He Said She Said – Miley Cyrus And Growing Up

What I think of when I think of Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance.

Today we’re bringing you another round of He Said/She Said. These posts are really your chance as readers to hear how discussions (and sometimes disagreements) play out when managing our lives with each other. For a look at some of the past He Said/She Said discussions – check ‘em out here.

We LOVE podcasts, and one of our favorites is a news/comedy show on NPR based out of Chicago called Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. It only airs once a week, but I was catching up on some back episodes recently and absolutely died laughing when the host (Peter Sagal) talked about Miley Cyrus in the episode that aired right after the VMAs this past August. Since I can’t do the humor justice in summary, here’s the transcript (But you can also go here to listen to the entire Who’s Carl This Time segment.)

Here’s How It Went:

  • Sagal = Peter Sagal, host of the show
  • Dickinson = Amy Dickinson, author of the column Ask Amy
  • Bodett = Tom Bodett, humorist and also currently leaves the light on at Motel 6

SAGAL: For those of you who missed cable news this week, Miley Cyrus was the once-innocent Disney child star who came out at the VMAs and twerked. This became the go-to stupid story of the summer. Imagine shark attacks except the sharks attack people with their genitals.  

SAGAL: So Miley Cyrus twerked; the nation wept. Twerking, for all you public radio listeners… is a kind of suggestive dance that’s big in the clubs now but it’s the same sort of thing we’ve had for years. It’s what our parents called a grand mal seizure.  


SAGAL: What’s going on here is Miley Cyrus, she’s now 20. She wants to show the audience that she’s grown up. Since when is dancing around in your underwear grown up?  


BODETT: And the thing with the tongue, I mean, she looked…

DICKINSON: And the teddy bears.

BODETT: She looked like a bear who got honey on her face, you know, she’s trying to get it off.


SAGAL: If Miley Cyrus really wants to convince America she’s grown up, she should come out on stage, settle down for an evening watching “Downton Abbey” until she falls asleep on the couch. That’s what we grownups do.


So we know what Miley Cyrus thinks being a grown up is (twerking in her undies and more recently making out with a sledgehammer), and we know what public radio personalities think being a grown up is (falling asleep to Downton Abbey), but what do WE think being a grown up is? Since I’m pretty sure now that we’re 30 we’re technically grown up even though we don’t always act like it.

So today we’re asking each other – what point marked the transition from “I’m a kid” to “I’m a freaking grown up!”?

He Said

First off, I would just like to say the problem with MC’s performance wasn’t that it was lewd and lascivious , it was that it was poorly done! The girl can’t dance…or sing =/

Grown up for me was taking a year off of school to decompress during my sophomore year. At the time I was between girlfriends, and was getting a little fed up with not having seen more of the world at 20. I had a blast, and traveled around from Florida to Oahu to Maui and various points in between. In my opinion, if you have any qualms about jumping right from highschool to college, or college to career, take a year (or two?) off to think it over-one of the best decisions I have made.

From a financial standpoint, when I left I had about $10k in savings (This was mostly from a gift that my grandma gave me, I had no particular aptitude for savings back then, even though I wasn’t really a big consumer), and I think I had about $6k when I got back a year later. It was the first time I had to struggle with income, spending, budgets, and  figure out how much my time was worth as a roofer, computer geek, barista, etc. If I had budgeted better I could have come out ahead (I was flat, flat broke in Oahu and saved the $6K in about 6 months on a roofer’s salary), but even if I had gone into $4K of credit card debt it would have been well worth it.

The trip taught me that I really did love travel, could live on very little when necessary, and really had nothing to fear from failure. Very liberating!

She Said

For me, one of the big grown up milestones was when I started having to consider “compensation packages” and “salaries” instead of just thinking about an hourly wage. I eased into this when I was comparing scholarship offers for college. I went in to my college decision knowing I’d be mostly self supporting for college so figuring out the net cost to me was important. But the wording for all of the scholarship offers was different and I had to unravel what the packages included and didn’t include (tuition but not fees, dorm but no food…) along with what all those things would actually cost me at each of the different institutions.

This eased me into adulthood, but I’m still not sure I considered myself fully adult at that point. But by my sophomore year in college, I had evaluated the total compensation of getting a job as an RA (it really is the best paying job for college students when you consider total compensation), and accepted a summer intern position with a salaried pay scale, sick pay, vacation days, etc.

I think that’s when I started to really feel like I was “grown up” – evaluating opportunities and figuring out if they were going to pay me what I wanted to support myself. And as my bank balance grew, I decided being grown up wasn’t such a bad thing after all.


When did you start to feel like a “grown up”? Was there any particular milestone or age at which it started to seem more like a reality?

Also… fess up if you knew what twerking was before this year’s VMAs… and if you’ve ever done it! Inquiring minds want to know!

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