Orange guts spewed all over the floor. Their slippery trail…led to this horrific scene. Oh, Mr. PumpkinHead, you met an early demise, Halloween isn’t until Thursday. This is the after-effect of watching American Horror Story and Mama — violence inflicted on a poor, innocent pumpkin at the hands of my boyfriend! I can only hope he’s gotten it out of his system. There isn’t a full moon tonight…is there?
They say you never really know someone until you live with them. I say you never really know someone until you see what they spend their money on. Being observant, it’s never more than a few hours before I notice the new additions a la Amazon.
Ah, some naked chicks painted in gold holding a globe that spells, THE WORLD IS YOURS. Why does this look familiar??
I’ve seen it somewhere…Oh, yeah — Scarface. “Say hello to my little friend!”
This magnet has actually helped prevent multiple, “It’s not cleeeeannn!”, “YES IT IS!!” arguments. I recommend this for all newly cohabitating couples with a dishwasher.
The Ultimate Man Grill. Its sheer size intimidates me, besides it has a gas tank and I’m afraid I’ll blow the whole townhouse up. It’s all his.
No, he does not own six cars. These remotes control all the indoor LED lighting he installed. I have no idea which is for which. Or what our neighbors must think when they see the lights go from yellow to green to red to blue.
And his best investment yet — the loyal love machine, Cosimo, our Cane Corso:
What crazy stuff does your man buy?
I’m not a PHONE PERSON. Not anymore. When I was 16, I could be found with a cordless smooshed into my cheek, talking to a boy or two on the phone for hours on end about absolutely nothing. Now, I communicate in person with raised eyebrows, shrugged shoulders and a wicked laugh. Or long distance via text, emoticons, Facebook, Twitter and my staple, email. Even professionally, I prefer email. I’m shocked when someone leaves a voicemail.
Picking up on this, my mother began texting about two years ago, happy to receive a response from me in less than 10 seconds, albeit sometimes short and sometimes snotty. Around the same time things became more serious with J. She was relieved that she no longer had to worry about me coming home late at night to an empty apartment in the East Village or being kidnapped on the subway. J. was either with me or waiting up for me. So began her nightly texting shoutouts to him, “Where is she??? Is she home yet?” when I was out of touch for more than 30 minutes after 8pm. They evolved into much, much more.
When J.’s phone vibrates it’s either a TeamStream sports update OR my mother. They organize brunches, discuss borrowing the car, arrange dog-sitting Cosimo, even plan the Mother’s Day restaurant — WITHOUT ME.
Some boyfriends hate when the mother sticks her nose in. But Dee Dee is often invited to offer her opinion…unless it’s not the same as his. I can only tell you how annoying it is to hear, “But your mother said…” in the midst of an argument. I wish I could get even, but J’s parents DO NOT TEXT. I’m only copied on cute animal emails from his mom. I must, I must — teach her to text next time I’m in North Carolina!
Though I have to give my mom kudos, she’s a super-texter. There are nights when J. and I will simultaneously receive multiple paragraph-long texts from her with different messages at the exact same time! Most include an emoticon and some reference to scripture or telling me/him what to do (even though we didn’t ask).
Here’s a typical paragraph-long text:
So my friends, do your boyfriend and mom text??
In New York City, living together seems to be the natural progression of a relationship. Why pay double the monstrous rent when you’re sleeping over every night anyway?
If my grandmother were alive today, she would be cluck-clucking her tongue, frowning and whispering in J.’s ear to “buy the cow.” But it’s not the 1950s, and in my own family there have been 12 marriages (and multiple divorces) among only a few women. I am not one of them.
By age 29, more than a dozen of my friends had both walked the aisle and filed for divorce. Losing homes, losing heart and losing hope wasn’t a path I wanted to follow. A divorced friend shared, “It’s better to say you’ve at least been married once.” I don’t agree. Maybe I’ve been more cautious, but I knew the signs of when to run…
“If you want the ring, don’t move in.” That old-fashioned sentiment has certainly worked for some, but it’s just that — old-fashioned. The truth is you really don’t know someone until you live with them. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, cohabitation is on the rise, rise, rise. Many of these cohabitating couples go on to marry within three years. Speaking on behalf of my fellow cohabitators, I already feel like I’m married.
You have to do what works best for you. There is no formula for the perfect relationship. Some see marriage as the finish line. WE all crave love and companionship, and whether it’s cohabitation or a church wedding, it’s love. That will always be the key ingredient.
