The things they don't tell you
In a recent post I talked about adopting a cat and the impact that it had on my life.
There is, however, one thing that I did not mention in that post. It's something that all cat and dog owners experience on a daily basis and yet I have never heard anyone speak of it.
I am of course talking about our pet's anuses.
As a new pet owner I was not prepared for the amount of anus I would be exposed to.
I'll be sitting there on the coach watching Netflix and to my left stands Mona. She has just gotten up from a nap and is having a stretch that looks so satisfying I can only dream of what it must feel like. She is facing away from me so as I glance to my left I get an eyeful of anus.
This casual eyeful of anus is a regular thing.
If I'm working out and doing some ground work (like push ups or core stuff) she often comes over looks for attention. This generally results in her rubbing up against my face and really leaning into it, turning her body as she does. I have to move or risk getting more than just an eyeful.
Before long you realise that the way a cat sits (dogs too) means that their anus is in for direct contact with the surface.
Cat sits on the floor - anus on the floor.
Cat sits on your table - Anus on the table.
Cat sits on your pillow - Anus on the pillow.
Then there are the times she just sits there and licks it and the surrounding area clean.
Ok, I think I've made my point. There is a lot more anus in my life then I expected. A lot more then I was told about...
Because people don't talk about this, just like they don't talk about a lot of other things.
What does it all mean?
One of the most striking things about growing older is that you realise no one has a clue what they are doing.
As kids adults are there as a source of authority. They know what's best for you and can give you advice about how to live your life. But they don't know. The have some life experience that may or may no longer be relevant. For example, anyone over 50 would have had a very different experience of entering the job market after school/college. Practically none of that is relevant today.
We are also all still subject to mass manipulation by the media, politicians and corporations. We are not in control. We are just making it up as we go along.
No one told me that... It was just a grim realisation I had one day (and from what I can see online plenty of others had that same personal realisation). You never really feel like an adult, you just kind of gather responsibilities.
I guess telling this to kids/teenagers would be a bad idea because it would undermine our adult authority...
Maintaining social connections is another one that isn't talked about much. As teenagers many people have a huge circle of friends / acquaintances. As you grow older this is a lot harder to maintain as everyone is busy doing their own thing. Getting everyone together becomes more difficult as individual commitments grow and diversify.
I spent six years of my life in school, hanging out with the same group of people every day. Now 15+ years later I barely remember the names of any those people.
We naturally drift as we grow older and social relationships become a thing that need to be actively maintained rather than just experienced.
And while we are on the subject of school, it would have been nice if someone told me just how little school would prepare me for living in the real world. A class about managing finances might have been useful, or how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, manage a home or even basic interaction with a computer.
Lastly, as a culture we really seem to cling to the notion that if you do good you will rise to the top. The hero story. The good guy wins and the bad guy gets their comeuppance.
That's just not true.
Plenty of horrible people 'win' and have easy lives and plenty of nice people have horrible lives that they struggle through heroically.
Life isn't fair and the universe owes you nothing...
Actually it's probably better that people don't talk too much about that one.... though now that I say it out loud, it feels like that's all the more reason to be nice to people and try to cause as little harm as possible to everything around you, just to spite the universe.
Being a dick is the easy way out...