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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:

  1. WOw. I do the exact same thing. Except, instead of nachos, I'm too lazy to get up and open a bag of chips. The bank? Who needs it. Cleaning? Seriously? Who does that?

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  2. Haha. This is so me! Also, I am the first commenter! YAY! I am definitely accomplished.

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  3. i JUST did this. i'm still on the high section of it though so I'll probably be approaching the horrible spiral of doom and guilt soon. I'm totes excited for it!

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  4. Being a 'proper' adult is overrated. Being an immature adult is more fun, you get to eat nachos every day! and go on the internet forever! I know I prefer it anyway.

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  5. I do this, too! Except, I just put off homework. At least now it is almost summer...

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  6. If I were capable of being as amusing as you, I could have written this post myself. This is EXACTLY HOW I OPERATE. The guilt spiral? I know this so well... do let us know if you find a solution, okay? :D

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  7. "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." <-- This. I do this all the time. Viva la Internet!

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  8. This is me, all the time, every day.

    It's nice to know I'm not alone! I think we might not be the only ones! Hooray for underchievement! :D

    (PS: you're actually amazing and have the potential to be a SUPER POWERFUL adult one day)

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  9. Bank online. Shop online (they deliver groceries in my 'hood). Skype. Now you are a proper adult AND you don't have to leave the house.

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  10. Thank you. I am not the only one.

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  11. distractionary measuresJune 17, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    *sigh* you have tapped into my life. However, I still try to get to sleep before 11 every night, because that right there is redemption...no one's revoking my membership to adulthood tonight! The guilt is a terrible thing - the cycles and spirals are too. I'll try again tomorrow

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  12. Hehe Allie, I have been following your blog for a few weeks now, and you never cease to be hilarious! Your drawings always crack me up. :D

    I am supposed to be an adult, but I keep postponing the inevitable. Adulthood is no fun.

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  13. Oh man, you are my lost clone, aren't you? I'm right this minute in the center of the descending post internet guilt syndrome, plus, I just got mad on Facebook while not getting anything done, which is some kind of terrible new low with extra special guilt points.

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  14. I do this! Well more I did that. Now I tend to know exactly how responsible I can be and shy away from overdoing it.

    I still suck at it though.

    And I definitely think we should all get trophies and never have to be grown up again! *serious nod*

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  15. I am totally in the middle of this same spirally-responsibility-hate vortex. Only is badder because I have a two year old. It is possible that she is currently accomplishing more than me today. :(

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  16. I am totally in the middle of this same spirally-responsibility-hate vortex. Only is badder because I have a two year old. It is possible that she is currently accomplishing more than me today. :(

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  17. The last picture wins. Everything.

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  18. I totally love rebellious Allie's face!

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  19. ummm.....I think I'm discouraged to know that responsibility doesn't come miraculously with age haha. I'm 16 and I procrastinate on everything. Example: my desk is a MESS right now and needs to be tidied, but I'm writing this comment anyway.

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  20. HOLY MOSES this is me. Me, me, ME! Exactly. I am so glad I am not the only . . . So, so relieved.

    (And not feeling at ALL bad now that I am here reading this instead of attending to triple digit new emails.)

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  21. This happens to me as well! I really appreciate the way that you can turn the failure I feel on a semi-regular basis into something hilarious and wonderful. For that, I say you deserve as much internet (bingo) as your heart desires! :)

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  22. OMFG Get out of the bushes and watching me in my life EVERY DAY BECAUSE IT'S JUST LIKE THISSS!!!

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  23. This isn't funny. This is just my life.

    sigh. A.D.D.

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  24. The only thing that would make this better is if you had posted it at 3:17 am.

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  25. Another genius post from Allie. :) I've been waiting for this, because your posts make me laugh so hard I get frightened that I might blow up. Oh just another thing to say: My GF is exactly like your BF on skittles. :S It's scary.

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  26. This is SO my life. Except replace "bank" with "parenting". I don't have any money to deposit, but I DO have little monsters to wrangle. By which I mean ply with video games and Doritos so they leave me alone to surf the web like an ADD squirrel on PCP.

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  27. I totally do the same thing. About a month ago I bragged because I successfully kept my kitchen clean for a whole week! And then earlier this month, I did my hair for like five days straight instead of throwing it up in a pony tail or clip.

    And now I'm sitting here going, "Where the hell did I even get the energy to do all that crap before?"

    I also have moments during the year where I decide that my husband (not me) needs to be an adult. That takes more energy.

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  28. my adult things generally only make it to the planning stage... maybe i'll do one at a time... but then once they are actually done they are so far behind that it doesn't even really feel like an accomplishment... so i just sit around waiting for my hyperbole and a half posts to cheer me up. so KUDOS! you're way ahead of me.
    and p.s. i'd kill for some nachos right now.

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  29. Oh my damn, Allie... you have just encapsulated my entire existence. And I'm nearly 37. I like to blame it on having a more creative brain rather than a boring normal one. Surely this theory works.