To my 13-year-old nieces, I only advise you to follow your heart, not to be pressured by your peers, your mom or any man. Never lose yourself in the process. And if you do decide on the big-church wedding, I will be there donned in pink taffeta ready to throw some glitter your way!
“What — what is it?!” I asked as J. pounded up the stairs and flashed his iPhone in my face. Displayed on the screen was an extended hand with a pretty big diamond ring.
“Does this mean what I think it means?!” he asked, still in obvious denial.
“Um yeah, it appears your sister got engaged.”
Although text may not be the best way to share the news with your immediate family, she is of the Y Generation who thinks making a phone call is as strenuous as dialing on a rotary telephone. My first thought was — about freakin’ time. Since I first met her two and a half years ago when she was barely 21, I remember marriage being a hot topic. A southern thing, I surmised.
In New York, getting married before 27 is rare, before 25 even rarer. It’s a different mindset here. People are busy launching and managing careers, traveling, exploring who they are…marriage isn’t on the priority list. I often refer to NYC as Peter Pan Land, a magical place where you never have to grow up. Here, you’re judged more by your shoes than your ring finger.
But J. was livid. Livid that the groom-to-be didn’t call him personally and ask his permission. Livid that he got a text with the news. Livid that his baby sister was no longer a baby, but soon to be a wife.
As an only child, I admittedly don’t get the whole sibling dynamic. I have watched my friends’ families from the bleachers — and each has their own DNA algorithm. What’s the norm for one family, is the complete opposite for another. And even though I do have a stepbrother, being 11 years apart and not growing up in the same house never fostered a sibling bond.
So what the hell was J. feeling? Left out? Jealous? I had no idea.
I am happy for his sister. She moved five hours farther south to be near this guy, she has been faithful and she has been devoted. And although she could’ve moved into his house, she didn’t. She got her own apartment and paid her own bills. That was not the easy route, it was the smart route. Her fiance is a good guy, doesn’t drink, is religious, seems pretty straight-laced, and most importantly, he adores her and treats her with RESPECT. That’s the key ingredient to any successful relationship and marriage.
I am what they called on Shameless, “Ghetto Married”. J. gets all the benefits of marriage, without the legal paperwork. But at the core that has more to do with me than him. I NEVER dreamed of my wedding day, I never lusted after my friend’s engagement rings, I didn’t buy bridal magazines and stuff them under my mattress…it just wasn’t something I fantasized about.
Do you remember that scene from Sex and the City when Carrie is engaged to Aidan and she’s trying on wedding dresses and has a complete panic attack and tears the dress off her body because she thinks it’s choking her? I totally relate to that.
Growing up the child of a divorced family, marriage and the dissolution of it didn’t seem like too much fun. The first time it really hit me was after the father-daughter dance when I was a sophomore in high school. At the end of the night, my friends hopped into cars with their dads and drove home together. I was instead dropped off at my mom’s in Staten Island and my father drove back to Queens by himself. I can still remember watching his car drive off down Hylan Blvd. without me. It had taken me years to realize my normal wasn’t normal.
In my teen years, after overhearing my mom and stepdad arguing, I repeatedly added my two cents, “And this is why I’m never getting married.” I should’ve worn a t-shirt proclaiming this with an arrow (pointing at them). I said it that often.
My father never remarried, he said my mother was enough for him. And my mother and stepfather are still together…so no, I haven’t been traumatized by a mom who’s on her 6th marriage.
A few years ago, I connected with an ex on MySpace (ok, guess it was more than a few years), and he iterated he was just following “The Playbook of Life…you know MBA, townhouse in CT, get married, have a kid.” To me it just seemed very vanilla.
I’ve always been an outlier, I am three standard deviations from the norm (can you tell I’m taking Stats this semester?). So to each their own. I do want to have kids. But as far as the “I Do’s”… for now I Certainly Don’t.
Happy light, vaseline, tissues, wine, blankets and lots of friends. These are the key ingredients for? NO, not that, you dirty little f*cker! This is what helps crush the winter blahs! Every January, I gleefully ‘X’ the days off the calendar, fantasizing about the arrival of spring. I also daydream about having that second home on the coast of La Jolla and private jet flown by Channing Tatum to whisk me off for the first quarter of the year…but I’m not quite there yet. So this year, I hosted my first annual “F*ck the January Blahs Party” and found many of my amigos were suffering from the same ailments (not all, some have wisely relocated to Miami, San Diego and Maui).
