I'm Not a Grown Up, But I Play One on TV

Monday, March 3, 2014

Today, I am feeling totally overwhelmed and insane. As you could see, last week included exactly zero posts. That was partly because I was really busy and partly because I didn't think I had anything particularly interesting to say.  Anything I would have written probably would have come out as incoherent rambling (moreso than usual, anyway) so I decided to spare you all of that.

So... life over at Simply A headquarters has been busy! I've been pretending to be a grown up! For instance, last week, I bought a new car!

New car!
Well, I actually leased a new car. This is my brand new, 2014, Elantra Coupe. She doesn't have a name yet, and yes, I'm taking suggestions. Why did I lease a new car, you ask? Well, I previously was driving this:

This is a 2007 Hyundai Tiburon and I loved it. A lot. And yes, this is mostly how it looked for the last 4 months (thanks, winter!) It was a great car. It had just over 120,000 miles on it and since I don't believe in driving cars without warranties, I was paying every month to keep it under an extended warranty. This extended warranty was great for the times where my air conditioner died last summer ($1800 repair that I didn't have to pay for) and when my calipers failed and I had to replace all of them and the rotors as well ($900 that I didn't have to pay for either). It didn't cover things like having to replace the belt system ($900, routine maintenance after a car hits 100K miles) or when my power steering hose died ($412), or when my end links in my suspension had to be replaced ($300). Over the last 2 months alone, I had sunk over $700 into my car, and that's when I decided to look into how much it would cost for something new.

Wednesday night, I went to the Hyundai dealer intent on looking at the Veloster and the Elantra Coupe, but ended up not seeing either of them because the sales person they stuck me with was horrible and useless. I did get some decent information though, but decided on Thursday to check around to some other Hyundai dealerships in the area, simply to avoid working with this particular dealership (where the sales guy sucked and where previously, I had ripped the service department a new one for trying to screw with me). With a simple online chat, I found out that another dealership close to our condo was willing to locate the car I wanted and could fit me in for a test drive that evening. Thursday night, I went to the new dealership and, in typical fashion, got a flat tire a mere 5 miles from the lot. Fortunately, I was able to nurse my poor, broken, car along the highway without dying or injuring anyone and made it to the showroom. Everyone there was extremely nice and accommodating, and the sales guy said he'd have the service department take care of my tire while I test drove the Elantra Coupe.

When I returned from my test drive (which they let me take by myself, always preferred), we sat down to do the negotiations. I had been amply prepped by my super-negotiator dad for how to do this the right way, so I was prepared (but nervous). It actually ended up going really well; I managed to get more than they offered for my trade and also got them to reduce the cap cost on the car, thereby reducing my payments to WAY below what I thought they would be. On top of all that, they were able to find the exact car I wanted and transport it to that dealership for me the next day, and they let me take a 2013 Coupe that had just been traded in so I didn't have to drive my car with the spare. It was quite an empowering night! And now, I can cross that off of my life list!

To be perfectly honest, I was quite sad to leave my car. She was my first "new" car and we had been through a lot together. It took me from FL to NJ to FL (and back to NJ), to NY every other weekend for 2 years when Ken and I were dating, to Ohio for my best friend's wedding, to countless trips down the shore, to school, to work, and to a million other places. I laughed in that car... I cried in that car... I even threw up in that car (sorry, future owners). I transported children, friends, instruments, and pets. We had some crazy times (like when I somehow got 2 flat tires in the same night in south Philly), some tense times (like when I constantly got lost in Delaware on the way to vocal jazz gigs), some hysterical times (driving to any trio gig), and some scary times (when I rear-ended someone and saw my life flash before my eyes). It got me through the snow and the rain and the sleet. It had awesome, red, leather seats and a killer sound system. It didn't have much of a back seat, but I'll forgive it for that. Perhaps most importantly, my dad helped my buy that car. I put the money down for it, but he paid it off and that was the only reason I could afford it. I know I'm extremely fortunate to have a parent who would do that for me, and shopping for that car, buying it, and taking care of it for the past 7 years brought my dad and me even closer in our relationship. But, all good things must come to an end, and as I start this new chapter in my life (med school!) it's time for a new car.

Now, if only the weather would cooperate and we could start a new season, that would be great. Instead, we're stuck with this:

Now is the winter of our discontent.
It snowed again last night into this morning. ::cue wailing and gnashing of teeth:: The powers that be had predicted that we would get 8-12 inches of snow, and fortunately, that did not come to pass. However, we did get about 3 inches, and for some reason, NJ decided that we didn't need to treat the roads or plow or anything for that, so my commute this morning would have been better served by utilizing a luge. It took almost 2 hours for me to get here and the roads were a disaster. There were definitely a few times that I was scared I was going to slide right off the highway, but at that point, I was more than 3/4 of the way to the office, so I figured I might as well keep going. This morning, as I was laying in bed, trying to force myself to get up, I just felt so defeated by this winter. I could not imagine going outside and cleaning off my car, or navigating the roads, or dealing with how disgusting my car would be after getting full of ice and snow and salt. The winter has to end soon, right?

