38 til 40 Countdown: “Learning” Experiences

38 til 40 Countdown: “Learning” Experiences

ARG. Grumble grumble grumble. I’m so stupid.

Word to the wise (do the wise need a word? I’m not sure what that exactly means. If you are giving someone advice then maybe it should be word from the wise? But I’m definitely not wise in at least one regard and I’m giving a word so who the hell knows. I don’t.) Anyhoo my ‘word to the wise’ is to not take your two small kids to the Next Day Blinds store when you have never in your life bought a single window treatment and it is 10 minutes to closing. Because you are going to make some really bad decisions and this stuff is custom made and who in the heck knew that blinds could cost so much more from one place than from another. I certainly didn’t. I thought there could be like, a 50% difference, for example. But I was wrong. And unfortunately, because there was a diaper incident I was not accessible when the bill was presented and my husband assumed that I had at least asked how much the blinds cost before charging ahead and selecting colors and giving measurements. Which I had not. I knew they were more expensive than blinds from Lowe’s. But we’ve been living in this house for months with an old sarong as our bathroom ‘curtain’ and our now ruined pillow sham cover taped over one of the windows in my son’s room, plus he wakes up at what seems like 4:30 every morning as soon as the tiniest sliver of light falls on his face (I think his superpower may be SensitivetoLight Man), so we felt that solving the window treatment problem was a high priority for overall family wellbeing.

And I guess in line with the 40 till 40 countdown I felt that, at the age of nearly 40, I should not be too afraid of my inexperience with window treatments to try to figure out what to do about these situations. For more TMI (that’s too much information, mom), in my bedroom there is a pair of 7-yr-old Ikea curtains from my apartment 3 homes ago that are at least 2 feet too long for the room (yes, there are puddles of fabric collecting dust bunnies on the ground, i’m told the ‘puddled’ look is the most formal and elegant so…). I just don’t know how to go about figuring out what to put on a window because i’ve only rented before and there have always been shades and that’s been just fine with me. Or at least adequate. I did get those Ikea curtains I guess, but the investment there was so minor and the service performed (complete and total light blockage) so worthwhile and obvious.

So i don’t want to get into the gory details but shades were purchased and the bill was very upsetting and unexpected and when i called back to cancel the shop was closed and it very clearly states on the receipt that as these are custom blinds you can’t cancel your order. And it makes sense that to be Next Day blinds they would have to get to work making something pretty quickly so I guess the damage is done.

This is why I basically never buy anything I guess. I cannot deal with buyers remorse. I think of how many hours I will need to work to pay for those blinds. Or of the other things I’d love to have that I could have had with the same money.

But, moving on. So I’m trying to figure out what lessons I can learn. And i’m trying to figure out lots and lots of them to make the cost worthwhile. So, if it was $50/lesson, I would need to learn a whole lot of lessons is all i’m going to say.
#1 Don’t take your kids with you to buy blinds. Maybe window shop for blinds with your kids, get ideas. Don’t buy ANYTHING.
#2 Um, ask the price of something at the beginning of the conversation.
#3 To Assume makes an ASS out of U and ME. How many freaking times do I have to learn this freaking lesson? Don’t assume these blinds are a little more expensive. Jeez.
#4 It’s great to try to get a lot of stuff done, but don’t let it push you to make bad decisions. I don’t know how this is going to work as a lesson, because the other side is to be paralyzed and never make any decisions or move forward because you are terrified of making bad decisions which is something I struggle with a little bit. But i can see why based on how awful I feel after making the afore (and repeatedly) mentioned poor decision(s).

That’s not nearly enough lessons, by the way, to cover the costs of these blinds unless each lesson is worth a lot more.

Since the 40 till 40 is an empowering and upbeat exercise, here’s what I did today towards my 40:
* more work on ‘inbox’ (not related to computer, see 39 till 40)
* looked for photo of katydid. So I have a species of katydid named for me (!)  Brachyamytta mcculloughae and I’ve wanted to frame a picture and put it up somewhere in my house since it was named (2008). So that’s a 40 till 40 goal. Didn’t find the picture but spent some time organizing photos which also contributes to another item (Items: Framed katydid, Photo album celebrating first 40 years)
* purchased paint roller and tray for kitchen wall painting project
* hung one piece of ‘art’ and discussed places for some others (Item: hang/donate/discard all ‘Art’ instead of having it sit in boxes or in closets around the house)
* cleaned toilet upstairs
* recycled a couple of old notebooks filled with lists to remind me of things to think about someday (don’t worry, i still have plenty more where that came from). No specific item here but I’m finding that as I approach 40 it is pretty clear to me that some things do not need to come with me into my next decade. When I look at something and think “Do I really want to still be dealing with this when I’m 40?” I can either get it done or give it away.

The blinds were not on the 40 till 40 checklist. So i probably should have taken that as a sign and stayed far away from the blinds store. On the bright side, it will be nice when my neighbors cannot see just my bottom (the top half is clearly covered by the sarong curtain) when I use the toilet or take a shower. And if Sam sleeps for 15 extra minutes each morning then maybe, just maybe, it will all be worth it. Except that I probably could have achieved the same result by taping a garbage bag to his window which I only just thought of this very minute.

Oh well.

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