Last weekend, over 70 people made their way to our place on the upper, upper west side, armed with bottles of booze and obvious relief that there was something to do on a Friday night. I rolled out my childhood faves — Hungry, Hungry Hippos and Operation. And as I predicted, the more my guests imbibed, the more they wanted to play. Early in the evening, it began to snow lightly, and I worried I would be stood up, but no one bailed, and the place was pumping.
J. got to show off all his custom painting and even Cozi was a party dog, setting his sights on our friend Michael and showing his affection by humping his leg. He never does that! The festivities began at 8pm and we kicked our last guest out the door at 5am — we still know how to throw a party!
The next morning J. and I huddled under the covers with egg sandwiches, a bottle of Aleve and a bottle of water, looking at the pictures (the best part)…already trying to plan our next shindig. We’re all in this together (meaning, this sh*tty weather). So when possible, fight the urge to sleep in and watch the last season of Homeland. Be social. Isolation will lead to nothing more than bags of empty Cheetos and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup wrappers scattered on your floor and another 10 lbs. on your ass!
Tomorrow is Groundhog Day, pray that little furry dude does not see his shadow!
If I get up to pee in the middle of the night, I usually come back to find an imposter’s massive head smooshed into my foam pillow. His snores sound like that of a 90-year-old man as he stretches his legs and gives me a sharp kick, not letting me back in. “Doggy bed, now!” I direct as he whimpers. J. doesn’t even notice there’s been a change of guard and thinks it’s me spooning him, when it’s really Cosimo, our 130 lb. pup.
I can’t help feeling that I’ve become the third wheel. Cosi is real competition. He licks J’s elbows in the morning (not my thing), waits outside the door while he’s in the shower (I got things to do), looks at him with big eyes like everything he says is fascinating (I’ve already heard that story a 100x), doesn’t fight with him over the remote (I hate Tosh. O!) and wags his tail like no other (I try shaking my bootie in response).
Cosimo is obsessed with my boyfriend. He paces when J’s not home, then practically knocks him down the stairs when he walks in. He reminds me of that matted stuffed animal that followed Mark Wahlberg around in TED. They sit on the couch together, watch the Simpsons, share chicken fingers, drink beers, dogcall at other hounds out the window. The testosterone is over-flowing in this apartment…and the bros are both constantly thumping their chests and smacking paws.
J. recently sent his whole family an email titled, “Me and My Best Friend”. Opening it, I expected to see some photos of us from Hawaii, the Catskills, but no, it was J. and Cosi swimming in the pool, J. and Cosi rolling around in the grass…J. and Cosi both yawning. Waaat?? The beast has bested me.
I don’t get it. I don’t need to be taken out for walks. I don’t piss a gallon and then step in it, making doggie pee-pee prints for half a block. I don’t drool while J’s eating and then wipe my mouth on his pants. I don’t lick my balls. I don’t shed making his black peacoat resemble a fur jacket and most importantly — I don’t clear out the room with my doggie bombs.
So Cosi, my Cane Corso rival, watch your furry butt, it’s on! I know your tricks and I have some of my own…
I know I’m going to regret these words, but here goes. I am BORED out of my freakin’ mind! From having barely two hours of down time a week to now having lost track of what day of the week it is — because there are just TOO MANY days in the week. WTF is wrong with me?! It’s Winter Break, never one of my favorites even when I was an undergrad, because it takes Girl-with-the-Dragon-Tattoo-digging-herself-out-of-a-shallow-grave-type will power to get out of bed in the morning. And by the time I get going, it’s dark an hour later.
January sucks. And right now I’m in limbo. Grad school doesn’t start up again until the end of the month and I’m interviewing for a full-time position, which even though I’m in a relationship, reminds me of online dating. I.e., Have an encouraging profile (LinkedIn), Wink (send your resume), Stalk (keep following up for that interview), First Date (the anticipation — oh will they like me?), and Second Date (ok, they kinda liked me), to the Offer (Will you stop texting that other dude and move in with me?). I know, I know. Patience. But it will always be a virtue I just don’t get.
To J.’s delight, our apartment has never been cleaner. I do the laundry EVERY DAY, I’ve been sorting the whites from the darks, scrubbing those tiny, hard-to-get surfaces in the tub with a toothbrush, going on long dog walks with Cosi and analyzing his doggie doo (too many eggs!). I have organized the contents of my drawers by color, shape and size. I’ve cooked two nights in a row. And I NEVER cook. I’m reading the mind-numbing Where We Belong by Emily Giffen, because I’ll feel guilty if I don’t finish it. I’ve become addicted to International House Hunters on HGTV and see flashes of exotic beaches, lanais, and thatch roofs appearing in my dreams at night. I wake up not to an alarm clock — but to a 130 lb. Mastiff enthusiastically licking my armpits, which should make any girl feel really good about herself.
