I like the word *adulting* as a verb.  I know some people do not.  But unlike the sometimes forced morphing of verb status onto nouns or adjectives, a process called (obviously) *verbing*, the nature of *adulting* just strikes a chord with me.  We spend our childhoods waiting for the opportunity to *adult*.  All the supposed perks adults have, seen through the eyes of children, seem so glamorous and thrilling, or at least filled with self-determination and a side of Dunkin’ Donuts any time you please.  And then, if you’re like me, you spend your adulthood avoiding it.  Why?  Because *adulting* is hard.  It is boring and tedious and irritating and extremely un-fun.  Even with the occasional side of Dunkin. Whenever I do it though, I admit I feel pretty stoked, super pumped, like “where’s my cape?” super-hero status.  That sense of accomplishment after having completed an odious task can be a real rush.  But most days I just fucking hate adulting and avoid it at all costs.  This week I have adulted pretty hard.  I’m exhausted.  And it’s only Tuesday.

Last summer I gave up one of my favorite sitting areas, our second floor porch, because of the swarms of what I believe were wasps gathering around one of the pillars holding up the porch.  I could see where they went in, but I couldn’t reach it without climbing over the rail, standing on a stool and reaching up (in other words, I couldn’t reach it without risking my life).  So I did what I do best.  I went inside, closed the door and ignored it.

Whenever it was that I wrote about how our front doorknob fell off and I took apart the entire door-latch and lock was all well and good.  But the fucker fell off again.  Despite the fact that the locksmith told me it wouldn’t last, and that I should save up for a new lock system, I clearly did not believe him.  I tried taking apart the mechanisms again, but the main spindle’s threading was worn down and stripped, making it non-functional.  After several frustrating and failed attempts to jimmy-rig it, I slapped some duct tape across the latch and drilled a drawer handle onto the door, calling it a day.  Another form of avoidance, if not outright negligent adulting.

I used fancy duct tape at least

This week I called and spoke with a pest control company about the wasps.  I haven’t seen any.  Yet.  But why wait until the weather gets warm enough for them to wake up and swarm the porch again?  I did learn that wasps don’t hibernate, by the way, and that it is likely they will not return to the nest in the column of my porch, never mind waking from their hypothetical slumber to take ownership of my own preferred perch.  I also have dealt with three different plumbing companies in an effort to identify and take care of a plumbing problem that has been literally plaguing our house for several months.  This adulting is exhausting.

For the last few years I have whined here on this blog and with any friends who would listen about our city’s public pool and how the only way to access the pool area is to go through either the men’s locker/changing/shower-rooms or the women’s locker/changing/shower-rooms.  My children are basically part fish and would go daily to the public pool.  And I would love to take them.  It is literally a half mile from our house.  I just can’t deal with the painfully shaming awkwardness of having to navigate the inner sanctums of either gender’s facilities.

So in the midst of my newfound proclivity for adulting this week, I crafted an email to our city’s LGBTQ liaison.  Let me pause here to say how very grateful I am to live in a community that can even conceive of the need for such a position.  Never mind the fact that the person in this role is a trans-woman who has been in public service since graduating from high school in the early 70s.

I outlined the problems, in case she wasn’t aware.  I also shared my understanding for the need to have a check-in place and a way to comply with what I assume is some kind of law requiring swimmers in public pools to “rinse off” before entering the pool.  Not that people do rinse off mind you.  They simply walk the catacombs of the locker-shower-changing tunnels and emerge at the pool anhydrously unmoistened.  But my point was that I do understand that we are navigating more than meets the eye here.

In addition to my own needs, I also wondered in the email about parents and children of different genders.  Are male parents bringing 5 to 7 year old daughters to the pool expected to bring their little girls through the men’s locker/changing/shower rooms?  Or are the little girls sent off by themselves to navigate the women’s areas while the dad goes his own way and they just hope to meet up at the pool?  Or does the pool staff make an exception and allow the man to bring his girls through the ladies’ area??  My guess is that there are several extenuating circumstances that allow people to circumvent having to navigate the gendered grottos of the unclothed masses.  There must be a more direct route to the pool anyway.  But that would require having a (probably lengthy) conversation slash explanation with the check in desk people in order to explain one’s qualifications for extenuation.  Which poses its own set of problems for me.  Number one, the people staffing that check in area are generally teenagers.  These are summer jobs meant to keep them out of trouble, not career choices they wish to deeply engage their minds with.  And even if these were woke teens with a modicum of maturity, they are not given the authority to make decisions of this nature without having to consult someone else.  Not to mention the fact that these conversations/explanations would inevitably take place at the desk, as in, in public, in front of whomever else is in line and whoever might be milling about.

Don’t get me wrong, I would happily explain myself.  Privately.  Once.  Maybe even twice.  But to have to go through the gauntlet every time I go to the pool is asking too much.  There has to be an easier way.  In my email to the liaison I offered to be part of figuring out a viable solution.

She wrote back quickly, thanking me for reaching out and accepting my offer to join her and the pool folks in a brainstorming session.  It was such an enthusiastic, encouraging and positive response it made me feel like I might just have a handle on this adulting thing.  So I went to Dunkies for my adulting reward and smugly ordered myself a coffee.  Because, you know, I can any time I want to, as an adult.  It wasn’t until I was driving away, self-satisfiedly sipping on my iced coffee that I realized I’d ripped open and upended into my coffee, white packets that were salt, not sugar. {cue sad trombone}.  Adulting is still hard.


About halitentwo

i am. god is. we are. as soon as i write something about me i change, am different, evolving. i am trans. i am a parent. i am a partner. i am a human. i am attempting to live a well-lived life in the spaces in between, beyond definition, fluid, dynamic, omnifarious and always changing. hopefully growing.
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1 Response to adulting

  1. I am always struggling with loose and worn door locks! I guess your local pools don’t have family locker rooms? I think they are the preferred option for gender-diverse people since they have single change rooms. Parents can take all their kids in. I am so impressed that there is an LGBTQ liaison!

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