Friday, December 15, 2017

My Fantasy Wish List

Adam and I recently spent a big old chunk of change on new furniture. We desperately needed it, we'd budgeted for it, but when that final bill was presented, it had both of us cringing.

Because we're pushing forty and we don't usually do big Christmases, we decided right then to make the furniture our Christmas gift to each other. Just sitting on our new sectional or recliner on Christmas morning would be the perfect gift. Obviously the girls will have their usual haul from us and Santa, but we don't need to stress.

Now since then we've shaken hands on two additional items - we will do stockings, and we're doing a "I don't wanna" gift - he's picking out the carpet for the family room without me, and I'm muling for him at Treehouse (a brewery he loves with strict can limits).

But I have to say, as I watch Christmas specials with the girls and get my fill of commercials, I do get those pangs of longing.

So, in my fantasy, what do I want?

1. I want that new car, chosen for me, in the driveway with a big bow. I want that fantasy of opening the tiny box, looking at the key and realizing what it means before we all pile out into the snow in our pajamas.

2. I want ONE professional deep clean on the house. Just one. I promise to keep up after that.

3. I want a finished basement. I'm not quite sure how that surprise will happen, but I want it.

4. I want the house decluttered and organized. Again, I promise I'll keep it that way. But I trust whoever is doing it to make the decisions.

5. I want clothes that fit well, are comfortable, and look fashionable.

6. I want a guilt free day - gift card shopping, paid for spa treatments, and delicious treats that I won't regret lately.

7. I want the ability to digest dairy back. I didn't realize how much I'd missed it.

8. I want my sitter's schedule to change, so it lines up with ours again. Another thing I didn't realize how much I'd miss until it was gone.

That's a lot. I'm having a definite Veruca Salt moment here, in my warm and comfortable house, soon to be looking fresh with new carpet and furniture that isn't structurally cracked. I'm able to stay home and homeschool the girls, and we are incredibly fortunate in that we don't need to worry about the day to day right now.

But sometimes, just fantasizing about what it would be like to get all those little things taken care of is enough.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Timing is Everything

Timing can be such a pain in the butt.

When it's right, it's awesome. A sale at the furniture stores lines up with a bonus check, and suddenly, we've got new couches on the way (but still not HERE yet, because apparently we ordered very special furniture).

When it's not, it's a giant annoyance. 

Little things have been starting to go on my car for a couple of years now. Because we know we want a new car, we're picking and choosing what to repair and what to cross our fingers on. Right now, we're thinking it'll be any day now. We've got the budget figured out, we have the wants and needs and preferences. By all accounts, we could go and replace my car today.

The timing issue?

We have a Subaru. While there are things that annoy me about Subaru, the reliability and awesomeness in the snow can't be argued.

But Subaru didn't have a "big" family car. I have the five seat Forester, and the station wagon is considered "bigger", but it's still only five seats. Since I wanted a car with the ability to carpool or even just fit a third carseat to bring my niece with us, it seemed like Subaru was out. I comparison shopped and tentatively chose another model.

Then we found out Subaru was releasing a new seven seater. Since my father in law used to sell them, he was a bit more "in the know" and urged us to wait to check it out. They were supposed to come out at the end of the summer.

Then the fall.

Then at the end of 2017.

We are waiting for this new car to release, as more little things go wrong on my car, and trying to figure out if we can hold out until next summer and HOPEFULLY get one of the very first models.

Or, we decide now if we don't trust that timing will work, and a lease is the way to go to bridge the gap.

Right now, we're still torn. My car vibrates and rattles, but it drives. The interior is cramped and stained, but our family of four fits. And considering how long it takes us to make major purchases, it doesn't seem smart to plan on car shopping TWICE in the next couple of years.

So we're crossing our fingers, hoping there are no more delays, and cursing the timing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How Old Am I?

Last week I was grocery shopping, trying to remember what I needed when I'd left the list at home. I was wandering around, hitting aisles two and three times as I remembered ingredients I'd need for dinner and that I promised the girls I'd get marshmallows for hot chocolate. The head cashier, standing at the podium, watched me walk back and forth and probably wondered if my memory was on its way out and if I should be trusted to drive my own car home. She asked me, every time I passed, if there was something she could help me with.

Excellent customer service, but made my memory even worse.

So I left, feeling like a mess, and went next door to the liquor store to pick up some wine.

I wandered around there for a while. I picked out a few bottles, brought them up to pay, and pulled out my credit card.

The cashier looked at me, glanced at my card, and then, apologetically said, "honey, I'm going to need to see your ID".

My face lit up with delight. Really??

As soon as I looked thrilled she laughed and said, "OK, how far off am I? You're not over thirty, are you?"

And all I can think is, I love you.

