Is Adulting Overrated? 6 Tips for Doing It Right

With every ounce of my being, I ignore the fact that I’m an adult. I think this is why kids tend to gravitate towards me, the Pied Piper of Pranks. And that’s why Marovich has been my BFF since 7th grade. Not only is she the world’s greatest poker face in ludicrous situations, she also shares my philosophy:

“The fun must NEVER stop!”

We both inject and interject our weird little brand of comedy into everyday life, keeping things light. It’s like playing an endless game of Whack-A-Mole against that shit sandwich known as “adulting.” Take yesterday, for example. But first, I have to tell the back story, to explain why yesterday (sort of) happened. I was having sushi with Marovich and her wife, Chrissy, Tuesday night. (Chrissy is one of my other favorite carbon life forms.) Marovich nearly spit out her cosmo when I pulled my phone out of my purse. I hadn’t realized it was anything unusual until I saw Marovich’s dramatic reaction. In my defense I hate holding the cell phone up to my ear to talk, or wearing an earpiece, because, hey, brain tumors, people! So I bought the “ear piece” that best suited me (seen below) — a throwback to my 1980s. So my silly iPhone inspired an entire conversation with Marovich, plotting how I should find a co-conspirator amongst the Sister Wives (my bawdy band of Kotex Mafia Mom friends) and have her just randomly talk about the things she needed to shop for that day, in front of the other Sister Wives.  As she named them, Marovich suggested I would innocently pull each oddball item out of my big-assed purse. I know, I know. It’s ridiculous. Visual props just slay us (and also explain our penchant for Mel Brooks and Zucker Brothers films.)

My phone. What can I say? The vibe is SO me.

My phone. What can I say? The vibe is SO me.

My big-assed purse--a must for carrying around all of my comedic props.

My big-assed purse–a MUST for carrying around my comedic props.

So I knew Thursday was my Sister Wives lunch. But I made a grave error in assigning a co-conspirator to my prank. I chose Heather/Ophelia. Her ability to keep a straight face during shenanigans is probably equal to mine. In a word: disastrous. I texted her an entire script of how it should all go down:

Mission critical instructions. #Fail

Mission critical briefing. #EpicFail

So at lunch yesterday, I arrived at the brewery and sidled up next to Ophelia in the booth, strategically placing my big-assed purse between us. She looked at me hesitantly, glanced down and blurted out, “There’s a Tupperware lid in your purse!” I was thinking, “Did you come down with Tourette’s since yesterday?!?” I don’t think anyone really heard her, but I glared at her — a warning to keep her powder dry, which made me start giggling. I recovered quickly. She’d already managed to fuck it up! My face was flushed, always a tell. This was not going to end well.

After a good 10 minutes of conversation had passed amongst our other three Sister Wives, I inconspicuously pulled the hand-mixer beater out of my purse and jabbed Ophelia in the thigh with it — a gentle reminder to follow my texted script. At that exact moment, Maura was talking about something serious, and Ophelia and I got the giggles. Maura called us out on it, declaring, “Hey! There are NO secrets among the Sister Wives!” It’s a good thing General MacArthur didn’t place me in charge of sneak attacks. In between gasps of air and giggles, I tried explaining what we were up to, but my master prank wasn’t nearly as funny to everyone as my seismic laughter and the tears rolling down my face. #EpicFail.

Marovich called me on her way home to learn the success of our thorough plotting and planning. She was sorely disappointed. “I’m the only one who can ever be your straight man,” she sighed, exasperated. “I know,” I also sighed, the agony of defeat apparent in my tone. “No one can ever replace you.”

As a teen, adulting was my aspiration. I wanted to drink legally, own a home, pay taxes, and be responsible for small humans. I’m so over it. What was I thinking?!? My friend Kim posted this meme today, which is, when I’m being truthful, my form of parenting:

The Denise School of Parenting for Wayward Children

The Denise School of Parenting for Wayward Children. There are many times I have to turn my back or walk out of the room as Dave is disciplining Jack because I’m holding in a giggle. Jack just needs to see my shoulders shaking, and it’s “game over.”

So…if you are interested in adding some levity to your adulting, here are six tips I suggest to help you on your way:

  1. Star 67 blocks your phone number, when you need to make that anonymous prank call to the local bowling alley.
  2. During said prank phone call, PTO meetings, or while pretending to study in the library, this device is invaluable:

    One of my favorite things. Ever.

    Pretty much one of my favorite things. Ever.

  3. Find the nearest American Science & Surplus Store. They have the BEST prank props! That’s where I bought these beauties:

    It's usually a good idea to forewarn your waitress/server that you're adding this to your dining companion's blue plate special.

    It’s a good idea to prepare your waitress/server that you’re adding this to your dining companion’s blue plate special.

  4. The extendable fork is your friend. I can’t tell you how many laughs we’ve had at Thanksgiving with me removing balls of stuffing off of my cousin Jeff’s plate from across the table as he turned away to pass the turkey platter.

    The extendable fork - a small utensil with big impact.

    The extendable fork – a small utensil with big impact.

  5. The toilet monster is another favorite, although for me, it’s a one-time use thing, and it can get pricey replacing them. You might be cool with bleaching it down and reusing yours. I snuck in and installed this one in my bio-brother Vince’s master bathroom the first time I ever met him. Good thing we share humor, along with our DNA.

    Sweet fancy Moses! Screams from the bathroom are my favorite sound!

    The only time I yearn to hear screams coming from the bathroom. 

  6. Bookmark these two websites: Spencer’s Gifts and Archie McPhee’sI laugh myself sick thinking of pranks I can pull with their props.

If you’re done adulting — in the normal sense of the term — just join my tribe. Your props, pranks, and practical jokes are always welcome here.