I don’t know about you, but when I was a little girl I used to be rewarded for good behaviour, accomplishments and for overcoming challenges.
For instance, it was very common to get a lollipop at the doctor’s office if you were a brave little girl during the appointment. If I helped around the house and did a good job, my mom allowed me extra TV time. I also got sweets at restaurants for behaving well and everyone remembers the golden stars at school.
In all fairness, it is true to say that childhood wasn’t all easy. Learning how to control your emotions, to accept authority and to do things you don’t want to do is tough.
However, adulthood has turned out to be a much bigger challenge, yet I no longer get lollipops for anything.
For instance, my dentist has pulled a total of 6 teeth out of my skull over the past 5 years and I do not recall any rewards. Instead, I just keep getting big fat bills after each appointment which I have to pay with a mouth full of bloody cotton. Where is my lollipop??
Similarly, now I do ALL of the housework ALL THE TIME, continuously doing this everlasting chore of maintaining a house which never seems to end, which means if anything, I have less TV time than ever.
Restaurant owners no longer appreciate my good behaviour, but they don’t know that deep inside I want to eat with my hands and walk up to other tables and tell those people exactly what I think about them, their outfits, food choices and mind-numbing conversations.
Alas, my efforts to suppress all my natural instincts is again, followed by a bill. If I want a sweet treat, social etiquette dictates that I have to pay $15 and share it with whomever I brought along whether I like sharing or not.
I also haven’t seen any more golden stars at school. I recently handed in a 10,000 word literature review, and instead of any stars or candy, I received five pages of feedback with comments like “how certain is your current certainty about your past certainty?” which I understand to be the academic equivalent of the opposite of a golden star.
So life is harder than ever, but rewards are sparse. What to do?
The first option is to coerce doctors, restaurant owners and distinguished professors to give you rewards.
Alternatively you could embrace the fact that you’re an adult now, which comes with some perks – you could simply reward yourself! Why stop at lollipops when you can have an entire chocolate cake?
Why not buy actual golden stars with your hard-earned money?
Get yourself some flowers when you finish your housework.
Enjoy a day of doing nothing after a day of doing everything.
And for the love of God, let’s all stop sharing desserts!