Not to take away anything I wrote last week, because it is still true and I still mean it, but to qualify… first and foremost, PMS! Oh, how I forgot about you! And oh, how you made sure I remembered with a vengeance!
But beyond those bitch hormones, I’ve been thinking about the WHY lately, and tried to articulate it to my lil sis the other day… And what I’ve come up with, is that it is situational. Or perhaps, locational. Take this exact same scenario, but plonk us down in a different city/town/etc? I’m pretty sure things would look VERY different…
Well, some of it is the pressure-cooker environment of New York; no matter what field you are in you feel it, but in the one my husband is in (and that I opted out of temporarily)? It’s even more intense. You get paid less and work more than people in the same field outside of the city, all for the “prestige” of living and training in NYC. And yes, there are benefits to this – once you are done. When you are in the middle of it? IT SUCKS DONKEYBALLS.
Feeding into this – or perhaps, stemming from it? – is the “paid less” part translating into my frustrations because anywhere else, we could more easily get through this rough patch by throwing money at it for a little while – hire a cleaner, eat more take-out, etc. But here? Yes, yes, there are ethnic cuisines of whatever obscure corner of the world you want to explore on every block. But. Money. Not something we have a lot of right now. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not starving… but we also can’t eat take-out and hire a cleaner. So. Yeah. Scratch that solution.
And, of course, what also comes along for the ride in this expensive-ass city is paying more for rent to live in a postage-size apartment than many pay for their mortgage on a house with a yard and a white picket fence, etc etc. While this helps with the cleaning part (less to clean! YAY!) it doesn’t help with much else… Because you are always on top of one another, as well as the hundreds of others who live in your building and thousands of others on your block and millions of others on this one tiny little island.
And the living on top of each other part is where a lot of my frustration lies, I was realizing. As I described to my sister: some of my friends’ husbands are training to be surgeons, which means they are away. A LOT. They might see their children for an hour every other day, or so. But? When they ARE there with their family? They are THERE. Both physically and mentally present (as much as they can be, what with the sleep deprivation). My husband is in a different specialty, and what that has amounted to recently? Is that he is studying – from home. So he is actually physically present, quite a bit of the time. But mentally? NEVER. He is always, always thinking about the test/studying for the test/being annoyed that he’s being distracted from studying/etc. There is no separation between work and home for him, and so he is always absent (though physically there… which is it’s own problem, see next sentences. Would rather he was actually NOT physically there more of the time, paradoxically). Also? Due to the aforementioned tiny-ass apartment? His desk is in the living room. Which means Meeka and I are NOT in the living room. When your tiny living space is cut in half? THAT ALSO SUCKS DONKEY BALLS. Just sayin’…
So. That. Things still suck, the test is two weeks away, I am hanging on til then…
Meanwhile, while I was thinking all this, I read one of those posts that makes you stop and go, “YES! EXACTLY!” … She wrote much more eloquently about the truth of living in NYC:
“New York City takes all the basic facets of normal human existence away from you, and then sells them back to you one at a time as luxuries. Want a bathroom that fits more than one person at a time? That’ll cost ya. A bedroom door? Five hundred extra per month. Don’t even ask about closets; you don’t get those unless you work on Wall Street.”
And also this:
“the truth is that we’re just not reaping any of the benefits of living in Manhattan these days, and city living is getting in the way of our life more than it’s enhancing it.”
That, right there, is IT. Yes, my husband is NOT helping matters right now with his intense preoccupation with himself (ahem. his test. sorry) but the root cause of my frustration? Is situational, locational, perhaps even somewhat vocational (OK, not that last – just wanted to make it rhyme)
So that’s the update.