You know, Mom always said war and poverty signaled your entry into adulthood (not in those words exactly, but that was the general gist. According to this theory, Iâ€™m pretty much always destined for perpetual juvenility, hooray! Her perspective is shaped by a childhood overlapping with the Korean War, a not-so-fun immigration experience, and a few broke-ass years, etc.)
For me, as a citizen of contemporary, middle-class America, being adult means trying to get through the paperwork, constant paperwork. I am constantly filing health claims, immunization forms, taxes, employee information forms, submitting check requests, filling out credit car informationâ€¦.and my god, it can drive you absolutely bananas. I help my folks handle the mystery of their hospital bills whenever they run into trouble and Mom says Iâ€™m very talented at it and should start a freelance businessâ€¦um, I think Iâ€™d rather hurl for a living.
Anyway, I am reading the hilarious and yet depressing Personal Days, a novel by Ed Park. It examines how much modern life is impacted by technology and corporate culture. Like you know when you write in Word and you get a random two lines that are double space and in Tahoma point 14, while everything else is Calibri single space font point 11? And no matter what you do, you canâ€™t change the formatting so you end up re-typing the whole thing? Please tell me Iâ€™m not the only one and Iâ€™m some kind of idiot. Either way, those kinds of daily minutiae can make you bonk. Read the book at your own risk.
â€¦at the same time, I always feel incredibly lucky. Iâ€™m a U.S. citizen â€“ you know how many illegal immigrants are trying to scrape a living here? Can you imagine how stressful that is? If they get seriously ill or in an accident, they have sweat whether Immigration will be called plus be charged like $20,000 for an x-ray? So like 1) I donâ€™t have to worry about daily bombings (bonus); 2) I have a drivers license, passport, and health insurance (bonus); 3) I went to college (bonus); 4) not only did I go to college, I went to a fancy college, all of which exponentially increases the likelihood that I can find a job. But these are actual thoughts I have. Iâ€™m not just making it up to lessen the crankiness of the first entry. Years ago, a co-worker nicknamed me Crankston Hughes. 🙁