Thursday, August 17, 2006

I’m a Big Boy Now

And it has nothing to do with Pampers Pull-Ups diapers. My character doesn’t derive from disposable undergarments. I wear them strictly for the comfort.

When Tanya and I went to Nags Head a while back, we returned from the trip with a 2002 4-door Saturn L200. My father, in a fit of generosity, gave the car to me. It’s been sitting around like an out-of-towner ever since. That is, until yesterday. I went down to the AAA, transferred the title and registered the car. I even had the thing smog checked.

Now, that doesn’t sound like that big a deal. But I don’t register cars every day. And when I do, I rarely have to go it alone. So, when the world didn’t end because I filled out the paperwork incorrectly, I felt a great sense of empowerment.

See, when I actually accomplish an adult task – all by myself – it makes me feel a little more like a competent member of society. Like I can survive on my own. Sure, I’m 33 years old now and I’ve been living “on my own” (read: no parents) for a while now. But I still feel as if, any minute, I could encounter a task that is so incredibly “adult” and complicated that I would slip into a responsibility-induced coma at its very mention. Even though I’m not a complete dullard, I lack a certain amount of confidence when it comes to taking care of grown-up business.

The nice thing is that I don’t think I’m alone here. Registering things, signing loans, making health-related appointments, dealing with insurance (or the lack of it), re-financing stuff…all that crap is scary. But my lack of confidence isn’t helped by certain people who waltz around this little planet as if they’ve figured all of it out. As if calling a credit card company isn’t nerve-wracking. As if calling the pizza place isn’t terrifying. As if strangers in general aren’t something to be completely avoided at all costs.

Maybe that’s the problem. You know, if my buddy Phil worked down at the AAA, I wouldn’t have a problem taking care of that stuff. Not at all. I’d just call Phil and as him how to take care of it. But my buddy Phil doesn’t work at the AAA. I don’t even have a buddy named Phil. So I’m on my own and forced to subjugate myself to complete strangers. And what have I been told since I was an Anthropomorphic Boy? “Don’t talk to strangers!” “If you need help, find a policeman!”

Well, now I’m forced to talk to strangers, with my “Stranger Danger” alarm ringing loudly in my subconscious, and the last person I want to talk to is a cop.

Plus, I can never get a police officer to make my dental appointments for me. They suck.

So what am I saying? All I really need to know I didn’t learn in kindergarten. In fact some of that crap really screwed me up. And if you’ve ever said to someone “I was filling out my tax forms the other day and thought to myself, am I going to have to fill out a Schedule-M3? Ha ha ha ha!” and you’re not the CFO of anything, then you need to stop. You’re only doing it to make the rest of us feel like adolescent pussies.

And it’s working.

But, yeah me! I registered my car! Now it doesn’t have West Virginia plates on it anymore. However, I was hoping that someone would mistake me for an out-of-towner. That way, when they flipped me off in traffic and yelled something like “hey, you hillbilly douchebag, why don’t you go back to West Virginia, your sister’s getting lonely!” I could yell something back that only a local Los Angelino would know like “Santa Monica is overpriced!”

And that would rock their little world.

Fun Fact: I didn’t just take care of my car yesterday. I also painted a painting for the apartment. We had the need for a large 30” X 40” painting, so I created one.

And this is it. Enjoy!

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