I’ve been thinking a lot about “adulthood” the past few weeks. I recently spent some time at Wingate as an advisor for my sorority and it made me realize how drastically my life has changed in the two and half years that I have been out of college. During that time I have worked my first “career” job, planned a wedding, become a wife, purchased my first two pets and purchased my first home. That’s a lot of change in 26 months! No wonder I feel so tired and cranky sometimes – my body is having a hard time keeping up with my life changes!
I have learned many difficult lessons through these life transitions. It is my belief that fully transitioned adults are really holding out on us up and comers. They are full of wisdom from trial and error – but they don’t share any of it with the young adults. I know that my parents and family friends cannot possibly enjoy watching Steven and I squirm and panic through life’s new challenges. (Could they!?!?) So I’m forced to ask – why was I not given a “Book of Do’s & Don’ts” when I got married? All those showers, all those beautiful, thoughtful gifts – and no one told me anything about practical living!
So I’m starting a book. It’s going to be a best seller. It will be based upon my life with Steven and the hilarious/scary/painful lessons we have learned over the past few years and all those that I am sure God has in store for us. This book is for women, and at times might be considered offensive to men. (Whoops!) But there is a big difference from a young wife and young husband – and I’m telling this like I see it! Here is just a preview of pearls of wisdom I intend to share with young wives or new home owners:
*If you own a home – you should own a fire extinguisher. A new home does not automatically come with a fire extinguisher (trust me, I know). You have to go out and buy one. They can be purchased at Lowe’s or Home Depot. This will come in very handy when you have a car fire during the middle of the night or the first time you attempt to “deep fry” chicken wings. Don’t be cheap – buy the fire extinguisher.
*Pets are a joy. They are loving, devoted & entertaining. But do not let that fool you. Pets are also a nuisance. They are destructive, demanding & expensive. Do not panic the first time you come home and they have chewed up your brand new rug. Do not panic when they knock over your expensive table lamp and it shatters into pieces. You are the BOSS! Pets are like men – they must be trained and disciplined. Use these instances as a learning tool to teach your pet the consequences of bad behavior. Eventually they will figure out what it means to be a “good dog” and they will act accordingly.
*You’re mother was right – you will never change your man and living with them is even more difficult than you would expect. Learn to accept his disgusting or obnoxious habits – try to find them endearing as opposed to infuriating. So what if he hangs his wet towel on the door instead of the towel rack? What man doesn’t do that??? Who cares if he always puts his dirty dishes in the sink instead of in the completely empty dishwasher? At least he got them to the sink, right? Romance is completely overrated. Nicholas Sparks is a real life villan whose novels should be banned from the public because he gives women a false sense of desire & romance. As long as your man keeps coming home to you every night and gives you a kiss once and while – you should be a happy woman. (In case it is not obvious, I am being completely sarcastic. The fact is – men are men. They are wired different than we are. The sooner you learn to love them in spite of everything they do that drives you crazy – the more likely you are to get a romantic evening every once and a while!)
*Home owner’s insurance and car insurance can be more valuable than you would expect! Contrary to popular belief, car insurance covers you under circumstances other than just wrecks. If for some reason, your car were to catch on fire or be damaged in a flood – no need to freak out. You aren’t completely out of luck and liable for your car loan. You’re insurance company will either pay for the damages or pay your fair market value for your car! (Wish I had known that one before my mini panic attack when my car caught on fire last March!) There is a reason that you pay all that money each month – and it’s completely worth it!
*Speaking of cars – you have to pay property taxes on them every year. Yes – the county will send you a tax bill once a year and you actually have to pay a couple hundred bucks! I guess in high school/college our parents paid this for us?? But when you’re on your own, the bill comes to your front door. Expect it – and save for it. It’s never a good idea to be delinquent on your taxes.
*I don’t care what people say – it is always acceptable to cry at work if your boss is a man. If you’re having a bad day and just need a break, a couple of tears might just do the trick. He is a man – just like your husband or father. Just like the rest of them, it makes him uncomfortable and he somehow feels responsible. More than likely he will send you home for the rest of the day (with pay!) and tell you to take it easy. Obviously, something must be very wrong if you are so upset. He does not need to know that you are on your period and someone just took the last Snickers bar from the vending machine. **Warning – if your boss is a woman, this will not work. She will consider you spoiled and childish. She can make it through her period without a Snickers and so can you!
There are many, many more tidbits that I intend to share. If nothing else, I’ll give them to my sister and Michelle when they get married. This roller coaster ride of “adulthood” is scary enough when you somewhat know what to expect. But you would be surprised at home many things have caught me off guard the past two years.
Stay tuned – more to come….