Gina Barreca: Maturity Is Getting It Done, No Whining

By Gina Barreca
The Hartford Courant

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As columnist Gina Barreca points out, “While immaturity and laziness are inextricably linked, neither is irrevocable.” There is always time to grow up!

The Hartford Courant

Are you mature enough to pass the light bulb test?

I’d been sharing my mid-20s with an educated, sane man for more than two years when he remarked in his cheerful British accent how amazed he was that given all the time we’d been in our apartment, not one light bulb had ever stopped working.

I looked up from the pile of papers I was grading to double-check if he was not kidding. He wasn’t.

“What did you think happened? I sold my soul to the lamp fairy? We practically live in a basement. I replace bulbs constantly,” I said.

“I never saw you do it,” he replied. “So I merely assumed we were terribly fortunate.”

That, my friends, was the end of that relationship and the beginning of the light bulb test.

Here’s what maturity does: Maturity fills the salt-shakers and it wipes down the shelves in the fridge when they’re sticky. It empties the kitty litter before stalagmites form. Maturity understands that there can be one junk drawer in a house, but not 27.

Maturity doesn’t text, type, game or take calls when in conversation with others.

Maturity backs up its files, goes to a doctor or a clinic when it’s in pain, and, according to Jan Bell, on occasion picks up the tab when it goes out to dinner with its parents.

Maturity understands that nobody wants the back story of why something didn’t get done because it knows that what matters is the effective completion of a task.

In contrast, immaturity has an extensive list of prefab excuses for why it couldn’t make its deadline. Immaturity uses every tummy ache, flu, headache, fallen arch, hangnail or breakup as an excuse to slip the knot of accountability. Immaturity, then, doesn’t understand why life is always “so unfair, like, always” when it offers criticism instead of condolences for failure.

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