You know what sucks about being a grown-up?
The way it keeps on happening.
When I was a kid, I figured out pretty quickly – based on the random sample of dysfunction that was my family – that adults don’t just naturally have it all together. So I knew that it wasn’t something that magically came to you at 18. But I really thought that, once you had your “ah-ha” or “wow” moment and got it together, that was it: you’re a grown-up now.
I was cruelly misinformed.
As it turns out, adulthood is a series of growing pains; phases you settle into only to discover that your peers are once again “moving on” and doing even more grown-up shit.
I still remember the first car that I bought as an adult: it was a horrific mistake, and the goddamned brakes went out within two weeks, but it was my mistake that I made with my actual cash that I plunked down (jk, I wrote a check… but that check didn’t bounce!) and nobody could take the keys away or hold it over my head that they helped pay for it, because it was mine. And Husband redid the brakes anyway, so that was hella dreamy.
Point is, for a long time after that first car, Car Maintenance was something that was done once something actually went wrong. Gradually, we’ve moved on to actually doing the scheduled oil changes right on time, getting new tires when they show wear rather than waiting until we’ve got the spare on, etc.
But it’s a process. We’re still growing up.
There’s been a weird sensor error in our car for a while, causing a warning light to come on intermittently when nothing was wrong, and some other little things. Then, the other day, there was a squeak from one of the wheels.
HIM: It might just be a lubrication issue.
ME: hehe, lubrication.
ME: Yeah, I’m like, nine.
HIM: That’s at least a thirteen year-old joke
ME: Maybe in Maine.*
We were on a bit of a longer errand when we noticed the squeak, so there was time for Husband to consider the possible causes and do some of his ever-so-sexy engineerish diagnostical thinking.** Eventually, he was pretty sure that it was (something something blahblah) which is basically a weird issue with a part of the brakes.
ME: Times like this I’m extra glad I married you.
ME: You know, car starts making weird noises, it’s kind of a panicky thing-
HIM: Because you’re a helpless female
ME: … (murder eyes)
HIM: Kidding! Oh my god, kidding! I love you! I’m sorry! I was kidding!
Being Responsible Grown-Ups who want the car to keep running, we decided to send it straight back to its home (the dealership) to the qualified mechanics who do that stuff. Husband went off to make that call, and I patted myself on the back for having my shit sufficiently together that this sudden issue didn’t have me at all concerned about our ability to pay other bills.
ME: So the earliest they can see you is Tuesday?
ME: And did you take that appointment?
HIM: 7:00 am.
ME: Good, because I didn’t want to tell you to miss work over it, but I was really worried. Breaks are important, and you especially need them when you’re on the highway as much as you are.
HIM: … They’re really only important when you’re getting off the highway.
HIM: I’m sorry. I love you!
HIM: I asked myself, “will she blog this?” and I thought, “yeah, she will” and then I said it anyway.
Tuesday came and Husband went… and came home with an estimate for just under a thousand dollars instead of the car. Because they needed to keep it, in order to work on the incredibly complicated and weird thing with the lights and the brakes.
I won’t keep you in suspense: we paid it and the car’s fine now. But damn. The car was running just fine, and would have continued to do so for…. who knows how long? But we just had to go and adult.
* Oh, have I forgotten to mention that he grew up in Maine? And that they were terribly behind the times in his backwoods little corner? and that he was 22 years old before he ate a taco?***
**No, those are not words. Those are wordsies. You were warned, remember?
***So many stories for you guys! Don’t worry, I’m making notes. We’ll get there.