I’m going to start this story at the end and work my way back. Everyone ready? Here’s how it ends:
I saw a 3-inch cockroach in the ladies’ room at work on Tuesday. On the sink.
Now, I know you’re probably busy and may have read that quickly without really think about it, so I’m going to need you to back up for a second and really dwell. A cockroach. The size of a deck of cards.
On the bathroom sink that you use multiple times a day and have done so for almost nine months.
Is your face contorted in disgust and horror? Ok, now we can proceed.
I’ve mentioned before that cockroaches are my greatest phobia, but I feel like you probably thought I was kidding around. I mean, sure, no one loves cockroaches or spiders or camel crickets or what have you. It’s not that big of a deal.
You guys. It’s a very big deal.
It had been a long time since I’d seen a roach, and I’d kind of started to think I was a little bit over it. I would mentally imagine what I would do when I found one, and I would genuinely think, “Ok, it would suck. But you would handle it. I mean, you handled the centipedes. You would figure it out.”
Well, if Tuesday’s experience taught me anything, it’s that I am not equipped to handle it.
I literally froze and gasped when I first saw the semi-sized bug crawling near the faucet. Then I simply fled. I may have blacked out for a second.
As I made my shaky way to two of my coworkers, one of them went, “You look really rattled, are you okay?”
Nope. No, I was not.
I explained what happened the best I could, but I could barely put the words together. They heard “cockroach that is three inches long,” though, and quickly jumped into action.
I kept trying to explain why I was freaking out so much, but then promptly burst into tears. While still laughing about it at the same time.
If I’d committed a crime right then, I’m pretty sure I could have gotten of with an insanity plea.
Anyway. My coworkers apparently got someone I take care of it. I left work partly because it was about time to go, and partly because there was no way I was getting anything accomplished at that point.
Now I just can’t use that bathroom without feeling deeply uncomfortable and trying to check every corner, surface, nook and cranny while simultaneously, you know, using the bathroom. (I tried yesterday…it didn’t go we’ll.)
When I got home from work, I told Joey the worst thing in the world had happened to me that day.
Without missing a beat, he went, “Oh, you saw a cockroach?”
That’s why I love him.
So there you have it. I am not over it. And I may actually have to burn my apartment to the ground if I ever find a cockroach in it.
Please tell me you also have bizarre phobias I make myself feel better?
We’re moving in less than a week. I am only panicking a little bit.
Well, panicking isn’t the right word. Obsessing probably is.
For the record, we’re in pretty good shape. I’ve sold everything we needed to sell. (Oh! Did I tell you I sold our dining set? Well…I did.) More than half of our stuff is boxed up. And the hubs has Thursday and Friday off of work this week to start moving things.
I’m sort of hoping once he transports everything that is packed, it will make the stuff that’s not yet packed seem more manageable.
Side note: Is it me, or is packing one of the hardest things in the world to focus on? I swear, I get three or four boxes in, and I am wiped out. My friend Erin explained it pretty well that you get mentally exhausted from having to make so many decisions. Which is probably why packing things like books and dishes is easy, but wading through the mess of our bedroom has taken me two weeks.
Side question: I feel like I’ve asked this before, but is there a thrift store service that will pick up stuff from your house? I seem to remember that Salvation Army used to do this. Is it still a thing? Because I have a pile of stuff to get rid of. (Unless anyone I know is planning on having a garage sale soon? In which case, I have some stuff to contribute.)
Anyway. Packing sucks. On to happier topics.
I bought the rug for our bedroom! I used a 50-percent-off-plus-free-shipping coupon code (WINT50, if anyone else is in the market for a RugsUSA.com rug) and my parents got it for us as an anniversary gift. Awesome, right?
Second side note: Joey and I have been married for almost two years. Wacky.
I’m excited to get the rug mostly because it takes me one step closer to accomplishing my grown-up apartment goals of having a put-together bedroom. Next up, new bedding, possibly new curtains, and an artwork project. (Stay tuned.)
Here’s a list of everything else I would like to acquire/update at some point in the new place (in order of urgency):
1. Free-standing closet/armoire. Our bedroom closet is teensy. Considering right now our clothes are spread out between two closets, we need a bit more storage.
2. A small dining table. I really like the IKEA Docksta tulip table, and I’ve seen it on Craigslist a few times, I just need to get back in the apartment an measure to make sure everything will fit. Really, though, is be fine with almost any small white table.
3. White kitchen pantry. We have a couple of these right now, but they’re a light wood color and they’re pretty banged up at this point. I’d like a white melamine version for the kitchen for a bit more storage.
