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Q & A / MARK EHRMAN : Just Admit It: Adulthood Happens

September 12, 1993|MARK EHRMAN

At what point in your life did you realize you were an adult?

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Dean Jeffries, owner, Jeffries Automotive Styling, Automotive Stylist to the Stars:

I realized I was an adult when I got out of the Army. They have total control of your body, mind and soul, and when I got out of there, I decided I would never let anybody tell me what to do, when to do it or how to do it. I wanted to achieve something in life but I realized I could never work for anyone else. And the only way to do it was to go into business for myself. So I did.

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Drew Pinsky, a.k.a "Dr. Drew," host, KROQ "Loveline":

It was in early spring in 1979. I was walking across the quad at Amherst College in Massachusetts and I just developed a sudden sense--it was a funny experience--that life is not a bed of roses and that the next exam is not the last test. And that life was difficult, but that was OK. Life was not necessarily the fantasies of childhood. I had to leave those behind. It was peculiar because I was not doing something extraordinary. I was just standing, but I remember the whole thing clearly.

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Helen Bernstein, president, United Teachers of Los Angeles:

I guess it was around 1973, when my 1 1/2-year-old daughter, Jessica, was diagnosed as diabetic. My husband and I had to give her first injection. It was when I held that needle in my hand that it suddenly dawned on me that my child's life was in our hands. You didn't have a choice. Responsibility hit me right in the face. That's true adulthood.

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Michelle T. Clinton, poet:

That is a dumb question. Time and growth and space and maturation continually blur. I am a child when I laugh my greedy laugh, when I dream my bright or scary dreams. I am an adult when I drink decaffeinated espresso. I became an adult when merry-go-rounds got boring, and now I must seek better toys. I am a child when the tub is full of bubbles, when I sing. I am an adult when I express erotic love, when I face the death of my loved ones from violence or disease. I am old and young whenever I pray. I intend to die an old, childish woman.

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Ozzy Osbourne, singer:

When I reached the age of 40, I definitely reached a mid-life crisis and I've never been the same. I realized you can't go around acting like a moron and a child anymore. There are no excuses for acting that way. I've never been happier.

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