As it looks like the U.S. government is going to be up and running once again, I realized that that lack of government over these past weeks has had exactly zero impact on me. Things are getting "back to normal" but they've actually been pretty normal since before the shutdown. No, I don't rely on food stamps (yet) nor did I have any plans to visit National Parks (Netflix subscription, duh), but realizing that my life would be essentially the same with or without the billions of dollars a day it takes to run the federal government is a bit scary. Here are 8 real life events that affected me in October more than a bunch of suits sitting inside all day (or lack thereof):
1. The Time Warner Outage in the East Village. I'm still not sure if this was 100% true or if everyone's favorite cable company was just making excuses for their shotty service, but still. Having to go to Chelsea to use WiFi last weekend was not part of my plan to stay in bed for 48 hours and eat cookies while staring at Pinterest. A country without internet is a lot scarier than anarchy!
2. My laptop breaking. My brand new Macbook stopped working. And the kind people at the genius bar have yet to fix it (maybe because I have yet to pay, but that's another story).
3. The weather. It's been hot. It's been freezing. I've been carrying coats around various boroughs and freezing to death blocks from home. Maybe we should focus on the climate crisis post debt-ceiling trauma?
4. Reading The Interestings. Yes, I read the news everyday, but I spent more time on this novel than indulging in opinions and "reports" about the qualms of our federal government.
5. Attending a dinner cooked by Helsinki's greatest chef, chatting with a Danish ambassador, and being gifted a shiny coffeetable book from the Finnish consolate. Face it, some countries are just better than ours.
6. Learning that as a freelance writer, an independent contractor, I'll have to pay an exorbitant amount of taxes on my (meager) income. What, exactly, are these taxes going to? And why am I paying taxes to a government that threatens equality with laws regarding marriage and reproductive rights? I'm highly considering emigrating to Scandinavia.
7. Letting one of the piercings in my lobes close up. Fixing this is going to take a lot more time, money, and pain than the shutdown cost me.
8. The invention of wine for cats. Because now I have a renewed faith in the humanity of our international community.