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15 March 2003 @ 12:17 pm
Adulthood is hard.  
I don't want to say how old I am. I have become one of those over-thirty women who just can't face their age, for whom they design lame thirtyish birthday cards. ("I'm actually twenty-nine--forever!") Maybe it's because I haven't lived, and so it seems...a failure to have reached this age. And done so little.

Anyway. This morning I woke up and I thought my refrigerator had died. So I called my landlord, who came over, which is when we discovered that I merely needed to defrost it. Cue scenes of great embarrassment and patheticness. Patheticity. I'm thirtysomething years old and before today I had never learned how to defrost a fridge. I mean, sure, I chipped away at the ice now and then. And of course I knew that there was this formal process called "defrosting." But I hadn't put two and two together and figured out a functional response to my fridge's icy woes, even though I've lived on my own for about fourteen years.

Time to break out the whiskey.

Whiskey and pancakes.


 
 
do you want orcs? because this is how you get orcskita0610 on March 15th, 2003 01:07 pm (UTC)
So do you pour the whiskey ON the pancakes? Cause that could be a whole new thing. Although last time we went out to IHOP, I accidentally poured my coffee on mine, cause the coffee container looked just like the maple syrup one. Whiskey woulda been much cooler.
Anna S.eliade on March 15th, 2003 05:10 pm (UTC)
I drank the whiskey, then went to IHOP to get pancakes.

Although last time we went out to IHOP, I accidentally poured my coffee on mine, cause the coffee container looked just like the maple syrup one.

That's too funny. I'd blame it on your evil hand, if I were you.

I just wrote "EVIL HAND!" on my left hand with blue marker. For, uh, no good reason....
Caille: shirleycaille on March 15th, 2003 01:08 pm (UTC)
Adulthood really is hard. It's just one darn thing after another. Have you ever noticed the way Big Professional Men (as opposed to support staff people) act around office copy machines? When they actually try to make a copy by themselves, and it jams or needs toner or just sits there, the Big Men get really, truly annoyed. They swear at it, even though the rest of us know you musn't ever do that to a copy machine, and they get all offended. "We just had the service tech out here last month! He was supposed to fix it!" Duh. Copy machines are on-going events. You never get them done. "There, it's done!" Adulthood is like this, a lot. "Wait, I already did the Unexpected Layoff! No, no, I worked with the Short Man-Bitch from Hell last year!" And of course, "The freezer? Already? I mean, really?"

We live picturesque lives, Anna. We have interesting appliances that go through cyclical changes. Did you know some people have "frost-free" refrigerators? Or, check this out: "self-cleaning" ovens. (The oven is my freezer. Have I ever given my oven a thorough scrub-out cleaning? Not in this or any other century.)

As for calling for unnecessary help...one time, a very, very long time ago, my then-roommates and I became convinced one evening that our basement apartment had somehow been bugged by the FBI, or possibly booby-trapped, because we kept hearing this weird humming sound, and we couldn't identify it. We were going crazy with paranoia, but luckily we didn't actually call anyone (I mean, who are you gonna call?), because eventually we located the telephone, off the hook, buried in a nest of Indian bedspread-covered cushions.

I'll have the funny shaped pancakes, please.
caille on March 15th, 2003 01:29 pm (UTC)
Oops. I forgot to add this: Hush up about the "having done so little" and the reaching of any age as being a failure. Just hush. It's not true, and it's not relevant, and it's not how the whole thing works anyway. Plus I like you very much. I'm a lot of things, but I'm not stupid. Now I'll have some whiskey, too, please.
(no subject) - herself_nyc on March 15th, 2003 01:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Karenauntyk on March 15th, 2003 01:27 pm (UTC)
I empathise
Maybe it's because I haven't lived, and so it seems...a failure to have reached this age. And done so little.

with you. I reach 30 on the 22nd and is sad to realise I have nothing to really show for it, but it's particularly annoying when people point this fact out....it's like being told I'm overweight....well duh people, I have a mirror. Heh.
(Deleted comment)
Anna S.eliade on March 15th, 2003 08:15 pm (UTC)
Sure, I *knew* that there were bad boys out there-- the ones with beautiful faces, delectable bodies and a wicked smile-- but I didn't *realise* they were only out to screw you. In the literal sense (::sighs::)

Whereas to me, it's like: Where do I line up to be screwed over by beautiful men? Huh? Huh?

Heh.
MustangSally: Glammustangsally78 on March 15th, 2003 03:44 pm (UTC)
Ah fuck 'em!
Haven't accomplished anything by *whose* standards? Eschew the yardstick, embrace the pancake.

I'm thirty five (thirty six next month) unmarried, never been engaged, never cohabitated with a human other than my folks, have no children, have two degrees and no job. But my nails are long and natural and I sleep well at night.