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  30. Yup, totally happens to me too. I am about to embark on a responsiblity streak with all the cleaning and communicating with the outside world. I will succeed and will not fall back to the guilt spiral...right? RIGHT?!???

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  31. I am sure that you are going to get a hundred of these comments but: I do the exact same thing.

    I psych myself up to my great adventure in adulthood and then a week or so later realize that I did not wash dishes every day that week, no, but I watched Doctor Who and read a load of blogs with pictures of kittens.

    I also have this irrational assumption that someday I will wake up and look back and realize that I have magically become an adult by virtue of turning 26 or 30 or something.

    Until then the cable guy will send me messages saying you are overdue on your Internet payment, please pay NOW!!!!11! And my dishes will "soak" for too many days.

    Viva Quasi-Adulthood!

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  32. Oh guilt... thou art a heartless bitch.

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  33. See this is why I have kids. THEY do the chores, I play on the Internet. It's win-win!

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  34. This is my future. I am not scared - well a little scared.

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  35. Dude. You ARE an adult! That's like the entire super secret adult schedule for the world!

    (and your comments fill up WAY to fast. There were 7 when I clicked over, 24 when I tried to post, and there's sure to be like 764 by the time I hit "publish".)

    :-P

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  36. omg, i, too, am an "attention-deficient squirrel on PCP" i feel JUST JUST JUST JUST like this. except when i feel this way it is more tragic and less funny. maybe i should draw pictures about it, too...

    :)

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  37. I'm exactly the same way, except for the grocery shopping. I *love* grocery shopping, 'cause I can stock up on all the fantastic, healthy foods that I will certainly turn into fantastic, healthy meals... someday. Or at least until it all goes mouldy and I have to throw it out and start all over again. Yeah, this "adulthood" business is definitely overrated.

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  38. BLARGH BLARGH BLARGH I AM AN ALIENZ! >+5
    (my alien drawing)

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  39. Story of my life! Thanks for telling it in amusing comic form.

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  40. I cannot believe that you just reminded me with this post that I have to get new keys for my mail box. I haven't picked up the mail in 3 months! Oh mah Gah. The tragedy of it all.

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  41. This is why I don't have kids. Do you know they expect you to feed kids EVERY DAY? They would probably get sick of cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Side note: though I support your choice of nachos, I personally choose cereal for ease of preparation. Nachos require a microwave. Cereal only requires a bowl, spoon and milk. Though it does require you to have fresh milk. A conundrum.)

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  42. I do exactly the same thing!!! Right now, I need to get my car looked at. My dad told me this 2 weeks ago. I was responsible and called the mechanic and got a price quote, but then I never went. I know my dad will be just politely remind me to go the mechanic when I call/e-mail him next, but for some godforsaken reason I have it in my mind that he will be disappointed I didn't go. So I'm avoiding all contact with him until I finally do. :)

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  43. Love the post!
    ....this is probably a bad time to mention it, but I sent you an e-mail re: stuffeed alots :D Did you get it? I know you're often overwhelmed with e-mail, due to how awesome you are, so I just wanted to make sure my email didn't get lost in the shuffle or eaten by junk-box-monster.

    p.s. Being an adult is highly overrated.

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  44. I'm 35 and still have not earned a responsibility trophy :(

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  45. Are you me? >: Seriously, this creepy accurate.

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  46. I love your drawings, they are so expressive!!

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  47. Bloody. Brilliant.

    Made me laugh, and cry, because I was laughing.

    It's so ME. Except for the nachos. I have my husband drive to burger king.

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  48. On my days off I sit around watching movies all day. I feel like such a failure for not actually doing anything respectable with my life.

    It's always good to know it's not just me.

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  49. Oh my god, this is how I fear being when I actually reach the point that I have to pretend I'm an adult (2 years when I get my associates degree and move out of my parent's house or about a year ago when I turned 18, depending on who's yelling at me (apparently, adults vacuum and don't see how high they can stack dishes before taking them out to be washed. Who knew?)

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  50. i did exactly this in march. i went to the bank. i did a huge, healthy grocery. i cleaned. i even worked!
    3 months later, i have rotten lettuce in the fridge, i think a rat has nested in the mess in my computer room, and the bank? forget it.
    ahhhhhhhh adulthood.

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  51. This is disturbingly like me... Frighteningly so...

    (hence the reason why all my blog posts for an entire month are groped in "blotches" of time where I worked hard, and then was too worn out to write anything for a month or more)

    Very funny, as always. :)

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  52. I laughed and laughed until I realized the level at which I relate to you is probably not a GOOD thing... honestly, though, this is EVERY WEEK of my life. When does Being an Adult end?

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  53. Totally me, then I remember that I was supposed to take my ADD meds an hour ago, get annoyed that I forgot to take them, am productive for approximately two hours then waste five hours playing Bejeweled.

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  54. It's like you took my life and made a kick-ass post about it. Thanks! It's great to know I am not alone. It takes serious mental prep to get me to the post office let alone the grocery store and forget the bank. God, being an adult sucks.

