I recently discovered that I grew up.
I shouldn’t have any trouble remembering that I’m an adult. I’m not super old (I, like many millennials, believe 28 is like barely pubescent right? My mom should still pay my cell phone bill?), but definitely the trappings of adulthood and all the other people’s bodily fluids all over me are there.
I’m married. I have two children. I have a mortgage. I have two car seats in my car and a bag of crayons. I am married to someone who gets super excited about the rate of growth of the grass he’s planted this year. Last week I caught myself thinking about how awesome it would be if I had another baby because then I could get a minivan AND THE SPACE OMG.
But sometimes I remember when I was a teenager like WHOA and it’s like WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT ISN’T 2003 AND WHERE IS AMY LEE BECAUSE ONLY SHE UNDERSTANDS ME.
Johnny Depp and select P!nk songs would always do that to me without fail.
So I was fifteen when Pirates of the Caribbean came out and I fell in love with Johnny Depp. And that was pretty much it for me until I met my husband.
I had all the posters. I printed pictures off the internet and pasted them next to my bed. And then I’d take them on vacation with me. I saw POTC 17 times in theaters. SEVENTEEN TIMES.
(And I called it POTC.)
I was a veritable presence on the message boards, you know, back when message boards were a thing. I wrote absolutely disgustingly bad (as in poorly written) things about it on the internet and I refuse to link to it because it’s too embarrassing. (And I wrote about how I folded my underwear a few weeks ago.)
This picture was on my door.
I was enamored. I mean, he was just so cool. The weird bracelets and necklaces and how he didn’t care about what anyone would think of him no matter what. You could guarantee you’d never be walking through the grocery store with him talking about whether you needed paper towels or not (my sister’s teenage benchmark for all exciting relationships.)
This was in the Vanessa Paradis, two-little-kids era, and I had an active fantasy life where poor little Vanessa dies tragically in a plane crash or something Johnny and I fall in love and I’m an awesome stepmother and the children love me and we have lots of sex and babies.
(This was back before I actually married someone whose wife actually did tragically die and discovered that it’s not romantic and sexy it’s just mostly difficult and sad and you end up buying your grave at 23.)
(Fifteen-year-old Kathleen had no idea what she was talking about.)
(Probably why 28-year-old Kathleen drinks a lot of wine.)
ANYWAY. Active imagination.
But it was hilarious because he was FORTY when I was in love with him! I mean, that’s ridiculous. I literally was too young to see the movie that came out right after Pirates without a parent or guardian. I was a baby! And he was an old dude!
And…then he married a girl my age.
And…that was when I realized I was old.
Because my first thought was “THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO MY DAUGHTER.” Literally. Not “what maybe I should have moved to France like the plan was!” Not “mmm.” Just a guttural maternal reaction of “ABSOLUTELY NOT YOU GROSS OLD GUY.”
And really. What is wrong with walking around the grocery store together? I love going to the grocery store with my husband. It’s awesome. And you know what? Sometimes we need paper towels. Because we have a life together. And that’s awesome too.
I don’t have time for people who mope around looking like this.
I need someone who will take care of me and my children and go to the grocery store with me and KNOW WHEN WE NEED PAPER TOWELS.
I don’t need Netflix and chill. I need amazon prime and commitment.
And then last week, Johnny came to Summerfest and stood his actual body on an actual stage in my actual city. And my dad and brother went. And I…could care less.
My dad texted me pictures of the concert and my brother provided me with a withering review (apparently Johnny stinks as much at playing guitar as he does at monogamy) and I was honestly quite happy that I was texting back from my bed with my cool mist humidifier and lorazepam kicking in. Next to my wonderful amazing husband who takes care of me and our babies and laughs when I send him pictures like this.
Because marriage is not a fantasy written like fanfiction involving private islands and people who think they’re so cool they would never do something as pedestrian as get coffee or dress like a normal person. Sometimes it’s pink eye and strep throat and being at the doctor without makeup to get antibiotics.
And that’s pretty awesome.
And that’s how I knew I grew up.