17 April 2023

You're never too young to learn to adult

| Sally Hopman
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Why am I only being taught these things now?!? Image: Yass Valley Council.

It’s the sort of headline I’ve longed to see ever since I could read headlines: How To Adult.

Finally, I thought, how to do stuff without people falling in a heap laughing because you did it back-to-front, upside-down or without reading the instructions. OK, forget the last one; not even adults read instructions.

Being 150 years old, sadly, I can’t go – but if you’re between 12 and 24, Gundaroo Recreation Ground on Sunday, 30 April, is the place to be.

Go back to the days when you could learn how not to say the wrong thing. You don’t have to say the right thing all the time, just not the wrong thing all the time. Impose rules, if you have to, such as: never say anything ever to any woman wearing a large floaty dress. You can guarantee she won’t be pregnant and will take offence when you ask when she’s due.

The brainchild of Yass Valley Council, it’s billed as a Youth Week event, but it clearly still applies to those of us who can spell Yoof Weak or know who Keef Richards is/was. If only vicariously.

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But isn’t it an excellent idea? A day where you learn how you’re supposed to do stuff. Important stuff like looking after yourself and the things you care about. Like your car, your family, the contents of your fridge and your brain – ideally, not necessarily in that order.

Last century, when we were young, it would have been great if someone had helped us not do the wrong thing. Or even better, steer us towards doing the right thing, especially if they were mechanically minded. We could have avoided the unsightliness of the face of the bloke in the garage when someone not a million miles from this keyboard tried to explain why they found it so hard to fill the car up with oil via the dipstick slot thingy.

At the How To Adult event, mechanics will be there to show you what to do before problems arise – like when people who should know better get behind the wheel or, heaven forbid, lift the bonnet.

As long as you still have an engine in it and have remembered to fuel it up – and not surprise your partner by filling his ute up with diesel because you think he does – he doesn’t/hasn’t ever – it should be all-OK.

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If you insist on trying to do the right thing (and don’t we all?), just pump up your tyres so they won’t feel deflated, and you’ll be fine. (And if you did the diesel thing, it might be good to leave town for a bit …. by foot.)

I’m optimistic that young folk can learn only good things on such a day of learning.

Yes, it’s important to know how to knock up a decent apricot chicken, know which side of the car the petrol bowser prefers (for the record, there’s an arrow on most fuel gauges pointing to it), and realise that if you spend more money than you earn, you won’t have any left to buy the stuff you really need like food and designer shoes.

But according to the day’s program, it looks like they’ll also help folk move in the right direction when it comes to good mental health – starting with learning how to be as nice to people as you’d like them to be to you. Unless they’re not very nice people, and then, well, don’t let them have any apricot chicken. Or make them eat it all – you be the judge (of the apricot chicken).

How To Adult is on Sunday, 30 April, from 10:30 am to 7 pm at the Gundaroo Recreation Ground for people aged between 12 and 24. Visit the website for more information. Bookings essential.

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Oops, the link didn’t work for me. Looks great though. Hopefully they’ll run some classes for people (not me) who have attained the age of 25 plus and still adult inconsistently.

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