The VICE Guide to Adulthood
We are so sick of you full-grown babies running around aimlessly – with your shoes untied and overdraft-fee receipts falling out of your pockets and grease stains on your cut-offs and employment-repellent skillsets and inability to party and go to work the next morning – that we’ve gone ahead and figured it all out for you.
In the early 2000s, 20- and even 30-somethings could eke out a passable existence as abhorrent, unabashedly selfish, microwave-dependent and wholly unproductive members of society. Today, somewhat due to the grievous irresponsibilities of our parents, we know that such behaviour results in insurmountable debts being foisted on future generations, and, if you really give it your all, the slaughter of millions of innocent civilians.
Chances are your parents were selfish and didn’t raise you correctly. Like, at least one-third of the people reading this have no idea how to fold a T-shirt. What the fuck is wrong with you? Did you just not show up to that day of life? But it’s OK. We will show you the way.
They say that the older you get, the harder it is to make friends. Most people have all the “BFFs” that they’re gonna have by the time they’re in their late twenties, because these BFFs are people we met and bonded with while growing up. If you are 30-plus and have more than two friends who you’ve known for more than 15 years, then you’re doing pretty fucking good. Don’t blow it with those gems, and don’t worry about making any more close friends because between work, trying to have sex sometimes and squeezing out time to read books and catch up on YouTube clips, who has the goddamn time? Plus – and this cannot be overemphasised – the older you get, the more you realise how many people deserve to be disappeared and possibly vapourised.
PAY YOUR DEBTS
Hardly anyone has a credit card in Germany. The Germans, culturally, do not live beyond their means, mostly because they tried that once and a lot of bad things happened. That’s sort of like America and Europe now, don’t you think? The only difference is that instead of Hitler we get a bunch of religious extremists who hunker down in the worst places in the world and figure out how they’re going to kill us over here. Bad things are happening, for sure, and a lot of it is fuelled and funded by people (the West) living a lifestyle they can't afford. If you don't want to fall into this category, start by doing simple stuff like paying £100 a month more than the interest owed on your credit card instead of buying drugs twice in one week.
PS: The stuff about Germany is sorta kinda only half-true, but it's pretty convincing, right?
This probably doesn't apply to the pot you smoke and mushrooms and other psychedelics you ingest, but the next time you buy coke or heroin or other narcotics that can potentially stop your heart, give yourself a friendly reminder that a lot of people in Mexico are dying so you can have a fun night of drinking and having sex with strangers. And not just drug lords – entire families of innocent people who happened to live in the wrong town and, increasingly, lots of children. There’s nothing you can do to stop it, but if you feel like you might have a bad drug problem coming on, subscribe to a few Mexican websites so you can look at crime scene photos of piles of body parts and headless corpses the next time you feel like taking a bump or plunging a needle in your arm. In other words, moderation is key.
Want to know why so many of your parents are divorced and/or bankrupt? It’s probably because a) They got married way too early; b) Had kids way too early; c) Had an affair because at least one of the spouses never got to fuck a bunch of people; and d) Worked a job that they hated for way too long. Avoid all of these traps and you will have a much better chance of avoiding a mid-life crises. Be honest with yourself, and with others, simply because it is more efficient. Want to cheat on your girlfriend? Why don't you just dump her instead and fuck whoever you want? Is it because you’re a giant, snivelling pussy who is afraid to be alone and actually face the consequences of your decisions like a real human being? Probably, and we hope you get dick cancer as a result (not because we’re moral crusaders, just because we think it’s funny when people get what they deserve). You know what you want; and if you don't, just keep trying things to till you figure it out but also try to not be a self-serving asshole along the way and everyone will be happier in the long run.
After you’ve gone ahead and landed a real job that pays you in actual money instead of food vouchers and sample-size bottles of shampoo, maybe you should think about using your holiday time for something other than sitting on your sofa and pub-crawling around your shitty town (or on a friend's sofa in a similar city). Instead, how about you get up off your rapidly widening arse, turn off your phone for a couple of weeks and plunge headfirst into this lonely world to gain some perspective. Go somewhere dirty, dangerous and cheap, and go by yourself, or with someone you love or are guaranteed to have a good time with. If you’ve ever questioned whether or not you’re stupid or boring, this is a great way to find out. And if you are, there’s a chance you can even remedy it.
