About a month ago, after Brooke and I had finally settled into
“Do you miss
It quickly became apparent that we fell on two very different sides of this fence. On the Pro-NY side sat Brooke, extolling such benefits as culture, seasons, intelligence, and a general expediency of everyday living. On the Pro-Miami side sat me, extolling boobs, beaches, and a quality of life so much less expensive that I’ve actually become accustomed to ordering an appetizer AND an entrée – a privilege previously reserved for special occasions or when your parents visited and took you to dinner.
Which isn’t to say that I don’t love
Eventually, you decide your relationship with
This is about where I lost control of the metaphor and Brooke seized the opportunity to sum up her argument by sipping her drink and pointing at a guy with a rooster on his shoulder riding by on his bicycle while everyone on the street stopped and clapped.
Flash forward to present time. Brooke and I are back in
(Note to employers: Hi! Please don’t mistake my bitter grumblings for something like ungratefulness. I love the apartment. The other day, I walked outside and I swear I heard the “Sex and the City” theme song! It turns out there was just a “Sex and the City” tour passing by the apartment, but if my favorite tu-tu had been ironically splashed by a bus with my picture on the side, I probably wouldn’t have cared at all! So thanks.)
Of course, this isn’t how Brooke sees it. She thinks of us as liberated from the shackles of geographical redundancy. Puppy seems to agree, excitedly peeing on everything in sight with a look in his eye as though he understands he is urinating on hundreds of years of historic importance.
All of which is to say that we haven’t come to any concrete conclusion except that at some point (be it a year or five) we will be back living in
At the beginning of the massage, the masseuse (who looked like a 47-year old Mid-Western mom, dressed in smart khakis and sneakers) asked if I had any trouble spots. While I considered saying, “My groin!” (hahaha), I instead complained about a crick in my neck I’d had for a few weeks (which doubles as therapy because any time I complain about it to Brooke she tells me to “Man up.”) She asked if I slept on my stomach, and I told her that in fact I did. She said after the massage she would show my some sleeping techniques to avoid neck pain, which I thought was odd considering I can barely perform specialized techniques when I’m awake, let alone when I’m asleep. But whatever – she’s the professional.
So after the massage, while I’m laying face up on the table, covered in a towel and half asleep with cucumbers over my eyes, she whispers that she’s going to find some pillows to show me those sleeping techniques we were talking about. I mumble something like, “Whatever,” and off she goes. A few minutes later she returns and takes the cucumbers off my eyes. I see her standing there with a pillow in each hand and immediately recognize that this situation is about to get awkward. She proceeds to lift my head up and place a pillow underneath it. Then she tells me to roll over on my side, facing her, and bend my knees towards my chest. She then lifts my arm and nestles the second pillow up against my chest.
To review: I’m naked . . . under a towel . . . in the fetal position . . . hugging a pillow . . . looking up at my masseuse.
“Now cuddle the pillow,” she says.
I comply, because what am I going to do, say no? And while I squeeze the pillow tight and say, “Yeah, this feels great,” I kind of rise up outside myself and am suddenly looking down on this situation from above and I decide that it is not an OK situation.
We stayed this way for five long, uncomfortable minutes, with the masseuse describing why this is the best way to sleep, me constantly trying to prop up my head to have a more normal conversation while she insistently tells me to relax, put my head down, and hug the pillow. After I promise her I will buy a “big, fluffy pillow” (the memory of saying “fluffy” makes me shudder), she leaves the room and I decide whether to cry here or when I get home. (I opt for home.)
The point being, if you’ve never had a frank conversation with a Midwestern mom masseuse while naked on a massage table curled up in the fetal position and cuddling a pillow, well then you’ve probably never been to New York. And at the end of that day, that’s kind of a shame.