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  55. AMEN!!!!
    I call it my Pit of Despair syndrome. I do really well, get really pissed at others in the house not helping out and decide to go on strike/break and then my home turns into The Pit of Despair until I go on an all night cleaning bender.
    And then the cycle begins again!

    Sara

    PS LOVE your stuff!

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  56. AMEN!!!!
    I call it my Pit of Despair syndrome. I do really well, get really pissed at others in the house not helping out and decide to go on strike/break and then my home turns into The Pit of Despair until I go on an all night cleaning bender.
    And then the cycle begins again!

    Sara

    PS LOVE your stuff!

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  57. You always crack me up! I wish I had half your talent. Hey - you should write a book!!! But, ummmmm.....don't think of it as a responsibility, cuz' according to this post, it would never get done. :o)

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  58. you hit the nail on the head with this one! my life in one post. genius.

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  59. Did that mean you were in a guilt spiral and didn't blog for 16 days? LOL

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  60. This is me, except I'm supposed to be supporting myself. To date I have lived in my apartment for 7 months and had a job for about one month. I really wish I had done a better job of blogging in the beginning. Then maybe I could be making something off of it.

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  61. You.Are.Awesome. :)

    That is all.

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  62. I'm just going to start linking to this post when someone asks me why I haven't done X, Y, or Z.

    The worst part is when you realize all of your aspirational groceries have gone bad and you need to throw them away. Then you think, "If I put them in the garbage now, I will have to take it out before they go from bad to worse, but if I leave them in the fridge where they are cold, I can throw them out tomorrow and not take out the garbage today!" This is a bad plan.

    A Very Bad Plan.

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  63. I totally do this, but I still have my mom to yell at me during the INTERNET FOREVER phase, so on top of all that other stuff , there's frustration from her as well. Plus, she makes me eat healthily instead of eating nachos every day. Psh, parents.

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  64. I'm 40. I do this. Welcome to adulthood :).

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  65. That's so funny I'm going to read it again later...like at 3:17am. Hee hee hee.

    "surfing the internet like an attention-deficient squirrel on PCP" will be a FaceBook status update someday.

    Still roflmao, so thank you :-)

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  66. You've just helped me decide that I'll be having nachos for dinner. I think you should count that as part of your productivity for the day.

    Seriously though...I do the same thing. Spurts of major productivity, then a guilt spiral, then repeat. Trying to be an adult sucks sometimes.

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  67. I also do this, except instead of bursts of responsibility, bouts of creativity and then I'll go months with no inspiration whatsoever having drawn and written myself into oblivion xD And attention-deficit squirrel on PCP? Really? Was a greater description ever written? You are a legend who never fails to make me laugh like a complete freak xD

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  68. The facial expressions you draw on your character make me burst out laughing every time. I seriously email the pictures to my sister at work and just type "LOL" over and over again a thousand times.

    This post is right on the money and I am SO glad I am not the one who goes through this! It used to be my secret shame - I used to tell myself I was going to start cleaning like a good Susie Homemaker should and that I would wake up super early in the morning to work out everyday before I went to the office.

    Well, I've gained five pounds and my apartment has fruit flies.

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  69. Gah this just triggered my own guilt cycle now I am looking at the mess in my room thinking I should behave like a grown up and tidy....damn you Allie!

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  70. Ahaha, Gollum Allie FTW!

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  71. FINALLY SOMEONE who UNDERSTANDS ME!!!

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  72. Holy crap it's like you havea webcam on my shoulder. Except instead of a "guilt" spiral it's sort of "depressive slug" spiral. With a dash of guilt.

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  73. Love the post. Totally used to be that way until I realized I really could just pay someone to come and clean all the things for me every now and then. Responsibility accomplished!

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  74. Oh my gosh, are you in my house?????

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  75. This is me except exchange the nacho's for pizza!

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  76. I'm like that too. If by some rare spark of luck I don't burn out, something awful happens like my car explodes or my roof caves in. Which makes responsible adulthood really suck.

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  77. I have almost begun to (wishfully) think that Allie Brosh is actually one of my schizophrenic alter-egos, and that these words spawned from my fingertips when I was somehow out of commission. Though I could never possibly think myself to be as hilariously adept as you at capturing the humor in even the most tragic of life situations.

    If only my Boyfriend found my inability to function as a responsible member of society as amusing as I do, when you tell it your way. Maybe I should refer him to this blog, then he might understand my true capabilities...?!?!

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  78. Ah, the skill required to procrastinate like a real pro... Only a select and very talented few of us possess such skill.

    Like now. I'm sitting around in the middle of the day still in my PJ's while there's a strange Hispanic man in the front yard. He's digging at our water line. He has no truck- oh wait. A friend of his just pulled up in a big red pick-up truck.

    What they are plotting to do? I haven't the slightest.

    Should I go see what they're actually doing? Probably.

    Will I? Nope.

    Why? There is a netbook in my lap that it is showing me neat stuff on the internet and it would be rude to interrupt it.

    Adulthood can wait a few more minutes... Or years. Whichever comes first.