4. Storage coffee table. This is the least urgent furniture need, though of course more storage is always helpful. I’d like either a Crate & Barrel Hunter Trunk (if I can find one on Craigslist…no way am I spending over $600 on a coffee table) or a white table with drawers.
5. White bedding. I will have a grown up bed if it kills me. Fortunately, Homegoods seems to have a few options at very reasonable prices.
6. White IKEA picture frames and lamps. Because it’s all in the details, right?
So, six-ish things. That’s not bad at all, right? It’s definitely easier setting up an apartment this time around, when I have a better idea what I like and how we live.
What’s next on your home shopping list? I know I can’t be the only one with one of these things…
1. Everything is rushed.
You would think that when you’re making a decision that will dramatically affect your life and finances for at least the next year of your life, it would be a decision you’d want to labor over for a bit.
When it comes to the New York City rental market, fortune favors the
impulsivequick-thinking. Because odds are that if you even think you want that apartment, there are at least five other people who definitely want it. Like, yesterday.
2. There are too many and yet not enough options.
We all know I have problems with contentment. Which is why I have such a hard time being like, yes! This is the one. Because what if there’s a better/bigger/cheaper apartment out there? Or will be in a day or two? WHAT IF THIS IS A TERRIBLE MISTAKE?
You really can’t think like this. I know that, but it can be hard to remember sometimes. That’s when it’s helpful to remember that this is only a 1-year lease.
But even though there are always other
fish in the seaapartments in Brooklyn, the aforementioned rushed atmosphere of the hunt can make you feel like maybe there just aren’t enough affordable good ones to go around.
3. Most brokers are the worst people you’ve ever met.
In the last week, I have encountered two “adults” whom I have wanted to punch in the face. We all know I have issues with people who don’t do their jobs, and when it comes to brokers, it drives me even crazier because they have zero motivation for not doing their jobs. You don’t get paid if I don’t get an apartment. Why are you so horrible?
That being said, there are some good brokers. It’s just hard to find the ones who straddle the line between lazy and pushy.
4. Everything is just so expensive.
I never dislike living in New York quite as much as when I’m looking for an apartment.
The other day, I typed what we’re looking to pay out here into a Des Moines Craigslist search, and guess what? I couldn’t even find an apartment over $900 a month. (My readers who live in New York will find that amusing. My Midwestern readers will probably to a spit-take and say, “You mean you can in New York?”)
The fact that I’m spending more on rent than a lot of people do on a mortgage is not lost on me. This I why I will never have a house in New York.
There are a bunch of other little reasons why I hate this process, but I think I’ve whined enough for now.
If you live in the NYC area and know of an apartment that’s opening up, give me a shout. I’ll be the one weeping as she scrolls through Street Easy listings.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this post I wrote a while back. Recently, an old friend reached out to me and told me that she has read this post multiple times and it really helps her remember to find joy in things even when life isn’t perfect.
That kind of knocked the wind out of me because, honestly, I haven’t been doing such a great job of that myself over the last two months.
Things have been really stressful at work since the new year. I’ve been feeling a bit homesick for the first time in four years. (Not always for a place, but for the people and life I used to have at the time. Ahh ’twas simpler back then.) Compounding all that is our impending move, needing to finish packing, needing to actually find a place in one of the most cut-throat real estate markets, needing to move all our stuff…
It can be really hard to find the joy when you’re dealing with a perpetual stomachache and stress headache.
But I’m not doing anyone any favors (least of all myself) by dwelling on the things I can’t control and just have to deal with. So, in the name of the Happiness Project, I give you a list of things that I am happy about:
1. Joey and I had a really fun date last night. We’ve been so busy lately (me with traveling and work, him with side jobs and work) that we haven’t really been connecting as much. And because my patented stress management technique is bottling up my feelings until I finally burst into sobs over something as unimportant as breaking a dish, I know I’ve been wall-ing myself off instead of opening up and letting him help me. So last night we used up some Outback Steakhouse gift certificates he got from work (SUP.), followed it up with some fro-yo and The Walking Dead, and basically unloaded everything we were dealing with. I know I felt tons better. My husband is pretty awesome.
2. WE SOLD THE CHINA CABINET. I know the all-caps might imply that I’m more excited about this development than the date night, but I think I’m just more surprised.
I had originally posted my (elegantly crafted) Craigslist ad on President’s Day, and despite getting a few nibbles, no one ended up buying it. I renewed the ad on Monday and got three offers by the afternoon (and another one last night). Last night, a woman who lives in our town came by and said she would take it. Left a deposit and everything! So it will hopefully be in its new home by Saturday night.
Lesson learned: No one Craigslist shops seriously on President’s Day.
