Hitch up your mommy jeans or comfy sweats. We're going to take a look at a few undeniable signs that you're turning into those icons of your formative years -- your parents. Be on the lookout for these clues that you've made a paradigm shift from theory to practice, from wishful thinking to thinking pragmatically and from learning life's lessons to using them.
- You start really listening to the weather report. You used to splash through puddles on your way home from school. Now, you're the responsible adult handing out galoshes and heavy weather gear to your reluctant progeny. You may not know it yet, but the day the weather channel became entertainment television, you were doomed.
- You start grouping your trips to the fridge to save energy. This is often followed by the admonition, "Do you want to bankrupt us?" when your children leave the refrigerator door open too long.
- You find yourself tapping your foot to elevator music -- even instrumental renditions of "Muskrat Love" and "Georgy Girl."
- You discover that good posture, diligent study habits and exemplary manners matter after all.
- Current slang expressions make you feel confused and a little sad.
- Television commercials seem too sexy, frank and loud.
- You're inclined to buy your clothes a comfy size too big instead of a torturous size too small.
- You realize that it's more important to be kind than to be witty.
- You start thinking shoes should be comfortable.
- Waste starts to offend you. That last tablespoon of cereal at the bottom of the box, the last capful of toothpaste at the end of the tube and the final gasp, literally, of shampoo at the bottom of the bottle become important commodities. It isn't just the cost of supplies, either. It's the PRINCIPLE. Oh, no! You've started using the "P" word.
- You know where to find the bathroom in every grocery store and home improvement outlet in town.
- You carry around hand sanitizer around instead of cologne.
- People start saying, "Why didn't you ever. . ." instead of "When are you going to . . . ."
- You daydream about getting a good night's sleep.
- Summer seems about two weeks instead of three months long.
- You look forward to spending your yearly bonus paying off credit cards instead of taking a romantic and well-deserved vacation.
There's one more tipoff that you're turning into your parents. You'll know when it happens. It's the frisson of surprise bordering on awe that you'll feel when you realize, through some small insight on an ordinary day, that your mom and dad knew way more than you ever gave them credit for.