COMMENT: Why secret ‘adulting’ is a straight-up friendship BETRAYAL


There’s an episode of Sex and the City – season four: episode eight, fact fans – where Carrie is forced to acknowledge that the laptop which has kept her in Manolos has finally kicked the bucket.

After losing much of her work and having a meltdown any technophobe would recognise at 50 paces, she’s asked countless times by numerous people why she didn’t have the foresight to ‘back up’ her work.

And eventually she blows.

Confronting the ever-organised and uber-practical Miranda, Carrie insists “You know, no one talks about backing up.”

“You've never used that expression with me before, ever. But apparently, everybody's secretly running home at night and backing up their work.”

As a 16-year-old I could empathise with her frustration, but as a 29-year-old the outburst has taken on a much deeper, more profound meaning.

There comes a point during your busy life pretending to ‘adult’ that you realise not everyone is actually pretending alongside you.

And I’m not talking about the real adults here – they are, of course, adulating like good things – but your friends, peers and co-workers.

You’ll be given hints every now and then which you’ll choose to ignore – passing references to saving accounts and multivitamins – but, like the moment you almost miss a step on the stairs, you’ll suddenly realise that everyone has been running home and backing up without you.

But instead of just investing in an external hard drive on the sly, they’ve been opening separate savings accounts, enquiring about pension plans, and putting money aside every single month which they – and this is the important part – do not touch.

You soon realise that when they say they’re broke, it doesn't mean they actually want to go halves on a Candy Floss machine – which you insist you can share joint custody of – and just unfortunately don't have the money this time around.

Oh, they have the money alright, but they just have better things to spend it on.

When they give the property pages more than a passing glance and reveal – usually after a night of drinking – that they have a five-year-plan and a few thousand in the Credit Union, you’ll realise that this has all been done without your consultation or express permission.

‘Weren’t we all in this together?’ you’ll ask as you moodily scuff your toe into the ground and wonder at what point they decided to actually grow up and you decided that Tupperware was where you’d draw the line.

Realising that countless people in my circle had been ‘running home and backing up in secret’ has made my descent into the dirty thirties – 10 months, three weeks and four days but who’s counting? – all the more traumatic.

While many of us might seek comfort in memes which remind us that our 20s are a time for multiple f*ck-ups, long romantic walks to the fridge and numerous career lowlights, many more have used the latter half of the decade to get their life together and plan for the future.

The more mature among you might suggest I take inspiration from my more practical peers, learn how to drive, answer those letters from the bank and educate myself on the nutritional value of avocados.

But my spirit-animals reading this will acknowledge the situation for the clusterf*ck it really is  –  a downright abuse of trust and a total disregard for my feelings.

And if anyone needs me, I’ll be in my fort.

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