You guys. I am so relieved. I have literally been stressing about reselling the thing since we decided to move. And it’s especially nice to cross something off my things-we-need-to-do-before-we-move list.
3. I’m looking at apartments tonight! Which isn’t exactly positive necessarily, but it could be. At least I’m doing something besides emailing countless ads only to be told that place I’m looking at has sold but would I like to look at some uglier apartments in bad neighborhoods?!?
Answer: No. And I hate you for tricking me.
So anyway. Those are the things I’m being happy about. Not a bad list, right?
Everyone leave a comment about something that’s making you happy. LETS START A REVOLUTION! (OF JOY!)
Well, the packing has officially begun. As has the if-I-pack-this-will-I-be-glad-I-did-or-need-it-in-the-next-four-weeks game. I do not like this game.
So far I have almost the entire living room, a bit of the dining room, and a bit of the kitchen packed up. Unfortunately, these are also the best rooms to hang out in. Or, at least they were before they became cardboard labyrinths. Plus, the majority of the stuff I can pack weeks in advance is the stuff that we don’t really need but that makes the apartment pretty. Like picture frames, vases, books, and the occasional knick-knack. Basically, things are looking quite bare.
My next project is to buy more bubble wrap and finish boxing up everything in the china cabinet. Then I think it will be time to tackle the bedroom. Clothes are a challenge since I don’t know what we’ll want to wear for the next month, but I think I’ll have enough stuff I know we don’t need to fill at least a box or two.
By the way, have I mentioned how much I hate packing? (YUP.) It’s annoying and tedious and turns your apartment into a box maze. Plus, buying boxes knowing you’re going to throw them away later is maddening. (That being said, if anyone wants ours in April, lemme know.)
Plus I still get a stress ball in my stomach when I start thinking about the process of getting our stuff from point A to point B. I mean, we’ll have to rent a truck. And hopefully enlist a few people to help us carry things. Ugh. I’m just rambling now.
The point is, we’ve started the process. There’s just still a lot more to do. At least we started filing our taxes? That will be done next week. An we can check something off of the to-do list.
Leave your best packing words of wisdom in the comments to help me feel less panicked, please.
I’ve never been a bully.
I mean, sure, I’ve had my mean girl moments. I’ve said unkind things. I’ve gossiped. I’ve watched other people do mean things and, to my own ever-lasting shame, done nothing to stop it.
I’m not perfect. This post is not about me talking about how nice and wonderful I am.
What I have been is extremely fortunate in terms of bullies and mean girls. I survived middle school and high school with good memories and no scars. No one really ever picked on me in earnest.
I like to think that there was just something about my personality that gave off the impression that I wasn’t a victim. I might be a little nerdy and have my own insecurities going on, but make no mistake — I am not to be trifled with.
In all honesty, I think I was just not that threatening in terms of the things girls get threatened by. (The blessings of being a late-bloomer.)
Because of this fairly friendly introduction I had with the world, I find that I am repeatedly stunned when I encounter mean girls and bullies as an adult.
Don’t get me wrong — I know there are mean people in the world. I watch The Real Housewives. I occasionally turn on the news for a second before getting depressed and turning it off a few minutes later. (To watch more Housewives.)
But even though I consider myself a rational person with realistic expectations of humanity, I find that I am still surprised when I come across someone who is nasty, cruel, or entirely inconsiderate as a grown-up.
And yet. I encounter mean girls and bullies at work. I encounter mean girls and bullies in acquaintances. Heck, I would need at least both hands and possibly my feet to count the number of “friends” I’ve had over the years who have turned out to be mean.
And every single time, I’ve been completely shocked.
I mean, don’t you usually grow out of being an a-hole? Isn’t that what our parents always told us would happen?
Fair warning, folks: It doesn’t always happen. (And if Dance Moms is any indication of the future, we’re got whole new generations of awful heading our way.)
On the bright side, I’m not the only one who gets it. I mean, this woman gets it. (And by it, I mean, that being a mean girl is not the best way to accomplish anything except hurting other people. It doesn’t make it easier to work together, it’s not good for business, it doesn’t solve any problems.) All being a mean girl does is create more mean girls. Or destroy more nice girls, depending on how you look at it.
Maybe I’m just a really bad judge of character, and that why I’m always caught unawares. Or maybe I’m really trying to assume the best of people.
I don’t know how to conclude this post because there isn’t really a solution here. I’ll keep trying to be a nice girl without being a doormat. If I have a child one day (and I hope to), I’ll do everything in my power to help him or her turn out kind too.
Because, really, Regina George is the only Mean Girl I have any interest in having in my life.