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Stop Taking Pride In Not Knowing How To Do Basic Shit

kitchen-gadgets

I don’t know how to do a lot of basic shit. I can only barely use a cordless power drill, and most baked goods I attempt come out with a texture somewhere between sand and the compressed wood chip material inside an IKEA end table. I still struggle with understanding a lot of financial concepts, and the minor repairs I’ve made on tears in my clothing end up looking like an offensive hobo Halloween costume. I’ve literally missed out on packages I was excited about being delivered because I was too lazy to go to the post office in another borough. I’m bad at a lot of stuff, and a lot of basic elements of being a ~functional adult~ still escape me, and I know that.

But the key here is that I’m ashamed of those things, because that should be the baseline human response for not mastering ultra-basic shit out of a mixture of laziness, fear, and procrastination. I don’t think it’s Carrie Bradshaw-chic when I order takeout several nights in a row, I think it’s an embarrassing waste of money. I don’t think that it’s just me being my quirky ol’ millennial self when I neglect to make doctor’s appointments for years on end, I think it’s dangerous and stupid. It’s not “adulting” to be able to create and stick to a budget or change a smoke detector battery, it’s “what people do because we all have to live life and exist in the world as something other than really tall toddlers.”

And I get that no one is going to be great at everything right away, or that many of us may not have grown up learning these skills, but goddamn. It should not be a source of Zooey Deschanel-esque pride to be wobbling through life with an oversized lollipop in one hand and an iPhone in the other, unsure of how to open a checking account. Taking pride in not knowing how to do basic shit, or feeling like “owning” your chaotic, inefficient, money-wasting habits excuses them, is why out-of-touch Olds writing condescending articles about millennials occasionally have a point. We may have come of age in a decimated economy, but that doesn’t mean we should suddenly feel like it’s chic to still be struggling with basic shit at 30.

It’s become this weird cultural phenomenon where, because many of us don’t cross the traditional markers of “adulthood” in our 20s, it’s somehow cool to flail in the other direction while our belt-less pants fall down around our ankles. I know I definitely used to feel this way, which is part of why I started TFD all that time ago, because I would jokingly make comments to friends about how I had enough money to retire if I died at the end of the month, or how I was “incapable” of following recipes so I accepted that most of my baked goods would go directly into the trash. I turned my most self-defeating patterns into jokes, because that felt easier than actually dealing with them, and besides, who gave a shit? My parents were married, homeowning parents by 27, and clearly none of that stuff was in the cards for me on that timetable, so I could just continue to be an Amy Schumer character until at least my early 30s.

And what did I think would happen then? Did I think I was just going to wake up one morning and suddenly take everything really seriously? Was there going to be a day where I popped up, naturally, at 6:30 AM, had a light breakfast in my well-appointed and sparkling-clean kitchen, then hit my reasonably-priced gym for a morning workout to invigorate me for a day at my job (which I was passionate about but which did not dominate my life)? I think honestly, on some level, I thought that way.

I think I imagined there was just this Adult Pixie Dust (it maybe looked like glitter in some tasteful, neutral color palette), that was sprinkled over you in your sleep some time in your late 20s/early 30s, that magically changed everything and taught you how to do things like negotiate a salary or wear heels on city streets without destroying them on subway grates. The point is, I thought these things would just manifest in Future Chelsea, and Present Chelsea did not have to deal with it, and could keep getting day-tipsy at expensive brunches and wander around Duane Reade wobbily looking for Q-tips for 30 minutes.

This is ridiculous, and frankly offensive to ourselves, and is in many ways my least favorite part of ~social media culture~. It’s considered adorable and relatable to talk about how “Whoops just spent the rest of my paycheck on a bottle of champagne and pizza, which I’m eating in the dark because I can’t change a lightbulb, while watching a Netflix show on an account I share with seven people, which I have turned up all the way because my smoke alarm has been beeping for the last three months.” Frankly, without at least a sprinkling of embarrassed self-awareness, that kind of talk should be considered vaguely worrisome, not a rallying cry to be like ‘SAME SLORE I LIVE LIKE AN AMISH PERSON THE FIRST WEEK OF EVERY MONTH BECAUSE I FORGET TO PAY MY ELECTRICITY BILL.’

I don’t care that many people our age don’t know how to do basic shit that our parents probably had mastered their first year post-school — I definitely have many things left to master myself — but I care that our response to this is some weird, enabling collective pride, and not embarrassment and frank eagerness to fix the issue. We should be celebrating when we figure these things out, and talking openly about how to get better, not bathing in our shortcomings in an effort to avoid the reality of growing up.

We’ve all been over to a dude’s house who lives like a straight-up raccoon despite being nearly 30, bare-bones furniture and empty walls and nothing in the fridge but beer, old pizza, and a crusty bottle of ketchup. We rightfully judge that dude, and think how embarrassing it is that he essentially can’t care for himself unless his mother is micro-managing him. So why do we not extend that critical eye to ourselves? Just because we aren’t necessarily using the same unwashed towel for months on end doesn’t mean we should excuse the fact that we put our clean laundry in a pile on the designated “laundry chair” which essentially serves as a dresser.

We don’t need to be perfect, but we need to stop thinking that being a mess is quirky or cute, because it is not. We should strive to be the person that other people say “Damn, they have their shit together” about, because that is one of the highest compliments we can be paid. And as long as it is within our mental and physical capacities to be doing these things, we have no excuse other than our own laziness, really, and that’s something we should definitely not be taking pride in. “Being an adult” isn’t some really prestigious title we have to be intimidated about, it’s literally what we all are, whether we like it or not. The question is whether you are a cool, collected adult whose life is not constantly on fire, or whether you’re a Carrie Bradshaw, who literally had to go visit her ex-boyfriend at work to ask for money to not be evicted because she bought too many statement accessories.

Choose wisely, and don’t take pride in being the latter.

Image via Pexels

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  • Roselyne

    “We should strive to be the person that other people say “Damn, they have
    their shit together” about, because that is one of the highest
    compliments we can be paid.”

    Word.

    But also, point of order: a lot of those things are learned skills. Look: I’m 32. I can build furniture, re-wire lamps, fix plumbing, darn clothes (or sew them from scratch if I have time), cook a gourmet 5-course meal on a timeline and budget, do make-up and put together a great outfit in uder 10 minutes in the morning,, manage a complex multi-country project in the millions of dollars, raise a child, engage in a great relationship with my spouse, maintain social connections, etc.

    But y’know what? When I was 7, my mom gave me a sewing kit and taught me to sew and darn my own clothes on her machine. My dad accompanied that with a tool kit and invitations to help him with his furniture-buildling. My mom saw cooking as a GREAT hobby and we’d spend afternoons in the kitchen together with my younger siblings (yay decent experience around small children leading to greater comfort around mine). I was lucky enough to have colleagues who taught me how to do Magic with excel, and lucky enough to have a mom who kicked enough ass at work to carry off the same levels of assurance that make me look like I know what I’m doing at work. I have SKILLZ, sure, but a lot of them were deliberately taught to me by parents who went out of their way to encourage the development of skills. (For the rest, youtube tutorials, especially the wiring and plumbing). For people without that luck? Harder to get a grip on the skills.

    • Yes. This. I was the same way. My dad made a point of teaching us how to iron by the time we were eight. Each of us learned to use the stove and cook an egg when we turned 11. My mother took an afternoon to teach me how to do the laundry. I know these things because I was taught, and there’s a bunch of other life skills I have because I specifically asked them to teach me. One of the best things I’ve gotten out of this job is that it’s helped me talk to my parents about money, and they’ve been able to help me figure out things like budgets and credit cards and financing. I still don’t have a solid grasp on my finances, but I’m learning because they’re teaching me.

      • Li Kane

        Iron. Crap on that. I’m 59, and if an item of clothing I’m looking at needs any sort of special treatment, like handwashing, or “touch up with a cool iron” (which basically means it’ll come out of the dryer looking like it’s been in a ball in a corner for months), it doesn’t get bought. If it’s something really special, I’ll take it to the dry cleaner. Life’s too short for bullshit chores like ironing.

        • anbachman

          Even just reading labels is a task lost on people of my generation. We have access to such cheap clothing and no concept of waste, that most just think “whatever, I’ll just replace it” when it shrinks down to 10% of it’s original size.

        • Mimi

          Just put a damp cloth (like a small towel) in the dryer with your item and it will steam out the wrinkles.

      • m3ghaa

        Are you sure our parents didn’t teach us these things so we could do those chores and help them out more around the house 😉 I am kidding (sort of) lol. either way – works out for all parties involved.

    • Alexis

      YouTube plumbing/general DIY tutorials are the BEST – my husband and I have learnt to do so much from them 🙂

    • Dr Why

      Do responsible people say “word”?

      • thelaine

        Word

  • widowspider

    DANG GIRL. On point. Thank you.

  • jdub

    Yes, exactly. This kind of attitude really bothered me until quite recently, when I realized that the only reason I know how to do all sorts of important “taking care of yourself as a responsible adult” shit, is because my parents (and well-meaning friends) went out of their way to teach me.

    My dad literally spent entire afternoons when I was a kid teaching me how to use power tools, change a tire/oil, anchor an item on a wall, read a map, throw a proper punch, etc, because he didn’t want me to grow up and be helpless. My mum went out of her way to teach me how to use a bank account, how to read a recipe book(/make substitutions in said recipe), negotiate a raise/starting salary for myself, behave as a guest in other people’s homes/dining etiquette, and so on, for the same reason.

    Straight up if you yourself (or someone who loves you) don’t take a vested interest in learning how to do things that you deem important in real life, you’re not gonna learn. Just because you turn 20 doesn’t mean you’re done growing up. Not by a long shot.

    • Pepper Conchobhar

      But part of being an ‘adult’ is being self-motivated to seek knowledge and to learn.

  • GBee

    I don’t know how to do my taxes… and I am totally embarrassed by that fact. I did sit down with my dad last year to go through the motions, but I can’t say I remember most of what he showed me. We’ll, there’s always next year…

    • GBee

      Also, maybe it’s a DC thing, but I mostly see people acting the opposite: pretending they have their shit together when in reality they don’t.

    • Seriously, turbo tax. Been using it since 2008 and it works great.

    • Pepper Conchobhar

      I did the work and taught myself how to do taxes. Did my own for years. But I found that a tax-preparer always cuts them down farther than I would. I gave up. If I have to, I can do them. And I’ll be screwing myself.

  • Hailey

    I am all about this post.

    And, honestly, it makes me really thankful for my kick-ass group of girlfriends. They’re passionate, interesting, hardworking women who have fulfilling careers, hobbies, etc. We’re far from perfect and have a good time, but we push each other and challenge each other to be the best versions of ourselves. If I were to say something like “I just ruined my laundry for the 3rd week in a row. Aren’t I adorable??” it would be met with a swift “Wtf is wrong with you. Get your shit together.” I can’t imagine encouraging any of them to be pushing 30 and unable to take care of themselves as if it’s some sort of joke.

  • Fair. I don’t know a lot of things and I have definitely been guilty of the “whoops I guess I’m just a fuck up” every now and again (my biggest sin is not taking my meds. I never ever ever remember to take my meds which is why I opted for an IUD over the pill) but I’m not… proud of it. I joke about it, but my friends scold me and I feel bad. Because i’m 26 and I should have figured out how to take the tablets I need to stay healthy. I felt a little guilty reading this tbh but I kind of think that’s the point. It’s ok not to know thing, but don’t hold up that ignorance as a virtue. Try to figure out the things you don’t know. For example, I just took over the premiums on the life insurance plan my mom got for me when I was a kid. I’m not even gonna lie, that felt like a huge adulting victory. Also I have insurance, so yay.

  • Kathleen Murphy

    I was actually working on a piece akin to this, you beat me to it!

    As someone who grew up without the luxury of present, competent parents, there’s a seething part of me that can’t stand when an acquaintance drops a cutesy “omg how I do adult haha~~” comment.

    That’s not a question that crosses your mind when you’ve been doing your own cooking, cleaning, finances, and home repairs for the bulk of your life. Not knowing how to “adult” (see also: function) is a mark of privilege on some level.

    • Summer

      Totally agree with you on this. For those of us who were effectively “adulting” before we were even legally allowed to drink a beer, it’s incredibly annoying to see people in their mid- to upper-20s bemoaning the simplest of household tasks or basic responsibilities of being alive. Doubly so when these folks are making a point of touting their incompetency as something either hilarious and relatable, or not their fault for being inept. While I agree with the general principle that you can’t know what you don’t know, you can only blame (or credit!) your parents for so much.

  • Cecily

    Becoming an adult is hard work (why didn’t anyone tell me this!) – I think it’s fine to have a sense of humor about it! I get what this piece is saying, but for most part, I don’t think the jokes come from a sense of pride (or maybe my social circle is just very different from the author’s), I think for most people it comes from a sense of shame. I know that if I don’t laugh about my fuck ups, I would be sobbing all the time. The important part is seeing adulting as a process and wanting to be better than you were yesterday.

    • VC_Maude

      I feel similarly to you on this. I certainly don’t take pride in my “lack of adulting”, which for me is a lot of unhealthy avoidance habits I’ve developed that have made growing up hard. But while shame might be a motivator for some, for me it stops me dead in my tracks, and exacerbates the problem.

    • Kitresa

      YES! Agreed.

  • Sarah

    Yes, but… you used to be hilaaaaarious. Now you’re just judgmental. I do love this blog, and appreciate all of your hard work because I think the topics are extremely important, but the tone of articles like these radiates ‘holier-than-thou’, instead of the ‘we’re-all-just-here-to-learn’ atmosphere you so preach.

    • Summer

      Just my interpretation here of course, but I don’t think Chelsea is actually being judgmental of anyone for not knowing how to do certain things, she’s just tired of people playing it up as though it’s some comedic badge of honor to not know how to scramble an egg or unscrew a lightbulb. It’s the silliness of “taking pride” in this nonsense and doing nothing about it, not the actual lack of knowledge.

      • Anon

        You’re probably right but I don’t think that invalidates the point that the article is being incredibly judgmental about the joke, if not the skill set. And it’s self-defeating. How am I supposed to take seriously an article glorifying adulthood that devotes even a nanosecond of time judging people for how they do their laundry? If being an adult means anything, it means cultivating an ability to share the earth with people who live differently from you and letting slide shit that does not matter.

    • bella Mater

      But that’s the point, innit…
      It’s not the “we’re here to learn” crowd that this is directed at, it’s the “toilet’s broken but I’m gonna keep shitting in it because haha, I cant call a plumber because haha, better things to doooo!” set that we’re concerned about.

  • Anon

    Eh, isn’t a lot of that a stereotypically feminine move of downplaying your skill set? I doubt it’s people genuinely bragging so much as being self-deprecating to seem more approachable. Which is its own problem but not the one you’ve singled out.

    Also, why should you feel ashamed of not being a good baker? I mean, fuck it. It’s not important in the scheme of things. I’m not good at yoga or washing windows and I don’t care because there are loads of more important things I am good at. Yeah, you should maybe have some shame if you’re living in total squalor but why is it so important to bake well that you feel shame for failing to do it? I don’t know – these examples seem like they’re all about failing to be a proper domestic goddess, on top of everything else you do.

    • foursixtwo

      Yeah. This flavor of rant always leans on baking cakes, and that bristles. I can get myself and my family fed without takeout every night, and I do, but my baked goods are garbage. I’ve been trying for the better part of 20 years, but I just don’t have that skill set. They always come out wrong. So what? I need a cake like twice a year and buying it at a bakery will not do nightly-takeout levels of damage to my budget. There are a thousand other, more productive ways to spend my time than bumping up against this non-essential skill. Everyone needs to be able to cook a few solid basics to rotate through, well enough to be edible, even if you don’t enjoy it. (And it’s okay, too, to not enjoy it – but that’s another rant for another time.) But baking? That’s a hobby. Great for the people who are into it, optional for the rest of us.

      • Isabel C.

        This. Friends bake, and that’s wonderful, and I’m happy for them, but as for me? Baked goods are available at many fine stores. (This even applies to cooking, though I know how to do it and enjoy it myself: you can get reasonably cheap and nutritious frozen food these days, or go for soup, and most grocery stores do a premade-food section near the deli.)

  • breed7

    It’s not just pride in the inability to do basic shit. We have a culture in which a large segment of the population is proud of their complete and total ignorance. The Republican way is to be proud that you managed to make it through public school without learning anything. They take pride in not understanding science. They’re proud about never having learned to read or write well. They have immense pride in having no knowledge about other cultures, or about people who are different than they are.

    It’s called anti-intellectualism, and it’s a real danger to us all.

    • Sara

      THIS.

    • Pepper Conchobhar

      Wow. This kind of bigotry is a prime example of ‘pride in ignorance.’ Do you even know a Republican?

      Or are we just a weird, foreign, caricature to you? Did you read about the “evol ‘publicans” on some blog?

      Must be nice to be able to dehumanize millions of human beings with such careless ease.

      • cjleete

        That is, and has always been the primary weapon of the so-called progressives. That tactic dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, with the progs printing literature about black people having smaller brains and being “prone to violence”, so that people like Margaret Sanger could feel good about sterilizing thousands of people and aborting millions of babies.

        • Pepper Conchobhar

          Exactly. When Hillary Clinton declared black males to be ‘super predators’ there wasn’t an outcry from the left on her prejudice. Because they weren’t pandering to blacks at that moment.

          The left always uses childish name calling and labels, rather than arguments and logic, to cement their base.

          • redape

            Hillary Clinton never referred to black males as “super predators”

            Here’s the full speech. The race of the people she referred to is never even hinted at.

            She was referring to drug cartels starting to use youth as a means to avoid the risk of adult level sentencing.

            http://www.politicade.com/hillary-clinton-1996-super-predator-speech/

          • Pepper Conchobhar

            The Cartels?

            You mean like… Mexicans?

            That’s racist! lol!

            (And now you can explain to a LOT of black people why they’re wrong and your interpretation is correct)

      • breed7

        Yes, honey, I know plenty of Republicans. Every one of them is bigoted against those of different races, religions, and sexual orientations. Every one of them believes evolution and climate change are not real. Every one of them believes helping the sick and poor is morally wrong, despite the fact that they all claim to be Christian.

        The reason Republican leaders want their voters to remain stupid is because educated people OVERWHELMINGLY vote for Democrats. Statistics don’t lie.

        But, since you’re obviously one of the racist, homophobic bigots who votes for racist, homophobic “Christian” Republicans, there’s no way of dumbing this concept down enough for your tiny little mind to understand.

      • bella Mater

        You DO understand that political party support isn’t genetic and, in fact, SHOULD be fluid, right?

        If the party shift ideals, you’re going to blindly shift with it, or are you going to vote against it to agitate for your values?

        The hallmark of the current Republican (Teapublican) make-up IS grossly anti-intellectual, and blindly nationalist; I know a lot of very intelligent republicans that have voted democrat since at least the early 2000s for that very reason.

      • breed7

        Sorry, hon, but y’all dehumanized yourselves with your official positions against science, education, and basic human rights. There’s a reason ALL intelligent, educated people support Democrats — they believe in knowledge. What do you Republicans have? You oppose cleaning up our environment. You oppose allowing all Americans to marry. You oppose Constitutional protections against the government favoring one religion. You oppose programs to care for the poor and sick.

        If you disagree with those things, but you still call yourself a Republican, then you’re the idiot everyone thinks you are.