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  79. Dude, if you're going to write about my life like that, you should totally ask permission or something first. Damn. It's, like, common courtesy.

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  80. you are quite possibly the most totally brilliant and awesome thing on the internets.

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  81. This totally encapsulates my life. But at age 31, after too many rounds of this to count, I have given up on being a "Responsible Adult" and have settled for the much more manageable (and FUN) "mostly functional human being of indeterminate mental age who generally manages to get the bills and big stuff taken care of most of the time but totally fails at the little stuff because she's too busy doing things that are more interesting to her". This, I have come to suspect, is the state of existence that MOST people have, only they like to pretend that they have it all together. I look at my friends and have decided that truly Responsible Adults are about as common out there as purple unicorns; it was all a lie perpetuated by our parents in effort to get us to morph into this nearly mythical creature.

    Or else that I don't really want to know any Responsible Adults, because I probably wouldn't want to hang out with them anyway (admittedly, partly due to the feelings of inadequacy I'd have around them, but) mostly due to boredom from their irrepressibly RESPONSIBLE, planned-out lives.

    I don't want to be a responsible adult any more. Why should I do that when I can be a werewolf pirate from outer space instead?

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  82. This is me, except now I have an infant I have to keep alive. There should probably be some sort of test before they let you reproduce.

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  83. I'm turning 30 in 8 days so I appreciated and sympathized with this post ALOT!

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  84. This is very much me. Case in point, today. I had a thousand things to do...internet called. No way, I will not be a responsible and my kids can't make me!!!

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  85. I have developed the unfortunate habit of associating things that I "have" to do with things that I do not want to do. Usually, that's true, but this even happens with things I'm supposed to enjoy. Example - I might come up with an interesting idea for a drawing. My thought process is: "Wow, this is a cool idea! I have to draw it. Wait - I HAVE to? Really?...I don't want to anymore".

    So basically, if there's any hint of any action potentially being a "responsibility", I immediately have no interest in following through with it.

    In other words, this post is awesome, and I'm glad I'm not the only person with this sort of problem!

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  86. I do this too, especially with schoolwork. "I studied yesterday! Video games today!! ...Oh wait, midterms?!"

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  87. I love how you capture so much emotion and depth and can convey so much with just a simple doodle and a certain angle of a line. It's brilliant. xo

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  88. holy crap. this is my life. i was GOING to get stuff done after blowing an hour on Bejeweled Blitz, but then i saw on FB that you had a new post so i HAD to read it and blow another 20 minutes on comments about how we're alllll the same. anybody want to sing "The Circle of Life" with me?

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  89. Allie, I am 28. I own my own home. I am a teacher which means I am responsible for lots of small children on a daily basis. However, I usually eat cereal for dinner. Unless I am ambitious and make eggs, which usually entails calling my Dad because I always forget how you tell if they are rotten or not. Because they sit in the refrigerator that long, that's how infrequently I am motivated to scramble eggs. I haven't been to the library in 6 months because I am pretty sure I can't afford my overdue fines. I have a BlackBery which means I always get emails about bills being due, but I always forget to pay them. And I don't know how to clean my shower. My point is: We are ALL faking it :-)
    ~Sarah

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  90. I want the "CLEAN ALL THINGS!!!!" on...something. Maybe a tote. Or an apron. If it was on a tshirt I'd look at it and hide, "nooo! I can't clean all things toooodaaaayyyyyy!!! I must haz the naaaap!!!" but on an apron? Yusssssss...it would be a powerful apron of yes-ness!!

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  91. This is totally me too. We should all unite. But nothing would ever get done. I procrastinate and guilt until the last second, then stay up for unGodly amounts of time to prepare for whatever it is (catering a vow renewal, getting married, term papers, etc.). My husband and I are thinking about starting to reproduce but I'm (secretly) terrified because I REALLY enjoy being lazy and babies have a habit of not letting you be lazy. Until the neighbors call CPS. Then you get to be lazy and have criminal charges filed. There goes my ADD and tangents...

    Side note: I absolutely LOVE your blog! You're amazing!

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  92. This is what I always do. It cycles...but I got diagnosed with a disease recently so my periods of good adult behavior have all turned into the exhausted-resentful adult behavior. I have a pile of work and a dirty apartment?! Time to watch x-files for eight hours, and eat donuts on my couch all day!! My cats are hungry and I am too? Meh I'll be willing to move eventually. Now my life is to the point of "If you don't grow up and be responsible, I'll make you so sick YOU'LL WANT TO DIEEE!!" And that sucks. Growing up is so overrated.

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  93. HAHAHA! This is so me and what's even more hilarious is that it's what happened to me today. I've been uber productive the past two days and then today...I've been sitting on the internet for, oh, I dunno, 6 or 7 hours now. Woops!

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  94. Get... out... of...my... head.

    You're brilliant b/c cuz you can articulate and illustrate the gnargles in my brain. Thanks for making us laugh and making us less lonely...

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  95. I love this post SO HARD. I hate going to the bank.

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  96. Direct deposit. One task done.

