Letters

The Life of an "Unemployed" Housewife (also, The Midwest Through the Eyes of a Southerner)

Greetings from the Midwest (specifically, East Lansing, MI, the Home of the Spartans)!

It’s been a whirlwind of non-activity here in the An residence.  Now that I have officially finished organizing the last few bits of misplaced items to their pseudo-permanent dwellings (until I get so fed up with the monotony that I decide to reorganize everything again), there is little left to do other than a small cleanup in the bathroom or a few dishes to clean (which InChul is always so gracious to help out with).  I think my nesting instincts (can I HAVE nesting instincts without a child on the way?) have finally subsided (with the introduction of our latest addition to our furniture family – a tall side table that is serving its purpose as additional kitchen storage) and I’m satisfied with the layout.  Now my fastidious nature with cleanliness is about to kick in, as I am starting to get “grossed-out” (and that’s a technical term) by the bathroom.

Hudson with his new toys…SPOILED!!  ^^

The one area, however, that offers a break in the non-activity is, of course, our resident hound: Hudson.  For all you young children who are BEGGING your parents for a dog, please note that taking care of a dog is not too different from raising a child…they need constant supervision and constant attention…especially in their “cute stage” as a puppy (oh, the damage he did to our house in Duluth…I don’t even want to think about it).  Now that he is in what is the equivalent of early adolescence, he need even more attention and discipline.  But, despite the constant work and moments of “OH MY GOSH!  WHERE’S HUDSON!”, he is definitely the reason why I have not delved into the depths of depression, being here in an unfamiliar place among unfamiliar people.  Being busy with him and constantly fixating my attention on him doesn’t give me the time to feel lonely.  Plus, I seriously love the little devil.

So I suppose the extra work is worth it…though next time, I think I’ll stick to cats…
Now that InChul is in full swing with this whole intern deal at the hospital, I have been spending days alone at home.  But the moments we do spend together, we find ourselves dealing with situations and activity formerly unfamiliar to us.  For example, today as I picked him up from work (Side Note: I’ve been dropping him off at 6am and picking him up between 5 and 7pm because a certain brother-in-law, who shall remain nameless, has taken our second vehicle…hehehe…it’s ok though…you’re saving us a BUTTLOAD on gas costs!!), we had driven about three minutes down the road when suddenly a noise (“BEEP!  BEEP!  BEEP!”), much like a high-pitched alarm indicating that a bomb was being dropped within the vicinity, went off.  It took InChul and me both a moment to realize that his PAGER was going off.  As InChul called the hospital to see whether we needed to turn around and head back, I found myself chuckling over my own shock.  InChul and I had always joked around about this pager that he would get as an intern (and how I would semi-violently kick him to turn it off if it ever went off at night), but when I actually witnessed it going off, I found it hard to believe it actually was the hospital paging MY HUSBAND.  After all, this goofball husband of mine is the LAST person I imagined actually giving orders for medication or responding to codes as a full-fledged doctor (now, don’t get me wrong…I know he’s going to be a STUPENDOUS doctor…one of the most passionate and compassionate about his profession).   I asked him if it felt real to him…the fact that he was receiving these pages.  As I suspected, he himself was still getting his head around the fact that he was actually being asked to make decisions and do procedures in a REAL hospital setting. 
It really is all new to us…and I’m sure there will be a point where we will both get used to hearing that pager go off and he’ll get used to making orders and doing procedures.  But until then, we continue to enjoy the newness of it all…and learn to adapt to the unpredictability that comes with being a doctor.

Outside of all that, I am also starting to see more and more of the cultural differences between the Midwest and the South.  Greetings among people unfamiliar with one another here seem short and forced.  No one asks my name, and no one seems to want to start even superficially personal conversations (and this is even at church).  There seems to be a different set of rules when it comes to common etiquette (especially in the dog park…I still get peeved with people who don’t pick up after their dogs, especially when I happen to step in a fresh pile left by one who’s owner happens to be sitting just twenty feet away…hmmm…can you tell I’m a bit bitter?).  I find myself having to tell myself that I cannot expect people here to act as people in the South do…and that they are just as congenial and polite as people in the South…just in a way that I am unfamiliar with.  Needless to say, I’m in need of a lot of God’s grace to keep from getting angry and bitter.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to actually meet with people and build relationships so that I can further understand just how Midwestern hospitality works.

As for other fronts…no, I’m not employed yet.  And no, there are no plans for babies yet.  We need to figure out how to stay financially afloat on a month-to-month basis before we start adding to the family (which takes us back to the fact that I am not employed yet…and prospects are looking VERY slim).  I am still learning the art of budgeting, saving money by eating at home and couponing, and adjusting to life as a doctor’s wife (and no, it’s DEFINITELY not what TV makes it out to be…FAR from it).

All in all, it’s a different life…but it’s a good life…and I have much to be thankful for.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day, and I will see my Atlantan friends this coming weekend.  YAY!!

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