Hi, I’m Mary, and this is my column no one asked for about things I like!
As some (none) of you (honestly who’s even reading this) may have noticed, I haven’t written in a while, but here I am, finally out of jail! Haha. JK. (To clarify: I was not, nor have I ever been, in jail. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
This morning, I slept until 9 a.m. It wasn’t even a weekend, just a regular old Tuesday (a little peek behind the curtain: sometimes I write this column a few days in advance) with a full agenda of work and errands and things to do, and yet I slept as if it were a lazy Sunday (another confession: this past Sunday, I slept until almost 11! a.m.!). I’ve been sleeping a lot lately, and it’s crossed my mind that this indulgence in unconsciousness could be depressive behavior, but I know depressive behavior, and this is not mine. The cause of my sleepiness is months of exhaustion which has finally, in the last weeks, given way to something pretty foreign to me: relaxation.
That’s right, bitch: I’m catching up. I had a busy April, followed by a chaotic May, which began with the invasion of my apartment for the second time in a year by, you guessed it, bed bugs, and ended with, you guessed it, my sister and I getting the fuck out of that bed bug infested building once and for all. In conclusion: I moved!
It’s easy, when you live in a comfortable enough place for a long enough time, to forget that moving is an option but guess what: moving is an option. While moving blows fucking chunks (it ranks third on the list of most stressful life events after a loved one’s death and divorce. Whoever made that list clearly never had bed bugs), having moved is almost always a good thing. This move — now that we’re mostly settled and I’ve spent a couple of weeks sleeping — has been nothing short of life-altering, in the very best way.
Last summer was a bad one. I was sad and I had bed bugs, facts which felt compounded by the inescapable heat in my tiny, crawling home. This summer, however, has been cool, figuratively and literally. That’s right — your girl’s got AC!
I know what you’re thinking: why didn’t I have AC before? Bed bugs and air conditioning aren’t mutually exclusive, right? Right, but in my old apartment, I’d become complacent, grown used to sweating immediately after I exited my moldy ass shower (no matter how much we cleaned it). The air conditioner we had when we first moved in was so loud that its noise was inescapable in our small space. Also, most of the windows in that apartment were broken and wouldn’t fully close, which made it it hard to keep the cold air from escaping. Eventually, we got rid of the old banger and just kept the window units in our bedrooms, enduring countless sweaty days and nights in the living room, kitchen and bathroom.
But here’s something I’ve learned in the last two months: we don’t have to suffer. Of course some amount of suffering is part of living (I currently have my period) and misery ebbs and flows as we go about our lives (though I know several people who I’m sure have never experienced any hardship more severe than an unflattering haircut, which grew out in a matter of weeks), but we don’t have to feel like we deserve to suffer.
Before we moved, my sister and I had never shared a true two bedroom apartment. We went from a one bedroom that had been split in half to another one bedroom with a small office which, in this competitive Brooklyn housing market, just barely passed as a second bedroom. But now we have space. We have space and light, so much of it in fact that the south and west facing living room (we scored a corner apartment!) quickly became unbearably hot by mid-afternoon. So last weekend, we did something crazy: we went to Home Depot and bought a brand-new air conditioner!
Then we realized we needed a window support because we live on a crowded street and air conditioners are terrifying. If you’ve never thought about the danger of walking New York city sidewalks in the summer, air conditioning units dangling out of broken windows high above you, don’t. So we bought these online, which are incredibly sturdy and easy to install.
Now, I’m sitting in a beautifully air conditioned apartment writing this during a break between dog walks (my life hasn’t changed that much) having realized, finally, that certain small comforts are worth their usually reasonable costs. So why not sleep until 9 on a day when I could and should do many things but when the closest thing I have to an appointment is a 10 a.m. exercise class (which I made)? Why not actually enjoy summer instead of crumbling in the heat and sweating my little tits off? Often in life, what one needs is a slight shift in perspective — a move 1.4 miles east, a small window unit that keeps the apartment at a bearable 77 degrees, an extra hour of sleep. I’m embracing these small changes right now because it’s summer, baby, and I’m going to fucking enjoy it.
As always, I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a sponsored post. I received nothing for it and am pretty sure no one cares about my new air conditioner. Still, if anyone is reading and ever wants to give me literally anything for free, air conditioner-related or not, I WILL TAKE IT!!!!!!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’ll be back with more unsolicited recommendations soon!