Now that I am completely (ahem, mostly) responsible for taking care of myself and my finances, I find myself in situations that I never even would have imagined a couple of years ago. These situations stress me out far more than they probably should. They also sometimes result in me making questionable decisions with my money. I guess you could say I’m reluctantly entering adulthood.
For example, on a recent Sunday afternoon, I made an exasperated phone call to my parents while standing in the bedding aisle of a rather shady Walmart (although, let’s be real: there’s no such thing as an “un-shady” Walmart). It had come to my attention that a mattress pad is necessity. Apparently having a mere mattress is not enough. You must cover the supposedly plush rectangle with more plushy stuff and then put your impossible-to-fold fitted sheet on top of this artificial cloud you have created.
My exasperation stemmed from a multitude of things. I hadn’t budgeted for this purchase, I didn’t know which type of mattress pad was the best one, I had already made the mistake of picking the wrong type of sheets from Ikea (lesson learned: do not skimp on sheets. Your skin will regret it) and I didn’t want to make another costly bedding error, and I was shopping by myself.
“I never even thought that I’d have to buy stuff like this,” I said to my dad. “Adulthood is hard.”
“You were sheltered,” my dad said with a chuckle on the other end of the line. “You’ve lived a sheltered life.” He went on to say it’s not a bad thing, that he and my mom were happy to have provided for me all these years, blah, blah, blah.
Now, before you go off thinking that I was some spoiled little princess, let me stop you. I was not entirely spoiled. Among many other restrictions, I never had a car in high school, I never had more than a $10 weekly allowance from the beginning of high school all the way through law school, my brother and I were not allowed to drink sodas except on the weekends, and designer purses were out of the question unless if I saved up my pennies and bought them myself (even then, I wasn’t allowed to have one until after I graduated from high school). #FirstWorldProblems, am I right?
However, my parents never hesitated to provide me with things I needed, like tuition for law school, a new laptop when my current one was on death’s door, a new TV after my current one began making ear-piercing screeching noises every time I turned it on, textbooks for school, gas money, etc. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate that I never really had to worry about those things. I also consider myself fortunate that I no longer have a television that weighs 800 pounds and blasts out my eardrums (do y’all remember how heavy non-flat screen TVs were? Sheesh. What a pain.).
Well, now the cord has finally been cut (ahem, mostly). I now frequently experience sticker shock and extreme annoyance at buying things like allergy medicine, extra hangers for my closet, and shower curtain rods. These things seem frivolous and necessary at the same time.
My brain is stupid when it comes to spending my own money sometimes. Buying a $35 lamp with a stainless steel finish and elegant gray shade? WORTH IT. Buying a $16 “giraffe trinket dish” to put my earrings in? ALSO WORTH IT. Buying three Glade apple cinnamon candles all at once? COMPLETELY WORTH IT.
Buying a broom? NO. THAT’S DUMB. Buying a vacuum? YEAH, RIGHT. Buying a mattress pad? WHO NEEDS IT? I’ll sleep on that spring-filled brick, thank you very much.
Alas, but what makes a house a home is more than just candles that smell like fall and light fixtures that bring a sense of coziness. Things like Swiffer sweepers, shower curtain rods that function properly, and sheets that don’t feel like sandpaper are also needed to make your tiny apartment one that is fit for an adult and not some misfit college freshman.
I have gone from being a sheltered girl to being an adult female who is attempting to furnish and maintain her own shelter. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, even if that mattress pad I spent forever selecting still hasn’t actually made it farther than the living room. Baby steps, y’all. Baby steps.