Successfully Adulting

I try to post here two or three times a week and usually post on Mondays, but I didn’t get it done yesterday because I was busy being a Responsible Adult ™️. I mean, I didn’t go apply for or pay off a loan or call to make my very own doctor’s appointment or anything, but I’m still pretty proud of myself, and even the next day am feeling so accomplished that I’m having a hard time motivating myself to do more things. So instead I’m just going to brag on myself for a bit.

I started the day getting up early and running three miles with the dog. I don’t often run outside for a variety of reasons (it’s too hot, it’s too cold, there’s too much traffic on the street, the sidewalks are too irregular, I’m too full, I’m too hungry, etc.), but it was cool enough this morning that Pippin could pretty comfortably go with me, and I’ve been pushing myself on the treadmill at the gym so that running outside was easier than it’s been in a while. I didn’t break any records or anything, and there wasn’t anything to make this paragraph more entertaining, but I made the effort and it felt good.

I also took my car in for an oil change, and I behaved myself the whole time I was waiting for my car. Something about Chevy dealerships just activates my rebellion switch, I guess. When I bought this car, my very first pick-it-out-and-pay-it-off-myself car, I had an appointment after work with the salesman to finalize things like package options and price, but he called ahead and said something had come up, and he was going to have one of his colleagues help me out that evening. When I got there, I had to wait for two hours past the appointment time before the colleague was ready to see me. This would have bristled me anyway, but I hadn’t had dinner and I got hangry, which made things worse. I ended up hiding the remote to the lobby television (there was a big Christmas display of gift boxes; it was just asking for me to hide something in one of those boxes), and turned the volume on the salesman’s computer speakers all the way up when he stepped out of his office. It was immature, but ultimately harmless, and I still had enough simmering rage from being made to wait two hours to channel it into negotiating a price several hundred dollars below what the rep was comfortable with. Kalen and my dad were both there for support and later admitted they were stunned and impressed.

I’ve since moved across the state, but I still have weird hangups that I’ve transferred to the dealership here. I can never remember which service representative I’ve had good experiences with. Every time I go in for maintenance or repairs, I swear I’m going to commit the rep’s name to memory, but it’s such a short interaction and only a couple times a year that the next time I go in, I’ve completely forgotten again.

I guess I picked the wrong rep this time, though, because when I checked in, he told me he thought it would be about 45 minutes. This seemed long for an oil change anyway, but I figured maybe Monday morning was especially busy, and I had plenty to entertain myself with for that time (I still had the day’s Wordle and Quordle to do, and I had an ebook, and I’d picked up an iced coffee on the way. Was I on the ball or what?). When the car gets checked in, they send you a text message so you can call or text the rep if need be, and they text you updates on your vehicle. I got settled in the waiting room and a couple minutes later I got the checked-in text. Forty-five minutes came and went, but I was happy reading, and there were a lot of people in the waiting room, so I figured they really must be busy. My car would be done any time. After another forty-five minutes, though, I couldn’t bounce my foot fast enough to jiggle out the coffee jitters, and I needed a break from reading, and my watch was yelling at me to get up and walk around, and it was getting harder to talk myself out of finding minor inconveniences to create for the dealership, so finally I texted to the status number politely asking if everything was okay, because I couldn’t help but notice that the 45 minute estimate had turned into an hour and a half. Almost immediately I got an update that my car was done and the service rep brought my key and casually said my car had “actually been done for a while now” but he “just hadn’t gotten around to the paperwork.”

But I behaved and I didn’t mess with his computer speakers or anything and just curtly said thank you and left and swore to myself that I would remember next time not that rep, go with the other one. I’m sure I won’t remember though, so if you want to help me brainstorm petty revenges for next time, be my guest.

By then it was nearly 11:00, and I realized that I actually could take my wedding ring in for its warranty inspection (if I get it inspected every six months, it covers my butt if I lose a diamond, and I am clumsy enough that this seems prudent). I had initially thought that I would be done with the oil change early enough that it would be a pain to wait around for the jeweler to open at 11 just for them to look at my ring and go “okay, you’re covered until February!” but it was 10:45 and I had to go across town anyway, so I killed a couple minutes running into Target to pick out a birthday card for my goddaughter (which I now just have to actually get in the mail.)

