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Month: June 2015

Home Alone

Home Alone

I left home when I was 17 to go to boarding school in Costa Rica. From then until I was 23, I lived with roommates. After a horrible and lonely six-month stint living alone in a studio apartment in Armenia, I moved to DC and lived in several group houses. In total, I have had 31 roommates. 31! By far, the worst was Princess, my gay overdramatic, anorexic train wreck roommate that I shared a wall with for the first months I was in DC. But, overall, most of my roommate experiences have been enjoyable with little hiccups here and there.

With time, I learned things about myself that made me a better, stronger person. The most important lesson I took away from cohabiting is that God has given me the power to hate everyone. Ok, hate is a little strong. But, everyone at least has the power to get on my nerves. I think most people feel this way too (at least sometimes). Being around the same people all the time makes you realize all of their irritating habits, like stomping up and down the stairs, taking too long in the bathroom, and not cleaning EVER. Once you pick up on those one, two, or many flaws, you fixate on it/them and every time you see that person, you think “I FUCKING HATE YOU FOR SPILLING BLUEBERRIES ON THE FLOOR AND NOT CLEANING THEM UP FOR FIVE DAYS!”

That negativity just leeches into your entire life and you can’t escape it. So, after more than a year of saving money by living in non-glamorous group houses in up-and-coming neighborhoods with short-term leases, I decided that it was time to make another adult decision and live by myself.

I think that living on my own is also, in part, for the good of society. The paragraph above shows that I deal with a LITTLE bit of anger, so not forcing that rage onto others should totally be a tax break or something.

After viewing many studio apartments that made me incredibly claustrophobic and filling out multiple applications that were handled by incompetent people, I found a great deal for DC: a ONE-BEDROOM apartment cheaper than some of the studios I was looking at. It’s five minutes from a supermarket and it’s in a neighborhood I like. I moved in at the very end of August and and have enjoyed pretty much every day of living by myself (and currently with my sister’s cat Fenway).

Pros:

Pants are never required and are in fact, discouraged. The moment I come home, I take my pants off. Especially now that it’s summer/swamp season in DC. Sometimes, I just get naked and lay on my bed straddling my no-longer-oscillating fan, hoping that the heat rash “down there” will go away.

Farting, masturbating everywhere. One of my friends told me he thinks my apartment smells like farts and tears and half of that is true. It’s pretty gross, but that’s why there’s Febreeze.

Bathroom door never closes. 

Eat without judgement. Sometimes I have food smeared all over my face while I’m watching TV on my computer, but I don’t wipe it off because I have no one to impress.

I think to myself a lot. About what I’m going to write my book/TV show about. About why that boy never texts me back. About how many cats is too many.

Only mess I have to clean up is my own. Except for when I go to work. Then it’s like living in a group house all over again.

Boys always want to come to my place over theirs. Once they hear no roommates, they’re sold. Except in the winter when it’s hot as fuck. (See below)

 

Cons:

Live on first floor. Can’t walk around naked with the blinds open.

Directly above the boiler room. My apartment is the hottest in the building. In winter, I would sit around in my underwear while there was snow on the ground outside.

My neighbors next to me and above me suck. My bedroom shares a wall with the people beside me. I either hear their TV or obnoxious laughter all the time. I did work up the courage to ask them to be quiet once. The bitch upstairs I swear just moves furniture all day. I’ve never met her but I hate her. I also hear her have sex pretty regularly. More reason to hate her.

Expensive. It’s like 50% more than some of row houses I was living in. But, I think it’s worth it.

Sometimes lonely. I think that I have enough friends in DC now that I can socialize when I want but stay home when I want too. Sometimes, it just works out that everyone’s busy/doesn’t want to hang out. So, some nights (like my birthday), I have to stay in and convince myself that I wanted to.

Had to furnish myself. Because I was constantly moving every few months in DC, I was hesitant to invest in any furniture. Signing a one-year lease for this place was as close to setting down roots as I could commit to. But, the drawback was that I had to get every piece of furniture that I wanted. Everything in DC is expensive for no reason, so my solution was to drive down to my parents’ town in Methville, Virginia (not the real town name), buy cheap shit at thrift stores, and drive it up in a U-Haul.

