discretion."

Seriously.

P.S. People don't "grow up" and become responsible adults. They just get worn down from life.....such is the nature of the beast.

Alot of Love [Wish I had a picture to insert here.]

boygirlparty said...

this is so amazingly accurate + GENIUS! and all the comments on this post are pretty much guaranteed to be people stuck in the "INTERNET FOREVER" phase like me :) thanks for the hilarity!

Anonymous said...

I'm 29 and this just described my life, many times over...

merlinburgh said...

This is my life.

Anonymous said...

wow. I get to the end of the story, and look what time it is.

Anonymous said...

It makes me laugh when douches that say "FIRST!@#!@!@$!@!#@!" aren't actually first. It's like a little bit of victory delivered right to my screen.

Cat said...

If I were a much more entertaining person, I could have written this post myself. You have described precisely my life - good jorb!

Fonz said...

That's so accurate I'm posting this slightly *past* 3:17 AM. Because I managed to clean the house recently and I'm on a not doing anything binge now.

Brynne said...

Adding my name to the list of MEEEE TOOOOO!!! zomg!

Nicole said...

You just explained my life. All of it. I will now forward a link to this post to all the people I know, so that they will understand why I haven't called or emailed in months. I am too guilt stricken for not immediately responding to even think of ever contacting them again. :) I will need to get to the upside of the spiral soon. My house is a mess and my kids need clean clothes. LOL

eriktrips said...

You may not want to know this, but I'm pushing 50 and still (not) doing the very same things. It is said that one can develop compassion for oneself and let oneself just be, but I'll be darned if I have figured out how to do that yet.

However, at this point I am so far behind that it would take me another 40 years to catch up, so I am beginning to understand that going to the grave with a messy house may just be part of the modern human condition.

Scarlet Manuka said...

My favourite part: the sad, water-in-the-eyes "Clean ALL the things?". I so much need that on a shirt.

Online banking and bill payment is FULL OF WIN. It's faster and easier than going to places to pay bills. You can watch your money vanish right before your eyes... wait, that bit isn't fun.

Sad to say, having children doesn't magically make you more responsible.

I have three kids. On Saturday mornings, my wife and I talk over all the things we need to do that weekend. Then we don't get around to doing them. We usually spend most of Saturday trying to get the kids to pick up their toys and shopping - we do at least get to the shops; but always late, a couple of hours before they close. After we come back from shopping we're obviously too tired to do anything else, such as putting the shopping away.

Dishes get done when we need them to cook with or eat off (assuming we don't just get takeaway, which we do far too often). Laundry gets done every week. Or two. Or three. Or when someone needs something the next day. Vacuuming happens sometimes (usually when food spilled on the floor attracts ants) and I mopped the floor last week for probably the first time in about a year.

Cleaning ALL THE THINGS only happens when we're about to have a big party, or sell the house. And not necessarily even then.

Veltrop said...

Well said!

KeFaya said...

wow... amazing how many people said this is just like them...
because for me it's the same too.
I hate it so much, i wish i could just stay the same but NO... always those stupid ups and downs... grrrrrr

Matt said...

Allie, I finished this at like exactly 3:17am. I'm scared as hell.

Parry said...

you know this might be true for most people but if u really had the slightest bit of adult actually in you u'll realize that u dont get a trophy you get a second chances and that the internet is not ur girlfriend! thats all i have to say!

Sif said...

'Tis the curse of our generation. :(

dc said...

OMG! SO worth the wait!

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly certain I can sum all the comments here as one post of:
olikemygoshinessness! urz joost liek mes!

so in retort and to keep the concept of this clean...

cock sandwiches

Brigid N. Burke said...

I go through this myself, and I've figured out what it is--hormones. I think they call it a "nesting instinct", or something like that. It happens to me about once a month--usually before that lovely time of the month. I run around cleaning, shopping, catching up on mountains of ignored mail, rearranging closets, re-landscaping the yard...and I think, damn, this is so EASY! Why haven't I been doing this all along?
Then my "time of the month" comes, and it's all downhill for the next 3 weeks, when I return to ignoring everything, eating pasta, and watching Ghost Hunters reruns...

Amy said...

I love how you can explain how I feel in such an entertaining way...it makes me feel less alone. Also, the other night I had a dream that I had a pet rat, like you, and she was wonderful and so nice and then one of my friends tried to chop her tail off but i managed to stop him and then my rat was so mature she didn't even bite him in retaliation. So, clearly, your blog has seeped into my consciousness and is making even my dreams more wonderful. You are awesome.

suze2000 said...