I have also never defrosted a refrigerator and have a terror of sticking my hand in the body cavities of dead poultry, but I can strip wallpaper and know how to clean spark plugs.

Come to Florida, we will kvetch.

Sally
Anna S.eliade on March 15th, 2003 03:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Ah fuck 'em!
I can now see the back and bottom of my freezer for the first time in over four years. It's so big and perfectly rectangular. Also, the excavated skins of several old ice bags were ripped from the frozen tundra, unearthed like geological layers, along with some peas and fish and stuff that once belonged to Ancient Man.

Eschew the yardstick, embrace the pancake.

I sig you, baby.
Cesperanza: Glam!Frasercesperanza on March 15th, 2003 03:51 pm (UTC)
I'm -nthing everyone else up there ahead of me. I mean, since when is knowing how to defrost your fridge an accomplishment? Frankly, I'm proud of you for not knowing. What a boring and pointless thing to know. Whereas you know how to reach right into my brain and make my genitals sizzle, and I really defy the Maytag repair guy to--

Okay, actually, I don't defy him. I shouldn't have gone there. I'm deeply sorry.

I smooch you!
Anna S.: akbareliade on March 15th, 2003 08:16 pm (UTC)
What a boring and pointless thing to know. Whereas you know how to reach right into my brain and make my genitals sizzle

If I'd known you kept your genitals in your head, Ces...um, I'm not going to complete that thought.

Because I love you, genital-head!
(Anonymous) on March 15th, 2003 04:02 pm (UTC)
so, I have no idea what you've done or failed to do in your life, but I nonetheless find you extremely intriguing. And I think from your journal's comments that I am not alone in this. I hesitate to post this, as I don't actually know you well enough to comment on your personal angst, and in fact I have now decided to be anonymous. But what with all the people who find you fascinating, there has to be something there; you're not fooling that many smart people. And since there is very clearly a lot of you there, being interesting, I don't know what more a wild and extreme life could have achieved, apart from giving you anecdotes and stuff to bore young kids with when you're old. Or maybe I'm just saying that because I am immensely impractical and know this mood you're in well, but really, I do think it is about what you are and not about what you do, and that contrary to popular belief, yes, the two can be separated.
Anna S.eliade on March 15th, 2003 04:56 pm (UTC)
so, I have no idea what you've done or failed to do in your life, but I nonetheless find you extremely intriguing.

Thanks. :)

I hesitate to post this, as I don't actually know you well enough to comment on your personal angst, and in fact I have now decided to be anonymous.

Oh, you can comment on my angst! And you don't have to be anonymous. My angst is out there, after all. Heh.

...I don't know what more a wild and extreme life could have achieved, apart from giving you anecdotes and stuff to bore young kids with when you're old.

Or fodder for fiction.

Or maybe I'm just saying that because I am immensely impractical

God, me too.

...I do think it is about what you are and not about what you do, and that contrary to popular belief, yes, the two can be separated.

It's hard. Some days I feel built of nothing but words--like that creepy guy from BtVS who was made of nothing but worms.

"...worms, Roxanne! Worms!"
still lavender from the blockwickedprincess3 on March 15th, 2003 04:28 pm (UTC)
I say meshing the world of pancakes and whiskey makes you a fucking genius.
(you mean there's existential angst in your 30's too? Fuck)
Anna S.eliade on March 15th, 2003 04:52 pm (UTC)
The thirties are to angst what Stilton is to cheese.
Cassandrageekturnedvamp on March 15th, 2003 04:32 pm (UTC)
What they said, plus
If it makes you feel any better, I was thirty years old before I found out that anchovies were actually fish. And back during my brief attempt at keeping a livejournal, it was full of entries like: "My air conditioner iced up, so I turned it off and now it is dripping water onto the floor. This cannot be good." and, "Why is my electric rice cooker blowing out the power in here now?"

But seriously, while I realize the feeling like you haven't lived yet (and God, do I know that feeling) is an emotional response that in reality has little if anything to do with appliance maintenance, I think what you may be missing in all this is that calling the landlord is a perfectly functional response to the fridge situation.

Also, I love Sherlock Holmes:

"I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilled workman is very careful indeed to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones." ...
"But the Solar System!" I protested.
"What the deuce is it to me?" he interrupted impatiently: "you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work."







Anna S.eliade on March 15th, 2003 04:50 pm (UTC)
Re: What they said, plus
Oh, I've always loved that quote. :)

But--and here I'm just tossing a thought out for musing--I've always thought that unlike most other arts and crafts, writing is one of those areas that should encompass as much of *everything* as possible. From solar systems to seasick love affairs. Deficits in both life experience and world knowledge make me feel like a hack and a con man, as if my writing is just a flimsy fraud of words. Which may be why I don't try to write professionally. Because I recognize my range is limited, and that if I tried for realism, the audience would see my naked, boring underbelly. I'm just another vaguely dissatisfied and unremarkably neurotic thirtysomething woman. No special insights or knowledge. I look at what some of the more literary authors bring to their works (I don't mean literary in a bad way here, but just as a distinction from dreck) and I feel *this* small by comparison.