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  97. Wow...I just got back from groceries, home depot AND the bank. Must be champions of ALL the adults.

    well done.

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  98. There are no words. Ok. Maybe one. Brilliant!

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  99. If I can just pay my bills and manage to not wear the same t-shirt that I wore yesterday which I just picked off the floor in my tired stupor this morning...

    Then I am the motherf#$@ng champion of the world.

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  100. I'm so glad you posted! I was getting worried, especially as a fair handful of your more recent posts have been about you teetering on the verge of not living any more :/

    Anyways, I'm a new commenter but I've been enjoying your blog for aaaaaages. I actually referenced you in one of my creative writing pieces for university, because I stole (sorry, "was inspired by") your writing style. :)

    Looking forward to the next post!!! x

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  101. Same here! Glad I'm not the only one.

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  102. It's like YOU KNOW MY LIFE.

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  103. I thought it might be fun to be the nonsensical voice of dissent.

    I'm a real adult. I take care of all of my responsibilities in a timely fashion, and I even have extra time to ponder the recipe for Grape Nuts and to see how long I can walk in a straight line with my eyes closed. After I'm done that, sometimes I'll make a second daily trip to the bank just to see how LaVerne the friendly teller is doing this afternoon.

    Her heartburn has improved significantly, in case you were curious.

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  104. I always try the whole "adult" thing. It's not the cleaning or the grocery shopping that gets me. It's acting like an adult that is the issue. I can do adult things...I just don't *act* like an adult. I act...well... like a kid. All the time.

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  105. Ok, on the one hand I'm relieved to find I'm not alone, on the other I have a hunch at least some of you are lying. I mean, we all know that the entire world reads hyperboleandahalf, therefore is stands to reason that if all of Allie's readers are irresponsible, the world would simply fall to pieces... I have the perfect disguise for my lack of responsibility, I live all alone in a foreign country so nobody (and especially not my mother) can really see how hopeless I am! It's a master plan!

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  106. Hooray! I'm not the only one who does this! Thank you Allie, I now have something to show people when I'm being super useless!

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  107. You are just brilliant. Brilliant I tell you!

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  108. Sadly, it doesn't get better. This is my life. I'm 32. I get to work each day, but only because I'm not brilliant enough to have come up with a way not to. My home is never clean, my dishes are never done and rarely do we have food in the house. If you're born that way... you stay that way. The challenge is being ok with it. And I'm not there yet, either.

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  109. i'm sorry, have you been secretly filming MY life, and then writing about it as if it's yours? um, i think maybe i need to sue you.

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  110. "Slumped and haggard": the story of my life. I'd write that book if I could, but just thinking about it overwhelms me. I'm 33 with 3 children and I still struggle with all the BS that must be tackled each day. I'd like to tell you that it gets easier, but...it just doesn't. Sorry.

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  111. I feel your pain... I'm constantly promising myself I will grow up and magically morph into an adult, then I have the horrible realization that this is just who I am. I find it's better to just accept that. Cuz nachos freakin' rock.

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  112. How the HELL did you get in my head?? I thought the tin foil hat was working this time... Damn.

    Besides, going to the bank is so overrated anyway. I just drive by to give them the finger.

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  113. There ain't nuthin' that'll make you feel forced into an unwanted, adult position of responsibility than having to get and pay a $%*@ing mortgage. I mean, I was sitting there developing a serious case of writer's cramp signing a veritable cornucopia of superfluous paperwork (at least one of which probably absolved the lender of all responsibility for my writer's cramp) when it hit me: "What the hell am I doing?!? This is the kind of crap that adults do...!!!

    >>>SIGH<<<

    You have my empathies...

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  114. Are you me?

    My biggest problem is that I have two kids and a husband. So when I slink away, they're left crying in their respective corners, wanting things like dinner and love and naps. Stupid demanding needy humans. Feed yourself, BABY. Geez.

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  115. Your nachos = my chocolate peanut butter sandwich. It's like a donut, only healthy!

    Also, instead of leaving more of a comment, I am going to watch Doctor Who. BYE!

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  116. It helps if you have a wife to tell you to do all that stuff that you're supposed to do. You should consider getting one.

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  117. I'm 40 and still do this. I simply do not understand the people around me who have their shit together. I can't comprehend how they do it.

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  118. I'm too OCD to bother cleaning, and I've just finished my first year of living away from home. I survived, so I win my first trophy.

    I fear my second year will be much harder, so I'll probably spiral out of control, because spiraling out of control is a lot more fun than just losing control.

    Here's to never, ever having to grow up and be "proper" adults!

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  119. Wow.

    THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I GO THROUGH EVERY OTHER WEEK. ADULT WEEK, SLACKER WEEK, ADULT WEEK, FAILURE WEEK.

    Sigh.

    Half adults half failures rejoice! For we are not alone.

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  120. I did not authorize this biography. How dare you? LOL!

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  121. It's the chart. It's the effing responsibility chart. I can't stand it...

