You know how old people sometimes confuse the gas and brake pedals?
That was me, Friday night. Only I don’t think I confused the pedals so much as underestimated their function. I’m still not sure what happened. All I know is, I was backing into the garage, as is customary. There’s a little concrete “lip” the tires must go over, and so I meant to tap the gas pedal and give it a little more power. But for some reason, I floored it instead, and suddenly found myself hurtling backwards at a high rate of speed. Luckily instinct took over and I slammed on the brake, stopping two feet short of putting a hole in the wall and parking the Hyundai in the living room. I did manage to bust a tail light in the process, but all things considered, this was trivial.
Afterwards, I was shaky, and my ego was bruised. And I was left wondering, WTF just happened here?!
I’m still wondering that.
Dozens of questions were swirling through my head. Did I mean to give it gas, or apply the brake? Was the car going too slow or too fast as I was backing in? Did the pedal malfunction? And for crying out loud, who let the dogs out? Who? Who?! It’s been 14 years since the song came out and I’m still in the dark over that one.
Naturally, I turned to Facebook. And naturally, Facebook turned on me. It didn’t help that my second cousin Cindy used to be a claims adjuster and reported that people eligible for AARP do that “all the time.” My friends took advantage of my faux pas to call me “old” and leave humorous hash tags such as #oldpersonneedsglasses and #pedestriansrunforyourlives. In reality, I expected nothing less from my friends and family!
For the record, I don’t really think I’m old or confused or any of the above. It was just a fluke thing. Maybe subconsciously I don’t want to sell the townhouse so I tried to put a hole in it to make it less desirable.
Nah. But that sounds as good as anything else.
Saturday we went apartment hunting, and this was an interesting experience. It’s been twenty years since I last looked for an apartment, back when my ex and I lived in California and were about to move up here. I’m in such a different place in my life now: instead of looking forward to the birth of my first child and a fresh start in a brand new state, I’m confusing the gas and brake pedals on my car and nearly destroying the garage in the process. My priorities have changed, you could say.
Still, with Tara, it was fun. It helps that we have the same tastes and want the same things. Like a washer and dryer in the apartment. And a patio or balcony. A dishwasher. I want A/C and a fireplace. She wants cabinet space and closet room. Most of all, we both want a comfortable, cozy place we can call home for a couple of years while letting my credit recover from the short sale and saving up to buy a house. We don’t want to spend a fortune unnecessarily. We’re looking for a good location, quiet neighbors, and someplace where meth deals do not occur in the parking lot at 3 AM. It’s fun to look, and while looking, to imagine which wall the bed will go against, or where we’re going to put the record console and the bookshelves and the couch. Especially fun: when the leasing agent asks whether you’ve got any pets, and you talk about your wild animal permit and the panther you’ve got, who is great with kids “bigger than the age of 6” but it’s okay because she hardly ever roars and you’re “willing to pay a pet deposit.”
Sometimes it’s a boa constrictor. Other times, a crocodile. Gotta have a little bit of fun with these people.
And while we didn’t fall head over heels in love with anyplace or sign a lease, we did find at least one strong contender that we could see calling “home” for awhile. In the meantime, we’ll look around some more.