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My stocking cap is pulled it low over my eyes as I drive in the drizzling darkness to Macdonald’s. Macdonald’s…the illuminated building sparkles like a Disney castle next to a 7-Eleven and a dingy bar. This is the place that I go sometimes when my anxiety festers. Like a junky with trembling hands and a twitchy eye, sometimes, I need that kind of crack – the fast food kind.

When the saccharine female voice on the drive-through intercom asks for my order, I ask for a Sausage Egg McMuffin with extra cheese. I don’t know what Macdonald’s puts in their Sausage Egg McMuffins, but every bite is a little bit of heaven. And it is totally worth breaking my dairy-free diet for. The cheese has probably grown from a petrie dish and not a cow anyway, so I’m still technically remaining dairy-free.

I pull up to pay. Through the illuminated windows, I see a middle-aged man and two young children sitting in one of the booths munching merrily on fries and chicken nuggets. I realize that the man is Don. Don, my client.

I hunker down in my seat and pulled my stocking cap down lower over my eyes. Ironically, Don had been in my office on Monday and we had struck up a conversation about sugar and it’s “highly inflammatory” properties. Don, is sipping on what appears to be a chocolate shake.

I have two options. Option 1, I could maintain the charade of not seeing him and not be personally steeped in the pathos of the late night Macdonald binge. Option 2, I could mess with him, stay incognito and text him “I wouldn’t drink that if I were you.” I go with option 1…so that Don doesn’t feel like I am overstepping my boundaries as a therapist 🙂

Yep. This is what I am reduced to today. A late night Macdonald’s “fiender” hiding in my car beneath drizzling rain and a cloud of shame. How did I get to this place – hunkered down in my seat with my stocking cap pulled low over my eyes, drumming my fingertips against the steering wheel waiting for my MSG fix?Homeownership, that’s how. Let me explain.

Monday morning I discovered mold growing on the bathroom ceiling and had to google search “how to kill indoor mold” because I wasn’t sure if vinegar would do it or if it requires a full-on annihilation via ammonia and roundup or something. What I found via my google search was scary accounts and ghastly photos of people who had developed chronic asthma and severe neuropathy due to indoor mold exposure. Great.

Monday evening, my odd new neighbor Lola was eyeing me suspiciously from behind her upstairs curtain when I pulled into the driveway. After hauling my groceries inside, I herd a knock on my door. It was Lola informing me, wild-eyed and with gravity in her tone that my car lights were on. Flummoxed, I walked out to my car and my lights were not in fact on.

Tuesday morning I accidentally added too much laundry soap to the condo’s front-loading washing machine. When I walked into the laundry room to retrieve my load, I discovered a sea of bubbles. I was frantically scooping bubbles into a large trash bag when my cute new “guy neighbor” – who I had been eyeing but hadn’t met yet – walked in to discover me, wading in said sea of bubbles. He looked more disgruntled than bemused. 

Tuesday evening I discovered a small patch of mold growing on the wall behind the water tank.

Wednesday morning I decided to “drag” rather than carry my very heavy trash bag across the catwalk to the outdoor trash room only to discover in the aftermath that it had left a slug-like trail in it’s wake due to the hole that had formed in the bottom of the bag. It was a trail of disgusting indecipherable organic matter on the catwalk’s black runner. The slug trail appeared to begin at my next door neighbor’s door, #116. When I was unsuccessful in scrubbing it off of the runner with a sponge and soap, I figured at least I didn’t look like the guilty culprit. Who lived in #116 again? Oh right, that was Lola’s condo and she is probably watching me from behind the curtains.

Wednesday evening I discovered mold under a damp bucket under the sink.

And Thursday, today, the blue abstract canvas painting that I had ordered online and spent a fortune on, arrived in the mail and it turned out to have none of the zen-like artistic flair that it had in the picture that had radiated from my computer screen. It, in fact, looked like a child had gone apeshit with some crayons under the encouragement of one of those overly enthusiastic mothers encouraging them that they were an amazing artist. So now, I have kindergartener art hanging over my dining room table.

This evening I heard a knock on my door and it was Lola. She told me that there had been loud meowing coming from my house while I was at work today and she wondered if my cat was ok. I don’t have a cat.

I know that these are minor “first world problems.” Yet still, I can’t help throwing my hands up and yelling to the universe – “I’m done!”  Done with adulting and home owning. I just want to stuff a Macdonald’s Sausage Egg McMuffin down my gullet.

Thank you MacDonald’s…you illustrious Disney castle glowing like a beacon of hope in the night, promising to dispel all of my homeownership woes.