  • Claire McCandless

    This is all just so good. Thank you for writing this!

  • Sindhoo

    Dang, I get what’s trying to be said here but it is difficult not to read this and feel pretty bad about myself. I know that I can come off as an airhead because there are several Life Things that I struggle with because a) I was never taught, and b) I don’t have the time to figure it out or a partner who does. I think this article perhaps acknowledges, but doesn’t actually empathize with, the fact that the pressure on women to come off as serenely put together is *immense* and can cause a lot of anxiety.

    “We should strive to be the person that other people say “Damn, they have their shit together” about, because that is one of the highest compliments we can be paid.”

    Yikes. I get why this sounds appealing, but I think you probably know (or maybe you don’t but it feels like that’s the point of this website) that the people who appear to have their shit together….don’t? And are just pretending they do because to be a woman who doesn’t ~have it all~ feels like being a failure? Or are maybe killing themselves to get to that point? I feel like it took years (is taking years..) to unlearn the compulsion to care about what people think about you, and here you are, preaching it.

    Anyways I do understand the point being made. I cringe at “Adulting” jokes too and wish that people knew how to save for retirement. But I personally have been feeling the pressure of several responsibilities and do not feel like adding ~coming off as an airhead to other people because they think I think it’s cute~ as one of them.

    • GBee

      I very much agree with this. I’m sure I come off as “having my shit together” but there are a few things I can name that I don’t know how to do that maybe I should (see below).

      Also, knowledge comes from experience. My boyfriend owns his condo, so there are many things i know about home ownership that most of my friends don’t. This doesn’t make me more of an adult, I just have different life experiences at this point in time.

      • Sindhoo

        Yes, absolutely. Re: your comment below…I mean, the first time I did my taxes, I wanted to do it by myself and I made a pretty huge mistake that I have yet to rectify. Taxes can be very simple thanks to TurboTax/etc (which, btw you should definitely check out if you don’t use already!) but it doesn’t take a lot to make them very complicated.

        I just think that getting a handle on so called “basic shit” is hard enough, and now I have to worry how I’m coming off while trying to cope with the fact that I don’t have a handle on it? It’s just too many things to worry about. I’d rather make a dumb joke about how I stupidly got on the wrong bus today and went 15 minutes out of my way because ~hello suburb girl in the big city~ than worry about someone judging me.

        • TheLoanWolf

          And sometimes we learn things from life experiences, like GBee says, and then it becomes so natural for us that it then seems like “basic shit” people should know. Perfect example – I work in financial aid. I had no experience with taxes except for when I would use TurboTax, like you, to file my very simple single guy with no kids or business ventures taxes. Now that I have to review taxes for people before awarding aid, there are a LOT of things that I’m like “really? You didn’t know that you can’t file as Head of Household if you’re married according to IRS Publication 17?” Suddenly, that’s “basic shit” to me, but not to many others who just let a tax preparer do taxes for them (incorrectly). I feel the same way when I go home and see my dad fix literally anything and I’m like “wow, I should know how to do this, it must be basic shit,” but my dad is an engineer. It’s all about perspective and experience.

          • GBee

            Yes! This reminds me of an English professor (I was a Political Science major) I had my senior year of college. She was bewildered that only one student had read/knew of a certain book that she deemed to be SO IMPORTANT. I can’t remember what book it was, but I remember thinking “of course you know of this book, you’re an English professor!” I assume she’s read many many books not only because she is interested in them, but it’s also a part of her job! I do consider myself to be an avid reader and I was a little annoyed that she was acting as if none of us had ever picked up a book.

        • m3ghaa

          I think everyone who reads this article as someone “judging them” needs to not take it so personally. The author is simply saying “if you don’t know how to do something, go figure it out instead of pretending it’s cute not to know it.” which is…THE TRUTH.

          I think another reader said it best: “…either accept that your lack of skills is a choice – or make it a priority to learn certain skills.” If you don’t want to learn certain skills, totally fine! and totally your choice! but that doesn’t make it funny or cute or that hard to learn either…it’s just your choice to not learn it. Repeating what others said: these days the internet has EVERYTHING and we look at a screen for an average of 8-9 hours a DAY (!!), so there’s just no excuse for why a basic something cannot be learned.

          by the way, making self-deprecating jokes to others indicates that you
          DO care about what others think about you, which is why we make jokes in
          the first place instead of shrugging our shoulders and not caring.

        • Toritseju

          I don’t think anyone is asking you to come off as “together”. I was a sweaty, dirty, profane, flustered mess the first time I changed a car tire on my own, but I got it done without waiting 6 hours for AAA. Doing things doesn’t need to be pretty. In fact, it wont get pretty until you practice. And thats okay. The point is getting it done. “No one taught me” is just not an excuse. We need to go out and seek learning for ourselves vs wait for others to bring it to us.

          • edithcrawley

            6 hrs for AAA? Were you in the middle of a snowstorm on top of a mountain? The longest I’ve ever had to wait was 45 minutes (once for a blown tire, once for a deer running into the car)

            I know the process behind changing a tire, I just physically can’t do it because they put the lug nuts on too tight at the tire places and the little wrench thing that comes with the car is useless.

    • bextannya

      I do see what you mean and what you’re saying, but I didn’t take away that this article was directed towards women to get their shit together: I do think that Chelsea was making her point toward all genders. Just my two cents!

      • Sindhoo

        Agreed, but I think this website is definitely directed towards women in general…although I could be wrong about that. I actually read this as gendered because the point was made that you would definitely judge a man for being a slob, so why hold yourself to a lower standard? Which is absolutely a worth-while point, but I think there’s another gendered aspect that’s worth exploring too!

        • RobShouts

          It’s only mildly directed at women because the writer is a woman. The article applies to everyone.

    • I felt the same way. Like who cares about how people perceive me? I should strive to be a competent person first and not worry about other things. And sometimes that means openly acknowledging my inability to do shit (like drive stick shift or use a lawn mower) and getting/paying people who do know how to do stuff to help me. That’s what being an adult is.

      • Isabel C.

        This. I mentioned this on the page that shared the article: sometimes being an adult means knowing how to do things (personal, immediate financial planning) and sometimes it means knowing when it makes more sense, for your personal time and finances, to hire other people to do that. I don’t know how to fix a leaky pipe–but I know how to call the super. I don’t know how to cook a fancy dinner–but I know the best restaurants around here. And I think that’s as much adulthood/having my shit together as the other way around.

        • Brett Borowski

          The point isn’t the stuff at the extremes, where doing the math to decide to use well-equipped professionals instead of DIY makes sense.

          Do you know:

          how to turn off the water to stem the damage before you call the super/plumber?Know to re-seat your gas cap when the Check Engine light comes on and drive for a few days before taking your car to the shop?
          to reset the GFCI in the powder room when the outlets in the main bathroom don’t work?

          • Isabel C.

            Nope, nope, don’t even know what that is–because, for me and (I would guess) a lot of people in my demographic (thirties, single, urban) those *are* the extremes where professionals make sense.

            * I know how to put a bucket under the drip, and if the super doesn’t get there in time, the damage is my landlord’s problem.
            * I don’t have a car: on the occasions I want to drive, I rent, so if the Check Engine light comes on, Enterprise can deal with it when I return the car.
            * I live alone: if the outlets in my bathroom don’t work, I’ll use the outlets in another part of the apartment until the super fixes them.

            In the unlikely event that I buy a house, or the slightly-less-unlikely-but-still-not-really-likely one that I buy a car, I’ll learn these things then. Presumably I won’t be thrown into ownership headlong and need to master everything at once, insofar as my life is not a sitcom episode. Until then, there are better ways to spend my time and effort.

            Don’t get me wrong: all the skills you mention are useful, and I’m glad someone has them. I just don’t think everyone needs to, and a lot of the “KIDS TODAY CAN’T CHANGE TIRES ZOMG” snottiness is really a failure to realize that many “kids today” don’t *have* to. I don’t expect everyone to know how to use Foodler or Zipcar, master the weirder formatting attributes of MSWord, or grasp the fiddly bits of public transport in downtown Boston–different skill sets for different circumstances.

          • Emery

            Yes. 100x yes.

          • Brett Borowski

            Yep, yep, yep!

            It’s not about knowing all this stuff all at once or before you have any need. It’s knowing that there are ready resources to consult when faced with them and having some modicum of confidence that you navigate a table of contents and follow directions or consult a friend or colleague who’s a little further along in “adulthood.”

            Mention your check engine light came on at lunch where I work and three people will ask if you recently got gas and suggest you check the gas cap.

            And now you know a GFCI exists even if you’re not sure what they do. If it trips and you don’t have time to wait for the super or, if you’re a home-owner at that point, you don’t have to take time off from work to wait for the electrician and pay him $139 to push a reset button that is intended to be reset by complete amateurs.

            I don’ t think my expectations are terribly high – none of the things I’ve mentioned require any tremendous skill, strength, or aptitude. All they really require is some inquisitiveness – simple curiosity that leads you ask Google, YouTube, or a friend/neighbor/family member that’s a bit further along some particular learning curve. These are things that can be solved in less time than it takes to even call the pro, never mind avoiding the hours or days it will take to have them addressed.

            And I am by no means ZOMG everybody should be able to change a tire. It’s very situational as far as I’m concerned, depending on whether I think somebody would be able to do it relatively safely or whether they drive in an area where roadside assistance is readily available or not. The one thing I suggest to anybody, though, before they change a tire or jump their car, is to look in the owner’s manual first. Why guess at connection or lift points because you have a general idea of how it’s done when you can easily find the best/safest way to perform these tasks with 3 minutes of preparation?

            For me, I guess the bottom line is, don’t be ashamed you don’t know this stuff. But don’t be proud, either. Be *open* to developing those basic skills yourself instead of just being glad somebody else knows them, somebody you can overpay for them with far more inconvenience than simply asking for advice/help.

            Side note: The instruction manual for my dad’s 1940’s Lionel Locomotive had all kinds of maintenance and repair instructions for tasks that were apparently considered within the abilities of typical owners. I found a lot of it rather daunting. Today, these sorts of things might be found in a manual intended for trained technicians, not in the user manual.

          • Isabel C.

            See, what I’m trying to say is, depending on your situation, “overpaying with far more inconvenience” for a professional might well be less inconvenient. In most apartment buildings–certainly in mine–the super has a key to the apartment: if a pipe breaks or an outlet stops working, I call facilities, put a bucket under the drip/use another outlet, and go off to work, or watch a movie, or sit around arguing on the Internet, and eventually it’ll get done. No big deal–certainly less effort than learning how to do it myself.

            I mean, yes, I’m sure I could learn–but why would I want to? I have other things to do with my time, and–depending on my lease/rental agreement/financial circumstances–being able to do those other things is often worth the money it costs to have a pro take care of it. It’s like moving or cooking: I *can* do these things myself, if I need to, or learn to do them, but I don’t see any reason that I *should*. They’re not things in which I’m particularly interested or about which I’m particularly curious, so I don’t know why I’d bother being inquisitive unless my situation requires it, and it doesn’t.

            And while I’m open to new skills, I become less open every time I hear people like the article’s author complaining. “Hey, if you do want/need to know this stuff, here are some resources!” is great. “Bah, young people joking about how they don’t know these VITAL LIFE SKILLS, how disgraceful!” just makes me roll my eyes and want to stay in an apartment eating takeout as long as possible, just to piss the authors off.

          • Brett Borowski

            I give up. I’m old. I get it. And seemingly read a different article, one that didn’t judge you for not learning how to braze a pipe or how to adjust the timing on a ’70’s muscle car. The one I read expressed frustration over the pride some kids-today take in not knowing how to push a reset button or turn a damn knob. Buttons are meant to be pushed and knobs are meant to be turned. But you have better things to do and the water damage in the apartment below is the landlord’s problem and the tenants, if they’re adult enough, have renters insurance to cover all their shit that got ruined.

            “I mean, yes, I’m sure I could learn–but why would I want to?”

            I know this is out of context but I think it still summarizes the message I received from your posts. Of course this isn’t really a generational or age thing. It’s something that irritates the crap out of me (and always has) and I’d say the junior/contemporary/senior distribution is pretty even.

          • Isabel C.

            Well, no one person can learn everything. I have other stuff I do want to learn, which applies to my life one way or the other–as you said, better things to do. (And yes, in fact, it is the landlord’s problem: if a pipe springs a leak and the super isn’t there quick enough to deal with it before water damage sets in, you either have a problem with your facilities guy or your floors. Expecting your tenants to be DIY types is not the solution, and if the landlord does want me to turn the water off in case of a leak, either they or the lease agreement will provide instructions.)

            As far as the “pride” thing goes, I’d actually say it’s a reaction to a bunch of people wagging their fingers all “I can’t believe you don’t know how to change a tire/boil an egg/whatever.” After enough of that, when those skills aren’t relevant to your life, you start joking out of self-deprecation, defiance, or both.

          • Brett Borowski

            What’s frustrating to me is the apparent disconnect we are having.

            You see “shutting off the water” as something that would require too much effort to learn about. Turning off the supply valve under a toilet or a sink isn’t a “DIY” challenge, it’s an obvious, simple, decent thing to do. It minimizes your problem, the landlord’s problem, and your neighbors’ problems.

            If you read the preceding paragraph, you know now how to do it. (If it’s tight and the handle hurts your hand, grab a hand towel and use that to turn; it’s what I do to protect my too-thin skin.)

            At this point, I suspect you’re just delighting in making my middle-aged brain throb.

          • Isabel C.

            Well, likewise.

            Because I see it as yes, more effort than putting a bucket underneath it, calling facilities, and going off to read a book, which is too much effort for a situation where I have that option. If I didn’t have that option, I’d learn–but I do, and there are many good books in the world.

            I don’t have downstairs neighbors (I live on the ground floor) and if I did, the bucket would take care of things unless the floors are literally made of cardboard or the super had gone to Madagascar with no replacement, at which point there are bigger issues to worry about. And if my landlord wants me to minimize his problems, he can minimize my rent accordingly.

            I am, a little–although at thirty-three, I’m also close to middle aged. I just never got the Do It Yourself Because Puritan Work Ethic And Society Might Collapse Or Something message internalized: we’ve spent this long developing a civilization with plumbers and takeout places and AAA, so why shouldn’t I take advantage of that?

          • Tom Billings

            “At this point, I suspect you’re just delighting in making my middle-aged brain throb.”

            No, Brett. It’s that for you the constraints are only technical. Those can be undone with a little effort. For Isabel, I strongly suspect they are social, in terms of how these folks see themselves. “People like me (in my crowd) don’t *do* things like that!” This is not quite the status thing of “only the lower classes (or at worst, slaves) use their hands to get things accomplished” that plagued classical civilization. It is who and what she is paying attention to that matters to this young lady. Reading a book is more important. Reading a book is more “her”.

            Actually I can sympathize with her in many ways, from the opposite end of the spectrum. My hands hurt. They have for most of my life. Doing much more than basics is painful, so I don’t. I don’t do it from a standpoint of socializing, because as an Aspie I don’t do too much of that. There are things I get done, but I am slow at them. Most folks get them done in a day or 2, instead of my month-long struggles.

            You pay attention to your brain throbbing. She pays attention to her brain throbbing. Both think the other isn’t really hurting, but they are.

          • Isabel C.

            Yes for most of it, but not really for the reasons. Plenty of my friends *do* know this stuff (I wouldn’t ask them to do it for me, because I feel it would be an imposition to ask friends to do unpaid labor), just as plenty of my friends know how to program computers, or change diapers, or whatever. I chose other things, so I have other skills and priorities. None of these things is lesser than the other, but just as I don’t expect my friend who owns a car to know how Zipcar works, I don’t feel any lack when I don’t know how to turn off the water or reseat a gas cap. Human beings only have so much time and attention: if we learn the things that are necessary to living our lives the way we want, we can pick up the others as and when they become relevant.

          • MJB

            Back when I was your age, we counted on each other to help with our own expertise. We never felt it was an imposition. Money has become a curse to friendship. (I wouldn’t ask them to do it for me, because I feel it would be an imposition to ask friends to do unpaid labor). We saw these as opportunities to get together as friends, and have a visit over a cuppa(of whatever libation you want to insert). It was a nice social time when we weren’t afraid to ask someone to scratch our back where it itched, we knew we could reciprocate the favour any time. It was not unpaid labour. It was a friend helping out a friend. Period.

          • random_observer_2011

            I sympathize. I’m 45 and still about as non-DIY as one can be and not proud of it, but don’t feel the need for shame either. It’s just how life goes. But turning off a water valve doesn’t strike me as conceptually hard, although the old ones where you need a screwdriver strike me as a stupid design. I had one like that and if you got it too tight you might as well have been loosening it.
            But it’s still just turning a valve, and if it has a handle it’s basically a knob. Same idea as the tap itself.
            I wish I had been home to do that in the Great Flood of ’12. Kitchen hot water supply pipe sprung a leak. Took probably a couple hours for the super to show and two more for me to come home, unaware until arriving. Whoo wee. Home pipes with pressure detection and auto shutoff can’t come along soon enough.

          • Melanie Mayne

            I think many people from my generation don’t know how to do these things RIGHT NOW, but they are fully capable of Googling it and trying it out. With a lot of these things, we’ve never needed to know how, and if it comes up, we just look up how and learn that way. It’s an efficient system, in my opinion. Maybe the people saying “I don’t know how to shut off the water” mean “I have never needed to be the one who shuts off the water.” I’m sure if it was necessary for them to be the one to shut it off, they’d Google it. We Google shit all the time! So it’s not as bad as you think, imo.

            For example, I say “I’m a terrible cook” all the time, but I am fully confident that I could look up a recipe, follow instructions, and cook an edible/avg meal if I need to or want to.

            I was in a car accident recently (I was not at fault), and I had *no idea* how to deal with insurance and get the repairs done. I’m 27, and it was my first car accident that I’ve been in alone. When I got home, I looked up what to do, and got it all worked out within a week! It was terrifying, and before that, I would’ve said “I have no idea how to deal with insurance in a car accident” and it might have sounded like a bragging-type joke.

            But when it came down to actually doing it, I was fine! So I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. We’ll make it! We have common sense! We just have to do some research first, which is fine. This is the Information Age, after all.

          • Melanie Mayne

            Plus, I think it’d be very helpful to people who haven’t been through it for me to be very honest about how ignorant I was before it happened. If my sister gets in a car accident, I’ll be like, “Okay, so I know how scary this is. I had no idea what to do, and I was scared I’d look like an idiot and not know what to say when I called the insurance provider. But here’s what ended up happening: I looked up the accident report and found the guy’s insurance info. I found their number on their website and just explained what I went through. They were super nice and guided me through all the steps of finding a mechanic and a rental service. It ended up being fine even though I had no clue what I was doing. It’ll be fine and you can do this!”

            ^That is SO much more helpful than “Oh well obviously you just call their provider. Did no one teach you that? I can’t believe you aren’t shamed that you don’t know how.”

          • Isabel C.

            This. I said, in my second post, that if I need to learn, I will. Google exists. Friends who know this stuff and can explain it exist. The conflation of “I don’t need to know this right now, so I don’t” with “I will never learn more skills than the ones I have” is weird.

          • Nick Z Robey

            You are lazy and spoiled.

