So I have a baby who’ll be mobile in a few months/weeks/minutes and my coffee table is constructed out of jagged splinters that are held together by rusted nails and broken pieces of metal. Here is a close-up picture of what it looks like:
So obviously this cannot be anywhere near a baby who is learning to walk. The only way it will be OK for me to keep this coffee table is if I hire a man to stand next to it twelve hours a day administering Tetanus shots to people. It would be more child-friendly if the centerpiece of my living room were an enormous knife surrounded by rabid dogs surrounded by George Zimmerman surrounded by razorblades. Surrounded by e. coli. Surrounded by gonorrhea.
So I was going to write about how to childproof my home since everyone who sees my living room is worried about what a total death trap it is. “Kids,” they tell me, “get into everything.” Having a two-year-old is like adopting a tornado that eats M&M’s. And that was when I began to wonder– is there even any point to child proofing my apartment? Will it ever be safe for kids of ANY age?
And that was when I suddenly wondered, “Is my apartment even safe for adults??”
And my apartment, I am realizing, is not at all safe for adults. Because adults are not going to teethe on the exposed power cords I left dangling from the air conditioner. They are going to get into much worse trouble than that. And since babies are not that big a deal–everyone knows how to get rid of dangerous furniture and buy those little outlet-cover-plug-things and tie up the cords to their venetian blinds, I thought a much more helpful list might be how to make your apartment safe for people 24 to 61. (Ages are just a rough estimate.)
That being said, here are fool-proof tips on:
How to Adultproof Your Home
1. Get Rid of The Entire Internet
WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING WITH THIS IN YOUR HOUSE? Having internet access when there is an adult walking around is a recipe for disaster.
What’s that, you say? He’s a forty year old man? He couldn’t possibly lose two full hours watching videos of cats falling off a bed? WRONG. Oh, and her? She has a high powered job with health insurance, right? There’s no way she’s going to log into Facebook and Twitter and scroll through her newsfeed, obsessively “liking” pictures of pugs wearing clothing.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Adults cannot handle the internet. They’re obsessively checking their e-mail, looking at porn, and getting lost in a meaningless labyrinth of Buzzfeed lists and HuffPost articles. They will Google every inane question the second it comes into their heads. Who was the founder of modern Tennis? Major Walter Winfield! When was Michael Douglas born? September 25, 1944! Where does the expression “worth his salt” come from? Does Kevin Spacey have a middle name*? Does the female hyena really give birth through its clitoris**? WHY DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ANY OF THESE THINGS? It is so easy for adults to get lost here– while typing this very post I discovered both what the boys who played “Mikey” in the “Look Who’s Talking” movies are doing (not much), and that you can purchase a customized tattoo for a stuffed animal through the Vermont Teddy Bear website.
2. Don’t Leave Junk Food Lying Around
What’s that? You left nine bags of Cadbury Mini Eggs in a drawer in the pantry and said, “Oh, I’m sure they’re fine. No adult is going to eat their way through nine bags of Cadbury Mini Eggs.”
Are you serious? Have you ever MET an adult? It’s a common saying amongst grownups that the only way to eat Cadbury Mini Eggs is nine full-sized bags at a time. I myself eat so many of these that if I were to stop eating Mini Eggs, Cadbury would be forced to lay off a third of its workers.
3. Don’t Leave Credit Cards Lying Around
“Oh, I’m sure they’ll be fine,” you might say. “Adults wouldn’t want to accidentally spend more than they have saved! Who would want to be stuck paying thousands of dollars in interest because they splurged on a living room set they didn’t even really need? These are adults, after all!”
OH MY GOD, HAVE YOU NEVER MET ADULTS? Adults are HORRIBLE with money. They can know full well that they have 20 dollars in their checking account but if you give them a credit card where they can spend up to forty-thousand dollars they will immediately spend all forty-thousand dollars at the Christmas Tree Shop without even being positive what it was they bought there. Get it together, adults! Who do you think is responsible for the whole housing bubble? Four-year-olds??
4. Don’t Have Diet or Self-Help Books In Your House
You’d think adults could handle these, right? Or that they might even be helpful? WRONG AGAIN. Not that these tools might be useful in the hands of someone mature and self-aware, but we’re talking about adults here. Adults get their hands on these things and all you’ll hear about is how they’re “improving their life” by going on a cleanse where they spend a week ingesting nothing but lemon juice and paprika.
And here you are going, “Lemon Juice and Paprika are not food! You have to eat! Please eat! You’ll die if you don’t eat!” but you give them a spoonful of something delicious and they’ll angrily throw the spoon on the floor, insisting that whatever you offered them contains egg yolks or dairy or gluten. Feeding adults is such a headache. If it gets really bad and they begin saying things like, “Gwenyth Paltrow says I should…” you should maybe stage an intervention or call in a specialist.
5. Restrict Adults’ Access to TV/Cable Television
If I could get back all the hours I’ve spent watching Home and Garden Television, Law and Order reruns and “Real World” marathons, I would be, at the very least, president of the entire earth. Adults will insist on watching shows they like and most people don’t think to ask them, “Hey– have you finished everything you needed to finish? Are all your projects done? You don’t have anything you should be doing for work? Because adults will totally lie. Adults lie all the time– mainly to themselves but also to you. Adults will go, “Oh yeah, I finished everything,” as they settle down to watch 5 back-to-back episodes of “House of Cards.”
Restrict their access to TV. And even if they have finished everything for work, would it kill adults to go outside once in a while? Nothing kills me more than to see adults wasting a beautiful day stuck in front of the TV.
6. Don’t Leave Alcohol Where Adults Can Get to It
Oh man, if you think adults are crazy normally, check them out once they get ahold of this stuff because it is OFF THE HOOK. I have seen full grown adults vomiting into hats. They will dance in the street while slurring the lyrics to “Closing Time,” and then insist that they are totally capable of operating heavy machinery such as a car. They will pee themselves and yell at strangers on the street. Also, when they get really drunk they will send text messages to people they know asking if any of those people want to have sex with them. Yes! I am serious! ADULTS DO THIS! SOMETIMES PEOPLE WITH MASTER’S DEGREES. A ridiculous number of adults do this horrific texting thing. Which bring me to my next point:
7. Adults Should Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES be Given Smartphones. Or iPads.
Look, I know everyone handles raising his or her adults differently and I try not to judge other people, but seriously, giving an adult a smartphone is like the worst possible thing you can do. They’re not ready for it. Not only does this enable them to text ex-boyfriends/girlfriends while drunk, but it enables them to do a host of other irresponsible things at the touch of a button. There are millions of adults out there right now saying, “Boy, I’d love to attain my life dreams and really achieve something!” while simultaneously downloading Candy Crush Saga.
And I know, it’s hard. It’s a scary world in which to be looking out for an adult. Sometimes we wish there were a rule book, but there isn’t. You just have to cross your fingers and hope for the best.
* * *
*Kevin Spacey’s middle name is “Spacey.”
**Apparently. Gross, right?