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  122. I will never be an adult! I like to sit in the in-between space where I determine which things have to be done (going to work, buying food, sleeping - you know, the basics) and everything else gets done when I feel like it. Or when my husband harasses me beyond my ability to ignore him.

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  123. Wait til you have kids. You can make THEM clean for you, you never have any money anyway so going to the bank is moot, and you become incredibly cool when you say "Instead of real dinner, let's stream some Buffy and eat nachos".

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  124. OMFG! LOL!! :D THIS IS ME!!

    And your illustrations are SPOT ON!

    :)

    This responsibility thing's like a f* pendulum. All I want is nice monotony in the middle, but it keeps sweeping from one extreme to the other, spending mere seconds at that sweet spot in the center.

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  125. Frickety-frack, it's like you're IN MY BRAIN. Also, I love you.

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  126. @c. (June 17, 2010 1:10 PM)

    It only requires milk if you insist on eating soggy, nasty cereal that has been ruined by adding milk.

    Eat it dry, then not only do you not need milk, you don't need a spoon since you can eat it with your fingers. One less dish to wash!

    --says she who had all of the fixings to make omelets for supper tonight, and instead ate fried eggs and raw veggies because omelets are too much work.

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  127. "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."

    God, unread emails and the like are my kryptonite. I have to force myself to always answer my phone, lest I get trapped in a voicemail avoidance death spiral. Ever since I graduated college, I've been waiting to be able to retire from being a responsible adult (though I fear I'll have to become a responsible adult first). If you ever find a solution to this, let us know asap!

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  128. its nice to know that we aren't alone in this spiral of guilt hell ... being an adult sucks and being a responsible adult is even worse ... so I sit in the house, alone, with the blinds closed, racking my brain for the "whats next" moment and try not to feel like a big pile of dead weight sponging off my husband ... sigh ...

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  129. I learned a long time ago, its easier to pretend to be grownup than to actually grow up!
    Being a grown up is way overrated.

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  130. I swear we are the same person! Glad I'm not the only one who does this

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  131. Simple solution for you: hire a dirt cheap personal assistant..maybe a fan of your blog who will work for advance copies of blog entries or drawings.

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  132. it's 3.58am here...it seems I'm at the bottom of this spiral, yet again.
    I'm sure I saw an exit from this bottomless pit of procrastination around here somewhere!?

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  133. I SO know the feeling. Glad to have a post from you though - I missed you! Oops, that sounds kind of creepy.

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  134. Allie, you have a couple of posts, which like this one, capture the ADD experience perfectly. I think more than just being self-congratulatory, I just legitimately can't keep at something as abstract and ephemeral as "being an adult" for more than a week or two before losing focus on the myriad things that entails. Then the guilt spiral...Grrr...

    I feel like printing this out to show my teachers, parents, counselor, any one of the people I'm consistently disappointing...

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  135. ohmigosh, I absolutely love the last few drawings.

    "INTERNET...FOREVER....3am clock in the background"

    hahahaha, that is so me!

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  136. Loved your picture of the washing machine! Also, the post.

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  137. I absolutely love you. I thought I was the lone poser in this world of responsible adults, and now I know that we are twins who must have been separated at birth.

    Thank you for validating my existence.

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  138. Yay! You finally posted. I've missed you. Brilliant post, I can totally identify with it.

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  139. Thank you for summing up my life in such wonderful visuals! It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one stuck in this "adult" cycle. =)

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  140. yeah, i absolutely know how you feel!! except i ended up getting knocked up, and had to grow up :( but it's ok, cuz now i'm a big girl!! hooray!!

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  141. HUGS Being an adult is something that only Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela can do. And Jesus. I know this because they are the ones who show up in my Guilt-Shame-Procrastinate Spiral, mocking me with their adultness and their all being the Emirs of Getshitdone-istan.

    So you eat those nachos, honey. Jesus would want you to. He's got it covered. :-D

    xo

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  142. Online banking. You'd never have to leave the house. LoL.

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  143. Haha! That's what I'm talkin' about. Love the expressive artwork.
    Yer a funny. :)

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  144. At 45, I've come to the conclusion that I'm Peter Pan. I might never be a real adult & I'm good with that.

    Case in point: I'm reading this at work, laughing out loud & eating M&Ms. Life is GOOD!!

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  145. OMG, I'm not the only one?!?!?!

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  146. I think by now you've figured out that you are not alone. :)

    I am (finally) doing pretty well at faking the grown-up thang, but I am fifty so I've had a few decades to find the balance between 'gotta do' and 'f*ck it'.

    However, my husband (age 55) still struggles, just like you. In his defense, he's been single most of the last 50 years. :)

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  147. I do the same thing as well. I get into this cooking phase, trying to save money by making food at home instead of buying lunch/dinner while at work/work (I work two jobs). I try to keep the place clean. I do a much better job about bills because I am THE person in charge of the bills... as bad as I am with money, I'm the responsible one!

    You are definitely not alone in this, as there are 116 comments ahead of mine.