Anyway. That's just more angst on a platter, and I've blah-blah-blahed in this vein before, as readers of my old blog might recognize. It's boring and whiny, but those are my feelings and they've have remained consistent for a while now.
Re: What they said, plus - tzikeh on March 15th, 2003 05:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
10zlaine on March 15th, 2003 04:42 pm (UTC)
I'm 38. I spend 75% of the year alone. It pisses me off that my grays have multiplied, and that I have to particular talent with which to mark my existance, and that in comparison to all my online pals/acquaintances--I'm special ed. That I'm this old and despite my life's exposure to more places and people than most, my closest friend I've known only four years and she moved to FL two years ago. And I really fucking miss climbing trees. I hate this linear time thingy.

I'm married to a grown up, who bought us this house, and it was my job to pick the appliances. I have knowledge of the defrosting of stuff, based on past apartments and one of those mothers. Didn't stop my dumb-ass self from accidently picking the non frost-free freezer. This was five years ago. Three years ago, the door wasn't shut properly and huge walls of ice formed. Every winter I tell myself I will defrost, because I can put the stuff outside and it will keep. Incidentally, this has been one of the coldest winters in Maine for years. Haven't done it. I'm waiting for my mother, or some person, any person, whose responsibility it actually is to clean the appliances.

I've lived in 6 states, 16 towns, and been in all but five states and provinces. I am a troglodyte and boring as hell.

On the upside? I've got pretty frozen ocean outside, and my favorite dairy bar/hamburger stand just opened after the winter off.
Anna S.eliade on March 15th, 2003 08:18 pm (UTC)
I am a troglodyte and boring as hell.

Hey. No fair stealing my identity. I will sue!

I'm from Maine, by the way. But maybe you knew that, given that I talk about myself at the drop of a hat. I was born in Portland. I didn't live there all that long, though. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if we'd stayed....
(no subject) - 10zlaine on March 16th, 2003 08:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
Whoopie Pies - miss_tea on March 16th, 2003 08:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Whoopie Pies - 10zlaine on March 16th, 2003 08:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Whoopie Pies - miss_tea on March 17th, 2003 09:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
Veracopracat on March 15th, 2003 08:19 pm (UTC)
Hee! In my thirty-something independent all-dyke household we are attempting to hang pictures on cement walls. We have a hammer drill, we have consulted with dads long-distance on appropriate drill use. We have mortar drill bits. We've pored over hanging devices and taken the advice of the hardware store man, buying little corrugated tube thingies and mortar nails and all sorts of things I wotted nothing of till now and viola!* Two frames hang upon the walls.

I kept asking my housemate, "Aren't there men you can pay to do this kind of thing?"

She threatened to revoke my dyke licence.

*Oh, alright. There were moments where swearing was a distinct possibility.
(Anonymous) on March 15th, 2003 09:31 pm (UTC)
Everytime there’s an anonymous message I feel compelled to point out that wasn’t me. I may be a stalker, but I am open about it. Fair’s fair. That other anonymous message wasn't me.

The only other useful thing I have to say is that being in your thirties is stupid. Too old for perky and too young to feel wise. You have to worry about deciding if you want kids, or a partner or a career or money. Thirties are all about malaise.

But your forties are wonderful. My mother had told me so, but I was too mortified to listen because she celebrated turning forty by buying herself a white Corvette. But it’s true. You turn forty and you realize you got wise just by breathing in and out and not killing yourself or every other sad bastard that pissed you off. At forty, you’re right about everything. You can go to a restaurant and order something that isn’t on the menu and send it back just because you don’t like the way it tastes. Even if you’re only doing to ogle the waiter’s ass. It’s so cool. When you turn forty, you’re finally ready to make a commitment to a personality, a job, a lifestyle, whatever you brooded about doing right in your thirties.

Remember when you left high school and you realized you didn’t have to pretend you understood what the cool kids were talking about and you could go to college and actually pick courses that weren’t compulsory? That’s what turning forty is like.

But you have to live through your shitty high school/self-conscious thirties. I’m sorry. There’s no shortcut. I’m sure that’s no consolation, and I’m sure you won’t believe me any more than I believed my mother or my friends who turned forty before me, but it’s true. Thirties suck. Forties make up for it. Quadruple. More.

