Being an Adult These Days Is a Moving Target

Vanessa Torre

I’m either nailing it or an incompetent lame person. Not sure. by cottonbro via Pexels

It was like a commercial. A weird, old commercial I had no intention of ever starring in, but my boyfriend has this uncanny knack for making life seem like a commercial from 1987. It’s an odd talent.

“No! NO! Don’t rinse it! We’re gonna put the dishwasher to a test!” The “it” in question was a pan in which I had made homemade lasagna. You hear it don’t you? “Let’s see if this new Frigidaire dishwasher and Cascade detergent packs can clean this caked-on, baked-on mess!”

I’d like to be able to say that my boyfriend didn’t actually say these things but it’s not too far off. He gets joy from sounding like Madge from the Palmolive commercial. He’s a weirdo.

My new dishwasher is his fault. Mine had been broken for as long as I can remember. It may have worked sometime in 2014 but I can’t be too sure.

Since we started dating, he has really started pushing the envelope of trying to get me to be a god damn grown-up. Grown-ups do not have rusty, stinky unused dishwashers that leak, taking up valuable kitchen real estate. Of course, I am the granddaughter of a woman who used her oven as storage space so this may be a genetic predisposition.

The downside to all of this is that I had to admit he was right, because he is. I went seven years or so without a dishwasher because I just couldn’t muster up the ability to prioritize something like buying a damn dishwasher. I went years with a bar towel on my counter every single day with a non-stop rotation of dried plates, mugs, and silverware stacked on top. Every. Single. Day.

So I did something so adult. I read 8,293 dishwasher reviews, bought one, and had it installed. Life=changed.

I’ve been on this “being a grown-up” kick now and I have to admit it’s kind of fun. Besides having super clean dishes,

Now, admittedly, 75% of the adulting that has taken place in my life recently has been said boyfriend coming over and fixing things I have been ignoring. Like the pipe that flies off my garbage disposal randomly, shooting disposal guts out of my bottom cabinet. No, seriously. That happens. Prior boyfriend was a crappy plumber.

My adulting, the other 25%, comes in the form of actually letting another human being help me out instead of routinely getting sprayed with hot, ground-up food water.

At this point, I am realizing that whether I am a functioning adult is a status that can change at a moment’s notice.

Awesome adult things I do:

  • I balance my bank account every day. Every. Day. (I would like it acknowledged that I almost said checkbook and edited that sign of middle age right out. And then told you about it anyway.)
  • I make my bed. It feels better when I climb inside.
  • I take a fiber supplement. This is iffy. They’re gummies and delicious. Delicious fiber is dangerous.

Things I do that make me feel like I should have adult supervision:

  • I take large spoonfuls of chunky peanut butter and dunk them in a bag of chocolate chips.
  • I put whipped cream and sprinkles on my coffee.
  • Last night, I took the clothes out of the dryer and put them on my bed. Two hours later, when I went to bed, I put them back in the dryer because I no longer had the energy to fold them. This is what I call “Managing a household.”

I think most of us are still at the tail end of figuring out what post-pandemic life will feel like. Shit got weird for a year and it level-set every single definition we had of how life should function. What I consider doing my best is a bar that has been lowered to a level a 4th grader could high jump. I’m cool with it.

I've learned to find the win. Buying that stupid dishwasher gave me immense joy for two reasons.

First, I actually had the money in my account to buy it. Whenever this happens, I feel truly amazed. Like, surprised. If you’ve ever had your power turned off for non-payment before in your life, you understand.

Second, I sucked it up and just did it. It was like the end of an era of excuse-making. I can only live so long in my house blaming non-working things on a man who vacated the premises three and a half years ago.

I now quietly crave more free time in which to do more adulting. Spending an afternoon cleaning out all of my kitchen cabinets sounds like a joy. I am not sure when this person started inhabiting my body but I kind of dig her.

For the record, the dishwasher and Cascade detergent pack not only cleaned my lasagna pan completely, but my wine glasses were spotless. I felt like I was living in a commercial.

Comments / 0

Published by

Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, she won’t stop taking pictures of her drinks. IG: vanessaltorre Twitter: @vanessaltorre

Phoenix, AZ

More from Vanessa Torre

Comments / 0