Adulting Freak-out

Entering a new phase?

Facts: I have been married for more than 2 years now. Given the nature of Chandni’s job, moving from one place to another, we don’t have the life that our parents had, and what we had growing up - i.e. staying in the same house for years - slowly watching how the house change for the better. New coat of paint every few years, replacing an old fridge or a washing machine, or moving from the big and heavy CRT television to an LED TV.

In the last two years, Chandni and I have stayed in 4 “official residences” or quarters for government officials. Built by someone years ago, based on the aesthetics of that time, with a few appliances already there. We’ve never had to buy things like a fridge or a TV, or a bed or a chair, because all these places came with the bare minimum appliances and furniture. We were also deterred by the idea of moving everything over and over again because her postings were in Tripura, Delhi, Mussorie (for training), and back to Tripura.

Now that she’s in Tripura for the foreseeable future, things are different. She is due for a transfer in another 4-5 months.

Government transfers are subject to political risks. Historical trends do not guarantee transfers to preferred locations or positions. Please read the service rules carefully before day dreaming about transfers.

The next posting could be to a place without fully furnished official quarters. And that means, for the first time in our lives, we have to consider purchasing appliances and furniture and possibly a personal vehicle. 😮

Buying big stuff - a sign that we’ve entered adult phase

You could argue that getting married is adulting enough. Sure, it’s a big step in many people’s lives. But Chandni and I have known each other for 11 years now, and have been in a relationship for 91% of that time (10 years!). Getting married was such a natural step that we barely felt any difference except the convenience that we can stay together without the societal glare.

However, whenever discussions around big purchases happen among us, I always freak out. For e.g., the other day we were discussing if and when to purchase a car. Now, if we get a car, we want to get a good one, and that means definitely a few lakhs worth expenditure. That involves taking out a loan. These are big words. I go down a rabbit hole of questions and thoughts.

  1. What’s our budget?
  2. Which car to buy?
  3. Manual transmission or automatic?
  4. If automatic, AMT or CVT or DSG or DCT or Torque Converter?
  5. On who’s name should the loan be taken?
  6. Which bank?
  7. If we buy a car in Tripura, what will we do if she gets inter-cadre deputation for a while?
  8. Can the car be safely transported to Kerala from Tripura?
  9. Or should we just buy a 2nd hand car for now?
  10. Or should we just buy a scooter for local travel?
  11. Or should we not buy at all? Just rent a cab or vehicle whenever we need it?

From thinking about buying a car, we finally reach a conclusion not to buy at all! Which is why I feel adulting sucks. Not that there aren’t a lot of other reasons too, but this one is a major one. All these “big household decisions” were taken by our parents (when we were kids), with our contribution or opinion mostly related to the colour of the car or the type of cushion on the new chair. When did I grow up to make all the decisions surrounding all aspects of a purchase?

Final Thoughts

I think I’m still coming to terms with the fact that Chandni and I are not classmates-in-love-in-university anymore. Yes, we have jobs now, we earn a salary, and she has a particularly difficult job and people to deal with. Yet, we feel like teenagers in love. And teenagers in love don’t go around buying expensive household appliances or furniture or cars.

May be, when we finally buy a fridge, we’ll feel like adults.

Arun Sudarsan
Arun Sudarsan
Economist and Policy Researcher

Arun is an Economist, passionate about Open Data and its potential to increase state transparency and accountability. Loves teaching. Previously worked at NITI Aayog. To subscribe to this blog’s mailing list, please enter your details here. Check your spam folder if you are missing updates. Thanks for subscribing!

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