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S/O Best Adulting tips

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Reading the other thread made me smile remembering the things I've learned as an adult, some of them I didn't know existed as knowledge until I learned about them. For example, my husband taught me that if your car is starting to overheat, turn the heat on full blast and aim the vents out the window so you don't burn to a crisp. It works amazingly well (doesn't solve the problem, but keeps from adding to it and let's you get to safety). I went around telling everyone I knew with crappy cars about that once I learned. Some of them were as amazed as I, others were more "yeah, duh."

Another example is from a friend. When the hospital billed her a huge amount they couldn't pay, she and her dh put it on their credit card and are still working at it years later. When I asked why she hadn't set something up with the hospital billing department, she didn't know that was a thing and didn't understand why it would have been a better option.

So, what lessons have you picked up as an adult that you can pass along?

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The top of the stove lifts up, and you can clean under it!  I had no idea until I was like 34 that this was a thing.  

 

I also had an "aha" moment when I recently read Hillbilly Elegy.  I got into a prestigious regional university, but I didn't even complete the financial aid paperwork because I knew that my family couldn't afford it.  Looking back, we would have been considered very low income for that school, and I probably would have qualified for more aid than I did at state school.  So, I would say....complete the paperwork all the way to the end, then make the decision.  Don't sell yourself short because you don't know all the information.  

Edited by Zinnia
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that really, it's ok if you DON'T change your own oil

 

:lol:

 

Ok, but seriously, we learned a ton about home maintenance and basic home repairs.  I had zero experience with that stuff. 

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that really, it's ok if you DON'T change your own oil

 

 

But if you do change your own oil, don't be an idiot and use a little jack to lift up your van. Our neighbour tried this. I thought he'd kill himself.   :ohmy:

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If you are trying to catch the weasel eating the cat food in your corner cabinet, do not set a slant sided squirrel trap. Set a drop side trap. The quarter inch of "play" in the slant side is just enough to experience a live demonstration of the term "he weaseled his way out of it".

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On a theme with Margaret's - the moose in the driveway OWNS the driveway until she decides to leave.  Dogs do not chase away moose - moose chase dogs.

 

Unplug the toaster before fishing for the broken toast with a fork.

 

Dont use lettuce as a substitute for raw spinach when making minestrone soup.

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If your car doesn't want to warm up in the morning, check all of the fluids. Low fluids will keep it from warming up and getting you warm.

 

Using anything other than hot soapy water to clean. Other than windex for mirrors, and comet for the tub and toilet, hot soapy water was all my mom ever used. I didn't know anything else until I went shopping for my first apartment.

 

Hard water stinks. Vinegar is awesome. Boil it and it works wonders. I taught the kids at the local Starbucks and now their bathroom sinks look clean again. I just moved to an area with hard water, so it wasn't something I needed to know.

 

If you're having a party, are using glass drinking vessels and don't have drink markers, use a sharpie. It won't come off on your hand like dry erase, but will come off in the dishwasher or with rubbing alcohol.

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Hmm... the best I can come up with is 'be teachable' and 'ask the locals.'

 

So many people I come across are so black and white.  X is the only way to do Y.  I see that more here in Pennsylvania than I did on the west coast.  Be open to new things.  But accept that there may be no right or wrong way, just preferences.  Someone mentioned comet for cleaning the tub.  My mom would not use that.  She said it scratched. She used Bon Ami.   In my experience, both get the tub clean.  

 

I live in an area where there are no moose or any other large wildlife.  Or weasels.  So I don't need to know these things.  But if I ever moved to a place that has them... I'd be sure to ask locals for advice. 

 

Oh, and RTFM.  Read the ... manual.  Buy a car?  Read the manual.  It's a used car and the manual is not there?  Look it up online.  I am still shaking my head over the notion that people buys cars and don't know that the oil must be changed (whether by the owner or a professional).  

 

 

Edited by marbel
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But if you do change your own oil, don't be an idiot and use a little jack to lift up your van. Our neighbour tried this. I thought he'd kill himself.   :ohmy:

 

Oh my....

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Use it up.

Wear it out.

Make do.

Do without.

 

It'll save you a ton of money and time, both on the acquisition and the decluttering end.  

It will teach you to be content.

 

And have a certain amount of storage for "stuff you keep."  Don't keep buying new boxes or shelves or commandeering new closets.  