I can’t believe you’re worrying about why you’re not writing professionally yet when you have that Keillor quote on your website about it. The quote about writers starting late applies to what you want to write too. You’re not ready to tell a story that you want to sell. Maybe you won’t ever want to, but has nothing to do with actual experience. This Jack Kerouac take it on the road can’t write until you’ve rassled a bear in your underwear notion is complete shit. Your writing is compelling because you know what people feel and you can express the nuances in original and convincing language, not because you know about vampire lore or have information about demons or Nazis or whatever. All that is stuff you manipulate to tell your story about what the characters are feeling and thinking. If you want to write a non-fanfic story, you’ll come up with events that elicit the kinds of emotions and character development you want to write about. If you don’t know, you’ll look it the fuck up, just like everyone else. Just like what you do now when you go watch an episode before you write. Instead of hitting rewind, you’ll be calling some naval engineer to ask how many minutes it takes for a submarine to sink. Because you’re not writing about a submarine, you’re writing about your characters are feeling their last five minutes of air. You know enough about that to write anything you want.

Anyway, I think writing fanfic well is much harder than original fiction and I'm sad you can't get paid for what you're writing now.

I see you offered me a LJ thingy a few days ago. (Sorry, just read it. Even I must occasionally break from genuflection. Forties are hard on your knees. See? I am only able to make this kind of lame joke because I’m over forty. In my thirties, I would have worried about not appearing insane.) Anyway I am conflicted about having an LJ. On the one hand, an LJ would eliminate my going on at great length here, which would be a relief. But I am very prone to procrastination. Very. God, what’s a worse word than prone? So I don’t know. Maybe they don’t allow people in their forties. And there’s a part of me who thinks I should stop reading LJs completely. Like the part which just looked at this message and realized how long it is. Sorry.

Nonnie
Jane Bluestockingj_bluestocking on March 16th, 2003 02:13 am (UTC)
Nonnie's right. In your 40s, you know everything, or at least enough things that it *feels* like everything.

One day you will join me on the dark side, and you will know I speak truth.

Oh, and she's right about the emotions and the characters, too. That's what counts. You can always study up on dressage or courtroom etiquette.
(no subject) - 10zlaine on March 16th, 2003 08:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
Sanj: Willowsanj on March 15th, 2003 10:57 pm (UTC)
Being more or less the exact same age as you (i.e., over thirty and in denial), I hear what you're saying. I keep having these flashes of *mortality*, and wondering what they'll say I contributed to society/literature/humanity, when it's clear I can't change my own oil or balance my own checkbook.

Still. I'm hardly a world expert on All Things Anna, but there's three things it looks to me like you've got that people are still working for at eighty: (1) you're not afraid to look carefully at yourself;(2) you know how to be both brilliant and approachable at the same time; (3) you have a prose style most people would gleefully sacrifice limbs to achieve.

And no, I am not buttering you up just because you're a hottie. Your hottieness is its own variable. :)

Frost-free refrigerators, baby. Let somebody else figure that shit out.
Estepheiaestepheia on March 16th, 2003 05:42 am (UTC)
What Sanji said:
Still. I'm hardly a world expert on All Things Anna, but there's three things it looks to me like you've got that people are still working for at eighty: (1) you're not afraid to look carefully at yourself;(2) you know how to be both brilliant and approachable at the same time; (3) you have a prose style most people would gleefully sacrifice limbs to achieve.

Which limb would you like?
Seriously, there are many published authors who are less articulate than you are. (Have you read some of the tie in novels? Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder get published, they have tons of books in print, but they don't strike me as particularly good. Mostly they are just prolific)

You can't get published without a book (ok, Kalima's example shows that you may not get published even if you do finish it, but at least she got prize money for her novel). Write it, try to sell it. While you try to sell it, write the next one.
(Which is what I should be doing too, in German, though, but I'm procrastinating).
As for fridges/feezers, I'm 39 and I have defrosted mine occasionally, but not nearly often enough. I hate cleaning with a passion, so I hardly ever do it. The 'good housewife'-tag is not something I crave (although because of being brain washed in my youth I feel guilty about it) or attribute great worth to.

You're smart, funny, witty, insightful, have an awesome vocabulary,a large bunch of discerning people read your stories and LJ entries on a regular basis. Who cares about defrosting?
Rosa: ian  & dom - blue/hot (from me)rrrosa on March 16th, 2003 01:00 pm (UTC)
Okay, so I read LJ backwards when I finally get to it, most recent friends entries first, so I read your comment about the response to your extremely mild angst moment before I got to the post. And no, there was no real point to telling you that first. BUT!

I moved out of an apartment last winter, and actually had to defrost the refrigerator, and it wasn't half as traumatic as I'd been expecting. (Erm, I had been forced to stop using the freezer, you understand, because it was completely filled with ice. Not enough room for a single popsicle, I tell yoU!)

Here's the thing, though--in the last, what, seventeen years, I've moved approximately 432.6 times. Is it really possible that I've never defrosted a fridge? It's so embarrassing! *grin*