Or.... not.
You know, I'm just going to focus on that Saturday where it's going to be 51 degrees. Or maybe I'll just pretend that weather forecasts don't exist, since they seem to be about as reliable as a Magic 8 ball these days. It's fine... we'll all survive... I guess. (This weather makes me melodramatic. I'm sorry.)

After the excitement of Friday's car buying, I spent the weekend relaxing. Ken was in NY visiting the guys, so I indulged in staying in bed all day, watching DVR'd TV, and Netflix. I also did about 46 loads of laundry, went to Target, and had dinner with my mom. All in all, a very relaxing weekend, even though I feel like I should have gotten more done. I'm trying to soak up the "nothingness" time that I have right now because come June, it all goes out the window. Goodbye full time job, hello med school classes, goodbye free time until 2018, effectively! 

In other exciting news, Ken and I have started the foray into home buying! As you can imagine, I am going absolutely insane. If you're new here, first of all, hello. Second of all, I'm a complete control freak and I worry about everything. Home buying is apparently designed to alternately make you want to jump for joy and slam your head into a wall. Or maybe that's just how I react to things. (I remember feeling similarly about wedding planning...) Anyway, I immediately started freaking out. We can't afford it, we're going to have to live somewhere terrible, Ken won't want to spend the money to do it, we don't have enough for a down payment, the taxes in NJ are stupidly high, our mortgage loan officer is going to laugh at us when we send him our financials... the list went on and on. As it turns out, those fears were entirely unfounded. SHOCKING, I know. Today, we got the notice that we were able to get preapproved for a mortgage that is more than we will need (hurrah!) and guess what, we won't have to live in a hovel. 

I spent 5 hours trying to make sense of my student loans, because whether you have student loans apparently affects your mortgage-getting ability (or at least for which mortgages you can qualify) and I was freaking out because some of my loans that were previously deferred are now coming due and that's money I hadn't budgeted for... and more importantly, the loans needed to all be in deferment when we close on our future house, so I had to make sure that was possible. I sent our mortgage officer about 385 emails, all in various states of panic, finally ending with "Confirmed: All loans will be in deferment from August 2014 to May 2018 when I graduate from med school." Our mortgage loan officer emailed back, "You're all good! Go find yourself a new home." Our realtor was cc'd on all of my crazy emails, so I'm sure she thinks I'm completely cracked out of my mind... but hey, she's known me since I was 10, so that probably isn't news at this point. In any case, holy crap, we can start house hunting. I'm sure I'll be blogging about that process as it goes along. Since when did I get to be a grown up?? Oh right, I'm just pretending. 

There are times where I really, truly, feel like an adult. Negotiating for my own car, getting preapproval for a mortgage, hell, even managing to get all of our laundry done, folded, and put away in a weekend was pretty inspiring. Then there are days where I wonder what the hell I'm doing with my life and I fear that at any moment, someone (The Adulting Police, perhaps?) will show up and say, "A HA! Gotcha! You aren't a real adult! You suck at this!" and then they'll arrest me and I'll be convicted of False Adulting and be forced to live in a facility with adult supervision for the rest of my life to make sure that I remember to brush my teeth and pay my bills on time. There are people all around me buying houses and getting pregnant (on purpose and with a plan!) and having babies and paying into retirement funds, and I'm over here going, "Shit, I forgot to eat the vegetables we bought last week and now they're liquifying in the bottom of the fridge." 

Then I remember that there are people who have it a LOT less together than I do, and really, I guess adulthood is a giant continuum anyway. Some people will always have it more together in some aspects of their lives, and in others, I'll be "ahead". I'm not sure why I even bother comparing myself to others, but it's something that I've always done in every facet of my life, so I'm not entirely surprised that I'm doing it here. I often wonder if I'll ever totally feel like "an adult". Maybe when we have kids? Who knows. How about you, fair readers? When do you feel like an adult? When do you definitely not feel like an adult? Do you compare yourself to others in the "adulting race"? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Signing off for now...

- A


  1. I am pretty well convinced that everyone is just pretending to be an adult, and some people are better at making it look like they know what they're doing than others. But ALL of us have had liquefying vegetables in our refrigerators at some point, whether we admit it or not. :p

    Also, I can't wait to read/hear about your adventures in home-buying! I want to see what your choices are. I'm going to be apartment hunting in the next month, which is not nearly as grown-up, but still exciting for me, so I will share those adventures with you as well if you'd like. :)

    1. That's the general consensus that I've found... we're all just winging it and some people are better at it than others, haha. I will totally share our home buying adventures, and I would LOVE to hear about your apartment-hunting adventures. It's so much fun. <3


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