When I was a kid, I was in a giant hurry to be a grown-up. The day after my birthday, I was already telling people I was almost the age I’d be on my next birthday. I think I got my driver’s license on July 7th, 1975. If the DMV was open on July 4th (a Friday, and the date of my 16th birthday) or the weekend following, surely I would have gotten it three days earlier. I couldn’t wait to vote, drink, sign a lease, bounce a check, and buy a major appliance.
Sometimes, being an adult is pretty fun. I like being able to eat ice cream for breakfast if I so choose, for example. But the last few months have been a difficult reminder that sometimes adulthood is vastly overrated. Our midwinter move was packed with a lot of non-fun drama and loss. I became very ill shortly after the last box was unpacked at our new house. Chronic sorrow over a long-standing family situation simmers on the back burner. Insecurities about employment shroud our days.
Since the moment we moved into this house, we’ve been dealing with its problems. The pipes that had burst while the house was sitting vacant prior to our move-in did all kinds of damage to the place. We’ve had visits from no less than a dozen different contractors, fixing everything from clogged toilets to sizzling electrical fixtures to water spotted ceilings. They rebuilt the bathroom where most of the water damage occurred, but as a precaution, we asked them to do a mold test. My husband has monster mold allergies, and we wanted to make sure the house was safe, clean, and dry.
It wasn’t. [Read more]