I suck at being a grown-up.
I put off paying bills until I get overdue notices. I forget to give the dog her medicine. I kill every plant that enters my home. Thank God I’m not responsible for keeping a minor child alive till her 18th birthday. The pressure to feed, clothe, and shelter her adequately would probably do me in.
I returned home yesterday after babysitting someone else’s children and dogs (what were they thinking???) for five days. I knew my toilet was clogged; I went home on Friday while the kids were at school to do some bill-paying and plant-watering (we all know how that turned out) and the toilet stopped up. I made a mental note to get a plunger the next time I was at Walgreen’s. Like most mental notes, it gently fluttered through my brain like a snowflake and melted upon landing.
For a millisecond, I thought clogged toilet – plunger = disaster, but I flushed anyway. As luck would have it, the toilet flapper (yes, I had to google it to find out the stopper thingy’s real name) failed, commencing the Great Toilet Overflow of ’13. Apparently, my condo tilts ever so slightly toward the master bedroom, so all the water from the toilet helpfully slid away from the tile floor in the bathroom and under my bedroom carpet, which I just had cleaned two weeks ago.
So this happened.
And also this.
Shoot. Me. Now.
When faced with a particularly illuminating example of my fatuity, I immediately take a mental inventory of all the other boneheaded things I’ve done. I should say to myself, “Kelly, in general, you are a competent person. This is just a blip on your record, forgotten in the time it takes to deposit that babysitting money and write a check to the carpet cleaners. No children or animals were harmed in the creation of this mess, so you’re good.”
Instead, I think of all the ways I’ve narrowly escaped the consequences of foolish decisions:
Like the time I backed out of a really tight parking space in Seattle, knocking off a mirror and scraping the passenger side of the rental car I was driving. (In my defense, the parking spaces in this garage are freakishly close together, with the choice of three spaces crammed between two concrete columns repeating throughout both levels of the garage. It’s impossible to turn wide enough to pull into a space and impossible to back out of one unscathed.)
And the time I took Coco up to school with me on a Saturday, and she escaped from my classroom and ran around the school/church during a wedding (which is probably why they have a no-pets-in-the-building rule.) I was terrified she would run into the busy street adjacent to the church, but I found her in a classroom in the middle school.
And the time I got pulled over because my left brake light was out (which I thought I had already fixed) and got tickets for expired tags and not having my driver’s license or proof of insurance with me.
Fortunately, insurance paid for the damage on the rental car, Coco continues to be alive, and the tickets were dismissed when I showed the nice judge my current registration, driver’s license, and insurance.
Last night, Coco and I spent the night at my mom’s house, and I had a little pity party. I was going to be all, “I don’t need Baskin Robbins to cope with misfortune,” but then I thought if ever there was a time to self-medicate with ice cream, this was it!
So this happened.
In my defense, they have a new flavor called Bundle of Love. Who could pass up smooth and creamy chocolate ice cream filled with chocolate cups and gooey raspberry filled chocolate hearts during a time of crisis??
Update: Good news! I don’t have to replace my carpet! It’s sanitized and drying really well, so after (another) thorough cleaning, it will be good as new! Must be the Gods of Fortune throwing me a bone.