 

Buy used when you can.  I am very picky about scratches and things but you just wouldn't believe the brand new stuff people sell because of all kinds of reasons.  Five minutes after you get something home, it's "used" anyway.  (And I do make exceptions to this rule!  But if I had it to do over, I would go to the fancy consignment store and get all my dishes instead of going to Macy's or wherever we went...)

 

Clean as you go.  Instead of putting your used coffee cup on the counter, wash it out and put it away.  Done with the frying pan?  Wash it and put it away.  Getting ready for bed?  Hang up the clothes you will re-wear.  That kind of stuff.  

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I remembered one my elder brother learned: if you are helping someone move and they tie something to the roof of your vehicle, you are responsible for making sure it is tied on properly.

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The same tip I give to everyone regarding being frugal....PAY ATTENTION.  Seriously, way way way too many people just don't pay enough attention to the things they are doing.

 

From my DD21's former roommates...or rather directed at them...do not place a randome plastic plate of cookies into the oven.  For no apparent reason.  Cookies you didn't make.  And didn't tell your roommate you were hiding in the oven.  DD21's roommates bought a package of cookis, put half on a plastic plate on the counter, and the other half on another plastic plate and put that plate in the oven.  Roomates don't cook or bake, they bought these cookies.  DD21 came home and DD21 cooks.  Not like fabulously, she's not a chef, but she knows how to read a recipe, make a basic dinner like pork chops baked in BBQ sauce, etc.  She preheated the oven for dinner.  And, that leads to another adulting tip....always check the oven before preheat.  Anyway, DD21 preheated the oven, very quickly smelled something awful, opened the oven to find a melted plactic a cookie goo  smoking all over the bottom of the oven.  Seriously, don't use the oven for STORAGE...use it to cook.  Or at least, tell the other people you live with that you are STORING something there instead of cooking something there.

 

 

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I remember when I first started driving, I didn't realize that there was usually quite a bit of logic to road layouts and exits from highways. For instance, most highway off ramps also have a corresponding on ramp in the same vicinity and that they run consistently East-West or North-South. I would freak out if I missed an off ramp, as if I would never again be able to correct my mistake and would simply be stuck on the highway until I wound up in New York City or somewhere. 😠Same with one-way city streets.

 

Other things: I didn't initially understand how to handle credit cards responsibly and thought of them as potential money I could spend (which probably many young people think this way). I simply thought "everybody" racked up credit card debt. When I met DH and learned that he always paid off his card, it was quite a revelation to me.

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Use it up.

Wear it out.

Make do.

Do without.

 

It'll save you a ton of money and time, both on the acquisition and the decluttering end.

It will teach you to be content.

 

And have a certain amount of storage for "stuff you keep." Don't keep buying new boxes or shelves or commandeering new closets.

 

Buy used when you can. I am very picky about scratches and things but you just wouldn't believe the brand new stuff people sell because of all kinds of reasons. Five minutes after you get something home, it's "used" anyway. (And I do make exceptions to this rule! But if I had it to do over, I would go to the fancy consignment store and get all my dishes instead of going to Macy's or wherever we went...)

 

Clean as you go. Instead of putting your used coffee cup on the counter, wash it out and put it away. Done with the frying pan? Wash it and put it away. Getting ready for bed? Hang up the clothes you will re-wear. That kind of stuff.

We are kindred souls. This sound ridiculous but know how much you make! My kids have friends who just credit card what they want with no idea how much they even make! Crazy.
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Don't pack heavy things in big boxes when you move. Learned this one with books when I was 20, lol.

 

Don't be a jerk to strangers, you never know who they really are. 

 

Don't be a jerk to anybody, being gracious is free. (learned this lesson from Arlene Shnitzer, who is nothing but gracious no matter how much money she has). 

 

The boss usually knows the truth. Don't shine on people in authority. Any boss who doesn't respect a truthful admission of a mistake isn't worth working for. 

 

 

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I think it's so much easier now because of YouTube and the Internet.

 

My dh, who is an Adult, has learned how to change our brake pads, lights, rear lights, and some other stuff; his doing the work has saved us a ton of money.  

 

Note:  when we were both working there was no way he was going to do this.  We had big earning power and it was cheaper to pay someone to do it than to spend the billable hours doing it yourself.  

 

But retirement changes things.  There's no income stream and you have a lot of unbillable time.  So it's good to stay a life-long learner, and yes, YouTube and other sites make this possible.

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You can NOT use powdered sugar instead of flour when making fried chicken.

 

And you can NOT fry that chicken in corn syrup instead of cooking oil.