If you’re the kind of person who goes out with friends and ruins everybody’s good time because you can’t stop bitching about things and getting upset about everyone you see and are "outraged" or "offended" or "way too far inside your head", then we hate to break it to you, but your emotions stopped developing at the age of foetus. If your best friend in the whole world, who you’ve know since grade school, can’t tell you that you have a bogey in your nose without you getting uptight and misty eyed, then you need to work on your emotional health a little bit. Nobody wants to work with, fuck, or go to the movies with a walking exposed nerve. Save emotions for when they count, and when people are receptive to them: sexy times, animal videos and Christmas.
LOVE VS. FUCKING
They say that a life worth living is a life worth sharing. They also say that if you’re an asshole all the time, you’re going to slip on a wad of hair in the shower, hit your head, suffer a contusion and die. No one will find your corpse until it begins emitting a stench so powerful that it cuts through all the curry and jerk chicken your neighbours are making in your shitty block of flats. In your teens and twenties it’s OK to be annoyingly picky and indecisive (within reason) about finding the “right one” and eliminating people from your uppity little dating pool because they don’t like your favourite brand of deodorant, or because they are Nazis about recycling. Eventually, if you’re lucky, it will dawn on you: “OHHHHHH! I’m the asshole here! Not that girl who I dumped because she’s allergic to paper!” If someone is nice to you, and your privates find them attractive, love them for as long as you can and as well as you can, and then keep trying for even longer than that because you probably don’t deserve a second chance. Fucking, however, is a completely different thing. Grunting like an animal and ramming your parts into another person’s feel-good cavity/getting rammed in yours is purely recreational, and let's face it, those hot sluts at the bar aren’t going to be the ones you want to see walk into your room with a stack of DVDS and a bowl of tomato soup when you’re home in bed with a fever.
The pressure to go out and do things, all the time, in public, and document those things on 14 different social-networking sites is overwhelming, especially in your twenties. But cherish those times, sparky. By 30, when you’ve fucked way too many people you shouldn’t have and a general disdain for humanity begins to take over your face muscles, the decision to go out or stay in revolves around the following criteria: 1) I hope there’s no one there that I have to talk to; 2) I hope there’s somewhere to sit down; 3) If someone doesn’t try to have sex with me within 20 minutes, I’m going home to put on tracksuit bottoms and watch Pink Panther DVDs. One of the best perks of adulthood is that your apartment/house is probably pretty decent, with plenty of chairs, heating controls and a variety of beverages to offer and enjoy. Being an adult basically means being able to say, “Why don’t we just stay in and make dinner and maybe even save some money?” and not (always) look at the place you live in as a set for fingerbanging.
It is quite possible that your parents didn’t teach you certain things about hygiene while you were growing up. It’s quite possible that you don't even have human parents, and were perhaps born from a turd similar to the ones you continuously leave in the bowl without flushing after visiting a public toilet, like a DNA stink-abortion for the next person to discover. Hate to break the news to you, pal, but if you haven’t managed to tackle how to properly deal with your faecal waste, everything else in life is going to seem like an impossible challenge.
If you consider yourself a “full-grown adult” and have not read (like, completed, cover to cover) a book of any sort in the past three months, you are probably someone we never want to be friends with. TV and movies are great and all, and it’s good to keep up with carefully curated show selections, but if you look forward to making it home in time to catch The Big Bang Theory or whatever, you’re probably hopeless and should be sure to only befriend similarly boring people so you don’t ruin conversations. Non-fiction, medical journals, fiction, whatever, just read a fucking book already. Also, listen to whatever music you want to because there are no rules any more, but be warned: Talking like a rapper if you aren’t one and “acting tough” is so transparent and lame that we are considering forming a hit squad to systematically cleanse this segment of humanity. Not joking.
Hey, you know what makes adults so special? They only give a shit about a handful of people. This is because they spend the majority of time being productive members of society, not pretending they are a celebrity and talking about how the vegetarian egg salad wrap they ate earlier “tasted a little funky” on Facebook. You want to know why when you look at photos of people from the 60s and 70s they look so much cooler than you? It’s because they were. They didn’t have personal ego-satellites to mind-rape the country with their inane proclivities and terrible ideas; they actually had to talk to people, like face-to-face, or on the telephone when an in-person conversation wasn’t an option. Speaking of which, how come no one talks on the phone any more? How about we start doing that again instead of leaving impersonal comments on the profiles of people we secretly hate. It’ll save us all some time. If you must, Twitter and Instagram are far superior because their formats don’t allow for the same level of bloated self-indulgence as a MINI-WEBSITE ABOUT YOURSELF. Trust us, you’re not that interesting.
Want more schooling on how to fix your fucking life?