As a relatively new parent I can’t count how many times I’ve heard “they don’t come with instructions”. This of course, is true, and refers to how hard being a new parent can be (although I know it does not get easier). So while there may not be an instruction manual for children, and how to deal with all their unique personalities, there is a new book that serves as one for adults: Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps. This may not work (or be helpful) for everyone, but it is funny, and some actually may find this educational! Written by Kelly Williams Brown, this books targets 20-somethings who are out in the world for the first time. I’m admittedly not in her target audience, but I did enjoy the book.
Proof that many may benefit from her words of wisdom: “There is not one single adult on this earth who has not felt the deep, unsettling feeling that their life is wobbly and unmanageable, no matter how diligently they sort the recycling and iron their sensible slacks.”
Far removed from this twenty-seomthing experience, after reading this book I was reminded how utterly clueless I was at that age. I shared my first apartment when I was 22 with another girl the same age who literally had to teach me how to cook an egg. Back then, this book would have served me well. There are chapters addressing nearly every aspect of adult life: cooking/grocery shopping, how to find and maintain an apartment, employment, managing money, relationships, and dealing with crises. Next time you’re searching for a college graduation gift, or a fun birthday present for someone in this age group, pick this book up! Instead of the usual books Oh the Places You’ll Go, or Curious You: On Your Way, opt for something funnier and more original – especially if you want to score cool aunt/uncle/older friend points!
Some of the advice offered is something more “seasoned” adults can learn from. One of the funniest passages reminds us all that there we should always try to filter what we say and what we talk about:
“Remember that time someone told you in loving detail every single medical thing they’ve been experiencing lately and it was incredibly fascinating and not at all disgusting? No? That’s probably because someone talking about their own body almost never makes people feel anything but uncomfortable.”