My plumbing sucks, my couch sucks, my TVs are broken and I can't use the internet! And you think you've got problems! (Just read Chapter 10 parts 1, 2, and 3 first, please?)
One night I couldn’t get my garage door to close. The Ex always said to just put some WD-40 on it and it would be fine, so I tried that. Nope. It was pretty late and I wasn’t going to be able to call anyone till the next day so I had to manually close it, like a peasant, and go to bed. The next morning I went on Yahoo! Yellowpages and searched for garage door repair. I called the first number and the guy said it would cost about $75 to fix. What the crap? I immediately emailed The Ex to let him know of something else he was going to have to pay for. He replied that it just needed some WD-40. Hah! I already tried that, sucka! Look who’s wrong! Maybe I got a little more excited about that than necessary, but it was such a good feeling to be able to spit back at him that his fix didn’t work. Not literally spit, it was email.
I called the next number and the guy asked what kind of garage door it was. I went down to the garage and started reading him names and numbers. He asked if the light on one of the sensors was red. It was, in fact, red. He said that meant that the two sensors weren’t lined up and I just needed to bend it until it turned green. I did that and it worked. I was so excited that I said, “Oh my gosh, it worked! I love you!” I was tempted to make The Ex pay me for it anyway, but that would’ve been bad Karma.
How do both reverse lights go out at once? I took my car to Pep Boys to get the answer. The bulbs weren’t out and the fuses weren’t blown, so they said it must be an electrical problem. And they don’t do electrical. Excellent. Once again, I was at a loss as to what to do. It was getting to be an annoyingly familiar place. Then I remembered that The Ex had taken our old Honda to some auto shop when it needed engine work. If they fixed engines they must also do electrical stuff. I’m such a genius. I even remembered what street they were on!
So, I called them and the guy said I should bring it in first thing in the morning so that he could get to it right away. It took him two days to figure out what was wrong but he only charged me for one hour of work. I believe I’ll be taking my business there again.
During these months of crap breaking and constant needed repairs and crying and self pity and feeling useless and helpless and pathetic, I sent this email to my friend:
So. I have been doing grown up stuff all day. And let me tell you something. This grown up stuff BLOWS! Being a grown up is totally for the birds. I don't like it and I would like to return it, please. Do I need a receipt for that?
And being the amazing star of a friend that she is, she responded with this:
Someone wise once told me that the purpose of life is to fulfill obligations. It is when we fulfill our obligations and not just do what "feels good" in the moment that we impress ourselves. The only way to find self-fulfillment and be happy with who we are, is to impress ourselves each and every day by doing something impressive. There is nothing impressive with doing the easy and fun stuff, it is the commitments, the obligations, the responsibilities in life that test our character and bring us true joy and satisfaction.
So... well done, Jen. It blows, life blows-- but you are doing it, you are conquering it when some would run away. You are doing it, when some would wait for someone else to do it for them. That's impressive.
So now, whenever I get discouraged with all the crappy grown up stuff that life throws at me, I think of that email.