The jeweler must have changed their hours, because they used to open earlier. I know lots of random things, but even I will admit this is a weird thing for me to know. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, and especially not the fancy extra sparkly, actual precious gems jewelry. I also tend to dress pretty casually in my day to day, and I always feel a little out of place going into the jeweler. And that’s why I know they used to open earlier. The location I go to is right next to a Chipotle, and once, as I got out of my car, a Chipotle employee, just arriving for work, saw me and said, “We don’t open until 10:45.” I blinked in confusion and very eloquently said, “Huh?” “We aren’t open yet,” she repeated, “We open at 10:45.” I was parked in front of the jewelry store, but even the random Chipotle worker knew I looked far more like a Chipotle customer than a Kay Jeweler customer. She wasn’t wrong. I mean, she was wrong; I wasn’t going to Chipotle at that moment, but generally speaking, I do go to Chipotle far more than to the jeweler, and between the two businesses, I’m sure Chipotle has gotten more of my money over the years.

That was a lot of rambling build up to what I really consider my crowning achievement of the day. All afternoon I did even more adulting in the form of cleaning out the garage, which has desperately needed it for years. It has been one of the projects simmering in the back of my mind on the “I’ll finally have time for that!” list since I left the library in April.

Our garage is, like the rest of our house, irregular. It’s pretty small, especially for a detached garage, so it’s a good thing we both have small cars (we take turns who gets to park there seasonally). At least part of its construction must have been overseen by the same people who chose to use untreated lumber for the deck, because the door (not the big car-sized, overhead door, but the smaller door in the side for people) is a hollow core interior door that has unsurprisingly gotten wet and is all warped and half rotted. It may as well be made of cardboard. For about a quarter of the year, the door and the frame swell in just such a way that no amount of pushing or pulling or tugging or swearing will get the door to latch and it just blows freely with the wind. We are looking to replace it, but it’s a couple inches shorter than a standard door, so it’s not quite as easy as going to the “exterior doors” section of the Blue Store and choosing one.

Since the door doesn’t always stay closed, the garage accumulates more than the standard amount of dirt and leaves, and because it’s cluttered with lawn and garden equipment as well, it’s hard to sweep out on even the semi-regular basis it deserves. I’ve come to appreciate that on any given summer day, opening the door will result in a lizard or two scurrying into the shadows or a toad hopping behind the pile of rakes and shovels.

The biggest eyesore, though, has been this cabinet that was left by the previous owners. I have hated it since we moved in because it seems to be just about the most worthless cabinet I’ve ever encountered.

For starters, it, like the door, is not particularly weatherproof. I know it’s technically “inside” the garage, but our garage and our basement both leak enough during rainy weather that they really are most prudently treated as “outside.” The three bags of instant cement that were stashed in the bottom agree with my assessment, having solidified long ago. It’s been leaning since we moved in six years ago, only had one shelf, the door wouldn’t close, and I really wasn’t sure how it hadn’t fallen down yet until I removed it and found that it was, in the absolute loosest sense of the word, screwed to the wall. I’m still pretty amazed that it hadn’t fallen down, because I’ve had a harder time removing stapled paper from a bulletin board than I had detaching this cabinet from the wall.

Also, I’m pretty sure it was upside down, because the handle was down by my knees.

We finally purchased a new plasticky cabinet to replace it, with four adjustable shelves (that’s a 400% increase in shelves!), which I assembled before sorting all the various contents of the garage.

The new cabinet is now happily and neatly stocked. I threw away a lot of useless junk (including the broken cabinet, which I gleefully watched the trash truck haul away this morning). And I swept out more leaves and dirt than I could imagine. It looks better than it’s looked probably since we moved in. The next project will be the workbench, and I’ve got an eye on a sturdier replacement but we’ll have to borrow a truck for that, because it comes in a much bigger box than this cabinet did. I also need to see about putting in hooks to hang our bicycles, but finding a place to hang them where they won’t be in the way of our cars might take a bit of engineering.

Okay, that’s not *quite* as impressive as it is in person. Some of the clutter is just out of frame, but I promise it’s so nice.

I still haven’t found much motivation to do more projects today. I’m still a little tired from the work, especially hauling away the three ruined cement bags. Maybe I’ll just go stand in the garage for a while and think “Ooh, so pretty!” and pat myself on the back for adulting so hard yesterday.

4 thoughts on “Successfully Adulting

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  1. Wow! You go girl! And that guy at the car dealership definitely needs something to motivate him to get his paperwork done more promptly and his customers back on the road!

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