Making My Own Shelter

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.

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What Happens When You Don’t Live with a Roommate Anymore

A list of epiphanies, fears, and problems that arise when you find yourself living alone after years of living with another human.

1) You finally have to get your own Netflix account. But when you log in, you realize you have no idea what episode of “Mad Men” you are actually on, and that this account has no clue that you love “House of Cards” and “Scandal.” It’s like Netflix has forgotten who you are. WE WATCHED “MITT” TOGETHER, NETFLIX! How could you forget?! #insulted

2) When you hear a suspicious noise in the middle of the night, you can no longer comfort yourself with the thought of “Oh, that was probably just Roommate getting a glass of water,” or “Oh, that was just Roommate’s cat kicking a candle across the living room.” #WishfulThinking

3) Speaking of scary things, you can no longer watch “Law & Order: SVU,” “Criminal Minds,” “Sherlock,” or any other mystery/detective/crime show without having to sleep with the light on for the next three days.

4) When you’re watching your favorite TV show and something dumb, insane, or confusing happens, you have no one to instantly discuss your qualms or surprise with. #CanYouBelieveThatJustHappened?!

5) There’s no one to share your dinner or baked goods with anymore.

6) You are more inclined to leave random things lying about. Curling iron on the bathroom floor? NBD. Sugar and coffee grinds left on the counter? Clean it up later. Mail stacking up on the end table in the living room? Indifference.

7) But yet, you feel more responsibility because suddenly you’re the one paying all the bills. You know, instead of just paying half or just handing your roommate a check every month.

8) There’s nobody to talk to face-to-face when you come home every day. #ForeverAlone

9) You use up your dishes fairly quickly, but there aren’t enough dishes in the dishwasher to actually justify running it, so you often find yourself debating what to do.

10) You basically live in your bedroom, and you only emerge to grab food in the kitchen (to take back to your room) or use the bathroom.#hermit

11) There is no one to say “good night” or “good morning” to anymore.

12) If you suddenly realize that you’ve run out of something (soap, band-aids, bread, etc.) just when you really need it, you can’t just walk ten steps into their room and ask for it. You actually have to go to the grocery store yourself.

13) If you lock yourself out of your apartment or house, you’re gonna have to break a window or call a locksmith, because nobody’s gonna come let you in.

14) You can literally spend an entire weekend without seeing another human being – i.e., never leaving your house or bedroom. This may result in stir-craziness, an exorbitant amount of television consumption, and a severe lack of vitamin D. #NoSunlight

15) You realize just how inferior Apple’s version of FaceTime is to real-life face time.

Is there anything else you would add to the list?