Have to pay for laundry. In quarters. In the basement.

No dishwasher. And I hate washing dishes by hand.

If I die, who will find me? My number one fear is dying while masturbating. (I’m sure that has happened to someone). Who wants to be found with a fleshlight and a bottle of lube next to them? Very unflattering. But then, I was rewatching a 30 Rock episode and Liz freaks out about choking to death in her apartment. I hadn’t even thought of that! Now, every bite I take is a gamble.

Things you find on the internet

I’ve loved living alone so far. You know who also loves me living by myself? My mom. Whenever she has a late meeting or has a work trip and lands after 7pm, she wants to stay at my place. Which I like, but:

1. The first time she asked me what city I live in. WHAT CITY?!

2. She practically moved herself in. The first time she stayed here, she left a blow dryer, her razor(?), and coffee grounds. Exsqueeze me! Boundaries, Carol Ann.

3. One time, my mom stayed at my apartment when I was out of town. I had to make copies of the keys and send them to her hotel. I was worried that she’d find some of my “things” in my closet, but the biggest thing I had to worry about was her wearing my clothes.

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Like mother, like son.

Analysis and Conclusion (Date Lab: Part 2)

Analysis and Conclusion (Date Lab: Part 2)

Since my last blog post was a huge hit (with approximately 17 views in one day), I put off writing the second part of my Date Lab experience until now. These past few months have been crazy busy for me due to the stupid classes I signed up for thinking that I would enrich myself. I mean I took a proofreading class by choice. Who does that?

Anyways, I’m back on the blogging scene with lots of new material to write about. But, I figured, it’s only fair that I finish what I started with Date Lab and Riley. For a refresher, read this.

I ended up being pretty drunk when I got home (ALONE) after our date. I woke up the next morning still with no word from Riley. For the record, I was pretty sure I had put the ball in his court. So, when I had to do a post-date phone interview that morning during work, I figured I’d play it safe and answer cautiously to avoid making a fool of myself if Riley trashed me during his interview.

I thought the lady reporter was really nice and easy to talk to over the phone. She seemed to do this a lot and understand how awkward blind dates can be. We laughed about stuff as she ran down her list of questions. I went straight after work that day to do the video interview. The Washington Post staff had told me to wear a dark shirt because it shows up better on the screen. Having been a model for about five seconds, I also dabbed some concealer on a few problem areas because you never know who’s going to see the video when it comes out.

The video interview went fine as well. It was awkward to try to look straight at a camera lens one foot in front of my face, but lady who conducted the interview told me I gave good facial expressions. I’ve never had any complaints.

Riley and I did end up texting a little bit that day about how our interviews went. I tried to move the conversation to something other than Date Lab, but it just never really happened. This being the week of Christmas also made it harder to stay in touch since we were both going out of town. I knew that the story was set to be published in about a month and a half, but I didn’t hear anything from the newspaper for several weeks. Then the print reporter had a few “follow up” questions that she wanted to ask me:

  • What did he say when you told him you had a blog?
  • Do you remember him telling you about his trip to Germany for October Fest? What did you think of that?
  • You said personality-wise you had a lot in common–that you were both easy going. What other personality traits do you think you have in common?
  • He mentioned that you play for a kickball league and that he asked you if it was a gay league. What did you think of that?
  • When he said stuff during the date and in the taxi about your buying him a drink–did you think that was sweet or did it make you uncomfortable in that he was presuming a lot? This is where I realized homegirl was trying to sniff out a story and create some drama where there wasn’t any. 