 

That was the darned sweetest fried chicken I'd ever eaten.

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My dh, who is an Adult, has learned how to change our brake pads, lights, rear lights, and some other stuff; his doing the work has saved us a ton of money.

 

Note: when we were both working there was no way he was going to do this. We had big earning power and it was cheaper to pay someone to do it than to spend the billable hours doing it yourself.

 

But retirement changes things. There's no income stream and you have a lot of unbillable time. So it's good to stay a life-long learner, and yes, YouTube and other sites make this possible.

When one day, my office computer would not boot up, I turned to the internet to see if, by some miracle, I could diagnose the problem and fix it. IT WORKED! I am not tech savvy at ALL, so imagine how very gratifying it was to discover that one of my RAM sticks was bad, and to circumvent that thing as if I had a clue about anything. I was proud, I gotta say.

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You can NOT use powdered sugar instead of flour when making fried chicken.

 

And you can NOT fry that chicken in corn syrup instead of cooking oil.

 

That was the darned sweetest fried chicken I'd ever eaten.

 

I'm 44 years old and today I made my first roast beef ever.  I hate roast beef, but the family likes it.  They usually get their fix of beef at Grandma's house, but I decided to try my hand at it with a crock pot recipe.  I knew I wouldn't like the beef, but I figured I'd force myself to eat a bit and fill up on potatoes. 

  

I kinda wondered at how the recipe called for a cup of packed brown sugar to be mixed into water and poured over the beef, but I followed the directions.  After the 4 hours in the pot, I drained out the liquid and made gravy with the sugar water, as the recipe said to do.  

 

Meanwhile, DH was fixing the mashed potatoes.  Only he added about 1/5 of the amount of liquid he should have, so they were lumpy and crunchy.  

 

Then, without checking the potatoes and without tasting the gravy, we all scooped up our meat and potatoes and smothered them with our sugar gravy.  

 

Gak!  Gaaaaak!

 

We all ate nasty, crunchy mashed potatoes with a side of sugar beef tonight for dinner.  So yucky.  When the kids get into bed I'm eating a big bowl of popcorn because I'm still hungry after picking at my sugar dinner.  

 

I think the recipe can be salvaged, but instead of a cup of brown sugar, I'm thinking a few teaspoons.  At most.  

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Garga, you made my night with that story! 😄

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Kinsa, we must have dinner together someday!

Not if she making her famous Diabetes Fried Chicken! ;)

 

Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk

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For Garga, or anyone else reading along: I learned how to make a great Roast Beef from Emiril LaGasse, on TV. He did a beef once where he slit little cuts all over it and buried cloces or garlic in the slits. Then, made an olive oil and spice rub; then roasted to medium rare. I made this the way he did and, for the first time ever, liked roast beef. It tasted amazing. My dd still asks for this sometimes, "can you make that roast beef where you hide the garlic cloves inside?" It's really yummy.

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My brand new driver dd and I (the non-driver) learned that if you park the car with your wheels turned all the way to one side & turn the car off, when you return to the car your key won't work to turn on the car, and the steering wheel is stuck.  I was dumbfounded.  I had no idea what to do.  Dd knew what to do.  She called her dad who said, "Put the key in & jiggle the steering wheel."  Which worked perfectly.  I was later relating this incredibly bizarre tale to the piano teacher and before I could say what dh told her to do she said, "Oh yeah, you just jiggle the steering wheel."  What was this bit of obscure knowledge & how far reaching was the conspiracy?  I decided take a very unscientific poll and ask everyone I knew who drives and every single person knew what to do.  

 

I will spare you the family famous story of two dumb blonds put fuel in the car; otherwise known as the first time my dd & I went to the gas station.  I will say after a good 15 minutes the station attendant came out to ask us what we were doing :)

 

Amber in SJ

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There were these two guys I used to work with, maybe 5 years older than me, who had an outlook that I will always remember with gratitude.  It was basically, "Don't buy anything that will go down in value if you can help it" and "Always negotiate" and "Really, it's not that hard so try it."

 

What I learned from them:

If you buy an old classic car it will go up in value or at least hold its value.  They bought Porsches that were already quite old.  I did not, but I did start to keep my cars forever and ever amen, and also to buy used ones exclusively.  I haven't bought a new car since 1989.  We have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years due to this.

 

A single person can and should buy themselves a place to live, because rent is gone forever.  Because of this advice I bought my first home as a single woman of around 25, giving me an early toehold in what turned into an insane real estate market.  I had vaguely heard about 'tax advantages' but had never put the story all together.

