Bryan Caplan  

There's a Name for What I Am

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It's "kidult":

While many people in their forties have families and responsibilities, an increasing minority still resemble teenagers. Scary, wrinkled, grey-haired teenagers, with some kind of terrifying premature ageing disease, but teenagers nonetheless. It’s enough of a phenomenon to have been given its own portmanteau label: kidult.
According to the piece, it's hard to remain a kidult if you have kids yourself. But false modesty aside, I think I've managed.

HT: Kerry Howley


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TRACKBACKS (3 to date)
TrackBack URL: http://econlog.econlib.org/mt/mt-tb.cgi/805
The author at A Stitch in Haste in a related article titled Questions writes:
    --Which American county is poised to have a new record-high sales tax?

    --Are we really still at the point where occupational journalists feel a need to use the term " [Tracked on March 6, 2008 9:34 AM]
COMMENTS (4 to date)
blejkrajli writes:

I think "grup" rolls off the tongue easier. The linked article portrays grups as primarily being hipsters, but I think you'd appreciate their exploration of people who refuse to grow up as parents.

Rick Stewart writes:

Are you kidding - I'm 58 and I embarrass my own children when I play with my grandkids. We shut off all the lights in the house, race around hiding and screaming and picking up the little ones and putting them in the freezer and throwing water at each other and locking people out of the house in their underwear - the parents freak out and make us quit.

Softies - where did I go wrong?

Caliban Darklock writes:

I'm 38 years old. I have two kids. And while I'm currently reading economics and law blogs at the beginning of my work day, just to get into the right mindset, I'm also listening to Cradle of Filth on my Zune.

There are a couple of things I've noticed about people who "grow up". One is that they don't so much grow up as give up; in the words of one such person, "I woke up one day and realised that teenage angst simply didn't apply to me any more". Strangely enough, his life wasn't any better; he didn't solve his problems, he simply stopped trying to fix them. There's something sad about that.

The other thing I've noticed is that many such people give up, not because they want what they don't have, but because they suddenly - and with some shock - perceive the absurdity of what they do. The black, death, and doom metal world is fundamentally a silly place, where people essentially make parodies of themselves. Other teen cliques are undoubtedly just as silly.

I think a lot of why people like myself can stay in these groups isn't so much that we don't see the absurdity, but that we've always seen the absurdity. We understand and accept that whenever you go out for the night wearing corpsepaint and women's underwear, it's simply ridiculous, and always has been. We don't mind the people snickering behind their hands at us, because we're snickering behind our hands at ourselves.

Dain writes:

I think that those able to make a living "being a kid" are not true kidults. This guy Herring is a professional comedian and writer, so the stigma of not having grown up somehow escapes him. It's the single, childless thirty and fortysomethings with no career, just enough money to pay rent, watch dvds and go to concerts that I tend to think of as kidults. They consume kidult material, they don't produce it. However, even those who manage to scrape by in a band, to me, wouldn't count, thus the "professional" qualifer and perhaps a certain amount of fame.

At least that's my take.

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