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.
Well, this weekend was by no means the most fun two days I’ve ever had, but it was entirely necessarily. Let me break it down for you.
Remember on Friday when I was all, “Yo peeps, I think I’m comin’ down wit somethin.”
What, you don’t remember me getting gangsta on you? Well…we’ll just agree to disagree.
The fact is, I told you I thought my body might be trying to get sick. AND I WAS RIGHT.
I spent the rest of Friday feeling progressively worse. And considering the number of people in my office who have recent contracted the flu, I didn’t need a medial degree to read the signs. Achiness? Check. Sore throat? Check. Chills? Check. General run-down-edness? Double check.
I ended up leaving around 4 p.m. in an attempt to get home before it really set in.
But what is the true sign that I was really not feeling well?
I FELL ASLEEP ON THE TRAIN RIDE HOME.
The long-time readers of this blog will realize what a feat this was. (Um, hi post I wrote in April of 2010 about this very topic.) When I told my husband what I had done, he got a look of genuine concern and said, “Oh man, you must really be sick.”
Turns out I had a fever of almost 100 degrees. So…yeah. I was.
When I got home (and I have to mention this because it will please my mother to no end), I took this medicine that my mom swears by to prevent flu-like symptoms from evolving into full-blown flu, Oscillococcinum. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s pronounced oh-sill-oh-cox-ih-num, and it’s some kind of homeopathic medicine that looks and tastes like sugar crystals. The crystals come in these tiny tubes, and if you feel the flu coming on, you’re supposed to pour one of the tubes out under your tongue and let the crystals dissolve. You do this every six hours until symptoms subside.
I have no idea how or why it works (I don’t have a medical degree, remember?), but it has never failed me. Highly recommend it if you’re getting the flu.
Anyway. Back to our story.
I then proceeded to loaf on the couch until 10 p.m., where upon I promptly fell asleep for over thirteen hours.
Let that sink in for a second. I slept for over half a day. Until almost noon the next afternoon. This from a person who has trouble sleeping passed 9:30 on a day when I’m genuinely tired.
I felt worlds better after my mini coma ( and no longer had a fever), but I wasn’t exactly doing cartwheels just yet. And despite all the sleep I got, I still dozed a bit throughout Saturday and didn’t really leave the couch except for emergencies. Saturday night, I slept nine hours. (Yeah, all this sleep was kind of glorious.)
By Sunday night, the only remnant of my sickness was some congestion and post-nasal drip. Which, while not ideal, is bearable.
Honestly, I know there is never a good time to get sick, but this really wasn’t the worst time. I didn’t start feeling really bad until Friday, so I didn’t have to miss any work, and I was struck on the one weekend this month that I had zero plans to begin with. (Well, that’s not entirely true. We were supposed to go to a concert on Saturday, and we had to skip it. But Joey was able to sell the tickets, so even that wasn’t as bad as it could have been.)
And considering the busy schedule I’m looking at through the next month, a weekend of almost thirty hours of sleep ain’t too shabby. That’s a part-time job’s worth of sleep right there.
So anyway. Today, I’m feeling much, much better besides the lingering congestion. And hoping that now that I’ve had my seasonal fall cold and my brush with the flu, I’m officially done getting sick until my seasonal spring cold.
Anyone else get the flu? Apparently it’s a pretty big thing this year? Everyone’s doing it, as it were?
I’ve been waiting in line over two hours for gas.
I want to give you a second to wrap your mind around that. The worst part? This is the second line I’ve waited in this morning.
I’m in a line of at least 50 cars, all with our engines off, and every five minutes or so, start our engines again so we can move up five feet. We do that every five minutes or so.
Things got hairy a few minutes ago when the line didn’t budge for about twenty minutes. You could smell the panic over the gas and exhaust fumes.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard how the areas most affected by Hurricane Sandy have been suffering from a gas shortage. Lines have been approaching the 3-hour mark since early last week, and though supposedly we will be “back to normal” by tomorrow, I haven’t seen any signs of that yet.
I mean, people are driving to Connecticut to get gas. That makes more sense for some people than waiting in these lines.
Of course, that’s assuming the gas stations around you have power and gas and even have lines for you to wait in.
Live update: I was looking down at my phone and didn’t notice that the car in front of me had moved up three feet. Someone shouted at me, “Could you move up, please?!”
These are crazy times, folks.
On the upside, it looks like I’m actually going to get gas within the next half hour or so (ugh). And there are apparently 28 million gallons of gas hitting New York today. So we should, theoretically, be back to normal by tomorrow.
Because, if not, so help me…