Jul 23, 2008

Dear Conundrum and I Swear I'm not a Pessimist,

There seems to be an abundance of happy blogging.
Life is perfect,
pictures are perfect,
the pie i baked is perfect,
my kids are perfect,
my new outfit is perfect,
it never rains where i live,

blog posts. And this really, truly is quite wonderful. There is, however, some modicum of realism left in me- some degree of cynicism that asks, "Is the entirity of the blogging world really so elated?" Does blogspot.com create perfection in our lives where we may not have seen it before? Nay. And so I've developed an appreciation for honest blogging- for the "today wasn't the best of days," or "i burned dinner again" posts that remind me that honest blogging is the best policy. (I swear I'm not a pessimist)

On with the conundrum.

How is it that one can be in a city of 8,250,567 (i didn't make that up- according to NY City Planning bureau in 2006) and still feel lonely? It's a puzzling matter to me.

Granted, I have the benefit of a wonderful sister 10 blocks away, another one up the HenHud parkway in Westchester, a husband who will spend every waking non-working second with me, and a long-time BFF on the Upper East Side ... yet still, holed up in my apartment writing thank-you notes and hoping the gash in my toe (see bottom) heals, I find myself feeling surprisingly alone.

This is home, right? I'm back on familiar territory, a stomping ground I know well - so why did lonely knock on my door, and why did I let him in? I, of all people, should have known better. NEVER answer the door when you're home alone in NYC, not expecting guests - especially ones that you didn't buzz in- it will almost always be an unpleasant surprise. And so it was- me and loneliness assembling a steamer (which didn't actually get put together), me and loneliness eating cherries on the couch, and writing blogposts, and waiting for company (heretofore known as Matt) to come home. (Which he always does, and finds ways to unlonely me by playing cards or helping me decorate)

It seems a plague in New York - so little face time with neighbors, so many strangers on the subway, too many hours at an office, and so many people surrounding that your ability to find a few to know is flooded with options and in this flood rendered unable to act. Matt and I brainstormed some things that might help me kick lonely off the couch:

  • A job. I actually struggle with free time, responsibility and inter-office interaction would do me some good. I'm doing my best to accomplish this.
  • A television. Parasocial interaction exists for a reason- people really believe that Ross and Rachel are THEIR friends, and I really believe the Regis and Kelly would make me feel a lot less lonely.
  • Luci Cat. We live in a pet-free zone, and I doubt Luci would give up her life of luxury exploring the expansive woods of Westchester, catching rabbit and mice to her heart's content, for an indoor-only, hide when the super comes, life in the city
  • Matt not having a job either = NOT an option.
  • A porch swing. Also not an option giving the utter lack of porch here in Harlem. I do however have a lovely stoop. Perhaps I'll perch on that this afternoon, or walk to the park and find an old lady to chat with.
  • Valerie Leach or Laura Rees - they seem to make lonely feeling cities a little better
In the meantime, me and Lonely are finishing our "to-do" list today...

1. thank you cards
2. job applications and follow ups with Wedding Library and Bank of America
3. finish steamer assembly
4. re-apholster stools, sand and restain
5. kick out this pesky squatter called lonely

Addendum: the toe
Pictures are not included as the blood and gore would certainly make this an R-rated blog. Yestereve, after a long and tiring day of lonely to-dos, Matt came home (HOORAY), and my parents delivered our beautiful new rug and some less than beautiful old stools (HOORAY). En route to the car, I opened our ever so heavy and ever so sharp metal door, over the top of my toe, which managed to slice a half-inch gash from the tip of my toe sideways STRAIGHT THROUGH my toe nail to the side of my toe ... for those of you who think a half of an inch isnt' very long, I'd like to tell you two things...
A. You're ABSOLUTELY wrong
B. Please see previous posts about my propensity to be right (approx. 98.5% of the time)

Now I hobble, and wait for my toe to heel.


kimmy girl said...

hey. i know im crazy but no lonely time on my watch. we will get together! when does matty get off work usually, can i have the early evening block???
love you.

Stephanie said...

I just want you to know that I called before seeing this post.

Hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hannah said...

I feel the same way. Too many unfamiliar faces (especially when coming from a place where everybody knows your name, and I don't mean Boston). But hopefully that will not be the case too much longer (were excited for Saturday!). Until then we can just keep counting the minutes until our cute husbands come back home to us each night!

p.s. Regis and Kelly really are my friends. Your invited any morning to enjoy their company with me between 9 and 10 am.

Christy said...

For the record I also live in my hometown, 5 miles from my parents and close to several childhood friends. I go to school, but spend many hours alone at home and loneliness knocks on the door quite frequently, but I don't let him in nearly as much. TV helps---so do "projects"

Rebecca said...

EB White said something to the effect of, "To anyone who desires such queer prizes, NY will bestow the gifts of loneliness and solitude." That was a paraphrase, but my goodness it makes sense. Know this Noelle: I will come and get my stroller. Please open the door then. I am not a stranger. Anyone who makes you babysit for her even though she's only met you once is obviously itching for some level of intimacy in friendship and will force you to serve her in hopes that you will thus love her. Also, had I stalked and found your blog before last night, we would have had another round of dessert. I would have wanted the Wee to spend more time with you. Love your blog--and your perfect life where nothing is ever wrong.

laura said...

I know how you feel about "honest blogging." Sometimes I feel like there are things I want to rant about all the time, but I hope people don't think I'm just a generally angry person. Oh well.

Also, re: the Billy Joel tickets - it's all about the work hookups! There's no way I would have been able to go otherwise.

Scott and Kristine said...

Hey! Sorry for the loneliness! You are so not a pessimist but if you want to enjoy a blog that makes fun of blogs, especially utah blogs, check out seriouslysoblessed.blogspot.com
It has made me chuckle a few times and can fill up the lonely hours!

indeazgirl said...

I don't know you. I know Bridget. Who is my roommate and knows you. Your wedding was cool. Your pictures are cool. And I love to read this blog. Maybe if I happen to be in Manhattan on a lonely day, we can be cool together. Until then, I guess we will each have occasional sad lonely days in states across the country.
Nice meeting you!!

Jacob Lybbert said...

How has no one posted this already?

Luci-cat is a boy-cat, Noelle.
(unless he had a change of which I'm not aware)

Jake and Jenna said...

hey noelle. jenna again. i'm lonely too, every single freaking day. i, also, do not do well with free time. because of this, i got a random job in retail (bath and body works). i only work one day a week because that's all they schedule me....sooo really it was pointless because i'm still lonely and bored. if you want honesty, you should read the early posts on my blog. i, also, appreciate honestly because my life and my thoughts are a FAR CRY from perfect my dear. i write all this to let you know that you're not alone. i feel for you.

Kalie said...

Hey. It is actually pretty amazing that no one really talks about this part of marriage more. The first six months of ours was honestly one of the most wonderful and absolutely miserable points of my life. And I thought I was mostly alone in this. Everyone (as you have pointed out) always has the most perfect marriage and exciting life. Turns out birth control pills were the disastrous ingredient for us.

A job will make all of the difference in the world. And until then, please keep writing. You really are so talented and enjoyable.

kate mcneil said...

I can't agree more with the portrayal of perfect lives in blogging! It drives me up the wall.

familia Bybaran said...

I think you are absolutely right about blogs and I am thankful for your honesty. I have a solution: come hang out with us (me and the girls). Sometimes it's chaotic, but we go on some nice walks and crazy kids would be a nice distraction from writing thank-you cards.