Are you me on the other side of the world? Seriously, I once didn't do my taxes for three years (all the documents were all over the country it was just too hard *wail*). Eventually, the lying awake at night worrying about not doing my taxes got to me, and I finally did them with the help of a very sympathetic accountant (who also assured me that I was not in any way the worst case he'd seen, which was strangely comforting).

Vrndavana said...

Haha this has been my week. I had to clean all the things AND I have two exams coming up on the same day which I have to study for. But I am only 22. I'm not really a real adult yet. I'm still a student for chrissakes.

Eleanor Tyrrell said...

this is sooooo hysterically funny and excellent. As I read this I was literally at the "clean ALL the things?" stage with that exact expression on my face.

mitch said...

Hey this is Mitch. I just wanna say... I LOVE the artwork!!!

Helena said...

aw, poor Allie. Maybe next time you go into adult mode, center it around powering through the steps to getting ADHD medication again? that might make things a little less overwhelming? i dunno, i'm trying to be helpful here but i'm not even sure if my comment will be read in a sea of other more funny comments!

Harini said...

My story. But bank everyday?

ella said...

yay! new post! it brightens up my day when i see you've posted something new :) as usual, very entertaining!

shreejacob said...

you have no idea how good this post has made me feel! to find so many that feel exactly the same that I do!!

Anonymous said...

Get a real fucking job you lazy tit.

Cletus Residence said...

Don't worry about it. I'm 57, hold a very responsible job, and I still haven't cleaned the house in over a month. It's MY house, dammit. Besides, I have to change the oil in my car first, and I don't have time.

Zikks said...

I play wow all evening instead of cleaning. My house only gets cleaned when we have guests. Every time we have guests over, it's the marathon of cleaning. Having two dogs that shed, there are huge tumble weeds of fur to pick up lol.

The Snob said...

this is the best blog post on the internet of all time. ALL TIME. are you my soulmate? get out of my head!!!

Sarah said...

I love this post.

Anonymous said...

Allie, I think I love you. But not in a creepy way or anything.

Anonymous said...

woah i'm glad i'm not alone

Jordon said...

I love your blog! And I love you for writing it! Seriously, please don't ever stop. And never, ever grow up. It is horribly overrated :)
P.S. Your picture for "Clean All the Things!" made me laugh so hard that I choked on a pizza roll. Thank you.

Jenna said...

Who decided that kids needed to grow up? That's the hardest thing in the world to do! If anything, adults should grow down.

That's what I'm doing.

Sparkles said...

omg...I think this is EVERY single adult at some point in their lives...or in my case, the majority of my life ;o). Will you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put together a cool big book of all your amazing work??? I mean seriously...it would become a PRIZED coffee table book...for all the world to see!!!! People would come over for steaming cups of tea and crumpets (or maybe just cookies...not exactly sure what a crumpet looks like?) and just revel in its hilarity!!! :o)

sirael said...

Are you me? I THINK YOU ARE ME. Even down to the secret belief in the maturity trophy! How I wish that was the case...

Anonymous said...

what's it like to be a cheap ripoff of The Oatmeal?

discoblood said...

LOL procrastination is the best English word! EVER!

Corien said...

I have found my internet twin!

I actually bought some software to help keep me on top of things, but after spending 2 hours on entering every single task I could think of into it, I felt like I'd done enough work for the day.. so the result was that I have a very pretty list and stuff on my calendar to look at, but I haven't actually done anything yet..

Liz said...

Allie, you are amazing. After reading this post, my boyfriend now believes that I am actually you and that I am posting these secretly. Don't tell him that I'm not, ok? It helps me distract him from the REAL blog that I have.

c. said...

@Aryanhwy merch Catmael

I will try eating dry cereal, but I feel like I need the milk. Perhaps I have just been conditioned by my milk-hating mother who only drinks milk in her cereal that I HAVE to have it.

And omelets are WAY too hard. Kudos to you for even thinking you were going to make one.

roxybelle said...

This made me laugh stupidly hard. THanks for summing up my life in a couple of cartoons :)

Moooooog35 said...

WHOA WHOA WHOA.

Are you suggesting I should actually be DOING something?!

I suppose that explains these bed sores.

Jim Evans said...

This post is hugely funny, but misses a couple things, like "Maybe instead of exercising, I'll just resign myself to dating fat people", and "feeding the dog-- that's like humanitarian, isn't it? That counts as doing something."

Sparkles said...

for "Anonymous" Anonymous said...

what's it like to be a cheap ripoff of The Oatmeal?
June 18, 2010 7:39 AM

really? seriously? was that TRULY necessary? sheesh. Sounds like a "how to be a meanie" moment. And we REALLY need more meanies in this world.

Anonymous said...

this is great, as your posts usually are, but i think im going to have to stop reading them. bc they are WAY too far apart and you've spoiled me with every day posting and now i have nothing to look forward to and i look every day and its never there and now im depressed and i might kill myself.