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  148. IjustsmileandnodJune 17, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    here's a tip that has been a life saver in this process... I know Chase bank and maybe some others, now do cash deposits and check deposits through their ATM machines LIVE as if you did it with the teller in side. Now I don't need to go to the bank between the stupid hours of waking working people... I do it at 1am :-D

    if there are major banking chains out where you live one should be able to offer you this feature... makes the bank easier to deal with

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  149. It's even worse when you're married to someone who seems to be able to get things done all the time and then your guilt is compounded by the fact that you just know that he's over there being awesome and you're not being that way. *grumble grumble grumble*

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  150. Unfortunately, this is more about being an over-achiever than being an adult. I know because I am an adult (if 40 counts; some days, I'm not sure), and yet this pattern describes me perfectly. It's because the ability to say "no" is nowhere near as seductive as the lure of accomplishing "yes." On the upside? Even when you're 40, you'll still reward your successes with giant ice cream cones. mmmmmm....ice cream....

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  151. It's like you're inside my head. I especially love the graph!

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  152. Oh my God, that's what happens to me when I am over-responsibilitized. Epic. Fail. Heehee. I love you.

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  153. just saw myself in cartoon form. those are my same googly-eyes. ingenious.

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  154. it's like my mama says,"the problem with life is that it's so DAILY."

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  155. This is comforting to read. When I fail out of high school and just at life in general I'll have to remember to go back and read this post and find comfort in the fact that I'm not alone in my utter lack of capacity for responsibility. Great way of putting it by the way.

    Also, YAY ALLIE'S BACK! Don't take so long in between posts! You're the funniest blog on the web and I've been checking every day hopefully like "Hm, is Allie back today? Perhaps?! GAH no! [sad face]" You see? It's horrible!

    All right, you don't know me, so I'll stop creeping now.

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  156. Amazing how common this is, actually. The only difference for me is that when I think I am a responsible adult, I become INVINCIBLE, and I do insane things like signing up for a 200 mile relay running race, then ignore that I did it, and panic 6 weeks out when I realize I can barely run a 5K without falling on the ground and nearly dying.

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  157. The last panel is probably the best depiction of the internet's addicting properties, EVER. It also made me lol, as in "actually laughing out loud", not as in "saying lol because something is funny while not laughing at all".

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  158. You have been spying on my life!!

    Seriously, thank you Allie for all your entertaining posts. They provide a much needed laugh every time.

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  159. Your pictures are brilliant. I particularly like "Clean all the things!" it makes me laugh every time.

    Keep up the good work lady!

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  160. Where have been all my life?! I only just found you, and let me tell you, I'm sitting at my desk (not working!) in tears I'm laughing so hard. This entry is priceless. I may have to read it every day to make myself feel better about not cleaning all the things. Too funny!

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  161. You know, I'm *technically* an adult, what with 3 kids a house and cats and a husband. Yet this is how it goes for me too!!! My capacity for responsibility is likely higher then yours, BUT it's basically limited to keeping the kids fed and clean...... that's as far as I can go without the burn out. You are most definitly not alone. Anyway, yay new post!

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  162. I'm a proper adult, and I must say, it sucks a lot. I'm always tired, usually look like my head has been raped by a chipmunk, and I don't usually get to bathe until 1 in the morning, if at all. I have a 2 year old, you see. And housework is the antichrist. Seriously, Jesus wouldn't even do some of this shit. I love your blog, by the way. You're awesome times 1000. :D

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  163. Oooo I like your hairdo for the 1st half of the post. Responsible allie has a slicked back cool pony and no bangs.. love it!

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  164. Oh, and can I use the "Do ALL the housework!" panel for an icon? I solemnly swear I will give you credit and everything. Please?

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  165. I am reallllllllly (note the emphasis there) trying to stick with a new cleaning regimen. I'm setting a timer for 15 minutes every day, and cleaning until it goes off. Not so bad two days in, but something like that lasting a week with me is close to miraculous. :)

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  166. OOoh! You're so hard on yourself! You've got such a sweet gig and so TALENTED! I'm loling all the time when I read your posts.

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  167. This is totally me as well. I'm so glad there is someone else out there who understands the guilt spiral.

    I've been struggling with this for about 15 years now, making marginal improvements.

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  168. I get super amped to keep my house clean at least once a week. I fully intend on putting everything away in the pantry and folding my clothes and sweeping the floor. I do it for one week and then slowly, the plan unravels and the house is a mess and I just don't give a flying shit anymore.

    It starts over a few weeks later and then I have a bigger mess to clean up. And I want nachos now.

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  169. I'm starting the slide directly into middle age, and I relate far too much to this and the post about the leather-covered oatmeal in a bowl/ toilet brush with no purpose post.

    Only in our house, the spiral/ rebellion phase last months on end. "NO! I mopped in March! It's only just now June!"

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  170. Booo. I commented before and it never showed up :(
    But I'm sure it's b/c it got run over by the 3000 other comments that you get in the first five minutes after you post something!

