Relationships: Hurricane Sandy Challenged All

Hurricane Sandy has had devastating effects on our region. We’ve suffered flooding, fires, no power, and damages that will take a long time to repair. Not just physical property damages, but emotional and perhaps irreversible damages to our personal relationships.

Just yesterday, a man pulled out a gun at a gas station. The longer our power has been out, the more and more anxious and frustrated people have become. I originally thought that nine months from now there were going to be many babies born, but in actuality—because of the length of the aftermath of this disaster—the devastation, desperation, and frustration that have arisen in people over the progression of this past week have made that seem less and less likely. Love in the dark is the last thing on their minds, let alone patience with others.

I’m quite sure that those who have been forced to stay home on curfew in pitch black, not allowed to walk outside because of power lines floating in flood waters, therefore stuck with their roommate/companion/lover for days on end without any access to the outside world, have flipped out on each other. There is only so much isolation or confinement with one person that one can take with nowhere to escape to and nowhere to breathe.

Even for those of us who are able to walk around, it can still be frustrating with nowhere to go. My grocery store was one of the only places with power in this and the neighboring cities for five days. That small store was beyond insane, with insane people in it. Most people were polite, but every once in a while, someone would flip their sh*t. They had had enough!

With Wall Street closed for two days and all access to NYC closed for four, I can only imagine these workaholic dads getting completely upset staying at home with their wives and kids in the dark, cold, dampness rather than in the Trump hotel that houses their mistresses.

These trying times are true tests of tolerance. How much do you really love your significant other? I’m willing to bet that many couples who have had to ride out difficult circumstances in this storm have fought. And not only that, not been able to get away from each other to cool down. There will be break-ups. There will be divorces.

On the upside, now is a time when good fences do not make good neighbors. How many friendships have been created from this? How many acts of generosity not normally seen have come out of this? As one of the very few lucky people who suffered no power loss or flooding, I opened my home to friends never willing to trek to Jersey City Heights to hang out before, regardless of how great I tell them it is. I was happy to host people to shower, charge their phones, watch TV, have heat and warmth in the cold weather, eat hot meals, and anything else in my lovely apartment.

“Do you have hydrogen peroxide, neosporin, and a bandaid?”
“Yes, and q-tips to apply the stuff…but you will have to wear a Hello Kitty bandaid because that is all I have.”

“Do you have contact solution?”
“Miraculously, yes, even though I wear dailies which require none.”

“A glue gun? Matches? Needle and thread? A deck of cards? Coconut hair conditioner?” Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

I’m lucky that I was in a position to help people, and that I was also able to avoid a breakup. My boyfriend and I fought the Sunday night before and the morning of the day the storm hit. He insisted I stay with him in his below-sea-level-town; I insisted I stay here far from water and way above sea level.

Neither of us was willing to back down from our stance and we just had to agree to drop it and weather the storm our separate ways. Now he’s been without power for seven days. I’m sure I would have died if I had to stay there with three boys total, one bathroom, and no power. Just not my cup of tea. Even if I had lost power, I would still have the privacy and comfort of my own bedroom.

Our relationship made it through the storm because I was lucky. But I have to wonder, if we were stuck together in dire circumstances for days on end, would we just end up tearing each others’ heads off?

Please share your stories in the comments section! I am really curious as to how everyone weathered the storm in terms of their relationships with others—lovers, friends, neighbors, strangers on the street, uniformed officials, store workers that had power, volunteers. Go!

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