I started checking the Date Lab section of WaPo mid January to see if it was the week our article would be published. Finally, on January 23, it happened. And my self-esteem would never be the same.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/date-lab-two-tall-guys-will-they-see-eye-to-eye/2015/01/13/0384e814-8a29-11e4-8ff4-fb93129c9c8b_story.html

I woke up one morning to see that the article had been published and I read it in bed before getting up for work. I didn’t think there was anything that scandalous about it. He hardly ever talked about dinosaurs but that apparently makes him a fucking “dinosaur enthusiast”. And I’m “looking for a hotter version of Bill Gates” which, for the record, I did say, but I feel like I elaborated on that a bit more. The whole article isn’t really a narrative; it’s just our answers to questions but without the questions included. I think that’s misleading, but I guess this is what I signed up for so I have to take it as it is. For example, she asked me if there were any dealbreakers. I said not really, but I guess him playing video games might be one because that’s not really my scene. However, the article makes it look like I brought up that I didn’t like that he plays video games. You spin that story, Nina. Spin it.

We both had to rate the date and I gave it a four because he hadn’t texted me the next day and I didn’t want to look like a loser if he gave me one star. Like I said though, none of this was really scandalous or embarrassing.

Then I watched the video.

Despite having put make-up on my face, you can still all my zits.

It’s always a little nerve-racking to watch a video of yourself or hear a recording of your voice. But this was terrible. I think I look terrible with a dark shirt and that horrible backdrop that they chose to use. Couldn’t they get some cool unicorn special effects going on back there? Using a damn WHITE background. Is the Post broke?
Is this how I really look?
It looks like I’ve washed that shirt five million times.

And then there were the comments. I was warned to take them with a grain of salt. I expected at least some to be homophobic. Although this is DC, where gay feels like the majority at times, I still have been called a faggot to my face twice (once by a crazy homeless man so maybe that time doesn’t count).

The comments were way different than that, but still not entirely pleasant to read:

  • “The entire episode seems kinda creepy.”
  • “The VERY first thing that caught my eye was how totally different both guys look from the instagram photos than they do in the video. They dont look like the same people… And I dont think Riley ever really left his dad’s garage…”
  • “That was so boring I don’t even want to read the comments later today.”
  • “He’s into dinosaurs and video games? I think Peter needed to lighten up and relax!”
  • “I think Riley needs to grow up.”
These comments, man.

People get crazy when they’re able to post anonymous comments. Like when you read the comments on a Justin Bieber video, and people start talking about Nazis. You’re like, “how did we get here?” According to these anon commenters, I’m stuck up and Riley’s a loser that never left his parents’ house. And we’re both boring. None of this is true, but there’s no use trying to defend either of us now.

Here are my two favorite comments:

  • “good looking gay boys using date lab? this must be a prank. Peter should move to NYC, where I and all my gorgeous gay husbands are from. he is a better fit there than for DC. I don’t know a single good looking gay man who is into video games (they have no time for that) …. so, ummmm. not a good match. but then again, as the classic joke goes ‘what do lesbians do on the second date?’ (they show up with a U-haul.) what do gay men do on the second date? (what second date?)”

I think he’s saying I should move to New York because I’m hot. Okay…I’m feeling it.

  • Snog: Peter. Marry: Riley. Avoid: Datelab.

SOMEONE WOULD SNOG ME!!!

On top of all this, Riley wrote a post about the whole experience for DCist, and it got published the same day the Date Lab article came out: http://dcist.com/2015/01/i_survived_the_posts_date_lab.php

Luckily for me, he didn’t say anything about how I came across as disinterested in my interviews. He mostly focused on the whole experience. He even texted me a link to his article, which is a polite thing to do. Some comments on this one were a little more scandalous because people speculated about whether or not we “banged”. (We didn’t.)

After all was said and done though, I’m still a huge fan of making fun of people including myself. I posted the link to the Post article on my Facebook and even circulated it around at my office. It was a big hit and a conversation starter for awhile. Even my landlord saw it. It did take a huge toll on my self esteem for some time though. No matter how many people told me I looked fine in the video, I still didn’t feel attractive for a good two months after that. But, thanks to more random hook-ups and boys starting and stopping talking to me without reason, I’m back at my normal personal worth level of just below average (only kidding). But, I don’t regret going on Date Lab. It was something different and good overall. Maybe someday I’ll end up famous with a huge penis like John Hamm and people will find this old Date Lab article and laugh because I’ll be beautiful and famous and in a relationship.

 But most likely not. Time to invest in some more cats.