    Y'know, you really don't have to keep us waiting this long. It's not any better because we're starving for your posts; it's always awesome! So feed us!!!! Will check back for a new post tomorrow; thanks in advance :)

    Shark Bears: Number one predator, land AND sea!

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  171. I have always suspected (and this posts and its comments confirm it) that actual "adulthood" is a lie perpetrated on us by people who are worried everyone else is having more fun then they are themselves. Guess what? We are.

    I have not been to the bank in months. And that? Was to cash a check 'cause I wanted the money immediately. Cleaning? I only tend to do that when company's coming. And I discourage people from visiting me.

    Laundry day is the day I realize I'm wearing my last clean clothes.

    Screw responsibility. Suck it, adulthood. Gimme the mouse, I wanna play Build-a-Lot, Elizabethan Era.

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  172. Huh.

    So...

    wait...

    are you *me*?

    But I just don't know it?

    Hmmmmmm...

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  173. Thank you so much for writing this for me. Now all *I* have to do is leave a very small, non-time consuming comment and get back to my regularly scheduled avoidance.

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  174. That's funny, I just spent last night (re)reading every post on this blog instead of cleaning all things, or being otherwise responsible. Damn internet.

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  175. Clean things...they get dirty again. Reply to emails...and they get replied to. It's like a never ending cycle of Stuff that Has To Get Done Right Now.

    Like the other hundreds of people who posted, I feel your pain...I'm just not nearly as clever and entertaining when I talk about it. :)

    -JAB

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  176. This is why I'm 24 and live with my mom.

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  177. I feel like you just illustrated my life... and far better than my imagination could have dreamed it would be.
    cheers for that.

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  178. You are scaring me now. This is exactly how I feel today!

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  179. This is my favoritest post of all the posts ever posted by someone who posts things.

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  180. Yeah, if trying to be overly productive makes it harder for you to write posts very frequently then screw responsibility. Aside from eating and showering occasionally, all you need to worry about is entertaining your devoted followers.
    :) We appreciate you!

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  181. you just described my life...

    F*&K!

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  182. Noooooo Allie, you're looking at this all wrong - adulthood is all about taking the power back and saying 'Fuck it, I'm an adult now and that means I get to choose how I wanna live' and flipping the bird at anyone who doesn't agree, cause those people have forgotten that life isn't about what you SHOULD be doing - it's about living.

    Also, a clean house is the sign of a wasted life.

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  183. the_bandersnatchJune 17, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    adulthood is great once you get there, but the upsides are very different.

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  184. OMG, I'm the same. I'm 21 and exact the same. And upsetting my mom with this. If I show her your post here, maybe she'll understand me better! =D

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  185. When I saw the first "CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!!!" cartoon I had to stop reading because I was laughing so hard I fell down on my bed and almost smothered the cat before she clawed her way out from under me.

    Thanks, Allie.

    Again, brilliant, as always... and my God, the similarities in your habits and mine... weird. :D

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  186. you always know how to perfectly sum up everything that is in my head.

    .....that is a bit creepy...but i can forgive you. you draw the emotions that I continue to suppress and procrastinate on sharing!

    somebody's gotta do it.

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  187. i'm the exact opposite. i get so much shit done that i end up making up more shit to do. these are the benefits of obsessive compulsive disorder. the downfall... i hate myself.

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  188. You got 48 replies in the first 15 minutes after you posted. Yes, I counted. I believe this means you officially won the internet.

    PS. Like about half the commenters, I too feel exactly the same. In fact, I am procrastinating right now. :D

    PPS. I think your pictures are getting better and better with each post! Excellent work!

    PPPS. Spaghatta Nadle?

    PPPPS. Since I am likely the 200th commenter, you likely won't see this. :-(

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  189. Whoa! I was the 201st poster. I rock at guessing. B-)

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  190. :D Just remember, it only takes 21 days to create a good habit....

    Except that's like three weeks, and I'm lucky if I remember to brush my teeth every day for three whole weeks.

    The rumor is, having good habits (like putting away the groceries when coming home from the store instead of leaving the milk on the stove until it has to be re-categorized as cottage cheese) saves time and effort in the long run. As I have none, I couldn't say for sure.

    I'm considering that milk one though. Or daily teeth brushing. But only one at a time. Three weeks is a big commitment.

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  191. Thank you for this post, Allie.

    Because of the picture of you washing clothes, I remembered that my son's only clean pajamas have been sitting in the washer for the last two days, waiting patiently to be dried. It would have been very embarrassing for my husband (doing a medical residency at a hospital, like a real adult) to come home to the second night in a row of my inability to care properly for our offspring. He actually scolds me when I forget to check the mail every day (it's all the way at the end of the driveway. How does he expect me to both remember to check it AND walk all the way to it??).

    Responsibility is completely overrated!!

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  192. I understand. Last night I stayed up until 6AM (6AM!!!!!!) internet-ing, and today I woke up, told myself I should go grocery shopping and clean my apartment, and ended up internet-ing for another 3 hours. It's 2 o'clock and I haven't even gotten around to eating yet today :(.

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I'm super creepy and totally capable of finding you