becoming an adult. or: gentleman, take your damn caps off {a hat manifesto}.

My legs belie me. You see, they keep moving forward. And I am doing anything but. 

My parents passed through New York this weekend en route to other things. But we aligned our schedules just enough that we enjoyed a lovely family dinner on Saturday night and today (the lucky girl that I am) I got to spend all day with my mother. 

However, with the morning's downpour and an hour long session with Dr. Bob where the forecast of my face reflected the view out the window more than I'd care to admit, I felt anything but lucky. I wanted to crawl back into bed. 

No such luck.

Instead I met my mother on the corner of 68th and Broadway where I twisted my face into what I hoped would pass for a smile. 

Two blocks. That's how long it took for my mother to ask me why I'd been crying.

How to tell her that it's just been a rough patch. That the past two weeks have felt interminable. That getting out of bed has been a chore of great effort.

And so we stopped and stood under some crooked sidewalk scaffolding. And we both cried as the sky emptied out all around us. 

My mom said I could come home. If I need to. If I want to. For as long as I want. But I can't. Not this time. I did that once. But for now I have to grow up (or at least try). I have to make the decision to become an adult. To get out of bed in the morning, even when I don't want to and to brush my teeth. To floss. To shower and dress and walk instead of taking a cab. To smile at the checkout girl. To interact. To open. To bloom. Little things, every day. A few steps forward--and not just with my feet.

That's the thing about graduating from school that no one tells you: you have to grow up. Not immediately. It can be a slow, gradual process. But you have to make the decision. Because you're legs keep moving forward with or without you. You have to make the decision to keep up.

So men, when you enter a nice restaurant or a place of worship. When you go to dinner at a friend's house or attend a play at the theatre. Take...your Full stop. No questions asked. This is one of those things that makes you an adult. And believe it or not, since fifteen year-old-boys are capable of it, so must you be. I do not hold this belief because I am from the South. I do not hold this belief because I am old-fashioned. I hold this belief because it's common courtesy--common decency. Frankly, I'm shocked that your parents never taught you as much. 

We all have battles we are fighting. I know this. So gentleman, I'll make you a deal. You take off your hats without a fight and I'll fight Ned as hard as I possibly can.