Tales from the Shoe Box: Three Months in 600 Square Feet

Every time we bumped into each other, tripped over a cat or had nowhere to set something, Brad and I reminded each other: It’s temporary.

We moved from a 2-story, 3-bedroom house into a 600-square-foot apartment during the construction of our house. Brad started referring to it as a shoe box. It’s small and we got frustrated a lot, but it was temporary.

Maybe part of the problem was that we got what we got when it came to temporary housing. We are fortunate to have been able to take over the last 3 months of someone’s lease, while our house was being built. It worked out for him, because he could move out of state without buying out the rest of his own lease. Before we bought the Pelham house three years ago, we had a pretty big two-bed, two-bath apartment, with a balcony, quiet(ish) neighbors and a whole lot less stuff (including no cats), so we’ve been spoiled.

A shoe box with a view

I have to recognize the blessing of living close to work, close to our in-progress home and across the street from a good bar this summer. But there were definitely things I hated about our apartment, such as:

  1. Not enough room for everything and everyone who lives there.
  2. Paper-thin walls and less-than-sound proof doors let all noise from the hall inside and all inside noises into the hall.
  3. Limited, outdoor parking. I returned from a work trip about 12:30 am and there was one bad parking spot left… better than none I suppose.

But here are the tales from the shoe box that make me glad we’re out of there. Continue reading

March Reads

The Dragon and the Cliff

As a person with diabetes, I have an intimate relationship with my numbers. I know what’s good, what’s bad and what number is better than another. These things can mean different things for me at different times and is thus extremely difficult to explain. This is possibly the best analogy of living with the numbers that I have ever read, hopefully it helps the numbers make more sense to my readers who don’t live with diabetes day in and day out.

Why is Marriage Portrayed So Negatively on TV?

I read this post about how marriages (and more specifically wives) are portrayed on TV and it reminded me of a comedy show that we attended while on (a cruise) vacation with Brad’s family the year before Brad and I were married. I didn’t laugh during the entire show and when we left, my dismay for the comedian was apparent. “You didn’t like the comedian?” I was asked. My response was, “That wasn’t funny at all, the whole show was him making cracks about his wife and ex-wife… and women in general. You can be funny without insulting half of your audience.”

I can find humor in daily life, in my marriage and in my husband without being insulted. Why do TV writers and comedians think that they can’t?

Eight Stories of Every Day Sexims as Told by Female Journalists

Someone shared this Buzz Feed story on Facebook and I was appalled by the stories but also a little frightened because I could relate to them. I may work in public relations (a predominantly female profession these days) but I work for a niche agency that serves primarily industrial clients marketing to tradespeople… which means my clients are in male-dominated fields and I’m relating with male-dominated audiences. I got asked  by a male engineer employed by my clients at a trade show if I found it difficult to be a woman working in that industry. I knew that I couldn’t answer that question honestly without sounding like a whiner (as a woman I’d be whining, if I were a man, I’d just be answering a question honestly), but I had witnessed moments before being asked that question men at the show openly oogling some of the few women who were there.

I often find myself wondering why our society hasn’t been able to get past the gender bias and start treating everyone like a person. Why is it that my husband gets asked “how’s work going?” as the first friendly question but I get asked about how things are with the house or with my cats (and depending on the person asking, whether I have children) before anyone bothers to ask me about my career?

Did you know that March is Women’s History Month?