Hey there. I’m trying to teach my son how to adult. So I’m going to need the world the stop changing how things are done, please.
In recent weeks it’s come to my attention that I don’t really know how the world works any more. I went to a walk-in hair cutting place and they asked me if I’d checked in yet. Uh no, I just got here. It’s a walk-in establishment, right? Apparently you are now expected to get in line online before walking through the door. Which, to me, cancels out the walk-in aspect.
Then my son forgot the PIN for his debit card. He seldom uses it in a way that requires a PIN, but got stymied trying to put gas in the car. Getting his PIN reset required going to the bank in person, something he found daunting. I offered to go with him as he learned how to navigate a face-to-face banking matters. It turns out I don’t know either.
I’ve used the same bank for 20 years. But since the last time I walked inside, they’ve changed everything. We went through the doors and I was shocked into a dead stop. It didn’t look like a bank at all. There were no teller stations. No other customers. No table with deposit and withdrawal slips and those pens on chains. In fact, there was not much of anything or anyone at all. Maybe four employees were visible at various places, doing indecipherable tasks. Nobody who looked like they were there for customer service. I felt like a new immigrant to my own life — one who hasn’t yet learned the local customs.
Finally, a woman came out from behind a desk and asked whom we needed to speak with. Though polite, she did it with the manner of someone who was making an extra effort and going outside their usual job role. A different employee eventually helped my son get his card straightened out. But I saw no other customer the entire time we were there. I guess going into the bank isn’t done any more?
It looks as if I need to be the student and not the teacher in this matter of 21st century adulting. I find myself bewildered at many turns. I have considered telling my kids not to ask me anything any more. They’re probably better off figuring it all out on their own.
But last night, kid one, who has moved away, messaged me asking if I could offer some mom advice. I braced myself, not knowing what to expect as I answered that I would try. The next message I got was a photo of this avocado, with the question, “Is this okay to eat, even though it has spots?”
Finally! A question I’m equipped to answer. I would eat that, I replied.
At the very least, world, don’t go changing the avocado rules on me now. I still have one area of competence.