Seven Things No One Tells You Ever About Your Twenties
All of your friends’ dogs will die.
Dogs live at best, like, twelve years, right? And your friend got her dog when she was twelve? You do the math. That’s a lot of paragraphs-long Facebook posts about how a naughty puppy ultimately became the best friend a girl could ask for.
What a Roth I.R.A. is has not yet been incepted into your brain.
You’ve been cruising along, assuming that one day you’ll have all of the knowledge you need to invest or whatever, but that day is here and you don’t have the knowledge! Your friends are investing in stocks—who told them to do that? And how do they do it? Kimberly goes on all of these trips because she says she flies with “points.” How does she get “points,” and who taught her? She used those points to go home when her goldendoodle was sick. Is that a thing? Going to your dog’s deathbed? Or is it just a thing for Kim because of points?
It’s time to talk about getting off of your parents’ cell-phone plan.
We’re the first generation to have to deal with this. Everyone before us just got his or her own adult cell-phone plan and that was that. When do we get off of our parents’? Does paying for your phone count as a Christmas gift? If you’re not on your parents’ phone bill, can you afford the data to post your R.I.P. dog pictures to Instagram? Everyone will think they’re super cute until they realize the dog is dead, and then it’s a whole thing.
You don’t know any cool bars in your home town.
If you moved from a small town to a big city for college, you’ve never been of drinking age in your home town. So you’ll go back and want to meet up with high-school friends at a bar, but the only bar you can think of is the one by the hospital that you used to drive by on your way to the mall. And that’s the bar where Kaitlin’s family hung out when her grandma was in the hospital. (I regret to inform you that, in addition to dogs, lots of grandparents will die, too.)
Everyone is very confident about plants.
When did we learn about plants? Everyone has them and can rattle off how much sunlight relative to water they need. I would love a plant, but I killed succulents, which are meant to survive droughts and in an ikea. Did everyone learn about plants in some seminar? Like, a seminar held at some dog funeral I wasn’t invited to? Do they do dog funerals? Or more like a classy wake?
People project their age-related insecurities onto you.
Every time you reveal your age it prompts an “Oh, so young!” followed by a list of directives. Live your life! Go have fun! travel! Play with your dog while you still can! I didn’t grow up with a dog, O.K.?! I don’t know how to react when they die! Do I make you a casserole? Bring you a new puppy? The most emotional I’ve ever felt about a pet was when my frog Clarence escaped. I’m not heartless—dogs are great! But, like, human great? Aunt Carol great? Piano-teacher-you-didn’t-really-like great? Some of you, I didn’t even realize you had a dog! And now it’s like Princess Di all over again? I don’t know.
People don’t want a casserole, even if their dog just died.
I think it’s just the word “casserole” that throws people, but maybe that’s just not what you do when a dog dies. no one will tell me.