          • itsalljustaride

            Word. “I don’t know how to reseat a gas cap”? If you can put gas in your car (if you have a car), you can, and do often already, reseat a gas cap. If you can plug in your hairdryer, you can reset a tripped GFCI (hurr durr I push da buddun!). This stuff, once presented, is not hard. I will excuse people for not knowing it out of the blue without being prompted, but to not know it after having it explained for 30 seconds is willful ignorance, or possibly evidence of a mental defect.

            If you call someone or pay someone to do these things you have made MORE work for yourself, as well as wasted your money and possibly someone else’s time.

          • mrsB

            and apparently not too bright as evidenced in a previous comment…

            “Isabel C.
            Isabel C. 2 days ago
            OT: In attempting to move a lamp, I just (well, “just” modulo some swearing and cold water) grabbed hold of a bare bulb that had been on for two hours.
            I’d say it wasn’t my brightest moment, but…”

          • Sporkfighter

            “Nope, nope, don’t even know what that is–because, for me and (I would guess) a lot of people in my demographic (thirties, single, urban) those *are* the extremes where professionals make sense.”

            By limiting yourself to what you know now and what you can do now, you lock yourself into your current demographic. It’s not about knowing how to do lots of stuff, it’s about having the confidence that you can find out how to do lots of stuff, and then, when something comes up, figure out how and do it.

            When my daughter was eight and wanted a privacy lock on her bedroom door, I bought her the lockset, handed it to her with a basic tool kit, and told her to read the directions and call me if she got stuck. My goal wasn’t to teach her how to install a doorknob, but to give her the confidence that she could figure it out. When she got a driver’s license, I had her change the oil, not because I care if she ever does it again, but because I want her to believe she can do what needs to be done. Now, she’s a confident, successful young woman, nearly 18, and she knows she can figure out how to get it done, whatever “it” is. She’s got her shit together.

            Getting your shit together isn’t really that hard. Mostly, it’s believing that you can probably make a passable attempt andthen trying. With Google and YouTube, you can make a passable attempt at so much.

          • Greg Weaver

            The things Brett mentioned are basic existence skills, though. Even apartment dwellers should know how to turn a valve, push a reset button, or screw their gas cap on. To not know–and not express a desire to learn–is infantile.

            I grew up in a family where my father wasn’t very handy with things. My mother was a little better. I, on the other hand, can fix anything–it’s just a matter of looking at something and taking the time to wrap your head around how all of it fits together. This stuff isn’t magic–it’s basic common sense. Especially the toilet valve thing–and that is one of the most important ones to know, because you’ll damage other people’s property as well as your own.

            I just don’t get it. And often the same people who say, “Oh, I don’t know how to do anything like that, I call a professional” are the same ones whining about how they don’t have the money to afford X. Which means they’re either stupid, or lazy. Which is it?

            It’s not just millennials, though. I see this sort of willful ignorance across all age groups.

          • Isabel C.

            Well, I agree that if you choose not to learn this stuff, you need to budget the money for a pro or make sure your lease/rental agreement/whatever covers it. My point is that, if you are budgeting, or you’re in a position where that money doesn’t come out of your budget, then knowing how to do this stuff, while useful, is not mandatory for adulthood.

            I mean, I am lazy, in that I don’t think work is abstractly virtuous in itself. But I also think that adulthood means “be able to live your life in the style you choose, without emotionally manipulating people for unpaid assistance (e.g. Carrie Bradshaw”. That means knowing how to fix things for you; it means knowing my budget and agreements for me; it means knowing how to churn butter and plow fields for an Amish person. And “shut off the water” or “reset a gas cap” aren’t any more vital to my life or the life of a lot of people than “churn butter” or “plow a field”.

          • lumenatrix

            So, when you put the bucket under the drip but the super is on vacation and the pipe then explodes flooding the apartment. Your landlord is responsible for the damage to the building, not the damage to your stuff. I hope you have good renter’s insurance.

            Hopefully you also have a responsive super. I’ve had to wait three days to get them to show up to look at my busted toilet, so life is a lot more comfortable if you know how to push the little button between the outlets, or to toggle the circuit breaker in the closet to turn the power back on than to dry your hair in the kitchen for a week.

            If you don’t have a car, no you don’t need the car stuff, that is true.

            I’m not trying to be snarky with you here, it’s just, there are things you will save yourself a lot of pain and anguish by knowing them. If you don’t want to know them, or haven’t needed to know them yet (lucky duck!), that’s fine, but don’t brag about it. If you do end up needing it ask, or understand you might have a higher than expected cost or level of inconvenience.

        • lumenatrix

          I would actually suggest that is part of figuring out how to be an adult. Knowing enough about how to do things so you won’t starve/get hurt/sit in the dark, but also acknowledging where your strengths and weaknesses are so you know when to jump in yourself and when to outsource if it’s possible.

          The adulting part comes where you realize there’s a difference between acknowledging a weakness and reveling in one. Honestly, older folks do it too, so Millennials don’t have a monopoly on this. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been showing someone at work who’s older than me (not even that much older, I’m almost 40 and they’re maybe mid-50s) how to do something on the computer and they respond proudly with “Oh, I can never figure out these computer things! Tee Hee!” It isn’t cute. You are a grown up, at least TRY to figure it out. If you really cannot, but there’s another part of whatever we do that you excel at, then maybe we can work something out, but just throwing up your hands like a hot house orchid is lame.

          • Isabel C.

            I tend to agree in principle: if you need to do something more than once in a blue moon, you should either know how to do it yourself or know who to pay and how much-don’t impose on people whose job it isn’t.

            And some of the joking is irksome, for sure. But some is either a coping mechanism for people who are trying to learn or a reaction to scolding: when I get incredulous “don’t you even know how to [random DIY home repair thing] or lectures about why I should, my knee jerk response is “You’re damn right I don’t, and I don’t need to, and fuck you.”

          • lumenatrix

            I do agree that the smug, incredulous “you don’t know how to ?!?!” when the person has very normally stated that they never had to do something before so they don’t know how is just as assholeish. It’s not cool to make someone feel bad for not knowing something. It’s the “tee hee! Look how silly I am, I can’t do that!” thing that bugs me. Not that you were doing that at all, obviously, it’s just the thing I hate.

    • Pepper Conchobhar

      Ok, listen. I had a pretty well-rounded childhood but there was one small gap was was overlooked.

      I was never taught how to cook meat. Couldn’t roast, fry, bake, sautee… I could brown hamburger and sausage, but that’s it.

      The thing is, we were poor and meat was simply too valuable to risk being in inexperienced hands, so I learned to bake, prep, and make a ton of fantastic side dishes, but not cook meat.

      And nobody realized it until I got married and moved out on my own.

      This was pre-internet days, so I had two options. Books and neighbors.

      I learned. It took time and there was some waste and trial and error – but I learned.

      Now days, we all have a freaking library of congress at our fingertips and every cooking book, magazine, blog, and chef instructor at our disposal 24 hours a say.

      The ONLY reason someone in the Western world can’t do something is because they don’t *want* to learn.

      I cannot sew anything beyond a straight line or a button and I don’t want to. I’m not going to blame my lack of sewing skills on anything but the fact that I don’t want to do it.

      So either accept that your lack of skills is a choice – or make it a priority to learn certain skills.

      Period.

      • austindirtydog

        A. MEN. I have about 40 millennials that work for me. One day, I was laying on the floor trying to fix a washing machine (by watching YouTube videos!) and asked the girl that was standing there watching me if there was a laundromat nearby (we own self serve dogwashes and use a LOT of towels). She shrugged and said, “I don’t know.” I sat up, thought a minute and said, “There is an iPad, a computer and 4 smart phones in this building. Please go look it up.” And then my head exploded. I have decided that part of *my* job is to teach these people how to figure out life. It’s a big job 😉 (In fact, going to add “Have you Googled?” to my list of common phrases I use)

        • sapphiremind

          Though, as a non-millennial, I still might have answered the question as posed the same way. “Is there a laundromat nearby?” vs “Can you please find a nearby laundromat?” One is asking for personal knowledge, one is asking for them to find one.

          • Paul Hoogeveen

            Yes, but the first form of the question requires taking the initiative to obtain said knowledge; the second simply requires compliance.

          • sapphiremind

            But if someone has a google device in hand (as the poster below stated) I might also think that they were asking if I *knew* one, ie, I could vouch for its quality or price. Or I might still have answered the same way because many times when you are asked a question, especially in an informal environment (while this was at a job, it was not a formal part of duties nor a formal type of job) you might just answer the question asked. It would have been good, yes, to follow up with “I don’t know, I can look some up though if you’d like.”

            There are many things in my job where I have to infer all the steps involved, but I tend to answer questions as they were asked. Might also have been different if the boss had said “This is going to take a while. You need to wash these in the meanwhile at a laundromat.” Then I would expect the person to be able to look up where a close laundromat was. Or inquire about the budget, because the closest might not be the cheapest, and if I were an employee at what sounds like a fairly low-paying job, I would not be washing those towels out of my own pocket.

          • Gregory Brown

            Initiative is the word.

          • random_observer_2011

            That’s grammatically valid. But who actually thinks that way besides Sheldon Cooper and really annoying schoolkids?

          • sapphiremind

            Apparently I do. *shrugs* There’s probably a good chance I’m on the spectrum somewhat.

          • lumenatrix

            Yeah, but to the first question I most likely would answer “I don’t know, I can try to look one up.” Because if my boss is asking for a laundromat, I’ll let her know I don’t know off the top of my head but that if she can give me a few minutes I can look one up.

        • Flatfootflewzy

          So as you were looking at your phone (or a google device, as I call them) you mentally criticized your subordinate for not finding a google device for you. Let me fill you in.
          They were thinking, ‘hey asshole, with the Google device in your hand, why don’t you type ‘laundromat’ into your Google device?’

          It took me a while to figure out if this was satire or not, I decided it wasn’t. As a result, I pity the 40 millennials who work under you.

          • WNP84

            Did you not do well with reading comprehension? Was busy watching a video on how to repair the washing machine. I pity your employer you overgrown child.

          • Flatfootflewzy

            Oh I see the problem here, in case you didn’t know, you can open another tab on the browser. Silly oldie, unable to use her techology.

          • itsalljustaride

            “As a manager, it is rather silly to delegate tasks that take longer to delegate than they actually take to do. Rather inefficient.”

            Death by 1000 cuts. And it does not take longer to delegate this task than it does to open another tab (when you’re watching a video how does that work, multitasking on a phone is hard enough you cant watch a video when it is another tab).

          • Flatfootflewzy

            If it takes any longer to type laundromat into google than it does to say ‘where is the nearest laundromat’, you’re doing it wrong.

            Also, you have to divert your attention from the video to say ‘where is the nearest laundromat’, so that argument is wholly invalid.

          • itsalljustaride

            Even by those standards it takes less time to delegate.

            Steps that actually need to happen:

            Stop video
            Open new tab
            Wait for it to load
            Type in laundromat
            Wait for results to load
            Find the one that is actually closest
            See if it is actually open

            Steps that need to happen to delegate:

            Speak the words “find me a laundromat” or any variation that would indicate that desire.

            You are being needlessly dense about this whole thing, and are excusing poor cognitive skills by the employee. Are you 12 years old?

          • Flatfootflewzy

            Well actually I’m 28, solely own an energy efficiency company which employs 15 people, and grosses 2+ million on a good year. So perhaps I know a bit more about managing people and building a company than the snot nose child you mistake me for.

            Also, as part of the generation who is attempting to fix the country and economy the boomers so thoroughly destroyed, you might be able to understand why all this millennial bashing hits me hard.

          • Your point seems to be Yeah! So fire the brat who clearly is useless and just ask Google.

          • Sherrie Rardin

            BS, The FIRST thing you learn as a manager is to delegate jobs. Penny time for penny jobs. You certainly don’t spend management time on penny jobs. Period.

          • Mrs Whatsit

            This person is part of the problem and doesn’t even realize it.

          • DeboraR

            In the generations preceding the millennials, when a supervisor asked a question, it was understood that you were to find the answer if you didn’t have it already – at least it was understood by those who valued being employed. It is a part of the work ethic that we all followed and somehow seems to be lacking among the younger set. Apparently, it’s something that needs to be taught these days. Glad there are still people willing to instruct.

          • sapphiremind

            And yet the woman could have taught that without being condescending to her employee. “Please find the nearest and the cheapest” instead of insulting her first. And then taking her aside to teach her that if she asks a question like that in the future, she should find the answer if she doesn’t know. If they don’t know, teach them, without being a jerk. Someone taught you at some point.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            Disagree. No one ever taught me to find an answer to a question that my employer asked. It’s common sense. They employ you. If they ask a VERY SIMPLE question and your only response is, “I don’t know” you are too stupid to work there and should be fired until you have basic common sense.

            That’s the issue. You brought it up perfectly. Don’t insult that precious little snow flake as they might need a safe space to cry it out for a bit. The real world is not as forgiving and if you can’t figure simple things out quickly…well…Darwin.

          • sapphiremind

            Or you could be something other than a superior asshole and be frustrated that this person was clearly *not* taught that, so take the 2 seconds to teach them that for the future. We live in a cooperative society and so if their parents dropped the ball, do them a favor for the rest of their life and teach them.

            I had a millennial friend who was constantly unhappy at work and switching jobs because his boss was stupid, he had better ideas than his boss, blah blah blah. I told him it didn’t matter if his boss didn’t have two brain cells to rub together, he was the boss and to some extent you have to play a role when you are starting out and take your licks like everyone else. Instead of sympathizing with him (wouldn’t help) or berating him for being a special snowflake (wouldn’t help), I taught him things I learned from my parents or learned on my own, honestly, I can’t remember it’s been so long.

            After that? He was able to hold down a job successfully and more happily, because he was taught how to play the game. He was finally able to advance at work because he was able to play the game. That’s how you improve people.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            Sadly for you, common sense can’t be taught and you can’t fix stupid.

          • Gregory Brown

            Robert, it’s clear that we are dealing here with two precious snowflakes who have never had their personalities sanded by the carborundum of life. Their feewings have been hurt. How dare we? It is entirely possible that they have never learned that life is unfair, that shit happens, and that they are unique — JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. In a phrase, they have not grown up.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            Spot on, Greg.

            I knew it would be fun to post after this article due to its nature and the type of people I knew who would be reading it. I got a good laugh out of it, sadly though, none of them learned anything.

          • Gregory Brown

            Don’t be so pessimistic. Some of my best growth has been achieved after taking criticism. Even if, at the time, I was blowing it off. They aren’t dumb. Just incurious. That’s our job — to incite some curiosity among them.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            That’s the point that they don’t seem to get. Without critiscm you can’t improve. If it’s nothing but good jobs and high fives people will go their entire life an idiot.

          • Jasmine Jones

            ^ facts. If we’re never told we need to do better, or that something our name is on could have been done better, we’ll never think there’s room, or need for improvement.

          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            Two stupid people slapping each other on the backs for tired ideas and cliched phrases. Like I just told Greg: Retire already. I’m sure you’re basically good people under it all, but so is everybody. The important thing is who you are after the world has put you through the ringer. And you guys both sound like dicks.

          • Snake Justus

            They can’t retire. They’re too busy fucking your mother.

          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            I feel sorry for them, then. And for you for being so moronic.

          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            No, it’s clear we’re dealing with two old idiots in Gregory Brown and Robert Parkhurst.

            You guys speak exactly alike: Robert with his “common sense can’t be taught and you can’t fix stupid” and you with your “precious snowflake” line. Retire already. I’m sure you’re basically good people under it all, but so is everybody. The important thing is who you are after the world has put you through the ringer. And you guys both sound like dicks.

          • Gregory Brown

            I would dare say that you are incapable of many basic life skills that do not rely on the mastery of the cell phone, although I may well be wrong. You are not sure we are good people, which you said, but which is a lie, and in fact you think we are not good people, since you proceed to insult us. Fair enough. The world’s ringer is what demands life skills. It asks you to know how to cook, and how to sharpen a kitchen knife, how to raise a child, change diapers, mix formula, change diapers at 2 a.m. in the dark, how to nurse a sick child at 3 a.m. and to clean up diarrhea and puke without gagging, how to discipline a child, how to mediate sibling rivalries and how to support a child to achieve his or her own accomplishments, so that they can sense their own worth without being told they are marvelous, having achieved nothing, how to drive and maintain a car, how to maintain a household, including basic cleaning, painting, paper hanging, wiring, plumbing, glazing, etc. It requires you to be able to shovel snow, or to operate and maintain a snow blower. It requires you to know how to mow a lawn, and to service and maintain a lawn mower. It requires you to know how to change a tire on the side of the road, in winter, at night. It requires you to know how to maintain a relationship, and relationships, how to be professional in your job and in your dealings with co-workers, so that no matter what differences you have with them on Monday, you start fresh on Tuesday, to get the job done, and done well. It does not always require all of these from you, and more, but it requires the will to not be helpless, and to learn what you need to do to succeed at home and work, and everywhere else. That’s life, buddy. And that’s the point of the article.

          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            I’m going to let you get the last word, but you realize nobody cares, right, you egomaniac?

          • Gregory Brown

            OK, my friend, you can have the last word, because it matters to your ego. But a lot of people care. A lot of people are not satisfied not knowing how to do things for themselves, and are actively learning those things. Because learning is the most important thing in life. It never should stop. I was inspired to learn how to build a harp, so I learned, and built one. Not everyone wants to build a harp, but many people will learn the things I mentioned and more. And more power to them, and you, when you set yourself to learning.
            https://scontent.ford1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13782105_10208287450798778_2172628809026443816_n.jpg?oh=fb3008ed89a8c0359b1b9ef9b1e0a9ce&oe=585F7A24

          • Gregory Brown
          • Gregory Brown
          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            You sound like a dick.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            I sound honest. The truth is painfully dickish.

          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            What the thinker thinks the prover proves. You think like a dick, you prove like a dick. Many people do not think like you or act like you, believe it or not.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            I will take that as a compliment. Thanks.

            I am me. I act like myself and I don’t care if others like it. The truth is the truth regardless of how much it hurts someones precious feelings. It’s the mindless, idiot drones who are too busy trying to be what someone else wants them to be instead of themselves.

          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            You shouldn’t take it as a compliment, but that again just shows your confirmation bias at work, something which you will remain oblivious about until perhaps something big enough trumps your massive ego and you realize you’re not as great as you think you are.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            If you consider it being ‘great’ to have common sense and not be a moron then wonderful. Thanks for the second compliment.

          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            You have trouble understanding words because you are a moron. There are no compliments being given here and your rewordings to suit your ego have no bearing on reality.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            I understand then just fine. You’re the moron who keeps saying things that many would take as an insult that i believe is a compliment.

            If you knew me you’d understand…

          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            Again, you are the moron who can’t interpret words properly, which is why you twist them to form a compliment for yourself to enjoy. It’s called cognitive bias and you are still a dick.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            Don’t get mad at me because you’re too stupid to form a proper insult.

            The entire article was about ‘common sense’ and the apparent lack thereof. I’m sorry if I comment on the article and if my ‘words’ had a negative impact on your life. Actually, I don’t care at all. Sounds like a personal problem.

            Edit: Furthermore, don’t tell me how to ‘interpret’ what you said. If you meant it another way then that’s a problem with YOUR delivery. I took it as a compliment. It is YOUR problem if it wasn’t intended as such.

          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            I’m going to tell you what I told yer buddy there: I’m going to let you get the last word, but you realize nobody cares, right, you egomaniac?

          • Gregory Brown

            You sound like yet another precious snowflake.

          • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

            You’ve got that quite wrong, but please trot out some more tired old phrases. Let’s see you get real “out of the box”.

          • The Oatmeal Savage

            I find a lot of millennials feel that ‘I don’t know’ is the end of the conversation and an excuse to go back to looking bored.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            I’ve spent the last year trying to break a millennial of his ways. It’s tough as he seems to be ‘okay’ with doing a poor job over and over again on pretty basic things. It’s not that all of his work is poor as a lot of it is quite good but sometimes, I just want to ask how they made it through life thus far.

          • She in no way insulted her. She pointed out the devices. If that is condescending or insulting to an employee, she should look for another job. To me that is pointing out the obvious. Being a jerk would be saying, ok brainless.. look it up!

          • sapphiremind

            She was condescending as all hell. Again, simply asking her to look it up would have achieved the same effect without belittling the employee first. It has nothing to do with special snowflake status, just basic psychology.

            “I was asking you to look it up if you didn’t know” (if the person still was clueless at that point, I’m on the same train for some of the idiocy)

            “There are a million devices here, go look it up” is condescending and designed to insult the girl.

            Teach kids instead of just holding yourself superior to them. Yes you’re so much better than they were because you were raised with a good work ethic, but if they didn’t learn it at home, do the entire world a favor and start teaching it now.

          • Sherrie Rardin

            And there folks is why you have millenials who feel work is below them, that they have to like their job all the time, and that they are worth huge amounts of money an hour. LOL Grow up!

          • Gregory Brown

            Well said. They have not grown up.

          • Gregory Brown

            I think you need to change your handle from “sapphiremind” to “cubiczirconiamind.” You are, for lack of a better term, spoiled rotten.

          • sapphiremind

            Except the birthstone of my daughter is sapphire, which is why I chose this 😛

            Spoiled rotten is not requesting people treat others with respect and teach them instead of insulting them. I’m not a millennial, I just am a nice person. And I frequently have to teach adults about how to properly care for their child, even though I may think they’re stupid, telling them that isn’t going to make them learn better.

          • Gregory Brown

            My apologies. In what way do you teach adults about caring for their children? Is that your job?

          • sapphiremind

            Yep, it is part of my job. I work in healthcare and we have seen time and again that the vast majority of time, shitty parents go home with their kids or will end up with their kids eventually. So, instead of berating them and making it harder for them to bond with their children, we encourage them and make their bond stronger and try to teach them positive ways to be a good parent. These aren’t parents that are excessively abusive, but just selfish, thoughtless people who could become abusive in the right circumstances. So we try to make those circumstances not happen.

            Just like positive reinforcement works better on dogs, it works better on humans too. That doesn’t mean you have to praise them when they do bad things, but trying to redirect their mistakes into learning is what is actually successful in teaching. Psychologically, once someone starts being defensive, you’ve already lost. They are no longer listening constructively, only trying to protect themselves, rightly or wrongly.

          • Gregory Brown

            Well dang! You do good work. I happen to work with kids on the autism spectrum.

          • DaveP

            If I’m paying you your salary, and I’m doing the work while you watch, you’re lucky if “condescending” is all you get. “Fired for snotting off and being lazy” is 100% on the table.

          • aimeslee

            Suck it up, Buttercup and learn not to take it personally, because it isn’t. 😉

          • Erin

            common sense, common courtesy, and the the value of being employed don’t seem to be all that “common” or “valued” these days!

          • random_observer_2011

            Also potentially valid. On the other hand, dude was already dual-tasking and probably figured stand-around Josephine might do something more useful than zero-tasking. Pre-millennial employees generally understood their role included usefulness, rudimentary interpretation of the requirements of a situation, and sporadic level-1 displays of initiative.

          • Erin

            As this person is looking at directions on their “google device” to fix the washing machine… It’s called common sense and common courtesy. Help the person out.

          • Sherrie Rardin

            You are part of the problem. Did you bother to read the part about the author lying on the floor trying to fix a washing machine? If that person is the boss, it is their right to expect to tell someone else to do what they need done without being told “Asshat do it yourself.” Sorry, that goes with getting the paycheck. Honestly, if someone shows that little initiative all the time, they would not work for us very long. “No, I don’t, but I can find out.” would have been the correct answer.

          • Travis Bryan Ross

            No, actually I think you have it backwards. The absolute best bosses are those people who will never tell an employee to do something they otherwise wouldn’t do at that moment.

            Remember: people don’t quit jobs; they quit bosses.

          • Sherrie Rardin

            Simply not true. There are any number of reasons people quit – not liking the commute, not liking the actual work they are doing, not feeling comfortable with their coworkers, believing they were worth more somewhere else, changing fields, going back to school, etc, etc. However, the number one reason people get fired is because they do not take initiative to get better at their job. Clearly you have never ever even taken a business course because the first thing they teach is delegate, delegate, delegate. I am a believer that a boss SHOULD know HOW to do what they ask their employees to do whenever possible but that is why you hire people to begin with. Otherwise, if I am going to do it myself, why do I need to pay someone else to do it? Wake up

          • Jasmine Jones

            Lol I’m pretty sure a LOT of people DO quit jobs, not bosses, myself included. My bosses across my last 4 jobs (since 2012) were all awesome, I only left to work somewhere ready to pay me more, and took great references with me everytime. What are you basing that statement on?

            Also, my current boss will ask “have you tried Google yet?” Anytime anyone on my team asks him something general lol, and I don’t think teaching someone initiative/self-sufficiency in this way is a bad thing!

          • Denton Salle

            They also get fired by bosses for not doing there job. She’s dead on. You won’t last a week where I work

          • tx bound

            your analysis of the conversation, and how a person that is employed should respond is a great example of the problem. The point was 1 person, the boss, was working and 1 person, the employee, was standing there. Boss needed laundromat location, delegated task to employee, and employee was content with the notion that her current level of knowledge was sufficient for completing the task and no further effort was required. She was content with not knowing the answer, and having the boss have to look the information up – either by stopping the current task, or later – after hours, when the boss was still working and the employee was out with friends lamenting how hard they have it and they can’t seem to get ahead in life.

          • Flatfootflewzy

            This has nothing to do with the employees response, it has everything to do with the managers inability to take the 15 seconds it would take find the answer herself.

          • itsalljustaride

            It does not take 15 seconds to delegate the task. I thought you said it took less time for that. By your own scale you are wrong.

          • tx bound

            15 seconds of the boss’s time…while the employee continues to stand there, just watching the person that signs her paycheck work? This is acceptable to you? I gather you don’t own your own business, and I wonder, by chance, do you happen to work in road construction?

          • Flatfootflewzy

            I appreciate the reference, road construction crews are the worst, but your assumption is wrong. Of my 15 employees, I can say with the utmost confidence that my millennials are the best workers. Quick to learn new things, flexible, not entitled. Pretty much the opposite of the narrative you jack wagons are trying to spin.

            As a parting thought (actually, parting shot), there’s a reason that millennials, on average, have a 5-10 higher iq than previous generations. The reason is leaded gasoline. Y’all have lead poisoning.

          • tx bound

            Thanks for the name calling, and the (wrong) assumption on my age- I’m not quite that old. Generalizations are a way of identifying common characteristics of a seemingly homogeneous group. “Common” does not mean 100%. When a characteristic is positive, e.g. “Millennials are generally more creative in using technology to problem solve”, it is mostly accepted without issue, but if the characteristic is not positive. e.g. “Millennials are technology dependent, not tech-savvy” (actually supported by multiple studies), it is considered a narrative, which is the current word used to discount information/facts that one doesn’t agree with. I’ve have/had several millennials work for me – my overall conclusion is that most 1) feel as though many tasks are beneath them, 2) cannot handle criticism, and 3) have unrealistic expectations of the time it takes to advance.

          • aimeslee

            Flatfootlewzy, Pepper said no such thing! She was on the floor fixing a washer and was not holding a phone. She told the employee there were 4 devices in the building. CAN’T YOU EVEN READ???? (maybe, but comprehension SUCKS!)

        • Further Monigal

          That’s rather smug

        • Agni

          …. You didn’t just open another tab and look it up yourself, which would have taken much less time?

          I fear for your generation.

          • itsalljustaride

            You don’t understand that as an employee, having to have someone constantly hold your hand and tell you every step you need to take and micromanage you is a poor management strategy?

            I fear for your employability.

        • Coaster26

          When I worked retail, someone asked me if I knew blank about such and such (been a while, I forgot what exactly) and I knew the person who DID know would be in shortly, so, knowing that more likely than not, it was something I could look up or read off the product box, I said; “No, I don’t, but I’m sure I can find out!” The customer said they loved that attitude, and I got the sale even though the knowledgeable person came over eventually.

        • FaintCryofFreedom

          I have learned A LOT from watching youtube how-to videos! We live in the age of information. There is no excuse for not availing one’s self of knowledge, even for simple stuff like lawn mower maintenance (which I am coming up on myself, so I’ll soon be off to the local Sears store to ask about the basics -filters, etc?)

        • This isn’t purely a generational problem. I am a millennial manager of septuagenarian volunteers and I think it’s part of the dynamic between manager and employee. I’m tasked with considering every single detail of the job and they often don’t feel a need to self start, instead waiting for my very clear instructions even though the tasks are basically the same every day. I take it for granted that I’m paid to constantly be thinking about improvement and daily maintenance and they’re just around to help out.

        • FraggleSnooth

          But if I’m at work, I’m not going to ask to use someone’s phone or personal tablet to look something up, unless I know that there’s institutional support in that request. If I’m asking as a favor to my boss, that’s one thing. Which is why I wouldn’t hesitate to find more information with any directive. But I wouldn’t want to go walk away in search of a computer unless I knew that’s what was wanted of me.

      • Brian O’Connell

        I learned to do all the things simply because I was always independent minded as a latchkey kid in the 70s and 80s, However with the ubiquity of the microwave oven and fast food (that’s right, believe it or not, there wasn’t ALWAYS a Starbucks and McDonalds on every corner), it’s created a culture of laziness.

        In 20 years, I wouldn’t be surprised if we started hearing reports of people starving to death during a blackout because they couldn’t figure out how to fry an egg.

        • CatVideos

          This comment section has turned into an ageism bashing fest. I think there are two things to consider when discussing millennials. First, You guys (latchkey kids, baby boomers…etc) raised us. You gave us the world and told us we can do any thing (sounds nice, but not actually helpful growing up). I wanted to be a scientist, but who the fuck is going to send me to expensive school? My broke ass dysfunctional mom? Then, which is my second point, the housing market crashed in 2008 right as millennials are maturing into adults. Millennials grew up into a world with little money and few jobs. I could imagine how this environment created a generation of ‘lazy’ people. My generation is the first in a long time that had to work hard to survive, with little time for actually taking care of themselves, and with nothing to show for it because most of us still live with our parents. I’m not trying to clear millennials of blame, of course we are to blame, but so is society, so are our parents, so is our education system, and so are the banks that cheated wall street into a fake reality until no one could pay back their debts.

          • Natasha

            ‘I wanted to be a scientist, but who the fuck is going to send me to expensive school? My broke ass dysfunctional mom?’
            Maybe get yourself there if you want it so bad?… you can’t have everything handed to you on a silver platter. Yes times are different for us… but we need to adapt, not just sit on our asses and cry because no one made is easy for us.

          • chanceofrainne

            Funny, your generation sure as hell got everything handed to you, but you act like millennials are the problem because they got participation trophies. I ask you: who was handing out the trophies, hmm?

          • Coaster26

            the ones who vowed that they wouldn’t parent as their parents did because they didn’t like being told they weren’t the best at something.

          • bella Mater

            Imagine the generation the Safe Spaces and Trigger Warnings generation is going to produce…

          • Sherrie Rardin

            Nope. Some of us raised our kids right. And when the public school system started preaching entitlement and that you “can be anything you want” we pulled our kids out and put them in private schools where they learned to work hard and that everyone was different with different levels of ability. Sorry, but you simple CAN’T be anything you want. If you don’t have physical talent and ability, no matter how hard you work, you are never going to be a professional baseball player, for example. Some kid who studies 5 hours a night but does not have an adequate IQ is never, ever going to be doctor. It just is not going to happen because they don’t have the brain cells to learn, really learn, the material. Your problem is nicely high lighted in your post. “Who is going to send me to expensive school?” NEWSFLASH! No one. No one owes you an education! No one owes you a good paying job. Work your ass off and do it, get it for yourself! That attitude is what is wrong with your generation. Not all of them, to be sure, but a whole lot of them and that has been well-documented. I don’t know where you get the idea that your generation is the first to have to work hard. Honey, that has been happening since the cavemen and in every generation. The blame is on people who are too lazy to really work for what they want. It’s not the banks, the parents, etc, etc. It is YOU. The truth hurts.

          • thelaine

            Truth.

          • Why do you believe someone else has to send you anywhere?

          • Mars1010

            IMO, Your comment succinctly represents a problematic psychological dilemma for M’s. For reference, I’m a Gen X parent. So encouraging your children to be their best is wrong? Did you think that your school tuition would be magically be paid by what you call your broke ass dysfunctional Mom? Did you not realize that YOU might have to make an effort along the way? Blame the Mom, blame the housing crisis. Blame the job market, blame the economy, blame society, blame parents, blame the educational system. Why not examine your own self-hate for a moment? Why not try to make a better future?

        • ash

          Frying an egg without electricity sounds like an easy and safe thing to do..

          • WNP84

            It’s actually pretty easy. And safe.

          • Alexa Smith

            Only if you have the tools or proper stove. Most places don’t have gas ones any more.

          • Coaster26

            When I was looking at houses recently, I found that there were none in my area that did NOT have a gas range. Perhaps your lack of gas appliances is a regional thing, and not an ageist thing.

          • Alexa Smith

            Could be, My ex step family’s house had one, but where I am now it’s pretty much those flat top ones, or for crappy apartments, coil type, stoves everywhere.

          • Sherrie Rardin

            Disagree. This might be a regional thing only. Certainly the Midwest has gas stoves in the majority of houses. It is significantly cheaper.

          • Anastasia Weaver

            It is very regional. I moved from Chicago where all the stoves are largely gas to Kentucky, where stoves are largely electric because the bedrock is often too high up to run lines. If you dig in my backyard you hit boulder sized slabs of limestone anywhere from one to five feet under the grass. The first few things I baked turned out weird, and I learned the hard way electric heats up fast and cools slowly. But I learned… also it’s possible to fry an egg over a small backyard fire, a handmade wood stove, or the grill… without electricity. You just have to want to learn it and then actually put in the effort.

          • DeboraR

            It is, actually.

          • LMAO! It’s possible.

        • Christian Gonzales

          Interesting that you believe “it” has created a culture of laziness when it sounds like maybe your generation didn’t teach their kids how to do anything useful, by your points.

        • Brianna Sparklin

          You guys instead of being irritated by not so old people thinking and acting like they’re ninety, this is terrible when I’m looking for jobs, because you look at my lack of crows feet and think “incapable.”
          Whoever is stupid enough to hire my millennial ass though, this will be great. Since apparently older means ancient and cranky now, the bar you set will be so low it will be sooo possible for me to steal your job without you even putting your fake reading glasses on.
          Oh is that not the hostile work environment you want? Hmm.

      • Robert Parkhurst

        “I was never taught how to cook meat. Couldn’t roast, fry, bake, sautee… I could brown hamburger and sausage, but that’s it.”

        Perhaps this is the problem. You don’t need to be ‘taught’ how to do something that is this simple. Figure it out. Jeez. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a cook book telling you exact times to figure out how to cook meat. It’s not complicated. Fire + Meat = food?!?! OMG! So hard!

        Baking on the other hand isn’t a simple skill that every adult should know how to do. Especially from scratch but if you’re too stupid to read the instructions on the box like the author and get an edible end product then you’re simply an idiot.

        Stop waiting for someone to teach you basic common sense things….

        • Linda Elmquist Chapman

          That’s a very rude response to a thoughtful comment. If you were my kid I’d be embarrassed.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            This is a very millennial response. The real world is tough and not everything is candy and unicorns. Would you like a safe space?

            I watched 4 Princeton educated interns try and figure out how to fit a desk through a door when it clearly was too large to fit. After them spending 30 minutes bashing their heads against the wall I asked, “Why not just take the legs off?” and their response was, “You can do that?”. This very thing showed me that people are idiots regardless of education level. Common sense can’t be taught.

          • Linda Elmquist Chapman

            I’m 58. No, I don’t need a “safe space”. I’d sure appreciate some kindness and civility though!

          • Robert Parkhurst

            Then you understand that it is/was your generation that raised and created this new generation of complete pussies otherwise known as millennials. 🙁

          • Linda Elmquist Chapman

            I taught my kids not to be rude or to call an entire generation “complete pussies” Sheesh. You’re mean. Doesn’t matter if you know how to fry an egg or take the legs off a table in order to move it, or if the people you’re insulting are only on the internet. It’s a shame.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            My parents taught me to be honest. I may be overly honest but I don’t care. It’s the truth, regardless of the words used and whether they hurt someone’s precious feelings.

          • bella Mater

            You don’t have to be nice, but you really ought to be civil.

          • Eric Shepard

            You watched them struggle for 30 minutes before offering the slightest bit of help in the way of a suggestion? I guess you just enjoy watching people fail.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            If it’s something this simple, yes. You have to give people a chance to fail and figure things out. If someone can’t figure something like this out, how do you expect them to figure something out that is actually complicated and urgent?

        • chanceofrainne

          “He has watched me do it and figured it out.” In other words, you had the time to cook at home and you took the time to make sure he was watching you while you cooked. And you probably explained what you were doing while you were doing it. In other words, you taught him.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            Negative to everything you said minus the having time to cook. I didn’t explain anything to him. I didn’t care if he was watching me or not.

            In all honesty, it’s an egg. Is it having time to cook something that takes no longer than a TV dinner?

          • chanceofrainne

            Why should they take the blame for not being able to find jobs in the economy their parents and grandparents destroyed, or for getting participation trophies that their parents and grandparents passed out?

          • Robert Parkhurst

            Very good. Keep passing that blame. At some point they need to turn into adults and stop blaming every bit of their childhood on what someone did or didn’t do. Pathetic.

          • Sherrie Rardin

            It takes the same amount of time to cook an egg as it does to microwave a tv dinner. Three minutes. Haven’t you heard of a three-minute egg? It is not a time thing. It’s a laziness one. Heck. with all the internet recipes out there with even video on them, it is possible to turn out a gourmet meal in 35-40 minutes.

          • chanceofrainne

            Sure, if you’ve got the money to buy all those gourmet ingredients, someplace that sells them, and a kitchen to cook them in. I’ve got a friend whose apartment doesn’t even have a stove; what’s she supposed to do?

          • BozoerRebbe

            A two-burner Coleman camping stove that runs on propane is about $40. Single burner electric induction cookers are about $50. If you millenials are as creative as you say you are, you should be able to figure out stuff like this. Prehistoric humans figured out how to cook without electricity or natural gas, you should be able to feed yourself.

            FWIW, none of my kids got participation trophies, in fact, a couple of times my son got cheated out of trophies for winning and I had to explain to him the cold hard facts of life. Sometimes you lose. Life is not fair. Get used to it. All three of my kids, now adults, have steady, responsible jobs.

        • Jimmy

          The world would be a better place if you were dead.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            Truth hurts. Thanks for the truly millennial response though of wishing someone dead for simply calling someone who clearly is an idiot, an idiot.

