Disclaimer: It may seem frivolous at first, but I’m actually going somewhere with this.
I used to wear flip-flops all the time. Literally all the time. Even in the Midwest in winter. Even when it snowed in the Midwest in the winter. In high school, my guidance counselor got a bit bent out of shape when I wore flip-flops to awards banquets and graduation and such.
Starting out in college, I continued to wear flip-flops. A necessity for dorm showers, but I wore them to class as well. Even on the lengthy walk to class from my dorm. Even through construction zones.
But then one day, and I don’t remember what day, only that it occurred sometime in the last 5 to 7 years, I decided that I was not going to wear flip-flops anymore.
My reasoning was that I am an adult, and somehow I decided to mark my adulthood by no longer wearing flip-flops. (I also mark my adulthood by occasionally eating ice cream for breakfast and by eating candy in front of candy-less children in public places…because I can, dammit.)
The thing is, a lot of adults wear flip-flops. In fact, most adults, especially in the South in the summer, wear flip-flops or slightly sturdier flip-flop shaped sandals. And they don’t look childish, and I don’t take them any less seriously than I normally would.
But I just can’t do it. Just like I can’t wear shorts any more. Or my NOFX t-shirt.
The thing is, I don’t really feel like an adult and trying to convince myself of it through my wardrobe isn’t working. When I was younger, I always assumed that at some point I would feel something in me change, not necessarily like a paradigm shift of maturity when I reached some milestone in my life, but that I would at least feel some sort of personal maturing process. But this hasn’t happened, and the older I get, the more I realize that a lot of adults actually never stop acting like children. So it makes me think that perhaps this internal, self-aware maturing never really occurs to anyone.
I pay rent and bills. I cook and clean and perform basic home repairs. I vote. I can walk into any bar or casino in the country and not get turned away. But I still feel the same inside as I did when I was 17, maybe even as I did when I was 13 or 14. I can’t remember back that far. The only real difference is that I have more information in my head now. More “life experiences.” Maybe even a tiny bit more wisdom.
It’s not that I don’t like being considered an adult, and I would never go back to being a teenager, but somehow I feel inauthentic.
So I have to know, is everyone else just going through the motions of adulthood? Or am I just missing something?
Maybe I’d feel better in a pair of flip-flops.
(This personal crisis has been brought to you by my upcoming birthday…which I fully intend on ignoring.)
 Speaking of which, they actually have a song for this occasion: He’s got a tie dyed Rancid shirt/He wears his Birkenstocks to work/Is he a jerk? No! Just confused/Jeff don’t wear regular shoes…
 I mean, have you ever watched an episode of Big Brother?