Now, this is probably a combination of the fact that I was wearing an old college sweatshirt and a ponytail, instead of an actual youthful appearance. Just like I don't think anyone actually thought I looked senile, it was more that I was just wandering with a look of confusion.

Still, as a woman pushing forty, who was pretty confident she'd be returning home missing at least one key ingredient, it made me feel great.

Sometimes, keeping up the appearance is key, even when you think you're showing your age. I know that my car is nearing the end, but I still get a feeling of satisfaction when I cover up the little rusty spots or scratches, or tidy up the backseat.

Getting carded isn't going to make me younger, but sometimes, it's nice to feel like you've still got the world fooled.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Becoming a Regular

Sometimes I don't make any sense.

I love the idea of being in a small town, and I love the idea of being a regular somewhere. I like knowing that my order at the Chinese take out will be $12.25. I like knowing the routine at my nail salon and which scent I can chose for the footbath. I like knowing the people we use for services.

However, apparently I don't love it in practice. I'm not totally sure why. Do I honestly think that the people at the Chinese take out place are judging how often I order?  Do I think the manicurist is concerned with the dirt under my nails? Do I think that our landscaper is gossiping about how many weeds we have?

So I end up totally awkward. I won't get Chinese food, even though it's what I want, because I'm afraid to have to make small talk with the friendly girl at the checkout who knows that I like to get egg rolls, soup and fried rice on Monday nights.

Seriously, it's ridiculous. I don't make sense, and I know it.

I was a regular at a car shop, where I got my oil changed. The guy there was great - I feel like he knew my car. I could go in when something sounded weird, and he would look at it right away. Then he left, and I didn't feel like I liked the guy who replaced him, and I found another place to get my oil changed. This guy got to know my car too, but for some reason, I kind of resented that. He wasn't saying anything that wasn't true, but I hate that he knew that my car wasn't well kept and looking new.

Then I didn't love that when there was an issue, he wasn't helpful at all and didn't seem to have interest in resolving anything further. So, now here I am again.

And I think it may be time to put those insecurities aside, and become a regular again.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Denial

My tire light has been on for well over a year now.

I had a slow leak, and during that time (many months, definitely longer than recommended), I would wait for the light to come on, fill the tire, and go on my way. I finally went in and got the tire repaired. Easy.

Except of course it wasn't. When I picked up the car at the tire shop, they let me know that the light would go off within a few miles. It didn't. I brought the car back. They checked the tire, checked the light, and told me that it would, eventually, go off.

It didn't. They checked again, and finally told me it was probably the sensor. The tires were fine.

And I've been driving a car with a tire light on ever since. It drove me crazy for a while, but now I'm used to it. I check the pressure every once in a while, I know it's fine, and I just...deal. It's not a problem.

Except that when I have people in the car, I feel like I'm embracing my inner Penny from the Big Bang Theory. Yes, I know the light is on. I can see it. But it's fine.


In fact, I'm totally used to my car's idiosyncrasies by now, and it probably looks bizarre from the outside. For example, my car has a slow oil leak. When my check engine light comes on, it usually means the car is low on oil (I'm sure it would make more sense for the oil light to come on, but it doesn't). I'm completely blase about it.

On the other end of the spectrum, my friend just traded in her car for a new model, because her check engine light was on. She got the car serviced, but the light didn't go off immediately, and she didn't like it. She didn't feel confident driving the car.

Whereas right now, I'm happy in my denial, that my ten year old, nearly 200K miles old car will hang in there until my ideal car goes on sale, no matter how many lights flash up at me.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Quiet Ride

Reagan has hit the stage where there is no quiet. There is never any quiet.

She talks and talks and talks. She tells you everything that pops into her head, usually preceded with, "can I tell you something?"

NB: She is not asking because she wants permission. She asks so that she can make sure you are listening. She will repeat this question until you say yes.

She talks to me while she does her school work. She talks to me while she colors. She talks to me while she plays on her device of choice. She talks to me while she watches a show.  She talks to me when I'm in the shower, or when I'm struggling to open my eyes in the morning. She talks, literally, until the moment she loses consciousness and falls asleep.

It's not just me. If there is another human present, she will talk just as much to them. When we go to pick Madison up from dance and arrive early, she accosts every person in the waiting room.

"Why are you here? Who is your kid? Why is your kid in this class? Did you know I'm on mini team? Did you know that we're dancing a jazz dance? Do you know that I get to do a heel stretch? Did you know we finished it this week?"

Mind you, she's not telling me, or anyone, things that are crucial and require interruption. I've yet to hear her say, "Can I tell you something? I believe the house is on fire," or "Can I tell you something? Madison's been missing for a few hours now."

It's stream of consciousness.

It's five.

But, man, do I long for the days when a car ride lulled her to sleep within minutes.


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