            At the same time, I log in and give my opinions via Facebook. Perhaps stop being a coward and wish that out in the open so we know who you are? I know, I know…not something a millennial would do as that would be taking responsibility for your actions…

          • Rüdiger Thiede

            … man, I hate my generation. But your responses were beautiful 😀

          • Robert Parkhurst

            I’m also apart of the same generation. Granted, a bit on the older side but it sickens me just how stupid some of these kids are today. They have a great education but can’t figure out simple common sense things. You can’t teach common sense and you can’t fix stupid.

          • Rüdiger Thiede

            What would you say counts as the older side of this generation, BTW? I’m 27, so according to some people I’m out, according to others I’m in. Seem to be different definitions floating about. Then again, stressing too much about precise definitions of made-up Internet words is a pretty Millennial thing to do.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            “Then again, stressing too much about precise definitions of made-up Internet words is a pretty Millennial thing to do.”

            This is exactly right. I graduated high school in 2000 so I’m 34. I’ve heard that mid-thirties are millennials but I don’t know. It’s so stupid. All I know is that a very lot of kids in college right now are complete idiots.

          • icromaholic

            You come off as incredibly bitter, jaded, and miserable. You’re the one who apparently needs a safe space, like a therapist. You’ve wasted how much of your day now on here? posting on a blog and telling people how stupid they are to prove how superior you are over an entire generation of people. Congratulations? Hope you got a couple likes and feel validated now.

          • Robert Parkhurst

            First of all, it takes roughly 60 seconds to view an email, click the link and respond to a rebuttal. So, in all, this has ‘wasted’ approximately 10 minutes of my day.

            Secondly, does it make one superior having common sense? I don’t think it does. Pointing out the lack of common sense in others isn’t being superior, it’s trying to help. The fact that college kids even have ‘safe spaces’ now is enough for me to know that a very lot of them are idiots.

            When I was in college we went there to not only learn but to have opposing views to argue. Now, people go to college to reinforce what they already believe is true and if anyone has an opposing view, they require ‘safe spaces’ as to not have a mental break down.

            If that makes me superior, then I’m superior. However, if these kids had it pointed out to them that they were being idiots at a younger age we wouldn’t have a very large part of a generation acting like entitled, much taller toddlers. I’m pointing out truths and facts. Is it me that requires a therapist or is it the people like you who are in denial?

          • icromaholic

            You.

      • Coaster26

        Mostly! Though I blame my lack of sewing skills on the fact that my home ec teacher and my mother refused to let me in the room with the sewing machines after several attempts at using them always caused things to fly off across the room. “Maybe you should just sew it by hand…” Even my ‘machine’ project for home ec was hand sewn at the teacher’s request.

      • JonHoffman

        “Ok, listen. I had a pretty well-rounded childhood but there was one small gap was was overlooked.”

        Yeah, it is a lot easier to feel like a hard-working self-sufficient person when all you have to do is cover ONE small gap. The people struggling with this stuff have tons of overlapping gaps that have built up like debt over years and years of people doing things for them or not mentioning them or teaching them etc…

        Trying to teach yourself good habits of cleaning and cooking and working and saving money and paying taxes and paying bills and getting repairs and doing your own repairs and dealing with circuit breakers and water supply lines and oil changes etc etc etc… all at the SAME time is really hard, and that is where a lot of people are at right now. They are faced with all of these things, or many of them, all at once in rapid succession because at some point they are plopped into the world and told to “figure it out”.

        A lot of millennials had loving parents who took care of a lot of things for them for a long time without mentioning it, and that shielded them from building up those habits and skills and knowledge over time. It is pretty shitty to tear them down over something they were never prepared for. That’s like blasting a mail delivery person because their truck breaks and they don’t know how to fix it, so they post a picture of a steaming engine with the caption “Truck broke down on my route today. I don’t even know what I’m looking at lol”

        • lumenatrix

          Most of us have more than one gap. I’m almost 40 and I still find them all the time, though fortunately they are fewer and fewer as I go. It’s fine to not know how to do things, and I don’t think anyone would expect anyone else to learn everything all at once, that’s the adult-glitter myth.

          I think the issue is when instead of thinking “huh, there’s something I need to figure out along the way” some people go “Oh well! Isn’t it cute I’m so helpless!” and that’s what gets ridiculous. ‘I overdrew my account last month? Shit, let’s go look at what happened and try to make that not happen again’ as opposed to “Oops! Better luck this time!” that kind of thing. Most folks are actually pretty good at this, honestly, and we all have things that will always be a struggle (money is one for me, arithmetic never came easy and that’s basically what budgeting is. So I have to try harder and probably make more slips than most) but rather than thinking it’s cute or something to brag about, brag about your strengths and try to work on the gaps slow-but-steady-like.

          • JonHoffman

            I mostly agree with you, but I think most of the time people aren’t trying to brag when they say things like that. There are undoubtedly some that are bragging, but I think most young people feel some shame about it and are just trying to get some reassurance that other people struggle with things too. Or they might be trying to “own it” as a way of coping.

            A lot of people from this generation feel healthier when they admit to something like that up front instead of trying to hide it away and create a perfect facade for the public. Previous generations struggled with “keeping up appearances” more, and cared about appearing as if they have “everything together” or that they are “making do”, while ours likes being more open about shortcomings so that they can try to relieve some of the pressure placed on them.

      • lumenatrix

        A month after I moved out of the house I had to call my mom and ask her how to hard boil eggs. Turns out I just sorta never learned. It happens to everyone. Just like you said we all have gaps, but the question is, do you throw up your hands and say “oh well!” or do you at least TRY to learn.

        I also think we need to realize we can learn the essential basics of life and still not be good at them, and that’s OK. My great-grandmother in her 100 years on this earth learned how to make a full on, decorated wedding cake in an afternoon. Her pies were worth committing felonies for. At the same time, the woman never met a vegetable she couldn’t boil the life out of. That was her gap. The thing is, she didn’t TELL anyone that, she just offered to bring pie to the pot luck instead of green beans. It’s fine to work your strengths, you don’t need to revel in your weaknesses.

      • Carl

        If you can read you can cook……………anything other than that is an excuse. Keep in mind cooking is like watching a kid, you can’t put in front of the TV… While cooking you have to be FULLY involved in what you are doing.

    • anbachman

      You’d be surprised how quickly you can learn something. I, myself, had to redirect how I spend my online time to learn things instead because I live alone in one of the most expensive cities in North America so I couldn’t get someone else to do it. Not to mention the whole going to school and working thing. The maybe 10 minutes it took to read this article and comment could be used to read up on something you’ve always wanted to do. You’d be surprised how much more satisfying it is.

      I hadn’t thought to read article as gendered simply because I have a load of male and female friends who behave this way. Actually more-so the male than the female friends. I do, however, agree that there can be a lot of pressure on women to have it all and remain pretty level-headed. I’ve been lucky that I have a rad group of say-it-like-it-is lady friends. Generally speaking, we can get away with falling behind on the stereotypical female things because we really get the other shit done, better and faster than our male counterparts. I think it’s an attitude thing.

    • Krud

      Yeah, it’s easy to read this as “There’s not enough self-loathing in today’s generation.”

    • Einelorelei

      Just ask for help. We all have to learn things. Don’t be afraid to ask how to do something. A real friend and a good person will help you out. A worthless judgmental shit is not someone you want in your life any way. We ALL need help some in our lives.

      • BTampa

        I dunno. My 10th grade Geometry teacher was pretty damn judgmental… and I ended up learning a lot and remembering her fondly.

        • Einelorelei

          There’s being instructional and strict and there’s being nasty and judgmental. There’s a difference. I had tough teachers who I admired. They didn’t take any crap. But then I had some teachers who were judgmental power trippers who enjoyed being nasty to kids. There’s a difference. It seems like your teacher is in the instructional and strict category, not the bully judgmental type.

    • Katie S.

      You are making this out to be some bullshit gender issue when it’s not. It’s not about women being expected to “do it all”, it’s about a generation of people (men and women) who think it’s adorable that they don’t know how to do shit, and fall back on the old “I wasn’t taught!” as an excuse to not do better.

      You don’t know how to cook? Read a book, watch a YouTube video, ask someone to show you. I can’t imagine you are just so incredibly busy that you can’t spend half an hour to learn to how budget, or 2 minutes to learn how to sew a button.

      I have an acquaintance who despite being 31 has never taken her child to a dentist because she says “I’m bad at adulting!, hehehe!” It’s not cute and it’s not funny that no one wants to step up and take responsibility for their own lives.

      • omnification

        That’s horrible.. Have you told her to take them? I assume you have, and if so, why on Earth hasn’t she gone

    • i think you’re right. This “having your shit together” can be extremely illusory, like a facebook projection of oneself. I think being honest about the ways in which we dont, and being empathetic, are much more important qualities to have than just this shiny external presentation.

    • BTampa

      “the people who appear to have their shit together… don’t” is just a fairytale you tell yourself to pretend you’re not really behind.

      Let go of it and move forward.

    • sarah

      It seems like the author isn’t able to think about the vast area between wearing something as a badge of honor and feeling deeply ashamed about something. There are many things I am good at–cooking, doing laundry, reading a scientific journal article–and there are other things I am less good at–doing my taxes, mending torn jeans. Many functional adults, my parents included, have similar strengths and weaknesses! Of course I feel stressed and shamed when I fail at something important, be it sticking to a budget or keeping my closet organized… but I try to improve for next time while also reminding myself of all the good things about me and my life.

      I don’t see why anyone should feel guilt over an inability to bake, even though i do find that super confusing because it just involves reading and following directions? I do think if it is negatively impacting your life to lack certain skills, learning them is great!

      I also hate this mythologizing the adults of the past–sure, maybe a higher percentage of them had their financial shit together, but people have always struggled as much as they succeeded. Incompetence is not some new millennial invention, as evidenced by many of the older people I work with!

    • Sporkfighter

      “I think this article perhaps acknowledges, but doesn’t actually empathize with, the fact that the pressure on women to come off as serenely put together is *immense* and can cause a lot of anxiety.”

      Not getting to work because you didn’t get gas it the car while there was enough gas in the car to get to a gas station is what causes anxiety. Coming home to an empty refrigerator because you didn’t bother to buy food Sunday afternoon is what causes anxiety.

      Having your shit together is not a fashion statement, it’s a statement about how you think and that you think beyond this moment. It’s having bread, peanut butter, and jelly on hand always, because it’s a healthy, quick snack, and you know you’re always going to want one at 3:30 in the afternoon. It’s making an appointment to have the oil changed in your car because the sign on the dashboard says you should. It’s simply thinking ahead of the upcoming week, month, and year and having stuff on hand that will make your life much easier then instead of blowing it off now.

      • Tupelo

        The fact that you think a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a healthy snack concerns me.

        • Sporkfighter

          Beats the heck out of most fast food.

        • Seth Balmore

          As does the fact that he gets his oil changed just because a blinking light tells him to.

        • omnification

          America

    • S11288

      I know of a girl who quotes “adulting” on things like, going to have brunch on Sunday morning, and grocery shopping with her mom (whom she still lives with in her mid 30’s because she “can’t afford a fully furnished, new model home” but cannot be bothered to consider living in an apartment or home within her means). I honestly don’t know if she knows how to do ANYTHING but spend money on unnecessary items… She clearly doesn’t understand “adulting” and needs to read this article and quite possibly the one before it! Haha!

    • I don’t think the point is to care what people think about you. I think the point is to care about your own life and start taking care of it. If you really think there is nobody who actually has their shit together, you are mistaken.

    • Melanie Mayne

      I agree completely. I think accepting your flaws and differences is the first step to overcoming them. And it sure helps to have company and laughter along the way. It’s utter bullshit to encourage self hate and social filtering.

    • Gregory Brown

      I am a Old. I was born in the year of Brown Vs. Board of Education (look it up) and I am here to tell you that there is hope. For your adulthood. Interest is not a luxury — it is a tool. You can turn it onto anything you want or need to learn. There is an old phrase, to “take an interest” in something. You can decide to be interested in any skill you think you need to learn, and the crazy thing is, you will learn it. It does take an act of will, but if you apply your interest, with a will, you will succeed and every time you succeed you will feel better and more competent. When my son got his first flat tire on his first car, he got to change it himself. I was there for supervision, but he learned how it’s done because he did it. Now he knows. Cooking is simple. Follow the recipe, EXACTLY, and never leave the kitchen until it is done. Make sure you have the tools to do it, all the ingredients, and a clock. There is no real mystery to food. Most other skills are much the same.

    • pigbot

      Here’s the thing, though – I think a lot of folks tell themselves that the put together people are actually a mess on the inside so that there’s an excuse not to improve or to avoid the discomfort of admitting one doesn’t have their shit together. Not every put together person has a life in unhappy shambles underneath it all. For a lot of people, keeping their shit together is exactly how they maintain happiness. For me, the more disorganized and out of control my life is, the less happy I am. And there are people who are WAY more put together than me who are extremely happy. I can’t just put those people down so I can justify not improving myself. A shift in perspective is needed: don’t feel inferior next to them, feel inspired by them.

    • Carl

      but doesn’t actually empathize with, the fact that the pressure on women to come off as serenely put together is *immense* and can cause a lot of anxiety.

      Thats the freaking problem right there, to many kids were given to much EMPATHY and anxiety is just a fancy term for being afarid of puting your big girl pants on and doing and learning what needs to be doing. If your DOING you have no time for anxiety.

  • Amelia

    i love this article and could not agree more. i have to say though, the phrase “a straight-up raccoon” realllllllly gets me lol. so, so good. happy weekend (finally)!!

  • Emily

    *sigh* While I agree with the overall sentiment of this article, and agree that it isn’t cool to take pride in being stuck in perpetual Adult Toddler mode, I’m also growing weary of the founder’s increasingly preachy and judgmental tones. Guess I’ll just skip her posts and read the other ones that keep more in spirit of why I even started reading TFD in the first place: judgment-free, educational, and compassionate.

    • Diana

      Sadly, I must agree. Even if I know this article doesn’t really apply to me (I live alone in a house that I own which I need to maintain myself since there is no man to come to my rescue, I can change my own tires and generally know how to do a bunch of things most women don’t.) this is just one too many articles in which the author seems to speak from above to the crowd of plebes.

  • Violaine

    I totally agree. A lot of it can be learned alone, even if our parents didn’t teach us. My mother taught me basic sewing, but I never bothered learning how to cook. I didn’t even know how to cook pasta until I was 20, and I never thaught that was cute or funny. One of my housemate basically told me I was so clueless and she made it her mission to teach me basic stuff and 7 years later, I think I am a pretty decent cook!

    One of my colleagues is like this. She tells us about how she doesn’t know how to open a wine bottle, change a light bulb, etc, and how she asks her cute neighbour to do that for her from time to time because “men like to feel useful anyway”. She’s convinced she is so adorable and cute. We all think she’s just lazy and clueless and pretentious…

    It’s fine not to know how to do things, but it’s not fine to take pride in it.

  • rob ryan

    As an old who definitely feels condescending (and more than a little worried) about you millenials, let me just say (painting with a really broad brush):

    I really like you guys, most of the time. You have benefited from growing up in a more progressive society, and your generation seems to have a level of empathy that mine didn’t. You seem to be pretty good people, and you care about a lot of things we *should* have cared more about when I was young.

    OTOH, it’s seems pretty clear (to me) that you guys think waaay to much about how you’re feeling at any given moment — a lot of times you just have to DO, rather than wallowing around in your feels all day.
    Life tip: sometimes it doesn’t matter how you feel. At all.

    Anyway, if you wanna learn to do stuff, ask some of us olds — a lot of us can use a drill and balance a checkbook (yeah, I know that’s not a thing any more — you get my point.)

    And I submit that many of the things we are “out of touch” about don’t really matter that much in terms of quality of life — I know this may sound weird, but most of what you know that relates to popular culture isn’t really that vital to living a fulfilling life. And if you’re in your twenties, there’s already a whole generation of teenagers who consider you hopelessly past it — that’s how it works… 🙂

    • Pepper Conchobhar

      The other thing that I find disturbing is how so many of the younger generation has disdain for ‘older’ skills – such as cooking and camping.

      They have never known a world without the internet or electricity, so, in their minds, that’s the way it will always be.

      In all of human history, modern technology is so damn new. Most of this came to be in *my* lifetime. Hell, most of the world doesn’t have these luxuries now.

      And it can go away very quickly.

      With that said, there is a fantastic sub-culture of Millennials who’re working hard to bring back practical knowledge. They’re gardening, raising chickens, urban gardening, teaching themselves carpentry, pottery, sewing, knitting, and food preservation methods. One of my favorite YouTube channels is just a 20-something YO guy quietly building shelters and making fired clay products with stone age technology.

      The intellectually curious will always be among us. The rest will learn quickly if they ever have to.

      • Bri

        You didn’t experience all the benefits of growing up with electricity? Were you born in the 1700s?

      • LilMissSideEye

        With that said, there is a fantastic sub-culture of Millennials who’re working hard to bring back practical knowledge. They’re gardening, raising chickens, urban gardening, teaching themselves carpentry, pottery, sewing, knitting, and food preservation methods. One of my favorite YouTube channels is just a 20-something YO guy quietly building shelters and making fired clay products with stone age technology.

        Those people have the time and money to invest in that as a hobby (or, on the more extreme end, as a lifestyle). You know what the rest of us have? Bills & jobs.

        And I say this as someone who knows basic knitting and sewing, and could grow a pretty decent garden if I, you know, didn’t live in a shoebox – all of which are skills I developed before I became an adult and had significantly more important things to do. Your priorities are not my priorities, and that’s more than okay.

  • Amy

    I honestly think it’s funny when people ‘have their shit together’ because guess what? That doesn’t mean anything. We’re human, on this planet for a very short amount of time and why would I waste my precious time in worrying about a little mess, working a boring job only because it gives me a false sense of security and money, or looking to live a streamline, monotonous life? I believe people should live how they want – and when life is filled with beautiful people, amazing moments and eating good food (whether you cook it inside, or continuously eat outside), that’s what should matter. It’s not about taking pride in ‘not knowing basic shit’, it’s about taking pride in a life which is rich and diverse and messy at times.

    • Jack W

      Thank you for sharing this, it reminds me of the perspective I gained from reading Pema Chodron’s work, such as When Things Fall Apart. It’s the main reason I can’t stand the hierarchical judgment in this article that reflects a person desperate for approval from others, projecting that onto strangers.

  • Jen

    And while we’re at it, can we stop glorifying being a grown adult who’s afraid to use the phone to make their own doctor’s appointments?

  • Dan Johnston

    Handily YouTube has all these great videos for learning how to do basic everyday adulting. It also has videos about how to make videos if you feel so inclined to share your adulting skills. No real excuse to not know how to do things in this day and age 😛
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ4PA9s1EVA

    • BTampa

      You can even tear into an engine and replace the timing chains with a YouTube video… replaying it as you go as many times as necessary.

      Been there, done that.

  • BTampa

    Good column.

    I’m considerably older than the people you’re writing about and I’ve done things that even most of my peers haven’t – but the only thing exceptional about me is my willingness to try.

    Almost nothing you will ever do hasn’t already been done by someone else. There is a method, a tool, a list of necessary items – already made and ready for you to use. All you really have to do is decide you’ll try and then execute.

