I applied for my theory test the other night.
Five years after most other people my age, I’m going to put on my big girl boots and answer a few inane questions in order to put myself behind the wheel of a “coffin on tyres” to attempt to master the one way systems and roundabouts of Cork city. I am terrified. I’ve a fear of the road as it is (not without reason) and my opinion on the driving standard of 90% of the drivers in Cork isn’t the most positive one around. But Bus Eireann isn’t the most buggy friendly entity in the world and has a habit of not showing up on time, so I think it may be about time to get over the fear and do it anyway.
This feels very grown up. Never mind the fact that I’m Mammy to a little man who has just learned how to stand and hold all his own weight as long as you hold his hands for balance (I swear, as soon as he cops on to his centre of gravity we are screwed, need to start the baby proofing!). Or the decent, permanent job. Or the living with a boy. No, a slip of paper that says I’m allowed to be stuck in traffic, thats definitely the mark of grownupdom.
It doesn’t stop there though. I regret to inform myself that I’ve actually become an adult. This I realised when house hunting (its that time of year again) and started longing after houses in suburbia. Affordable, beautiful, family friendly houses. That aren’t near the city centre at all. I grew up in the back of beyonds and never understood why any adult would wish to live there – it was so boring, nothing to do, and the lack of phone signal was atrocious. I’ve never been a proper disconnect from society person. However, we’ve recently been looking for somewhere to live that has enough space, preferably a garden and is in an area we’re happy to have E living in. Not desperate students anymore, willing to live in squalor (not that I was ever that, I got unreal lucky with my student house and lived there for four years happily before moving into our current apartment). I’ve come to realise that unless you fancy paying out half your wages in rent (and the other half in childcare), decent city living is hard to come by.
We viewed a house last night. Estate agent seemed nice on the phone. Google mapped the area before going and prayed it was the lovely house to the left instead of the dilapidated boarded up one Google said it was. While it wasn’t the boarded up one, it was certainly not in the best form of its life. The ad stated “Property could do with some modernisation”. We expected single glazed windows and were pleased to see double glazed. Agent opened the door and among his first words were “Ah yeah, she could do with a lick of paint but thats all”. Yes indeed. Quite a massive lick of paint, some deep-cleaning and treatment of the damp that has taken over most of the walls… The downstairs bathroom was more black mold than paint. Himself commented to me after that if it had come to it we were “boarding it up and forgetting it existed”. Yes, ladies and gents, thats what 800 euros a month gets you in Cork city. I cry internally every time I see gorgeous massive houses in the South East, with gardens and child friendly areas, for so much less than that. We can’t really walk away from two proper grown up jobs to places with mass unemployment, but oh, the pretty houses with affordable rent…
Two more viewings this evening. I’m afraid I’ll wind up living under my desk in work, shipping the child to his grandparents and seeing him occasionally. Why can’t being a grownup be straight forward?