Sunday, May 12, 2013

I Don't Know How to be an Adult

Today is Mother's Day.

In light of that and some other things that have recently happened in my life, I decided to write a blog. I haven't written one since December, partially because I've been a little busy, I guess. The other reason is that when I sit down to write a blog, I think to myself, "Do I actually have anything worthwhile or entertaining to write about? Will anyone actually want to waste their time reading this?" If I think the answer is no, I navigate back to or whatever other time-suck website I'm currently into and continue on with my "busy" life.

Maybe this will also prove to be one of those times I should have just navigated elsewhere on the Interwebs, but I've got time on my hands and it's Mother's Day and I had a personal epiphany.

I don't know how to be an adult.

I think I knew this before. But Mother's Day, with all of its nausea-inducing Facebook action about why all of our respective mothers are the best mothers in the world, forces you, at least on some level, to mull over just what it is that makes you think your Mom is the greatest.

My poor mother. She probably thought that when her children had reached their mid-20s, she would be sort of "done" with her job. She probably thought she wouldn't still be getting phone calls asking if coffee creamer is a suitable substitute in the absence of milk, or whether you can eat unwashed grocery store fruit, or what's the best way to scrape a bug body off your apartment wall with minimal residue/damage.

She thought wrong.

My mom is the best because she did TOO good of a job. She did such a bang-up job that I don't really feel like I can even function or make my own decisions without running things by Suz first. It's a very humbling thing to finally be able to admit that my mom is always right, but she is. She illustrated to us such prowess in decision making that, at least in my case, it has left a somewhat crippling residual effect on my adult life in that if my Mom doesn't agree or approve or advise on something, I feel like I can't even do that thing.

So, back to not knowing how to be a functional adult.

I think the Mom-thing has something to do with it, but there's another variable too. I am, from time to time, riddled with little bouts of anxiety and thus spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about the dumbest, most insignificant shit imaginable. Because my mind is so cluttered worrying about these batshit crazy things, actual important things and responsibilities occasionally fall by the wayside.

Two recent examples.....

Situation 1:
Last Saturday night, this happened to my car as it was parked on the street outside of my building in the middle of the night:


Naturally, I called my mom and she step-by-stepped me on what to do from there, beginning with calling the cops. When the cops rolled up, they immediately asked for my paperwork. 

After an accident, the cops ask you for three documents:
1. License 
2. Registration
3. Proof of Insurance 

Of those three documents, these are the ones on which I had up-to-date information and/or were not expired:
(this is an empty list)

My license has the wrong address, my license plate registration sticker for this year was still INSIDE the envelope the registration came in, and my proof of insurance card had expired in October. I wasn't really winning the game of life on any level that morning. 

Situation 2:
Last weekend, I attended the bridal shower of one of my best good friends, Amy. When normal adults attend bridal showers, I'm assuming they do things like buy their gifts in advance. What I did, however, was somehow not remember that bridal shower attendance requires you to bring a gift until the morning OF the bridal shower. 

Sort of panicky, I drove to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, only to find it closed. No shit Sherlock, it's 8 o clock in the morning. People don't generally have an urgent need for a Bed, Bath, and Beyond until at LEAST 9am on a Saturday. 

Knowing that I could not wait for B-cubed to open and still be ready in time for the party, I went next door to Target instead. I loaded Amy's information into the wedding registry kiosk, only to find there was a malfunction in the system and I would not be able to load her chosen gifts. At this point, I was running on Plan C, which was to pull her Bed, Bath, and Beyond registry up on the iPhone and troll the aisles of Target trying to find something from the list, even though it was not even the same store. 

What ended up happening was this: I wasn't able to find anything at Target that was listed on her Bed, Bath, and Beyond registry (shocker), bought her something that wasn't even remotely on any list anywhere, and called Amy prior to the party, telling her the actual wedding gift would be redemption and begging forgiveness for being such a shitty bridesmaid. 

So, I continue to be uber grateful for The Suz and wake up each morning attempting to be a better adult that day than I was the day before (not a very high bar to exceed each day). These things do always get me thinking, however, about just what I am worrying about on a daily basis, because it seemingly isn't any of the things that are actually important, like maintaining current driving documents and buying bridal gifts.

