Don't stop me if you've heard this story before....just nod your head and pretend that it is the first time, ok?
There are defining moments in your life when you realize that you are incredibly grown up. My first major moment of this kind occurred about 3-4 months after I had moved into my first apartment. I was washing dishes and had a particularly gross pan and I needed a Brillo pad in order to scrub it completely clean. Now when I lived at home, I knew where the Brillo pads were....but in my own home, I didn't have any. As I was in the checkout line with my $1.69 box of Brillo Pads as the only object in my shopping cart, it hit me.....I was a grown up.
And it scared me.
I've had other moments similar to this....mostly times when I took on a new financial responsibility: paying for my own car insurance and gas, making my first payments on my student loans.... Oddly enough, I never really felt like getting married made me adult, but paying for the cheap-as-free wedding did.
This week I had another grown-up milestone....I bought a car.
My old car was starting to die a slow death. I was 16 when my Dad bought it and had been driving it for 15 years and close to 150,000 miles. And apparently in having the car for as long as I did, and for all of the memories that I made in that car, I can only find a photo of the back of the car as Jimmy was barbecuing for the 4th of July.
I had been researching for several months. I had saved up for a decent down payment. I had even asked my Dad to come along for moral support in buying a car while my parents were visiting Jimmy and I last week.
I was more stressed out that I needed to be. There were some financial history issues that brought emotional stuff up, but my credit was much better than what I thought it would be. I was very lucky to have gone through a great dealership....although I couldn't appreciate it at the time. The finance guy was trying to cheer me up but it wasn't working. My mom described my emotional state as "a wet rag twisted up so tight that it couldn't twist anymore"....and that would be an accurate description of how I felt. In the end, I bought a nice car that I can afford. Her name is "Ginger- the Red-Headed Step-child". She is a 2009 Subaru Impreza whose color is called "Paprika".
Things that are awesome about a new car:
1. Working right-hand turn signals!
2. A driver's side window that rolls down!
3. A CD player that actually plays the CDs loaded into it!
4. Being able to drive for more than 10 minutes on the freeway without the engine warning light coming on!
5. Feeling like a grown-up and feeling like I'm transitioning into a new era of my life.