    There is one thing I discovered recently, that no one in all of human history has done. When I realized that, the urge to do it was irresistible. To that end, I have established a non-profit corporation and have begun making preparations. It will take, from start to finish, about 14 months – and there will be a very real chance of death every single day.

    You don’t have to start with something like that though. For now… just clean your room.

  • Jamasiel

    While I get the points and agree with the theme, I will never, ever accept shame as a motivator unless I’ve been cruel, and I will not use it on others either.

    • Einelorelei

      Yes. No sense beating yourself or others up. Reach out and help each other.

    • BTampa

      Shame, or the potential for it, is a powerful motivator.

      In addition, the ability to feel shame is necessary for the existence of honor. One of the greatest impediments the younger generation faces is the near-death of shame.

      • Jamasiel

        Fie on this. Electrical shocks are also a powerful motivator.
        “The younger generation” was hand-crafted by “the older generations”, so any bitching belongs in the mirror.

        • BTampa

          There are a few problems with your theory.

          1) It’s really nothing more than an excuse for your own poor performance that does nothing to improve it.

          2) The “older generations” don’t really care whether you eat or not, whether you live or die. We’ve been too busy paying our own way, figuring things out, doing it ourselves, and living our lives. If you can’t or won’t do the same, we have no sympathy.

          3) Nobody’s really “bitching” at your generation. Instead we’re encouraging you to do better. We think you can because we did. Perhaps we’re overly optimistic.

          That may sound harsh, but life is harsh and the sooner you figure that out and adapt to reality, the better off you’ll be, snowflake.

          • The serpent says.

            Ohhh, called me snowflake. You don’t know my age, generation, or anything.
            Enjoy your cartoon frogs.

          • BTampa

            I know you’re a sissy.

            I tried to help you – and you rejected the advice. True to my word above, I don’t care whether you eat, starve, live, or die.

            Off you go now.

  • Einelorelei

    Those things all have to be learned and not everyone has parents that were able to teach them. I think a good idea is to have good friends where you can all learn these things together. Also NOBODY has their shit together ALL THE TIME at ANY age. There will be times where things are going fine and you do have your shit together and then there will be crisis where everything gets blown to hell and you no longer have your shit together. Life tends to go in cycles. While it’s probably not a good idea to take pride in not being able to do stuff, it’s not a good idea to beat yourself up over it either. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need help in our lives. (coming from a Gen Xer). I think a big challenge with Millennials is that they sometimes tend to be an all or nothing thinking generation. Just do your best to find a nice balance. You guys will be ok! =)

    • BTampa

      How long can someone reasonably blame parents for not teaching them things they can easily learn on their own?

      • Einelorelei

        It’s not about blaming parents. It’s about saying “Okay, I didn’t learn it from them, so I will search out for someone who CAN teach me.”

        • BTampa

          Except that’s not really what they were saying… unless part of it was written in lemon juice and you waved a lighter across your monitor.

  • Jessica Ardis

    LOVE THIS! As a 41 year old woman who had her first kid at 23 and bought her first house at age 25, who yes does have a sparkling clean kitchen and loves the gym and practices work life balance like it’s a religion, thank you for validating my experience! I used to feel like I was missing out in my 20s because while some of my cohorts were going to Thailand and smoking lots of pot etc, I was getting my college degree while changing diapers. Not a lot of fun. But now I am grateful I “adulted” early. From the sound of your article, I don’t think I missed much lol.

    Because I am 10 to 15 years younger than the other parents who have kids my age, I always felt like the odd one out once I learned not to micromanage, to let my kids fail without my intervening, making them do chores regardless of how much HW they had,etc. Basically I made it very clear to them at an early age that they are NOT the center of the universe. It’s too soon to see if it worked (they are 18 and 14) but I am hoping that my unusual parenting strategy (at least in comparison to typical mid to upper middle-class parents) will help my kids avoid what this article is talking about.

    Plus you made me laugh a lot so thanks for that!!! xoxoxo

    • lunanoire

      Do you live somewhere with a low cost of living? Do you realize how fortunate you are to have a house and a spouse?

      • Jessica Ardis

        Who said I had a spouse? He died suddenly 10 years ago leaving me a widow with a 9 and 4 year old. I live in West Philly which has a low cost of living compared to other major east coast cities. Um yes I do realize how blessed and fortunate I am despite the pain my family has endured and I thank God every day. Peace to you.

        • lunanoire

          I am sorry for your loss. It’s not easy. I assumed that a mother who was able to buy a house at 25 was not doing it alone at the time of sale because houses are expensive, and it is difficult, though not impossible, for a person to save for a house down payment from 18-25 with the types of jobs available to most young people and college-related expenses.

          • Jessica Ardis

            Thank you Lunanoire. It is true I was married when I bought the house. It was not suitable to live in it was in such bad shape. We lived with my parents for 2 years while my late husband, who was a union carpenter who did not graduate HS, worked a full time job and single-handedly gutted and renovated the house on the weekends.

            During this time I was pursuing my college degree in Genetics. Looking back, we were stressed to the max. His health suffered, our relationship suffered, and our young child suffered by living in an unhappy home of two parents who were too young to have good stress coping skills. The drinking habit which ultimately lead to his untimely death started during that time.

            It is also true that while I found someone to marry, we were a rather poor match. I do not regret any of my decisions but I would not recommend my life choices to others. I do now own a beautiful home and I have a Masters degree, but it came at great expense.

  • Bee

    I find this really condescending to be honest 🙁 I don’t like how aggressive it is either. I don’t think it’s in the spirit of TFD which I thought was about sharing your gaps in knowledge, and being compassionate etc. You just come across as smug and humble brag-y.

  • LeighLeigh

    This article is truth personified. Get off your ass and do something. Period.

  • Jack W

    Wow, so much judgement in this article. Extremely angry and making a lot of assumptions to the point where I don’t know what or who this article is talking about. A real person? It doesn’t even sound like a stereotype, I’ve never heard of this.

    Is it possible that there’s a youth independence crisis sprung from epidemic child abuse and this author is blaming the kids instead of looking at what caused this? Talk about vitriolic lack of empathy or compassion. Maybe the people she is talking about are just admitting their mistakes and lack of skill. They shouldn’t feel ashamed, why degrade their character? People already have enough mental health issues.

    Besides, most of the people I know and myself included tend to work insanely creatively and hard to have the most autonomy in our lives as possible. So this article is just insulting the wrong people anyway by making such blanket statements. I don’t need to be accepted by a random author on the internet, I don’t need to go above and beyond to be worthy. I’m just a human. Impressing others is so shallow and wasteful in this life.

    • BTampa

      Maybe it’s not about “impressing others.” Maybe it’s just about getting off your ass and taking responsibility.

      Hmm… could be!

      • Jack W

        This article sounds like it was obsessed with impressing others or gaining their acceptance, after all the author acts like her judgment of other people matters to those people or SHOULD matter.

        “getting off your ass and taking some responsibility” – the problem is I can’t tell who this author or you are referring to. How do you know they are even the same people? And why would you make a blanket statement like that about a bunch of people instead of going on an individual basis?

        Just more transparent hatred. If you can’t pinpoint the problem in other people, it might be you.

        • BTampa

          You’re peddling nonsense Jack – passing out excuses – likely because you need a few yourself.

          I didn’t read “judgment” or the idea that her judgment should matter in the article. Maybe you saw yourself or people you know and care about in her words and got defensive.

          Who are we talking to? Obviously people who fit the description given. It’s not that hard to figure out is it? How do we know they’re the same people? Because they fit the description. Again, not hard to figure out.

          Going on an individual basis? How silly. How exactly does one do that when writing online to people we’ve never seen or met? No you write something and hope that those who have sense enough to see themselves might get something from it – and those who don’t need the advice will just nod and move on to the next page.

          Transparent hatred? Transparent yes – because I believe in clarity so I say things in a way that is simple and clear. There’s no hidden meaning or agenda. What the words say is what I mean – exactly what I mean – no more, no less.

          As for hatred, I understand that it’s chic now to say anything that upsets you is somehow rooted in hatred. It was silly when it started, but after years of overdoing it, it’s even sillier now. When someone tells you to “get off your ass and get to work” they aren’t “hating on you.” They’re telling you they see more potential in you than you’re delivering. They are actually expressing confidence and optimism in the idea that you can be better, do better, and be more successful.

          Now, untwist your panties… and get busy.

          • lmm

            BTampa, I think the issue here is that there’s a communication gap between you and those you are trying to reach. In any generation, there are those who prefer the no-nonsense approach and those who need things broached a bit more delicately in order to accept them. If you were truly aiming to help people, rather than preaching to the choir, you’d acknowledge this simple fact. You’re not a manager right now — you’re an anonymous commentor on an internet article. I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I disagree with purposely choosing to ne ineffective to prove a point. Again, your tone is fine for a manager… but no one here is working for you, and they want your advice as badly as you want mine.

          • BTampa

            I have to admit, I laughed a bit as I read the original column. After seeing the comments, I realize the generation(s) in question are so much worse off than I realized.

            That there was a loss of doing as opposed to “virtually doing” and that there were no meaningful rites of passage, I already understood. What I had missed was the fact that these non-doers were as soft and weak as they are.

            Can’t take a little constructive criticism? Need me to reword things into a kinder gentler suggestion? Need it fed to you gently with a rubber spoon? Too fucking bad. I’m not that guy.

            I’m not a “nice” man, probably never have been. Good, decent, honorable – yes. Nice – not so much. As I said elsewhere, I’ve been paid to make decisions and tell people what to do – but what I left out is that I’ve been paid to be right – because if I was wrong, people would die.

            A long time ago in a crappy third-world anarchy masquerading as a country, if you got in trouble among the natives – I, and my men, were the guys they sent to bring you back alive. Choose wrong – you die and the rest of us die.

            Later in my life, I designed things where failure meant the death of others. Calculate wrong, build wrong… death. I wasn’t particularly nice to my customers because I never had to be. They paid me to be right not to stroke their feelings.

            So maybe now you see why I don’t really care how people feel about what I say. If someone can receive it and benefit from it, fine. If not, fine too. “He that hath an ear… let him hear.” (That probably doesn’t mean exactly what you think.)

  • sapphiremind

    Have to agree that some of this comes off as really judge-y. I’m an old. There are quite a few things I know how to do but because of my acceptable financial situation, I choose to hire other people to do because my time is worth more to me.

    I can cook. If inspired with a reason, I can cook like a mofo, make pie crusts from scratch and homemade custards and ice cream and grill and saute. But I eat out 90% of the time. Why? Because I’m living alone, don’t like the taste of leftovers usually, and I can afford to. Then there’s no groceries to be wasted because they’ve gone bad because I didn’t use them all in my recipe for 1. I don’t want to come home from a 13+ hour shift, cook, eat and then clean. I don’t want to pre-prepare a weeks worth of food because I don’t like the taste of it when it has been reheated like that or frozen and then cooked. I enjoy eating freshly prepared food, in a serving size for one, without more effort than choosing a restaurant. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Who are you to judge?

    • Isabel C.

      One of my grandmothers mostly, by the time I knew her, ate either canned or otherwise really-easy-to-prepare food. She knew how to cook well, but she’d spent forty-some years cooking for a husband and five kids, every night, and she didn’t want to do it any more.

      (And yes on the groceries! I do cook, but my fridge is often empty, because I live alone and have a fairly active social life: if I buy food in vast quantities, it goes bad before I get around to eating it.)

  • Taylor

    I totally agree with this article! A lot of commenters are getting really defensive and interpreting the meaning of the article the wrong way. As a millennial who had parents wealthy enough to outsource many things like housework, cooking, taxes, lawn care etc., I came into adulthood with a lot to learn. I still don’t know everything, but I don’t brag or act boastful about how ditzy or quirky I am for not knowing how to do basic stuff. What Chelsea is trying to say is: take pride in what you have accomplished and make the effort to learn or research the things you don’t. There comes a point in time where you are no longer adorable for not knowing how to do laundry and that you have no savings, you will appear pathetic and incompetent.

  • Noel Derecki

    Hell to the yes, woman. Thank you. This is going to be required reading for my 12-year-old daughter tonight.

  • John Burris

    By avoiding the basic stuff, I can concentrate on being the extraordinary. Don’t be average!

  • Rianna Robinson

    As someone in their late 30’s, I can relate to this. This is why I get so frustrated with certain younger people sometimes. It’s the attitude that it’s cute to be horrible at being an adult that irks me.

  • Just M.

    Nature has failed at creating an advanced species, and has instead created a specie that wants to be infantile and pretend that it’s chic to be so. Therefore, I hope the zombie apocalypse comes soon. Most of these idiots will die, figuring out how to roast other peoples’ (whom they’ve murdered out of desperation) arms and legs over an open fire.

    My only regret in my acquisition of life abilities is that I’ve never been able to build anything that was perfectly square. That’s it, though. Bring on the End.

  • Jester the Slacker

    Yes.

  • HK4

    So many people are missing the point of this. Having your shit together doesn’t mean that you have to know how to do everything by yourself. I have minimal sewing skills, but I know how to take my clothes to a seamstress so I’m not walking around in ill-fitting clothes. I don’t have the desire to learn how to do my own taxes – but I at least know how taxes work – and I know that giving all my shit to a professional accountant will be way more beneficial to me than trying to do it myself. I am not a doctor or a dentist, but I know that I am supposed to go to one every year or when I get sick. I also don’t know how to do the bulk of my own car repairs, but I have enough sense to be able to tell when my car is due for service, or if something is wrong with it.

    There is a big difference between taking your taxes to a qualified individual, and literally not knowing how they work and that you could qualify for deductions and refunds that would get overlooked if you did them yourself. There is a big difference between not being able diagnose yourself (although I think everyone should have a basic understanding of where things are in your body and how they work), and neglecting to go to the doctor when you are sick or injured because you don’t know how to call and make an appointment. There is a big different between not knowing how to change your own oil, and not having enough sense to know that you should take your car to a garage for maintenance every x-thousand miles, or not being able to youtube how to change your own wiper blades.

    Also, being able to properly take care of your shit as an adult is NOT the direct result of your upbringing, either. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that had absent parents who are now fully functioning adults and learned how to do everything by themselves. My roommate in college never learned how to cook or clean at home – she didn’t even know how to fry an egg. But guess what? Now she is a kickass mom and cooks all the time and makes her own baby food – because she asked people for help (she still calls me sometimes when she isn’t sure how to do something). My mom never taught me how to sew. But guess what? At 28, I learned how to use a sewing machine. You are capable of learning how to do things as an adult.

    This article is directed at the people who literally cannot take care of themselves, and think it’s funny/cute/quirky because they are just a LoSt LiTtLe TwEnTy-SoMeThInG. If I read one more Buzzfeed listicle about how silly and cute people are because they catch their kitchen on fire trying to boil water, or because they are so messy they constantly trip over their own shit and hurt themselves, I am going to scream.

    Not being able to cook yourself a hot meal in your own kitchen (even if it is just jarred pasta sauce and noodles!) because you don’t know how your stove works is sad and pathetic. Having a kitchen so dirty and grimy you literally couldn’t cook in it even if you wanted to is sad and pathetic. Having your car break down because you neglected to maintain it is sad and pathetic. Missing your deadline to sign up for health insurance because you don’t open your mail is sad and pathetic. Being late on your bills because you can’t properly write a check or address an envelope is sad and pathetic. It’s not cute, it’s not chic, it doesn’t make you a quirky manic-pixie-whatever.

    Making mistakes is OK, everyone learns by trial and error. I consider myself a fairly proficient cook, and I still burn things every once in a while. The problem is those who throw up their hands and resign to excuses, or are too lazy/coddled to even try in the first place.

    • Billca

      For anyone who wants (or needs!) to learn to cook, I heartily recommend getting the soft-cover edition of “Joy of Cooking.” It has a lot more than just recipes. And if you can find one, “Fanny Farmer’s Cookbook” which is THE definitive cook book that was used to teach girls how to cook, originally published in 1896 (as The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook). A 1996 hardcover book is also available.

      Another adult item that many folks don’t get: Bond measures.
      Every time you vote for some bond measure for some government body to build or do something it’s like taking a mortgage loan for the term of the bond measure. Who pays? Mostly homeowners through property taxes. But those who don’t own property don’t get a “free ride” either. They pay too, in higher rental rates for housing and higher cost of goods so people can actually make a living.

      It doesn’t hurt to post Robert Heinlein’s summary of what an adult should be capable of doing either:

      A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

    • Anon

      Right, but I think this is why I’m suspicious of this whole rant: “If I read one more Buzzfeed listicle about how silly and cute people are because they catch their kitchen on fire trying to boil water, or because they are so messy they constantly trip over their own shit and hurt themselves, I am going to scream.”

      What if the problem is just that you’re reading buzfeed listicles? I mean, maybe these people exist but they’re probably not representative of a whole generation.

      I think at this point I don’t trust Chelsea to have perspective. She goes on these rants all the time about things she sees on social media that I’m pretty sure only have tenuous connection to real people. It’s like her chip on her shoulder about minimalism. Have you ever met one of these human beings who either lived in a totally austere, white apartment, or judged you for not doing so? If not, who cares?! And if so, fuck ’em. They’re probably outliers. Same deal with this. Do you actually know a real person – not on social media – who lives in squalor and doesn’t know how to turn on a stove? I don’t. If you do, are you living with them? No? Then not your problem. If yes, then you have some problems.

      Honestly, the problem isn’t that there’s a whole generation of entitled morons wallowing in their filth and ineptitude. The problem is that people read stupid buzzfeed articles, assume they represents some real, widespread trend, and enjoy getting worked up about it.

      • HK4

        I assure you I am not the problem. If i am, then you are as well, since you seem to enjoy stirring up shit with strangers on an internet comment section.

        I know very real people who act like this. As an example, my boyfriend’s former roommate thought my bf was some sort of culinary genius because he could cook himself a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. This person ate lunchables every single day. As another example, my good friend seems to be incapable of cleaning her refrigerator or her bathroom floor to the point where multiple people have said things to her about it.

        The very real problem is that these people are actually quite common, and they present themselves with pride to the world, via things like Buzzfeed articles, and people make the assumption that everyone in my generation are lazy, entitled, idiots who can’t take care of themselves. It is my problem, and people like Chelsea’s problem, because we have to constantly fight the stereotype that we are perpetual toddlers, and we have to constantly prove that we are capable of working hard and have valuable things to contribute to society.

        • Robert Parkhurst

          There is a difference between being able to do something and being too lazy. The generalization that millennials are lazy and entitled is just that, a generalization. It doesn’t mean all but it probably means the majority.

          I grew up with monkey bars and recess and playgrounds where if we got hurt we got over it unless it was serious. I even grew up firing guns. Now days dodge ball is taken out of schools because some people may not do well. Millennials are actually taught to be useless members of society because if their feelings are hurt, it’s okay to require a safe space.

          Hell, they are now even trying to sensor words and books because they may hurt someones feelings. The most recent example that I can think of is The Washington Redskins.

    • James

      “I am not a doctor or a dentist, but I know that I am supposed to go to one every year”

      I’m curious why you think you should go to the doctor every year. You admit that you’re not one, so what is your source for this medical service interval?

      General medical examinations cost time and money, and all the evidence we have is that they don’t improve health.

      Your body is not like your car or your taxes. If you treat it well and leave it alone, it will tend to do just fine.

  • Billca

    First, kudos on waking up, looking around and casting a critical eye on yourself. You see shortcomings. We all have them. Now figure out how to fix them, one-by-one.