 

Roofing is pretty easy.  Codicil:  I know how to do it (thanks to one of them) but I don't want to.  But I can talk intelligently about it with roofers and make sure it gets done right.

 

Looking professional pays off if you're consistent.  (I already did that, but it was interesting to hear the stories about one of those guys and how much more seriously everyone started to take him once he trimmed his beard and started wearing three piece suits daily.)

 

You can push the contract for a home purchase and that saves you a lot of money in the long run. Because of that example, I asked for what I really wanted in my first house purchase, and although I didn't get that exact thing, I got a far better deal than my realtor expected--seller financing at a lower interest rate than the market, for 10 years instead of the 3-5 I was told to expect.  (I offered 30, they countered 10--surprising everyone.)

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When negotiating for a house, always end the number in 900 or 750 . It is puzzling, and distracting. If it is close enough, they seem to go for it. Maybe they think it is all you can do?

 

Buy former rental cars with warranty and low miles vs. new.

 

One spouse, one house....( if you can do it - not always possible) will save the most money.

 

Time is more valuable than money, spend it on the ones you love.

 

Close the vent on the Instantpot. It works better that way.

Edited by Silver Brook
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Don't gossip.  Just don't.  If you are in a group with people gossiping, do your best to change the subject.  It's ugly and gets you into trouble and makes you look bad at work.  Took me until 30ish to figure that one out.  

 

And when you're in the wrong, admit it.  Don't try to deny it, don't try to explain it away.  You can give a short reason (reason, not excuse) for it, but only sometimes.  Say, "You're right.  I was wrong. I'm sorry."  It will defuse most situations pretty quickly and everyone can move on.  Denying or arguing or trying to give lengthy explanations just doesn't work and creates an unnecessarily dramatic situation.

Edited by Garga
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On a theme with Margaret's - the moose in the driveway OWNS the driveway until she decides to leave. Dogs do not chase away moose - moose chase dogs.

 

Unplug the toaster before fishing for the broken toast with a fork.

 

Dont use lettuce as a substitute for raw spinach when making minestrone soup.

Humans can holler and chase moose away.

 

*ahem*. :o

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Don't gossip. Just don't. If you are in a group with people gossiping, do your best to change the subject. It's ugly and gets you into trouble and makes you look bad at work. Took me until 30ish to figure that one out.

 

And when you're in the wrong, admit it. Don't try to deny it, don't try to explain it away. You can give a short reason (reason, not excuse) for it, but only sometimes. Say, "You're right. I was wrong. I'm sorry." It will defuse most situations pretty quickly and everyone can move on. Denying or arguing or trying to give lengthy explanations just doesn't work and creates an unnecessarily dramatic situation.

Garga, these are seriously some of the best pieces of relationship advice in general. I'm shocked how many people don't *get* it. Don't gossip, don't be prideful. Simple but powerful. Edited by Arctic Mama
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I had this conversation with ds the other day, about commuting. There is that sweet spot in the morning that if you leave then, you can avoid heavier traffic. But, if you leave 5-10 minutes later, you will run into more traffic and possibly be late for work/school despite the fact it looks like you're leaving in plenty of time. 

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Don't gossip. Just don't. If you are in a group with people gossiping, do your best to change the subject. It's ugly and gets you into trouble and makes you look bad at work. Took me until 30ish to figure that one out.

 

And when you're in the wrong, admit it. Don't try to deny it, don't try to explain it away. You can give a short reason (reason, not excuse) for it, but only sometimes. Say, "You're right. I was wrong. I'm sorry." It will defuse most situations pretty quickly and everyone can move on. Denying or arguing or trying to give lengthy explanations just doesn't work and creates an unnecessarily dramatic situation.

So true. I tell my kids this all the time. Especially my ds, who loves to be in the middle of the drama.

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I will spare you the family famous story of two dumb blonds put fuel in the car; otherwise known as the first time my dd & I went to the gas station.  I will say after a good 15 minutes the station attendant came out to ask us what we were doing :)

 

 

Hey, at least you didn't get gasoline all over yourself because you removed the handle while still squeezing it.  :leaving:

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Here is my dumb learning how to adult story: I knew how to do laundry when I left home, but what I didn't know is that all the bottles in the laundry aisle are NOT laundry detergent. And while fabric softener smells good, it doesn't get your clothes real clean.

