Saturday, December 31, 2011

Am I Too Poor or Just Too Cheap & Higher Purposes

Seriously, I'm not sure whether we're too poor or just too cheap to do things many people do. We went to a New Year's Eve Eve party last night for an event held by one of my friends & whose entertainment is top notch. My husband adamantly insisted we go to this even based on his good time at the event they had on the 4th of July.

We get to the event and go into the top floor room. It was very nice: wasn't too crowded, you could hear the band as well as your conversation if you went to the sitting area and you got a nice view of the NYC skyline and the street below.

We, and it seems others, were led to believe that both rooms were accessible all night. We saw some great burlesque performers & heard good music. The emcee said there would be more there but after we get downstairs to see another performance and my husband needs someplace to sit without being commanded to spend money or sitting in a stranger's lap. Not to mention I don't like to be standing around in the middle of a crowd & blocking people from walking around (since I hate that being done to me, especially in the tourist areas).

As we try to go back upstairs, we're told the upstairs is closed. Apparently the venue decided to do this to the party. Downstairs, meanwhile, is super packed. My husband saw a lot of disgruntled people and I heard some complaints myself. Some even ignored the coat check since we saw people leave their coats & bags in the outside hallway, where we stayed and talked while figuring out whether to stay or go. As I try to let my husband make these choices since he's got medical issues with his legs and standing on his feet (he, unlike some people, doesn't like making a big fuss & doesn't exhort people to feel sorry for him or give him special treatment because of it), he says it's up to me. Since I don't like seeing him miserable, what choice do you think I make?

We end up leaving but hang out in this lounge near the coat check section in order to decide where we're going for dinner since we haven't eaten and we're not about to spend a million dollars at the club's restaurant. After some wandering about, the night was saved when we happened upon this Mexican restaurant away from tourist row.

Here's my basic stance on going someplace & if my husband will go with me:

1. The event MUST be a price I/we consider reasonable. Clubs not having a special event had better not be over $5 per person (and I really hate paying to go in the first place as I was the recipient of many free ladies nights back in my college days in the early 00s--I was even told by a guy I knew from karaoke that w/my looks I should NEVER have to pay cover anywhere & I'm inclined to agree; I look EXACTLY the same as I did then, by the way). Unless it's a special event or one of my friends is involved, chances are I will not go if it costs money.

If it's a special event, don't even talk to me about it unless your tickets are about $25 a person or less. You're also more likely to entice me to go if you're friends with me, I've heard great things about your talent or my friends are going. $80, $50 per person?!?!?! Not happening & most likely wouldn't even if I had the $ for it. I should be seeing full nudity or getting my house cleaned for that kind of money.

2. If you want me to dress up, it has to be someplace where everyone else is dressed in a similar way. Since my husband HATES dressing up & most dress up events violate #1, I rarely get to do it unless I want to go to a club alone through a promoter's list. I also consider the weather outside & how my feet are going to feel in shoes when I'm having to walk around my neighborhood & trek on the subway to get to an event (the ones I go to are typically in Manhattan). I also HATE having to lug comfortable shoes around so my feet aren't blisters before I get someplace so I'm wondering how those travel shoe things are working for folks; I'm considering getting some for this very reason.

3. If there's a long line, fuck you!!! My husband has ZERO patience for long lines that never move. I also have limited patience with long lines. Status & exclusivity? Screw that!! Nothing is worth my waiting in line for hours (even free Chick-Fil-A for a year). We have a similar attitude on restaurants. If it's a long wait & you don't take reservations, we'll go elsewhere.

I found this article quite accurate to how we sum it up. Plus, my cooking is much better & I can make my food the way I want it, not how the restaurant thinks I want it. If we did a reservation & we're still waiting for a table 30 minutes later?? You can also go fuck yourself & have guaranteed some negative Yelp reviews against you.

4. My husband is extremely picky about music. If he hates the music, he will leave. I'm less picky about that but if you started blasting country music, I'd be out of there myself.

5. Don't hassle me to buy something the second I walk in the room if I'm present for an event!!! I hate that & it's a surefire way to get me to walk out. There's being a polite server & then there's being an ass. We've walked out when the person was being an ass (if the response to "We're looking" is the server hanging around and hovering over you while you look at the menu when you came to go to karaoke, the server is being an ass).

6. Have some seating that doesn't require a person to buy alcohol to use it. Some people DO have health conditions and would rather not announce them to the world. Plus, if there's no space you don't want to be blocking people from walking like you were a tourist standing in the middle of a NYC sidewalk.

So I'm not sure if it's that I'm too cheap or too poor to do things. I can't really afford to go to the theater or Broadway shows but even if I could, there is very little my husband would go to see. With things I go to in Manhattan usually turning out to stink for one or more of these reasons, I wondered last night about what we can possibly do for events to get out of the house.

We did decide we did not want to live in the suburbs. We're huge on not becoming that married couple that never goes anywhere or does anything; we saw that enough with our own parents. Plus, we don't have kids tying us down.

It seems my next step will be looking at things in Brooklyn or Queens. That means some additions to the requirements:

1. It must be accessible by public transit. We're not going to wait 2 hours for a bus to get someplace. If we wanted that, we could just live in the suburbs without a car and go to the local mall.

2. It must be in a safe neighborhood. This is just basic common sense.

I hardly think any of this is unreasonable considering we've managed to find things to go to and have fun at without this kind of bullshit. We'd just like to expand it some to things we both can do & so we have things to point to when people we know visit, especially folk who live in the suburbs. I don't like encouraging suburbanites by letting them sit in my home & not going to NYC when we're so close to it.

Plus, I like to make sure people are having fun without feeling like they have to make a million dollars a year in order to do so.

As we were discussing and thinking about things yesterday, I had a realization with respect to my business & all. I swore that I was not going to be a poor grown up. It occurred to me that as long as I'm in this current career limbo, I'm simply in a state of transition. It's not like "Your status is set in stone & this is where you will be for the rest of your life." Careers do have limits on income & you know that you're not going to advance anywhere after a while. You're just where you are & that's it. I realized that having a transition period means there's some hope I won't die in the same place I'm at already. Bear in mind, though that I'm not the the type to let life happen to me. Psycho Boy was & it wasn't a pretty picture; you see a lot of resignation with people who let life happen to them instead of making things happen that improve their own lives.

Later on, I read this article posted by a Twitter friend that popped up on my feed & it occurred to me that once again, I have a greater purpose to consider than just my own bullshit. It's not just me or my company (which totally defies this study in the leadership make-up & how we are treated); it's being an example. It's proving that it can be done & you aren't living in some caste system where the situation you're at now is the one you'll die in.

There's plenty of sexism in the legal field as well. I read an article recently that I think a different Twitter follower posted that said private law firms practice sexism against women but also engage in heavy lip service to the contrary. Just one more reason I'm not likely to be working in one.

After reading, it occurs to me that maybe it doesn't matter if I make any money from doing this or not, at least with respect to the issue of if I accomplished anything in life. If there's anything I like doing, it's giving someone else ammo in the fight against their own detractors. It never really occurs to me so much that I'm abnormal or doing something different/unusual. I only see it as pursuing what I wanted to do.

Consider that my mother was the one in charge when I was growing up; she HAD to be considering my father was too busy losing jobs & generally being an alcoholic. This is far beyond the dumb father stereotype you see in mainstream media; you're talking about someone who couldn't even hold down a job & lost a driver's license. Someone who's not fitting society's definition of functional.

On that note, I sure hope the answer to female empowerment & gender equality in these fields isn't living in a household where the mother has to be in charge because the father's too messed up for it.

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