January 11, 2022

Children Posing as Grown-Ass Adults

Do you ever just look at the world surrounding you and wonder, what the actual hell?

I’m not talking about the whole world. There are endless “what the hells” in that world. No, I am talking about your world. The one that surrounds you in your life.

I know I constantly look at the world that surrounds me. Sometimes it’s rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it’s a monotone “meh.” Sometimes it’s a big, steaming pile of dung. And sometimes, if I’m being real, it’s a world where the “what the hells” can quickly evolve to become “what the fucks.”

For example, I very recently had the opportunity to listen in on an hours-long conversation of a group of {ahem} children. Let’s just say, there were some very interesting things being said. The following is a small taste of those things that doesn’t even come close to covering all of it:

“Sex definitely isn’t happening tonight, trust me,” one of them said.

“Your nipples are just fine, bro. Don’t you listen to those two.”

“That whiskey was awful. Let’s save it for our friends who are already so drunk they won’t notice, and let’s drink the good stuff tonight.”

“Well, I guess there’s only one way to settle this. Everyone’s gotta drop their drawers.”

“Yeah, I don’t do strip clubs. Just doesn’t do anything for me.”

“What percent gay do you think you are?”

“Would it be weird to take a picture of my penis smoking a cigarette?”

And then, toward the end of the many hours of this conversation, this was said (which is what led me to sharing this):

“Don’t you think it’s funny that we are as old as we are, and we almost never have actual adult conversations? I mean, this is the shit we talk about every single time we get together, and it never gets old.”

By the way, when I said children earlier, I actually meant a group consisting of me and my grown-ass friends, the youngest of whom turns 39 tomorrow.

One of my personal favorite “what the hell” statements of the night happened somewhere around midnight.

As we talked about getting older, we obviously had to get into our aging, aching bodies and all the fun dynamics that come with that.

Penises shrinking, balls sagging, and boobs drooping obviously wiggled its way into the conversation at one point. 

We somehow got to talking about how since our kids are older now, it’s a little late to start drawing lines on a wall to measure how tall they have grown over the years. That, mixed with conversation about our shrinking body parts, led to the greatest idea of the night.

“Maybe instead of a wall for our kids,” we mused, “we should start making marks measuring the bottom of our balls and boobs to see just how much closer to the ground they get in the decades to come. Y’know. Get together and do it like once a year.”

I’ll let that one sink in for a second, because it’s just that amazing of an idea.

A wall to measure our aging body parts over time was absolutely joked about, but don’t be too shocked by it. I did tell you that the phrase, “what the hell,” was absolutely a fair one. I promise you, I was was judging myself for it. I was 100% thinking, “what the hell” as I gut-laughed aloud with everyone else. I won’t be butt hurt at all if you judge me for it too, or even run for the hills right now. Our group of friends is… Special.

Some of us are single. Some of us are married.

All of us are just children posing as grown-ass adults.

Sure, there was drinking. What else do you do as parents when you finally have a moment to get together, let loose, tip a few back, and just be kid-free for a night?

Not that we needed the alcohol. Those ridiculous conversations would have happened with or without it. The happy juice just helped get it going and fuel the fire.

And it wasn’t all like that, either. We talked about plenty of good and positive things. We talked about self-improvement and mental health. We bragged up our kids. We caught up on each other’s lives. None of us did, nor have we ever actually dropped our drawers or seen each other neckid’ (even though we have joked about it for years). Yes, a married man’s nipples were shown to the group for critique, I’ll admit to that, but it was for… Science. Can we just go with that?

I’m sure if we went to a wedding or a funeral, we would be absolutely appropriate and not-at-all perverted. I’m sure if the occasion was ever serious at all, we would rein in the “what the hells” and force ourselves to be proper for a few hours at least.

But the rest of the time? Forget about it.

As I reach middle-age, I have come to believe that very few of us in this world ever actually grow up. Some people are definitely better at pretending than others, but none of us do it. The concept of being grown-up is an illusion. It’s a mirage in the desert. It’s something we believed would happen when we were children and we never stopped to think that it might all be complete bullshit.

Some people in a million years would never have conversations like the one we had with anybody. I know that. But at the end of the day, deep down in our psyches, we all are still one big juvenile brood.

I believe that some of the best parts of being a child are having ridiculous conversations with friends, saying naughty things, doing silly stuff when the adults of the world aren’t watching, saying the things that adults tell us we shouldn’t, breaking a few rules, and sincerely laughing without a whole lot of guilt as we do it all

That shit brought so many of us joy when we were younger. 

Conversely, some of the best parts of having great friends as grown-ass adults are that you still get to be children when you are together. You get to say naughty things, have ridiculous conversations, do silly stuff when other grown-ups in the world aren’t watching, say what other grown-ups think you shouldn’t, break a few rules, and sincerely laugh without a whole lot of guilt as you do.

I may think, “what the hell” about what’s going on around me, and I may think it often when I’m with certain groups of friends, but I would never trade my friends or our childish dynamic for something more… grown-up.

With new friends, it’s never quite so good as it is with those friends who truly trust each other enough to set their inner children free. It’s only the greatest friends with whom I have the greatest conversations, and I do mean greatest.

Being a grown-up is really fucking stressful, and it is one of the greatest stress relievers to not have to be one sometimes, even if it’s just for a night. 

So, thank you friends, for all our “what the hell” moments. Thank you for never growing up. Grown-up life is so much easier with you, and with our future wall we might just be measuring balls and boobs on.

Dan Pearce, Dan Pearce Knows Nothing

By the way, I have really been trying to figure out how to set a tone for this new blog, and this topic felt like a great way to do that.

Do I love the self-improvement, intrinsic, “let’s all conquer the world” discussions we have always had together?


But this isn’t Single Dad Laughing anymore.

I am Dan Pearce, and who I am is what you’ll always get from now on. It’s okay if it’s no longer your cup of tea, my friends. If I’m honest to myself and write whatever I want to write, my people will find me.

I have a sneaking suspicion though, that most of you here won’t be going anywhere.