Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Boyfriend Substitute

“You are my boyfriend substitute…” my friend said.

We were walking towards a restaurant for take-out food, and she happened to jokingly mention it. “My boyfriend won’t be around tonight, so I wanted to eat dinner with you guys, you’re my boyfriend substitute for now.” She said further that she didn’t want to be alone in the house, because she’d probably just sulk.
She tells it in a joking, coy manner that it is hard to take her seriously sometimes (but I usually do.LOL).

Having lived alone for the longest time ever since residency started, I couldn’t relate. There was nothing better to look forward to at the end of a long day than the prospect of going home to my cozy condo unit and just letting all my cares slip away. There’s food, there’s tv, and just recently, internet connection (I’ve got globe now!) at my place. Oh, and the couch is super comfy, I sometimes just spend the night there.

I have had roommates, yes, but none of them have been long-term ones. The longest one was 3 months running, until she decided to quit residency training (for a different department) so she could focus on her other priorities. Another roomie, a friend, stayed only for a short while because her tenure was only short-term, but I didn’t think it would have worked anyway,as I wasn’t totally comfortable talking to her about certain stuff…and it kind of got heavy sometimes, with work and all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the  avoidant type, nor am I schizoid, I just like having a breather from all the “craziness” (pardon the pun) of the world down there, that at some point, I would like some privacy, and some quiet time of my own, some time for solitude. I think it is necessary to “reset” oneself on a daily basis when the need arises. Besides, in my job, you can’t give much help if you yourself are troubled deep within. Psychotherapy requires a lot of psychic energy, one that tends to get depleted with prolonged daily use.
I have a thing for doses of solitude from time to time… can’t help it. I’m a big fan of Rilke…but with a much lesser permeable membrane, of course. Smile

Anyway, initially, my mother had the idea of me bunking with someone just so someone could take care of me just in case I got sick, or what not. As it turns out, I got to liking peace and privacy more often than I got sick, so here I am. Still roommate-less.  But I’m not complaining…it is kind of liberating. I get to do whatever I want whenever I want to. My biggest peeves though, are scrubbing the bathroom walls, fixing the toilet when it gets clogged (when my father is not around to fix it, of course), and carrying my groceries by myself. especially when I decide to buy the 2-liter coke bottles and the orange juice…

But it’s all good. I’m happy where I am.

You know what I really hate, though? It’s when I have my hands full of carrying my long-term supply of groceries and then my nose itches…and I can’t scratch it.


good night!



p.s. pics from Chamie's grand rounds...

 Chamie presented a patient's case  regarding stigmatizing patients with mental illness, and it was her idea to have all of us wear "label" t-shirts (which I, of course, spent all night making and ironing.LOL)
 "Gravedigger" for my tendency to "dig my own grave" according to my groupmates. Here's me with my signature (?) "I have a question..."
 with some of my coresidents...
we usually get a free lunch after grand rounds. ;-)


  1. and you need a boyfriend substitute to scratch your nose when you can't? LOL that was, ugh boy tending! hahah.

  2. haha. no, i actually need him to carry my stuff around so i myself can scratch my nose freely. :-D

  3. @doc remo: that was a joke, of course. i'm not in need of a substitute. lol..

  4. Sonia, how are you? You actually sound perky. Hahaha. I feel the same way, I actually love my "alone" moments. I found out I actually like being with ... myself =)


  5. Ah, so there's something I have in common with you and Kane, Sonia: the need to be by myself.

    It's not something everyone understands, so I'm happy to see it's something I share with two people I like ;)

  6. @Kane: Hi Kane, I'm good...I just had a very busy week. and yes, I can be pretty perky most of the time. Solitude is a gift, actually, if you just know how to use it to your advantage, right?

  7. @Rudeboy: :-) Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite poets also valued her solitude. I think we're in the company of greatness. :-) jk. I like moments of solitude because it's like an "outside-looking-in" scenario. Gives you a better perspective of things, and maybe necessarily, make you better person eventually.

  8. thank you for putting in all that effort on the label shirts ling :) And for the moral support... and for lending me your balcony on the 27th floor... and for all the other little stuff that's keeping me "sane" in our little crazy world of psychiatry training... :) see you at work!



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