    Second, you justified my decision about 35 years ago not to have children. Especially as I’m living in California. I predicted most of this dysfunction back then when our friends’ kids were starting school. I could see the left-wing group-think in action even then. If little Jenny answered only 6 of 10 quiz question correctly and was given a “D” parents began whining such harshly defined grading hurt a child’s “self esteem.”

    You see, this causes a feeling of shame which in turn causes unhappiness which can lead to depression and “OhMyGawd! What are you doing to my children? They’re going to require decades of therapy to get over that low grade! We must do something!”

    Lest you think I am joking, this is barely modified from the way I heard some of our friends talking about schooling. The sad thing is now these same airheads are in charge of schools, curriculum and text book production. This is how we lost useful school programs — what we called “home economics” and “trade skills” (a mix of woodshop, autoshop, electrical study) — to the less useful classes promoting racial studies, women’s issues, and a host of minority-based specialties (e.g. Black literature). Schools no longer teach kids the skills they need as adults (we had to balance fictional checkbooks in late 60’s math classes).

    Now on top of this comes the “social media” phenomena. If we think about this correctly it’s similar to letter writing of the 19th Century. You express yourself, wait for a response, then continue a delayed conversation. Except instead of waiting days it’s down to a minute or less at times. The kids today are trading the exchange of ideas — verbally in person or by phone call — for slower, clumsier methods. And I won’t even get into the whole selfies and posting every trivial errand you run on social media, like they’re making celebrity appearances somewhere.

    Friends signed their daughter up for an “outdoors-woman” program. It’s intended to build self-confidence in women of all ages by teaching them how to do things in the great outdoors. Hiking, camping, fishing, cooking over a campfire, rafting, canoeing, horsemanship, etc. Their daughter was keen to go until she learned to her horror it would be 4 days –without cell phone service! Now going to that program was (in her words) like living on the dark side of the moon.

    My advice to Millennials is to ditch the electronics for one day a week and learn how to do something really useful, like growing vegetables in your own garden or how to run a cordless drill properly. Learn some rough carpentry or how to hem your own pants or sew on buttons. There’s much more satisfaction in doing things for yourself instead of paying someone to do a simple job.

  • faifai

    “I was never taught.” Ooooh, dang, too bad there’s not this thing that sits in your pocket that has buttons that allow you to access the entire wealth of Western Civilization so that you can learn how to do things on your own…

  • xxadverbxx

    My fridge usually is bare because I buy food that spoils so I generally don’t keep a lot on hand and hit the store 2-3 times a week.

    Now my apartment is a mess because I work insanely a lot of hours and yes I hate it but usually when I get home/have a day off I have no energy to clean. Or I have just enough to do the dishes and laundry but not much else. And I do think that is part of the issue for many of us. A lot of us sadly have to work a lot of hours be it one job or many to make ends meet. When you work a lot and especially if your job really drains you then it’s hard to find that time to do a lot. To fully clean things, sometimes to have the time to actually cook yourself a meal much less learn (and those who can’t cook often some of the blame should fall on their parents).

    Though I do fully agree simple and/or highly important things like changing a lightbulb or paying rent more so should not be a laughing bit but taken seriously and be known how to do.

    • BTampa

      So it’s your mom’s fault you can’t cook. Did she teach you to use a computer? A smartphone?

      I doubt it – but somehow you managed to do things you really wanted to do. Grow up and be responsible for your own shortcomings. I can’t remember a single time in my life when I thought, “It’s mom’s fault I don’t know that.”

      • Emery

        Every comment you’ve written could probably be phrased a little nicer. Really no need to lace valid points with condescension.

        • BTampa

          I’ve been paid all my life to make decisions and tell people what to do. Sugar coating is something I’ve never had any time for or interest in. The gold standard is whether it’s true/right or not.

      • xxadverbxx

        Skills for living on your own should come basically from two places as you grow up. One is from your parents/older family members/guardians. The other is school. If someone can’t do even the simplest of cooking, then yeah. There probably was some failure there.

        Me personally though, I never said I couldn’t cook, just that I lack energy to at times. My mom did teach me growing up how to cook and bake. How to read and follow recipes so I can go online now, see a recipe I want to try, and make it.

        As for computers, I picked those basics up at school.

        I am able to do what I can now because school and my parents gave me a good foundation. Now if I want to do something I haven’t done before, thanks to my parents and school I am able to go, read up on it, and figure it out. Or I call home and ask my parents about it.

        So no, I don’t blame people, I’m thankful to them and if I can’t do something I research or I reach out for help.

  • This has some good points, but I’m not sure many people actually take tons of pride in being a mess, the examples given here are from movies and tv, i’m sure the actresses who play the characters you reference, have their shit together and are extremely reliable, hence success in a fiercely competitive industry. The only people I know who actually have serious problems with this are plagued by it; extreme perfectionism leading to lifefucking extreme procrastination for example. Nobody thinks it’s cute.

    Also, some of this is value based: you don’t have to conform to each and every social norm to be an adult. If you do not value ironed clothes, or perfectly manicured nails or combed hair, there is nothing wrong with not wasting time on these things to achieve some mass-mind concept of adulthood. You SHOULD have pride is pursuing your values over mindless conformity. So gandhi or jesus or the big lebowski should take pride in their simple dress, it is the external manifestation of their idealism. Just efficiently going through the motions to earn this “high compliment” of “having your shit together” is completely hollow and pointless.

  • BTampa

    Ok, let me help some of you out.

    Cooking… is the application of heat to an item of food. The heat source could be a stovetop, an oven, or a bonfire, and the results will be fairly similar. Usually you’ll want some sort of pan to keep the food item from directly interacting with the heat source.

    Master the application of heat… and then start adding frills and flourishes.

    That’s all there is to it. Now you have one less reason to despise your mom.

  • common sense

    This would never even BEEN an article 15 years ago – wtf happened? It’s really, really hard to not hate on millennials and their blame games.

  • Quasar

    This article isn’t saying that you should feel bad if you’re not a domestic goddess by age 22. It’s okay to not know things. The first couple of times you file your own taxes, roast a turkey, install a shelf or replace a carpet, it’s going to be tricky and you might make mistakes. That’s fine. That’s expected. Learn from your mistakes, watch a YouTube tutorial, and get a little bit better next time. What’s not okay is to take pride in your mistakes, and boast about how completely incompetent you are at basic life skills for year after year after year.

    In my first year of university, my roommate and I both struggled a little bit with basic life stuff. We cooked weird food, didn’t do laundry as often as we should, and left lightbulbs unchanged for weeks. Now we’re both 24, and she is still regularly flooding her kitchen (she “forgets” not to put dish soap in the dishwasher), ruining her clothes (she mixes whites and colours, and throws dry-clean-only and wool clothing in the washer on maximum heat), and subsisting on a diet of ramen, and she’s proud of it. She boasts about her domestic failures as if it makes her “cute” or “quirky”. It doesn’t.

    Don’t be my college roommate. Learn from your mistakes. Watch a YouTube video. And for God’s sake, don’t mix bleach and ammonia.

    • PainInMyASS

      “Learn from your mistakes, watch a YouTube tutorial, and get a little bit better next time. What’s not okay is to take pride in your mistakes, and boast about how completely incompetent you are at basic life skills for year after year after year.”
      Right On!

  • PainInMyASS

    Ok, Im a Gen X’er. I have a fiancee who is a millennial. I frustrates the ever loving God out of me sometimes the absolute laziness she sometimes exhibits. I hear the “nobody taught me” excuse all the damned time. I hear the “we as a generation were thrown an awful economy” ect. Well guess what? I had nothing when I left the nest. No savings, no real marketable skills. I worked shit jobs making shit money. I was young, when you are young you can realistically work 60-80 hours a week to make up for the lack of the skills/pay, and in so doing earn the skills and the money that get you to the next step up. I taught myself how to cook, how to clean, how to negotiate getting a job and how to get paid for that job. How to live off the money in my pocket and not the credit card. Why? because I was interested in living a quality life. I wanted stability, I want to be productive so I could achieve what I didnt have but I knew was available to be had. This whole “Im not good at adulting” is an absolute cop out. Its pathetic. The millennial generation has more information, more goods and services available for cheaper than at any time in the history of mankind. If you cant achieve its because you have chosen to live without pride in yourself,(i.e. a sense of self worth). You have chosen to live without discipline, financial, time, resource allocation ect ect.
    I have made my fiancee cry at times, for saying things that are so simple and so common sense. It amazes me at time how soft and sensitive the millennials are. I can give totally non critical advice, and it can “make her sad” that I am in any way saying what she is doing could be done some other way to improve. Maybe that is the real crux of the issue. Improvement is just too hard for some. And I hate to make the generalizations about whole swaths of people. But fq, even millennials are saying the same things.

    • Anon

      Why are you marrying her? I mean, seriously, it’s on you if you want a DIY project and not a partner.

      • Isabel C.

        More to the point, why is she marrying *them*? Like, yay, I get a condescending older spouse who makes me cry with unasked for advice–is the second prize *two* weeks in Philadelphia?

        • Mark

          Seriously, this guy sounds like a dick.

  • Amy Luna Manderino

    THANK YOU!!!! It always cracks me up how being a “survivalist” is considered “macho.” Basic survival skills are 1) food 2) clothing and 3) shelter. Yet how many males don’t know how to 1) cook 2) do laundry or 3) clean a house? Too many.

  • will

    This article needs more memes

  • The Isz

    Know what works better than chastising..?

    Empowering..

    Stop bitching and pointing fingers, and pitch in and help out.. You could start with a small list of “basic sh*t” so maybe folks interested in learning what they don’t know have a guideline to start with.

    Pointing fingers (the easy way out for the chastiser, who is bitching about others taking the easy way out.. how hypocritical) doesn’t solve a problem, it just compounds it.

    It’s YOUR choice to be part of the solution, or part of the problem.. isn’t it?

  • KayGee

    I am a raccoon person.

  • ConnieHinesDorothyProvine

    Is it OK to take pride in having done unusual things?

  • Elizabeth Poland

    I agree with the sentiment that not knowing how to do things isn’t “cute” or a way to make a self-depracating cop-out joke, but I think this article is a little 2-dimensional in that it equates not being financially put-together or not “adulting” to being flippant or naive.

    Some people are indifferent to social expectations and timelines and choose to forgo the things you are “supposed” to do in order to obtain happiness either in the short term or long term. I know plenty of 22-30 yr olds with college degrees working in restaurants because the schedule allows them to take off and tour as a musician. That also means they work from 6 pm- 1 am most nights, drink after work every night, sleep in every day, and are barely making money to make ends meet. But these people are doing what they love, music and touring, and working a job with those kind of lifestyle symptoms in order to support it.

    Those are people who are spending their last dollars on champagn and pizza while the electricity is about to be cut off, but they may be happier or more fulfilled then the 20-somethings taking passionless jobs 9-5 and spending 40+hours a week doing something that doesn’t support anything but financial stability (great but not going to make you happy) and the status quo.

  • Rose Red

    There are man-boys. And then there are women that think it’s charming to act daft and incapable. Both are irritating as hell…

  • Ryan Law

    lol this article should be titled how to be a dependant consumer, you didnt mention a single aspect of being a independent adult apart from maybe balancing your budget but in the same paragraph you have opening a checking account lol.
    if you dont know how to make your own fire gut/skin your own food, grow your own vegies make your own knives,know how to defend yourself/fight, make your own shelter and cookwear then your not a independent adult your a dependent adult, this whole article seems to be about embracing dependancy.
    your interpretation of the basics is so far removed from basic skills its LMAO

  • Nick Z Robey

    Anybody who is boohooing in the comments saying things like, “Wah! I wasn’t taught!”… or “Wah, I didn’t have someone to help”…. Seriously?! In the age of information that’s your excuse? What a load of crap. Take responsibility and read a damn book or try looking on the (Oh, I don’t know) INTERNET if you don’t know how to do basic things. You have time to pitch a fit about being offended by an article calling you out on your immaturity, yet not enough time to watch or read a DIY tutorial? You do realize how sad that is, right?!

    I’m 30. I don’t claim the ridiculous “millennial” title, because the dumb-shits that do are embarrassing to be lumped-in with!

    I know how to cook (ran my own restaurant). I can repair and maintain household appliances. I do my laundry and then fold it/hang it and put it away. I learned how to refinish and restore antique furniture dating back to the 17th century without going to school. I know how to grow and harvest my own food. I’m a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. I can survive in the wilderness with bare essentials. ALL of these other attributes I acquired by TRYING! I didn’t whine about the previous generations foibles and downfalls that made the world suck for my generation… because that’s total irresponsible bullshit rhetoric.

    Wake the fuck up children, life doesn’t hold on for you.

    • Mark

      If you’re 30 today, you were born in 1986, and you are officially a millennial. Sorry.

      • Nick Z Robey

        Hey genius… I said I don’t claim it. I never said it didn’t apply to me.

  • BigJared

    This is like 5% of why millennials are insufferable. Nice start, but keep going…..

  • Mark

    I feel like there are several different things being thrown together in this article. There’s a significant difference between putting your laundry away and mending your own clothes. The former is “basic shit” – the latter is a learned skill.

  • Gail Finke

    This is an excellent post! I am 52 and let me tell you, we felt the same way in OUR 20s and 30s, but were generally a bit more equipped that you are (I think) and didn’t also have to deal with the fad of being proud of cluelessness. We were worried about it — it was common for people to harbor a fear that others would discover that they secretly didn’t know what they were doing. Now people seem to broadcast that they don’t know what they’re doing. It doesn’t just ‘happen,” you have to decide to be a grownup. The trendy word is “intentional” — be intentional about having a real life. No one is going to give you one. It was hard for us to figure that out, too. Our parents were married, homeowning, working parents in their late teens and early 20s. Now people look on a woman of 21 or 22 with a child as some sort of freak, especially if she’s married. Those women raised rocket scientists, folks. What makes us think we are so much better? Like so many other things in life, being a competent, trustworthy, reliable adult comes from just buckling down and doing it. They did it by 22, and today’s young people can’t manage by 40? Sure you can. You don’t have to what they did — but do SOMETHING.

  • Alex

    I don’t think the point should be that it’s better to feel ashamed of not knowing basic stuff. The point should be that you shouldn’t let yourself think that ignorance is a fixed condition. Just because you don’t know how to do something doesn’t mean you *can’t* know how to do something. No need to feel ashamed, just figure out what are priorities in your life, and work toward them.

    I don’t enjoy cooking, but I enjoy eating baked goods. So I don’t cook much, but I bake a fair amount. I have no personal interest in home improvement projects, but I’d rather not pay for someone else to do something I’m physically capable of doing, so I learned how to install a back splash, and I did it. I googled why my furnace wasn’t working, and I fixed it. Etc. No shame, just recognizing what is important to me and what is practical.

    The problem is that we often connect with others by acknowledging our faults (e.g. I can’t adult), so it’s socially beneficial to seem like a mess sometimes. Personally, that’s not usually motivating for me, but it’s important to acknowledge that it’s a valid motivation for people in general. It’s just too bad when it engenders a culture of willful ignorance. Which is present in a lot of generations, by the way (not just millennials).

  • itsalljustaride

    My former bro-in-law once called his mom from college to ask her to look up a laundromat for him. He was a computer science major. I kid you not.

    Had she complied, I fully expect that he would have asked her to drive out and take the clothes there for him too.

    Some people are just laaaaazzzyyyyyyy…..

  • I liked this article a lot. What I’ve noticed about my own daughter, who WAS taught how to do things and taught to be what I would call proactive and self sufficient from a young age… is that she has a lot of anxiety as a young adult about “doing it wrong” or “failing as an adult.”
    It’s interesting to me because when I was her age I was just trying to pay the rent and pay the bills and keep a job and school was a pipe dream. I needed to figure out dinner and how to pay for food… no time for worrying about what I wanted to be when I grew up or if I was doing it right. She on the other hand, with kids, is going to school and working and still worries about is she doing it right? Still feels like she doesn’t have a handle on things… I think it’s important for everyone to realize that no one feels like they really have a “handle on things” all the time. So in this way the generations are no different. I mean even in my day we had the friend who had the empty fridge with the crusty ketchup bottle. LOL Takes all kinds. But no one wants to be that guy. Except maybe that guy. He’s got it good in his own mind. It is an interesting phenomena to observe, the “adulting” badges, but to honest, I always “Like” those because to this day I also feel like I should get a badge! I think every adult can identify!. You guys are just naming something we all feel.

  • Owen Iverson

    i have no idea how insurance works. or the stock market. or pretty much any financial concept. i’m 40.

    • Nick Z Robey

      Well, I don’t think it’s necessarily important for you to understand the stock market. As for insurance, does anybody really understand that shit? I think the only financial concept needed is adding, subtracting, saving, and spending accordingly.

  • trailing wife

    I finally learned how to properly clean my house when I discovered these books: http://www.thecleanteam.com/Books_c_8.html. After that I got my young children (aged 8 and six) and myself their cleaning aprons (they have the pattern for sale if you want to make it yourself, but I hate sewing), and we started following the simple directions. It turns out it isn’t rocket science, does not require loads of expensive tools and chemicals, and doesn’t even take much time or energy once one is organized for efficiency. And the kids loved being part of it as we rotated the responsibilities between us.

  • Coaster26

    Was over at a 30+something friends house and somehow the topic came up….and then I asked; “well, when’s the last time you changed your furnace filter?” The what???

  • Odo Shortwick

    As one of the “Oldies” that was mentioned, no one taught us how to do everything. My parents never taught me how to budget, I failed numerous time when attempting to bake, I’ve used one credit card to pay for the other credit card bill because I didn’t have enough money left at the end of the month. Yes my parents showed how to do some stuff growing up (by the age of 13 I was helping make supper at night), but most of life stuff I had to learn on my own. I still can’t make chocolate chip cookies to save my life, even using the same recipe that my wife uses that turn out great, but I can make pastry that apparently is difficult for some trained chefs. No one showed my how, I just tried and screwed up over and over until I got it.

    Sometimes it seems the difference between “Millennials” and previous generations is the willingness to try new things and accept that you’re going to make mistakes. Like if there isn’t a Youtube instructional video that it’s not possible. I used to pick up broken stuff to see how they work inside, not just throw it in the garbage and buy a new one.

    I’m almost in my 50s and I still wonder when do I become an adult sometimes. that I sometimes don’t have my shit together. Those feelings don’t go away. I have kids in University and I still stop sometimes and go “holy shit, someone expects me to be an adult!”

    The “trick” in life that you’re waiting for is to not “accept” that you don’t know. If you don’t know something, don’t accept that you don’t understand it, learn about it. Figure it out. If you break something, figure out how to fix it. If you don’t know where something is located, look it up and go find it. Don’t accept that you just don’t know. If someone asks you “How do you do …” and you don’t know.. look it up! Most of us have cell phones in our pockets that have more computing power than all of NASA used to put people on the moon, and access to untold knowledge base on the internet. If you’re trying to make bread and it’s turning out to be more of a pound loaf; look up why. Don’t just laugh it off, chuck it in the garbage and buy one from the store. Try again, and again, and again.

    When you’re born, you don’t know how to walk. But you get up on your feet and you try and try and try until you can walk across the room. You didn’t look at your parent and go “I don’t know”, you tried. You need to keep trying in life, one step at a time.

    • Eric Shepard

      There’s also a difference between accepting that you can’t make chocolate chip cookies and accepting that you can’t cook.