After much thought and brain-things inside my head (props if you catch the Madagascar reference), here are some of the things that are of regular concern to me that are clearly interfering with me becoming a successful adult:

1. Bugs
This one is a given. I recently had a conversation with someone at a bar about my incredulity that the makers of Raid have not yet created a travel-size Raid can to go in your purse. Seriously, why has that not happened yet? If I sit down to fill out some important paperwork or update my insurance and a spider crawls up the wall, it is absolutely game over on that paperwork. I'm gone. Fleeing into the hallway or out the door to my car and that paperwork is sure as hell not getting done. If I happened to have been holding a Diet Coke or glass of wine at the time, it's not only not getting done, but it is also probably destroyed. 

If I happen to see a bug in my apartment at night before I'm going to bed, there's a good chance I won't sleep that night, hence making my next-day-productivity level slim to none. If I do sleep, it'll likely be induced by a melatonin cocktail, in which case the hazy melatonin-coma I emerge from the next morning will have the same effect on me getting adult-like things done that day. 

2. Dropping my iPhone down the Hermitage elevator shaft
You know that little tiny crack between the wall and the elevator itself that you can see when the elevator doors open? Right, that little, tiny, miniscule crack that's width is pretty much exactly iPhone-wide? The one where, in order for an iPhone to successfully drop down it, the phone would have to be dropped at precisely the right angle at precisely the right time, and probably isn't even a physical possibility? 

Right. I have an overwhelming paranoia when entering or exiting my building's elevators that my phone will DROP DOWN THAT CRACK. The one it's pretty much impossible for it to drop down. I've envisioned it happening so many times that I'm scared I'm mentally willing this near-impossible hypothetical situation into reality. 


Right. THIS crack. I kept my awful Hobbit feet in the picture for scale. 

3. Dropping my USC class ring down the Hermitage trash chute:

This is the Hermitage rubbish chute. I live on the 5th floor. I take trash to this chute probably at LEAST once a day. Who takes their trash out that often, you ask? Someone who has sworn a vendetta against fruit flies after the Hermitage fruit fly apocalypse of 2012, that's who. 

You can imagine, given the looks of this trash chute and the fact that the Hermitage was built in 1974, that this is a relatively grimy, odorous trash chute. When using it, you want to fling that rubbish door open and get it closed again as quickly as humanly possible. All of these factors combine to form my preoccupation that during my interaction with the trash chute, my USC ring (really the only piece of jewelry I wear daily) will somehow come flying off my hand and disappear forever down this chute. 

4. What I will look like in the future after being pregnant and having a baby:
A little while back, I joined Weight Watchers and have subsequently become a little bit crazy about how many calories things have, the fact that I crave pizza and cheeseburgers even though they take up my entire daily caloric allotment, and dealing with the guilt I develop over constantly lying to the computer about what I ate that day. I really suck at Weight Watchers. I've lost maybe-- MAYBE-- 5 pounds. 

That being said, becoming sort of obsessed with what I'm eating and trying to lose weight really makes my mind wander to the future---some distant future where I may eventually birth a child (ew). Y'all. The possibility of my future spawn is so far off on my horizon I can't even see it. Why am I thinking about this? Years before I even gain my hypothetical, imaginary baby weight, I have basically already accepted the fact that I'm going to be one of those people who never recovers from that. Kim Kardashian, I feel you girl.

5. Going to Dots:
M'kay. I don't know if you have ever been to a Dots store before, but you are missing out on a one-of-a-kind retail experience if you haven't. Dots is my number one go-to place for spending money I don't really have on clothes I most definitely don't really need. 


Two different times this past week---two different times---- I answered a phone call after work and had to respond to the question "What are you up to?" with "Oh.........I'm at Dots." Dots specializes in clothes that look like they were sewn together in five minutes by illegal 7-year-old sweatshop workers in Indonesia, because they probably were (I should probably look into that....).

My students have even picked up on my affinity for this place. Any time I look like I'm wearing something potentially new or different, I get a chorus of:

"Oh Ms. Townes you make yourself a Dots trip?"

I probably single-handedly keep the Columbia Dots in business by my own patronage coupled with my shameless promotion of their fine establishment. I don't think a single item in Dots costs more than about 12 dollars. Real adults don't shop at stores like Dots, I fear, and they certainly don't go there bi-weekly. 

So, as has been the case since I left my parents' house for the first time 8 years ago, I continue to try to get my shit together and be a real, functioning adult. As of this post, I think it's obvious I'm still unsuccessful in that endeavor. 

Happy Mother's Day, and can we just all agree to disagree about who the best mom in the world is? Because obviously it's mine. 

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