Last night an old man at a bar correctly guessed that I was a teacher. He also correctly guessed that my friend was a nurse. He insisted that he could just tell these things because he was old and had been around so many people people and just sensed it.
Later in the evening, I pressed him for more information and he allowed that perhaps he knew I was a teacher because I looked wholesome.
“Wholesome?” I responded a little too loudly.
He sensed I was offended and tried to ameliorate his answer, but I conceded, “Sure, yes, I’m wholesome. I can see it.”
What I really wanted to reply was: “The most wholesome girl with chlamydia you’ll ever meet.”
(Yes, seriously. A lingering gift from my darling exboyfriend. It’ll be gone in 2-3 days, so it probably would have been wise to throw that line in while I had the chance to use it. How often does one get to shock and awe like that, you know?)
I have one more week before I head back to Abu Dhabi. In all honesty, I look forward to being back. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the opportunity to spend two months traveling and seeing old friends. It’s great to see new countries and old homes and attempt to reconnect with my people.
But I miss having an apartment of my own. I don’t necessarily miss working, obviously, but I do miss having a routine. I miss having people in my life that I see daily. I miss being around people who know all the details of my life and don’t ask about what we eat in Abu Dhabi. (People in America have quite a fixation on food, I’ve noticed. I cannot think of a single person with whom I didn’t talk about food.)
The huge plant by the window is my mother’s and will probably take up more space than my crap once I condense it all. It’s a monster plant.
My bedroom currently looks like the photo to the right. I had the things from my storage unit moved to my mom’s house and I’m in the process of going through the items and attempting to sell off the larger pieces. It’s a shitshow at the moment. But eventually I will have streamlined my possessions to the items I actually want, rather than the current accumulation of useless nostalgia and clothes that I no longer find remotely attractive. It’s not going to take a week though; I’ll probably be done in two days. Which leaves five days to go out and accumulate more things because I have nothing else to do with my time!
I went to Tulum for 9 days. It was amazing. I have pictures, but they don’t truly capture the contentment. My friend and I discussed staying a month next summer. Plans are fickle creatures, but I enjoy entertaining the idea.
I found out my exboyfriend has a real girlfriend now. It hurt like the afterbirth of the breakup. I miss having a boyfriend, but I’m also pickier than ever before. Thus, forever alone.
My friend offered me a job here in New York that is 99% guaranteed. I turned it down and cited financial reasons, which are valid. But I also don’t want to be an American again.
A different friend referred to Hamas as a terrorist group in conversation. I bit back retaliatory epithets.
I read The Happiness Project and am planning my own, to start when I return to Abu Dhabi. The hardest part is figuring out what makes me happy. My mood swings confuse even me.
It was not my first time at the rodeo that is the Hamptons, tagging along with friends to stay with distant relatives or friends of friends because we sure as hell couldn’t afford to summer there. But this time, I actually went to a bar and mingled with true Hamptonians. My friend’s friend’s dad owned the bar, which was highly convenient for our drinking. So when the man I was to date came up to me, I can’t honestly say that I remember much about it. I do know that I was wearing an extremely short dress, that somehow evoked childishness. And I was with my most childish friends, acting most foolishly.
Which isn’t to say that he was pedophiliac or anything. We met at a bar, which clearly showed that I was over 21. I simply didn’t understand what would attract such an established person as a Hamptonian to an immature freeloader like me.
The wealth disparity was quite evident on our few dates. When he talked about the management costs of an architecturally exquisite building, I was staring at an out-of-place whitewashed wall a few rooftops away. When he talked about going boating, I squinted my eyes and wondered if he was kidding. And when he mentioned the intramural softball league he was a part of at work, I smiled condescendingly.
It was an interesting phenomenon that I thought I was better than him. He and I had intelligent conversations and he had a wonderfully maintained body and his apartment made it very clear that he did well for himself, and yet… I think my superiority came from a sense that he was out of touch with what was truly important. Maintenance costs on a building you aren’t even considering is not worth the time or effort. He didn’t even properly summer in the Hamptons, he rent shared! I just felt as though he was striving for things that were still out of his reach, in a way that reeked of unhappiness.
Although perhaps he lives in that building now and the maintenance costs are actually relevant. I hope so. And I hope he still puts lotion on his feet before he puts on his cashmere socks.
Even I saw the value in that habit.
I’ve been back in New York for about a week now. I’ve found it rather lackluster, to be perfectly frank. Perhaps that’s because I had to go to a wedding. I am not a fan of weddings. Remind me to elope.
I am also acutely aware of how much I suck at keeping in touch with people when I’m abroad. And then fitting myself into people’s already busy lives is difficult when I’m here.
I’m also stressed out about the stupid storage unit that I have here, which I’ve finally decided to get rid of. It is an extremely annoying process and just thinking about it creates a knot of anxiety. I need to stop procrastinating it, but I honestly don’t know how to deal with it most efficiently.
This is supposed to be vacation, damn it. No stress!