Hellooooooo from the north side of Austin! One of the best things about the city where I live is that I am just close enough to two MASSIVE cities and yet I don’t have to be up in all that mess. In case you weren’t aware, people call Austin the “new California” because it reminds people a lot of the LA area without being in Cali, which I’ve been told is a compliment but I’ve never lived in California so I can’t really say for sure. Cost of living in Austin is ridiculous, so it’s not uncommon for people to commute an hour to work just to live outside the city limits. So here I am! I got off work and popped home to make some food and pack a few things before I hit the road.
The 2+ hour drive was much more boring than I had hoped. Not really sure what I expected from the great state of Texas, but… mostly it was cows, grain silos, and oil equipment. I passed through many unmentionable small towns, but other than that it was just lots of traffic which I found a bit odd since it was 8 pm at night in the middle of nowhere.
Two things still confuse me about this state: 1. Why are there so many toll roads? And 2. If Texas is the only state in the country to have 85mph speed limits, then WHY are there so many people that go 10mph UNDER?
By the way, I actually just drove on that 85mph road about an hour ago. In case you were wondering, the state charges you like 8 bucks just to be able to drive 85mph all the way from Georgetown to Seguin. Thank you, Texas… I think I’m gonna have to invest in one of those passes for all these toll roads…
Work has been good for a first week, but also incredibly dull. Since – unlike the other team members – I cannot handle entire projects on my own, and since Q4 is their busiest season I have been delegated to the grunt work for every team member as we work to stay on top of all of the projects until the end of December. This means that I do a TON of Excel work and basically click a lot of things on a screen for 8+ hours a day. It’s been pretty brutal on my hands and body since I’m not used to doing the same computer motions over and over again for hours. I’m also not allowed to take longer lunches until the first of the year, because in the eyes of the company I am a “temp”. I’m under contract until my 90 days are up and both I and the company agree that this is a good fit. After this point I will be “onboarded” and all the yummy parts of the job will kick in such as longer lunches, salary pay, and full benefits.
I came home last night to find the wife of the older couple I am staying with slaving over her ironing board. Over the last three weeks of living with them I have realized that she likes to iron every little thing. I was a little bit taciturn from being hungry and stuck in a chair all day doing the same 4 motions over and over for 8 hours when she turned to me and said, “Kady, do you like to iron”. I being my typical self was like, “No, my mother always ironed everything and it was even one of our chores at one point and after that I promised myself that my adult self would not iron.” I’m only 27 but so far I have kept this promise to myself, haha.
She was strangely taken aback and she decided to take the conversation down the rabbit hole of… marriage. That’s when she pressed me further, “What if your husband wants his clothes ironed?” Me having no qualms about voicing my opinion on gender roles declared simply that if he wanted ironed clothes he would have to iron them with his own two hands.
Shocked and disgusted she again went in for another jab, “Do you not hold to the biblical views of our church? That a wife is to see to the needs of her husband? If you are planning on getting married then, you better prepare yourself to serve your husband.” “Then I just won’t ever get married” – I said matter of factly.
I am annoyed by the number of people trying to nudge me into both a wifely and motherly role. I have got far bigger problems than figuring out how I feel/believe about being a wife and mother. And, excuse my blatant rudeness, but not all of us have the luxury of having someone else to feed, shelter, and clothe our every whim. Surprise surprise but I don’t get to carry around my husband’s credit card and go spending sprees simply because I married the “right person”. I have to hustle just to have money for rent and health insurance and enough money for $500 car repairs. I am actually super pumped about this new job, because it’s the most money I’ve ever made in my career, which means that due to careful planning I’ll be able to save a lot for my upcoming schooling.
Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent but her words really caught me off guard. Here I am working my butt off to get a job, and a home, and volunteering, and get into school and I get this random almost lecture about my “wifely duties”. My my my.
I’ve honestly been having a hard time reading this couple. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I bring out the worst in people by accident, but I honestly can’t tell how they feel about me living with them. The husband is so morose that it makes me jumpy. The other day he got onto me for using the wrong towel in the kitchen. Apparently they use one towel for hands and one towel for dishes, which sounds terribly extra. Also, the only dishwasher approved items are plates, glasses, mugs, cereal bowls, and silverware. All else must be hand washed in a very particular pattern where you wipe all of the countertops BEFORE you wash any of the dishes in the sink water. Also, dishwasher approved items must be pre-washed before being put into the washer and all silverware must be grouped by like kind. All little spoons with little spoons, big forks with big forks, and so on. DON’T FORGET TO DUST THE PLACEMATS AFTER EVERY MEAL. Heaven forbid.
I am getting a taste of what it must be like to live with Mr. Monk. Persnickety they say. As someone with a touch of OCD herself I can see now why OCD has been deemed a mental illness, because it seriously does more harm than good. It makes me feel stressed every time I get scolded for doing something they deem “incorrect”.
I got to the Austin area a little after 9pm and when I turned down the appropriate “county road” I was slightly disconcerted. My GPS said I would be on this particular road for FIVE miles. And this road was like one of those back country roads I imagine they have in Africa or something where there are no lines only rough patches of road lined with harsh looking trees that have clearly struggled for water their entire lives. I drove for miles. The only instruction I had was to enter the code at the gate – so there was a gate at some point. That much I knew, but it was so dark I wasn’t quite sure if the gate was protecting one home or a whole neighborhood. And why did all these people have gates? To keep things out? To keep things in?
I swung a left as instructed by my GPS and came face to face with a ginormous iron gate that towered above me. I punched the code into the keypad and for a second the gate hesitated and then it ever so slowly swung open like two giant, rusty french doors. The road was gravel and sloped steadily. All I could see in the dark where more trees and more gravel road until I finally came to the top and found a tall cabin-like home all lit up. I texted my friend to see if I had shown up at the right house. I reassured myself with the fact that the gate code had worked, but still I asked anyway, haha.
The house is ADORABLE and I can tell that my friend put a ton of work into it. If you’re interested in seeing it for yourself you can follow here own blog here. She and my brother have been designing + coding it for the last several months and it’s turned out so super cute so you should definitely check it out.
Her husband is going out for an early morning hunting trip with some of his friends so my friend and I (and her two little kids) are treating ourselves to brunch at her favorite coffee house. Apparently they are known for their Saturday breakfast tacos so I think we’re gonna hit that up in the AM. She has also discovered some new shops in the city that she thinks I’ll like. Then the whole fam is gonna round out the day with a chili cook off, which should be fun. I’ve been needing a good bowl of chili in my life – even though it was 100F outside today. It’s crazy how quickly things become normal, though. This morning on my walk it was 72 and it felt “chilly” so I put on a longsleeved shirt, haha.
Anyway, I’m gonna peace out for the night. I keep yawning and my eyemakeup has started to run into my eyeballs…