Why, hello, everyone! (Is it obvious I’m running out of ways to start this column?). Recently, I had my family over for dinner in , and I screwed it up. So let’s talk about it, shall we?
As I’ve stated before, I’ve been making , and I’m actually OK with it. I used to fight it, now I embrace it.
First Adult Move: and out of a three-bedroom frat house.
Second Adult Move: I’ve started thinking about my long-term career goals, as well as life goals, and have been mapping out plans on how to bring those goals to life.
Third Adult Move: Becoming 100 percent financially independent. I wish I could have done that a long time ago, but trying to become a professional stand-up comedian doesn’t exactly put you on the path to financial security. Regardless, I’ve been independent for a couple years, and my last step is getting off the Pickard family plan for our cell phones and getting my own. Done and done.
Now I’m trying to move on to bigger adult moves, and my latest plan was to invite my parents and sister out from Palos Verdes to come to my humble abode here in Santa Monica, and cook them a nice dinner (and buy all the stuff for it). It’s not exactly an even trade for all the money they’ve spent raising me, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?
I was excited to have them over, and since my girlfriend was stuck at work until late, it was totally up to me to get the place ready. Just as they used to do for guests back when I lived at home, I freaked out about cleaning the place before they arrived. I cleaned for hours—did the laundry, mopped the floors, everything. I wanted my parents to think I have my act together, and somehow I thought that a clean floor would make them think that, I guess.
We decided on a BBQ, which is within my cooking ability. I went to , which is usually out of my grocery-shopping price range, but again, I’m trying to impress the folks. I picked out some chipotle hamburger patties, all the tomatoes, lettuce, avocados and onions to make them gourmet style, found a recipe for seasoned corn—I really went all out. A quick stop at for some beers (and Smirnoff Ice for my younger sister, because she drinks like a high school junior), and I was ready to host. I was feeling pretty confident about it, too.
My family arrived about 30 seconds after I had finished cleaning and gotten dressed. I opened a bottle of wine for my mom, beers for my dad and I, and a Smirnoff Ice for my sister. We had a great time, and this feeling of accomplishment came over me. The things I look forward to about adulthood is just handling your business, having a residence where you can host a small get-together—not a pre-party before you hit the bars with your friends, but a dinner party with adults and that kind of thing.
After an hour or two of drinking and talking, it was time to pre-heat the BBQ and get dinner going. I wanted to make it myself, to have my parents just sit back and relax for once. I went out to preheat the grill, and it wouldn’t light. I tried frantically to get it going, and no luck. I shook the propane tank, and it was light as a feather. I had run out of propane.
I couldn’t believe it. I thought I had thought of everything. It was too late to go get it filled up, and by this point people were getting hungry. Luckily, the couple of drinks everyone had had by this time made it more laughable than tragic—to them, at least. They said we should just go get pizza, and I reluctantly accepted. Time to throw those chipotle burgers in the freezer.
So off to we went. We had a great time, but I felt like such a failure. This adulthood thing isn’t easy, and just when I thought I had a grasp on it, I forgot the most basic thing needed at a BBQ. I guess I have a little farther to go than I had thought.