Becky said...

"I understand. I'm responsible now too. Just look at my groceries."

Oh, for freaking reals. The first time I bought toilet paper for my first apartment I felt like the goddamn Queen of Adults. And I'm still not over that feeling. If my cart is filled with a whole bunch food only prepared via microwave but with one lone responsible grocery (like potatoes or light bulbs), I will still glance around at the other people in line waiting for them to see how responsible and grown-up I am. God help me if I ever buy some Windex.

And I start this whole cycle at the beginning of EVERY semester, when I tell myself that I won't procrastinate and actually study every night. I blame my parents for getting so much stuff done everyday that I feel like I have to play online games for 14 hours to balance it out. They accomplish like, 5 tasks in the morning before I even go to bed. Speaking of which, it's 7:13 am and I think I should get ready for bed.

A reader said...

You are brilliant. Love your posts.

Jane said...

This is hilarious! And I read it JUST after e-mailing someone I forgot to e-mail several days ago!

risser said...

Oh my god, yes, exactly.

Also:
http://www.xckd.com/616/

HollyAnn said...

I'm pretty sure you light up my life. That's a very adult, responsible thing to do - see, you're responsible without even KNOWING it! How adult is THAT? :-D

Dangirms said...

ZOMMGGG I'm spamming you Allie!

PEOPLE GO TO MY BLOG! <3

www.melvinlikescheese.blogspot.com


I love you Allie, you should try to update more often! <3

A Pen In Neverland: Angela Peña Dahle said...

Genuinely. Made. My. Day. Literally!

KP said...

Allie, post more! I and my coworkers need to know that we are not alone in this vicious cycle you depict.

We really missed you and your satirical kickassery. You soothe the absurdity of our flailing lives. Now stop trying to grow up and go doodle something. Or you'll be forced to actually clean all the things.

Kindest regards,
- The Cube Farm Three

Jennifer Hofmann said...

First of all, I'll confess that I work with people who DO this (cluttered creatives, I call us). What you describe with such hilarity is right on. It's accurate to a T. In fact, the "clean all the things?" image makes me tear up. I've been there.

Anyway, I take issue with one step in your process. That self-congratulatory moment? Absolutely necessary. In fact, if you prolong it all the better.

That's the moment at which it's important to sit back and *enjoy* the accomplishments. Soak it in -- for days if you want to. Especially since you need time to recover.

Maybe I'm taking it too seriously, but my heart goes out to you -- and to all of us who do this to ourselves. Cheers to you for acting like a grown up -- and maybe, just maybe, you'll be nicer to yourself next time around.

Hugs,
Jen

Jennifer Hofmann said...

First of all, I'll confess that I work with people who DO this (cluttered creatives, I call us). What you describe with such hilarity is right on. It's accurate to a T. In fact, the "clean all the things?" image makes me tear up. I've been there.

Anyway, I take issue with one step in your process. That self-congratulatory moment? Absolutely necessary. In fact, if you prolong it all the better.

That's the moment at which it's important to sit back and *enjoy* the accomplishments. Soak it in -- for days if you want to. Especially since you need time to recover.

Maybe I'm taking it too seriously, but my heart goes out to you -- and to all of us who do this to ourselves. Cheers to you for acting like a grown up -- and maybe, just maybe, you'll be nicer to yourself next time around.

Hugs,
Jen

nonspecific said...

Thank you. Good to know I'm not alone.

Jillian said...

Ahaha, goodness knows how many dayplanners and notebooks I've purchased..."and THIS is the one I'll use to write down everything I eat!" (wtf?)...great post. Keep 'em coming...if you feel up to it!

Jade Carver said...

My to-do list for tomorrow:

1. Put away my clean laundry.
2. Empty my bin
3. Vacuum.
4. Change my sheets.
5. Dust.
6. Figure out which bank to open a savings account with.

What I will most likely do tomorrow:
1. Mooch around on the internet in my pyjamas until I realise I have less than an hour to eat, shower and get ready to leave the house.

I'm 20 and I DON'T LIKE IT.

Kendra said...

Perhaps I should just email everyone a link to this post, so they will understand why I suggest these lovely, elaborate things, then get overwhelmed and finally disappear so I won't have to admit that I wasn't able to follow through.

I could use an adulthood trophy, just to make me feel like it's possible.

sueme said...

"Ahh, grow up," say I, sucking my thumb.

Octavius Orgasm said...

Look, I know a million other people have said it, but I think you might be a carbon copy of me.

Instead of the ceaseless internetting though, lately its xbox 360. My addictions to distractions shift over time.

Maybe we can all form a community of not-so-well-adjusted adults.

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