 

I honestly thought my apartment complex had a problem with their washing machines and I just had to live with oddly filmy clothes. So my mom came to vist once and asked for my detergent to do laundry. I handed her the bottle of Downy and she was like, "This is fabric softener." I blanked and said, "Oh." A whole bunch of synapses fired for me at that moment. The kicker was that I did have a bottle of detergent, I just didn't like the scent as much so I hadn't been using it. I went and grabbed that for my mom to use, and I kept my mouth shut about my idiocy. I will have to tell her that story now that it's decades later.

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Ask for the mgr. Don't waste time with the employee who isn't authorized to make an override decision.

 

 

Lessons I have given to college roommates:

1. do not store bleach and ammonia together in same cabinet

2. Do not store cleaning supplies with food

3. Use cold water from tap. Our slum student apt had pipes from the forties, so no need to leach the lead

4. How to light a gas oven so it doesn't go boom.

5. why the hair dryer has to be plugged in to certain outlets

Edited by Heigh Ho
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Hmm... the best I can come up with is 'be teachable' and 'ask the locals.'

 

So many people I come across are so black and white. X is the only way to do Y. I see that more here in Pennsylvania than I did on the west coast. Be open to new things. But accept that there may be no right or wrong way, just preferences. Someone mentioned comet for cleaning the tub. My mom would not use that. She said it scratched. She used Bon Ami. In my experience, both get the tub clean.

 

I live in an area where there are no moose or any other large wildlife. Or weasels. So I don't need to know these things. But if I ever moved to a place that has them... I'd be sure to ask locals for advice.

 

Oh, and RTFM. Read the ... manual. Buy a car? Read the manual. It's a used car and the manual is not there? Look it up online. I am still shaking my head over the notion that people buys cars and don't know that the oil must be changed (whether by the owner or a professional).

Read the... Friendly.... Manual. Lol

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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Pretty much the entirety of Desiderata.  Especially the part about loud and aggressive people being a vexation to the spirit.  Learn to avoid anyone who seems to want/need a lot of attention about anything.  I do not mean a person in a situation of real need - I mean someone who is chronically in need of attention and to be the center of some drama, or a person who collects followers, who likes to have a little crowd around affirming their awesomeness, and being in their inner circle is made to seem like some kind of honor.  These people are trouble.  Avoid them. 

 

(Editing to add - if a person has actually done something wonderful, and/or really helps people, followers are well deserved !  That's not who I'm advising anyone to avoid   :thumbup1: )

Edited by laundrycrisis
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Ask for the mgr. Don't waste time with the employee who isn't authorized to make an override decision.

 

 

Lessons I have given to college roommates:

1. do not store bleach and ammonia together in same cabinet

2. Do not store cleaning supplies with food

3. Use cold water from tap. Our slum student apt had pipes from the forties, so no need to leach the lead

4. How to light a gas oven so it doesn't go boom.

5. why the hair dryer has to be plugged in to certain outlets

All related:

 

Although it is good to store cleaners and stuff like that up high, there can be issues with that.... Comet (like Dutch cleaner) does not come with a lid. Stuff over your head that tips over will tip onto your head... Or more likely your face it you are looking up at the time. 15 minutes seems like forever when you are washing your eyes out in running water in the sink. Ambulances can get to your house in less than 15 minutes even when you say you aren't sure it is an emergency. Where I was living, ambulances can cost a lot of money. (In Canada you are used to most medical things being free. Ambulance Rides are not). If you call the makers of Comet, they will send you free lids... At least they will when you relay to them all the new things you learned.

 

Edited to add... Wearing glasses really reduces the amount of stuff that spills into your eyes during that type of accident.

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

Edited by scoutingmom
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All related:

 

Although it is good to store cleaners and stuff like that up high, there can be issues with that.... Comet (like Dutch cleaner) does not come with a lid. Stuff over your head that tips over will tip onto your head... Or more likely your face it you are looking up at the time. 15 minutes seems like forever when you are washing your eyes out in running water in the sink. Ambulances can get to your house in less than 15 minutes even when you say you aren't sure it is an emergency. Where I was living, ambulances can cost a lot of money. (In Canada you are used to most medical things being free. Ambulance Rides are not). If you call the makers of Comet, they will send you free lids... At least they will when you relay to them all the new things you learned.

 

Edited to add... Wearing glasses really reduces the amount of stuff that spills into your eyes during that type of accident.

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

:scared:   Glad you are okay!!

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