  • Melanie Mayne

    Eh, I think making self-deprecating jokes about how awful you are is a great way to cope with self hate. I do it all the time, and I don’t see it as bragging. I’m just trying to be genuine and make a joke out of something that I actually feel deep self-hatred over. Sometimes jokes are the only way to turn something painful into something manageable. (My friend and I coined “LWAC” which means Laughing While Also Crying to express this very thing, lol).

    I think a lot of millennials don’t buy into the idea that hard work ends up being worth it, so it’s difficult to pretend to be super excited and proud of ourselves over things that don’t matter / don’t actually bring happiness. Most of us are depressed as fuck which leads to a lack of energy / motivation / interest in becoming successful. It’s a terrible mental health cycle of self hate and apathy and no enjoyable future to look forward to.

    And one thing that does make life seem more worth it oftentimes it is relating / bonding / laughing / sharing our vulnerabilities and realizing that we aren’t alone in our failures.

    I think seeing it as bragging about being lazy and incapable is missing the point. It’s all just a way of coping with the fact that the things our society deems as important are often meaningless. It’s so fucking hard to be motivated to do the small successful adult things when they don’t actually matter or bring happiness.

    Joking about it doesn’t mean no one is ashamed of it. Usually the reason people share that stuff is because both people are bonding over the fact that they “suck at life” and hate themselves for being utter failures. It’s so shitty to try to make them feel even worse for joking about it and trying to find some shred of positivity to laugh about.

    For example, I love this piece:

    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html

    I find it genuine and relatable and beautiful, despite the fact that it’s “bragging” about being incapable. I love genuine people, and I wish the world had more of them. I can’t wait for repression and guilt and identity foreclosure and presenting a fake successful version of yourself to be things of past generations.

    I wish I could express to you how much hope that comic strip gave me. I realized that maybe I’m not the worst person on the planet. Maybe I shouldn’t end it. Maybe failing to do adult things and getting your life together is something that takes time for some people. Maybe I’m not the only person going through this. Maybe I should keep trying. A bunch of happy successful people working hard and judging me for my flaws makes me want to give up immediately because I’m honestly trying so hard.

    Bring on the guilty confessions! I want to see people’s flaws! We all have them! We’re all working on them! Most of us are doing the best we can. And feeling like we are not alone helps us get through it. <3

    • Melanie Mayne

      And for the record, I don’t know a single millennial who couldn’t fry an egg during a blackout. We just haven’t been forced to figure it out. What we’re talking about when we make those jokes is that we don’t do those things ever on a day-to-day basis, and we always thought we would when we grew up. But as it turns out, we have other ways of life than expected.

    • Eric Shepard

      The article you linked to is exactly what the author of this article is pointing out is wrong. You shouldn’t feel a sense of accomplishment for doing basic things like grocery shopping and going to the bank. They’re just things you have to do. They’re boring dull things, but that doesn’t change whether they need to be done.

      Make a joke out of whatever you want to help get you through, but you still need to do the basic things in life.

      “It’s all just a way of coping with the fact that the things our society
      deems as important are often meaningless. It’s so fucking hard to be
      motivated to do the small successful adult things when they don’t
      actually matter or bring happiness.”

      Uhhm, they do matter, because they need to get done. And no there is no meaning or sense of fulfillment in things like grocery shopping and going to the bank. It’s just work, unpaid work, but work none-the-less. Don’t believe the lie that you’re supposed to be happy all the time. It’s just not possible. Some parts of life are just tedious and dull.

      • Melanie Mayne

        The majority of life is tedious and dull, and I don’t really care to continue. I’m doing whatever I can to find a reason to stay alive, but I don’t really see a point in staying here if happiness is a lie. I don’t see why anyone would stick around for such a shit existence.

        • Melanie Mayne

          None of that stuff *needs* to get done. We can just die. That’s why it’s so hard to do it. I don’t see how to buy into the lie that I need to do it and that I need to continue existing. I wish I could though!

        • Eric Shepard

          Happiness isn’t a lie, it’s just not a perpetual state. That’s the lie. The idea that happiness is out there somewhere and there is something wrong with us for not finding it. Sometimes we’re happy and sometimes we’re not.

          I try to aim for content. Grocery shopping doesn’t make me happy, but I can be content while I do it.

          I doubt that I’m going to convince you that your existence is worthwhile in an internet comment. That’s something you have to find for yourself. I know people who didn’t find a reason to keep living and they’re dead. I miss them— a lot.

          I will say this though. Try to take care of yourself and hold onto whatever joy you find.

        • I think the trick is taking joy in doing even tedious things well. Grocery shopping can be more than just a chore. Even (dare I say) ironing.

          Okay, I can’t get into ironing.

    • I get that part. Actually this article is so well written that I hardly think the author is quite as helpless as she makes out. I also know a lot of millennials who are hardly helpless. They are often more capable than people I know who are older boomers.

      When you are learning a new skill, often is NOT fun at first. The real insight is when you push past that initial inertia (which is almost always the hardest part), there is a real satisfaction with completing the task. And then a joy in greater mastery. And often, a finding that the task itself it actually quite enjoyable once you are good at it.

  • Cathy Herbage

    It is very interesting to read the comments to this article. Perhaps more so than the article itself. The article and comments highlight the huge chasm of expectations between the Baby Boomer Generation and the Millennial Generation. It helps to pause and reflect on the differences. First of all, most Baby Boomers did have a parent at home for at least part of the day. Second, that parent was not consumed by their cell phone, internet, or even TV because those things either didn’t exist in the case of the first two, or were only owned by the wealthiest families, in the case of television. Likewise, a child was not consumed by internet, texting, television or video games, because those things were not available. Nor could children tune out the world with headphones and an electronic music, because those didn’t exist either.This essentially meant that for Baby Boomers growing up, your parent was your walking internet, source of learning, and probably also the best entertainment around except for the radio, which didn’t really give you the same opportunity to drown out the background noise of family life. I don’t think that parents spent as much time actively teaching children as they did just being there. That meant kids spent a lot of time following their parents around, being in the way, and asking questions. I would follow my dad around the farm on weekends as he mended electric fences, repaired old buildings, chopped wood, repaired the vacuum cleaner or dryer, fixed a toilet etc.It was a fascinating pastime. I spent a lot of time getting yelled at to stay out of his way, and learned fascinating vocabulary which he didn’t speak in my mother’s presence. At the same time, I learned the names of tools, how to hammer a nail, chop wood, use a pipe wrench, rewire an electrical plug and so on, just because he was there. He learned those skills himself partly by trial and error, hence the colorful language, and partly from mandatory military service. I learned to cook, not so much because my mom taught me, but more from necessity. She loved being outside with her animals, and I was the oldest of six children. I made my own sandwiches starting at age 3 or 4, was baking cookies at age 8, and made dinners for the entire family on a regular basis by age 12. I cooked the family’s Thanksgiving feast from turkey to pumpkin pie at 17, because my mom was too ill to get out of bed. I would run up and down the stairs to ask the details I had not learned from observation over the last several years. Buying take-out food was a once a month luxury, and eating at a restaurant was a special treat reserved for visiting grandparents. This was not a life of hardship or poverty. My dad was a data processing manager, and the family enjoyed an upper middle class income. My mom did teach me to how to set the table, wash dishes, sew a button hem clothing, iron and fold laundry. I learned those skills between the age of 6 and 11, and was expected to apply that knowledge for the benefit of the family. I learned other household skills by observation. As a child, I was allowed to engage in one after school activity at any given time, such as swimming lessons, campfire girls, 4-H, and piano lessons. I was neither expected or allowed to engage in after school sports or multiple activities. Hanging out with friends was an occasional weekend treat, not an expected daily event. This is a very different lifestyle from that of Millennials. People my age will remember the song about how women could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never, never, let you forget you’re a man. The media told us we could do it all, and all at the same time. We raised our children with those same expectations; they could be good students, play 3 or more sports, join clubs, have play dates etc, all at the same time. Instead of being at home, most parents exhausted themselves working, taking care of the home, and running their children to multiple events, watching breathlessly, and worrying about their children’s self esteem to the point of handing out participation trophies. Consequently, many Millennials have great scholarship resumes, but have been raised with more competition and stress, did not spend nearly as much time at home learning basic skills and doing chores, and have unrealistic expectations, because they have been rewarded too little for competence, and too much for simply participating in life. Millennials have been provided more opportunities than their parents ever had, but are more lacking in basic life skills. Not all Millennials were equally pampered. Some had two working parents, who were too tired and stressed at the end of the work day to cook, and who escaped at the end of the work day in front of the TV with take-out or a can of chili. Those parents were happy that their children had television, internet, video games, and were off hanging with friends, because they were worn out. In some ways Millennials from lower middle class may have learned more life skills at a younger age out of necessity, but still less than what might have been learned without the lure of so many electronic devices. I do think that patience and kindness are virtues that both Baby boomers and Millennials need to cultivate in dealing with each other. Stop and reflect on why the expectations of the two generations are so different, and answer those questions about how to make gravy, cook a hard boiled egg, and check transmission fluid. Be clear about your expectations. It is a waste of time to feel bad about yourself, but Millennials do need to step up to the plate, and Baby Boomers do need to help show the way. After all, who do you think is going to be paying for your social security?

    • JonHoffman

      This is a very insightful comment. Most “millennials” are ready and willing to get their stuff together, but they need some help, guidance, support, and patience as they work through it. I think you’re right that missing out on just following your parents around as they do various tasks is a big reason why young people appear “clueless” to older generations. However, that doesn’t make young people deserving of scorn and shame, they just need a little help with learning to pick up the slack in their own way.

  • JonHoffman

    There is way too much awful, hateful stuff in this article and these comments to fully address (and many other people have posted excellent responses as to why this article is bs), so I’m not going to spend much time on it. I just wanted to point out that hating someone for not knowing something is both really easy and really shitty. Instead, you could help them out. Send them a link to a youtube video with the information they need or something, give them assurance that it’s actually not as daunting as it seems, and encourage them to tackle problems just like other humans have. Be supportive of your fellow human beings struggling through life with the tools they have. Tearing them down makes everything worse.

    A lot of people my age only have trouble with this stuff because they are often not in a life situation where they ever needed to learn practical mundane societal tasks (many of which are designed for older or “outdated” lifestyles and worldviews). When they are confronted with several of these things at once, all of the sudden, it is overwhelming. The little jokes are usually just a coping mechanism where they’re expressing this feeling of being overwhelmed because their parents/teachers/caretakers didn’t prepare them. It’s usually NOT glorifying laziness and ignorance, and it is not some kind of intrinsic flaw of “millennials.” It’s not like an entire generation of kids were born with inherent inadequacies…we are the product of the people who raised and shaped us. That’s not our fault, and most of us are actually trying really hard to pick up the slack and do the best we can.

    So, how about instead of blasting my generation repeatedly with cranky blog posts, we just offer help when we can, try to keep improving society, and move on with our lives?

  • OzzyLovesBabyShampoo

    Author, nobody cares abput your opinion. Life is pretty short and meaningless. Stop making such a spectacle of yourself.

  • CB

    As a millennial born in 1991 who has exhibited some of this self-gratifying behavior, I am grateful for this article and the kick in the butt that it provided.

  • FaintCryofFreedom

    I was in our kitchen from the time I was 8 yrs old. My mother patiently showed me so much that, as an adult, I am so grateful for. I became a damn good baker as a result & know how to follow recipes. I know my way around a kitchen well enough that I can make some crazy dishes -cooking is an experiment for me in many instances. Baking is much more rigid -you have to know how to read a recipe, weights & measures, conversions, etc. My blindside is in using power tools & building things. Woodworking. I was pretty good as a kid about taking things apart to learn how they worked. As an adult, I wish I had learned how to build things, but it’s okay. I ask friends who are good with their hands in this respect to help. With the movement towards cutting out all but basic learning in schools & taking lots of tests (bad move, btw) have home economics classes gone away? How about shop? These are indispensable tools every kid should learn. Boys should learn cooking basics, girls should learn how to use power tools, how to construct things so they function as intended -right along with reading, writing, and arithmetic. You are only as ignorant as your ability to fall back on “I don’t know”. If you don’t know, find out. Seek answers. Take classes, learn something new. We learn by asking questions -“realize that to question is how we grow.” (from “Proud” by Heather Small)

  • piercedheart

    I’m always surprised when someone asks me – how do you know how to do that? The answer is simple. I just do it. I try, and if I screw it up, I try again, and keep trying until I get it right. I’m not a Millennial, I’m technically a Boomer, but that really doesn’t change much. I didn’t have the entirety of human knowledge at my very fingertips for the first 40 years of my life. But what I did have, and still do, is fearlessness. I am willing to try anything, do anything, learn anything. If someone tells me to go do something, I don’t stand and shuffle my feet, I go off and figure out HOW to get it done. The ability to do this without fear of failure is what is missing from many recent generations. I don’t really care to get into the why of it – really all that matters now is recognizing that this “fearless gene” is missing, and start doing something about it. It sounds trite, but Nike killed it with their slogan — JUST DO IT. Seriously. If you don’t know how to do something — figure it out. Stop making excuses. Go out and learn. Fire up that device glued to your hands, and figure it out.
    JUST DO IT.

  • Eileen Taylor

    Totally agree with this. Many adults nowadays don’t know how to prioritize. If you can’t pay for your electricity or car payment or phone bill then you should definitely not be going out to eat or buying new outfits or going to the movies. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your wants and focus on your needs! There is plenty of free things you can do like taking a walk at the park, or reading a book from the library, or looking for public free events that are acceptable alternatives when you are broke but want some entertainment. Also if you make food at home and eat left overs you will save money that way. It’s cool to be thrifty!

  • Juliana

    I don’t know what kind of people the author hangs out with, but nobody I spend my time on is okay with being incapable… Also, I hate that millennials are always lumped together in regard to laziness/complacence, lack of respect for elders or people of authority, etc. I am a millennial and once again, I have worked my ass off since my first day of kindergarten, and am continuing to do this through grad school. I also endeavor to be respectful or at least polite to everyone. My friends are the same way (otherwise I wouldn’t be interested in being friends with them).

  • Ash Lee

    This article boils my blood on many levels, it doesn’t take into account so many things among them, mental health issues, basic non-hipster trustfunder issues, that a. you may not have been raised by any adequate adult that could have prepared you for all of the paperwork/bureacratic BS that is “adult” life as defined, because believe it or not our society has literally zero standards apart from biology on what it takes to be a parent, therefore any motherfucker that gets knocked up and pushes another human being into the world is actually ALLOWED to raise kids (please feel free to ask me about my opinion on breeding licenses and don’t give me that fucking BS about our souls picking our parents or our uprbringing shaping us fuck you). b. THE WORLD IS CHANGING MANY OF US ARE QUESTIONING THE BS OF PAST GENERATIONS AND THEREFORE WHAT DEFINES PRODUCTIVITY AND ACTUALLY BEING AN ADULT c. “I’ve literally missed out on packages I was excited about being delivered because I was too lazy to go to the post office in another borough. I’m bad at a lot of stuff, and a lot of basic elements of being a ~functional adult~ still escape me, and I know that.” so because you were too fucking lazy to pick up your pakcage from the post office means you need to subject your idiotic guilty vitriol shaming the rest of us on how WE are not adults? why don’t you get the fuck up from your computer, stop typing and pick up your fucking package your stupid piece of shit NYC hipster ass. d. ” The question is whether you are a cool, collected adult whose life is not constantly on fire, or whether you’re a Carrie Bradshaw, who literally had to go visit her ex-boyfriend at work to ask for money to not be evicted because she bought too many statement accessories.” who the fuck are you addressing in this statement? If you’re using sex and the city as any kind of metaphor for realistic adult behavior, even in example as something not to be, you are an ass, she’s a fictional character.

    Being a “cool, collected adult” is a fucking privilege. If you and all these other dickhead commenters are so awesome at it, write a fucking book or a follow up article on ALL THE THINGS WE ARE MISSING before your generation is dead and the knowledge is lost. I CANNOT WAIT TO READ IT.

  • James

    “I don’t think it’s Carrie Bradshaw-chic when I order takeout several nights in a row, I think it’s an embarrassing waste of money. I don’t think that it’s just me being my quirky ol’ millennial self when I neglect to make doctor’s appointments for years on end, I think it’s dangerous and stupid.”

    How do you reconcile these positions? The annual doctor’s checkup is an annual $8 billion waste of money, and we have no evidence that it leads to improved health, e.g.,

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/08/annual_checkups_going_to_the_doctor_when_you_re_not_sick_does_more_harm.html
    http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/health/skip-your-annual-checkup-20150515

    Please, don’t go to the doctor if you’re not sick.

  • HomeschoolMominAZ

    This is what happens when children are micromanaged, not explicitly
    taught life skills, and not given increasing responsibilities as they
    age. It’s also a result of some education practices (public, private and
    home) that focus primarily on spoon feeding data and rarely get around
    to teaching investigation, how to learn, setting priorities, and
    managing time and resources.

    • HomeschoolMominAZ

      That being said, this IS the age of the internet where just about anything you want to know how to do has plenty of informational articles and youtube videos that explain how in addition to having amazon and local libraries available. The problem is a mindset. Some young adults still haven’t made the mental shift to, “I’M responsible for finding out, learning, practicing and dealing with these things myself. Just because I wasn’t taught it by age 18, doesn’t mean I’m absolved of my responsibilities.”

  • NL

    I have so many questions about so many commenters lives after scrolling through this. What even…

  • adaeze

    I’m so glad @berrydakara shared this link on her blog. I’m guilty and I’ve decided to change. Starting now. Thanks Chelsea. You write very well.
    @ everyone else, truth is bitter but healing.

  • Sam Rosenfeld

    I love this so much it’s unreal. Thank you for sharing.

  • I saw “Chelsea” and thought, well, you know.

  • ZonToro

    That adult pixie dust your looking for … children. You’re pretty much left with no choice but to grow the f*** up. Now, GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DARN KID!

    • Kids to force you to learn stuff you might not be as motivated to do on your own. Sort of like a tiny Paris Island Drill Instructor that keeps growing over twenty years. Of course, that is the goal.

      • Lightninbug

        “Sort of like a tiny Paris Island Drill Instructor that keeps growing”

        Priceless !

  • I can’t figure out how this is even possible, but I believe you. So go taking a cooking class, or a hobby class in what ever skill you are lacking? Who knows, it might even be…dare I say it…fun!

  • It might be time for the Author to read Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

    Although when I suggested it over at Instapundit, someone said you might benefit from the Audible version.

  • LegallySpeaking

    The Left sold us that we could be infants forever, fed by the big hand of Daddy Government.

    This is what happens, morons.

  • I’ve outsourced my brain to Ellen and Elmo so I can sit home and eat processe cheese

  • buddygonzo

    Stop being a Democrat

  • Astraea_Muse

    There is nothing wrong with calling this adulting.

    It’s adulting to go shopping, to make a budget, to balance your checkbook. And yes, as adults, we should all know how to do that.

  • Matt

    I was with you until you equated materialism with having your shit together. My place is very bare bones, the only things in the fridge are salad supplies. I have considered getting a dresser, but my system works well for me. While one reason my place is bare bones is that I don’t expect to be there long-term, and moving is a giant pain in the ass, but it might well turn out that I will prefer a more minimalist setup in my long term arrangement. Don’t assume that a lack of possessions that some may think are unnecessary means that people can’t take care of themselves.