Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I'd Take That Class

My eldest was home for a few days last week and it was great for both of us.  I miss his company and he keenly misses just being home like the good old days before he was paying his own rent and buying his own groceries.  The discussion of how this whole business of being an adult is a lot harder than we thought when we were younger led to a discussion of what we wish we had known before we moved out. 
As a result, I've come up with a class everyone should take before moving out on their own.  I call it "Adulting 101", here is the course overview:

Money management:
  • Balancing a checkbook: the reality of "available balance" vs "actual balance"
  • Making and sticking to a budget that includes buying your own toothpaste and underwear
  • Taxes 101: how to fill all that shit out
  • Paychecks: who the hell is FICA and why do they take my money
  • Should I buy weed or beer?: prioritizing food, clothing and shelter
  • Entertainment on the cheap: it's not necessary to steal shopping carts
  • Paying bills: due dates are not suggestions, they fucking mean it
  • Renting that first apartment: questions to ask, what you have to pay up front and no, it should not smell like that
Feeding Yourself
  • Cereal: not always the answer, why toast matters
  • Preparing rice 87 ways, including some that don't suck!
  • Eggs: miracle food that even you can cook
  • When to throw it away: weird smells, bizarre colors and loss of structural integrity
  • Leftovers: why they won't actually kill you if eaten in a timely manner
  • Real butter: life is too short to use the fake shit
  • Nothing has an eternal shelf life: what not to buy more than one of
  • Buying in bulk: put half back, you don't have that much storage space
  • How to afford meat that isn't hot dogs or chicken nuggets
  • The freezer: not the key to food's eternal life, CLEAN IT OUT
  • Peanut butter: not the only protein source available to you
  • Chunky milk: you're not fooling anyone, you're not making yogurt in there and no, it should not smell like that
  • I don't know what the hell to do with quinoa, either, you're on your own
Laundry and Clothing
  • If it says "Dry Clean Only": why they mean it
  • You will never understand what all those symbols mean, no one does
  • Washing red things: it's going to bleed so keep away from whites 
  • Bedding DOES need to be washed on a regular basis: it shouldn't smell like that
  • Disappearing socks: you will never know why or how, a lesson in acceptance
  • Hot Topic: stop buying your clothes there before you graduate
  • Suits: you're going to need one sooner than you think
  • And nice shoes
  • And dress socks
  • And a "good" coat, your Arctic Cat snowmobile jacket will not cut it any more
  • You will never wear your letter jacket after your freshman year in college, buy the class ring instead, you won't wear that either, but it will take up less room in your tiny apartment
  • When to wash: no, it should not smell like that, do it now
You're Going To Get Sick But You're Not Dying
  • Surviving the flu: puking when you're sick is ten times worse than puking when you're drunk
  • When to call mom, the doctor, the ambulance or summon your God
  • Roommates: they aren't any better in a crisis than you are
  • Chicken noodle soup: voodoo magic that cures it all
  • What you should always have in the medicine cabinet and why pepto bismol is a gift from God
  • Alcohol is not a cure all: but a hot toddy will help a cold (this is a practical lesson, prepare accordingly)
  • It's not a tumor: headaches, hysteria and hypochondria
  • I think it's broken: when an ACE bandage just won't do
  • It might be infected: no, it should not smell like that
You Wanted A Car
  • What is that noise: when to turn the radio up and when to take it to the shop
  • Gas or food: the hard choice
  • When you just can't stop is past time to get the brakes done
  • Insurance: the most necessary evil and how it can save your ass
  • The backseat: not a dumpster, clothes hamper or junk drawer, CLEAN IT OUT
  • No, it should not smell like that: how to tell if something is living in your car
  • Winter driving: it sucks and you should avoid it as much as you can
  • Money pit: get used to putting money in constantly, good training for home ownership
  • Preventive maintenance: things to do before it starts smoking
You Live Here
  • Furniture buying: why you don't buy upholstered items from Craigslist (this will be an interactive lesson, please wear old clothes)
  • Beds: a mattress pad is not all you need, buy some damn sheets
  • Kitchen items: what to buy and what to steal from work
  • Paper plates are not considered fine tableware: some alternatives
  • Cleaning the bathroom: no, that's NOT frosted glass
  • Light up your life: why you need more than that one lamp
  • Decorating: why life sized cutouts from the bar are not a good idea
  • Pillows: you can wash them but you're probably better off throwing them out and getting new
  • Cleaning the toilet: no, it should not smell like that
I would have taken this class in a heartbeat.  Maybe I'll call the high school and offer my services.

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