J. is more stressed as he transacts and interacts with his real estate clients, and I add to it by annoying him constantly, let’s do something! And today, sensing I may pull a Shining moment — “Heeeere’s Raaaaainbooooow!” with my hair sticking up and a kitchen knife in hand, he rolled out my old red Trek covered in two inches of dust. Once he carried it down two flights of stairs and filled the flat tires, there was no backing out. I felt my thighs painfully contract as they struggled to make the wheels turn in the city streets. My inner eight-year-old woke up and yelled, “Hey lady, are you kidding me! Did you forget how to ride a bike?!” Slowly it came back, even though I tripped over a curb in Central Park while trying to change gears and almost fell into a grassy knoll. Way to make an impression as you enter the bike path.
J. and Cosi ran next to me and then, past me, even though I was the one on the bike. The cyclist pros of the park also sped by with their two thousand-dollar gliding machines and padded butt pants, gel packs and shiny helmets gleaming in the winter sun. I was donning a ski hat and black sunglasses, sans fanny pack and water bottle. The runners panted by, little dogs squeaked by, and even a wheelchair or two outdid me. But it’s cool, I can handle it, I was just happy to be riding something other than the subway.
I feel better now, even though I’m walking kind of funny. I just wish that global warming would subside a bit, so we could get some snowflakes and I would feel less guilty about my winter agoraphobia. But hey I just found my “Happy Light”, so that should crank the energy up a bit. Thanks mom, for the gift and inference that I was suffering from SAD so many years ago. Ok, back to annoying the crap out of J., hopefully he has unearthed a board game or deck of cards or something…
P.S. When I’m insanely busy and blotchy with stress in a few weeks, please remind me of my winter doldrums…and how lucky I was to be able to sleep in!
After he puts his contacts in, he leaves the disposable packets on the bathroom sink — every morning! “Do you need theeeeese?!” I holler, one hand in toss mode. I know the one time I don’t ask it will be his very last pair that he hadn’t had a chance to put in yet and he’ll be blind for the day and oh god, why didn’t I just ask…and so I do. EVERY MORNING.
“Nooooooo,” comes his response like clockwork. Sometimes, I feel like I’m living with the 13-year-old version of J., like he’s traveled back to the awesome 90s and is going to come strolling into the bathroom in his soccer jersey and mullet…well it wasn’t really a mullet, just some sort of hair tail growing off the back of his head. But anyway, “Why is it so hard to throw them away?!” I nag while I do an exaggerated step and arm swing towards the trash can like I’m pitching a softball in slow mo. “Watch me!”
He smirks. It also drives me crazy that he drops his dirty clothes right next to the hamper, right…next…to…the…hamper. And when he insists that making the bed is a futile effort, “We’re just going to crawl back in later.”
“It’s the focal point of the room,” my OCD snaps back. I’m the type of girl that cannot get dressed unless the bed is made. Messy bed, messy head. Yeah, that’s me.
So I’ve taken on the role of cleaning lady and launderer (as in clothes, not money…at least not yet) and he’s the top chef in our kitchen. Fair trade, minus the nights he calls Papa Johns!
What drives you nuts about your man?
Before J. and I lived together and he used to crash at my studio, I would fall asleep with full makeup on. I might’ve even retouched my lipstick before prancing into bed. I never really slept for fear of a migrant snore. Did I snore? Who knows? But I wasn’t taking any chances. As he stirred next to me, I’d arrange my hair on the pillow so I looked like a princess when he awoke.
Fast forward to 18 months of cohabitation and I’m super-shiny when I come to bed now. Super-shiny as in slathered in an array of oils to moisturize, preserve and rejuvenate me during a night’s slumber. At first, I would wait until he fell asleep and tiptoe to the bathroom and smear some of the greasy stuff on to my face. Now he knows — if I ain’t shiny at 11pm, I may still be going out. To make myself less self-conscious, I’ve begun to slather his face, too. Straight men never moisturize as much as they should!
On special nights, we’ll both expertly apply SK-II whitening/oxygenating face masks and breathe like Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th while the miracle cream, Pitera, soaks in. While this may not sound super-sexy, neither are wrinkles or dry, flaky skin.
My mother taught me well, she has the skin of an 18-year-old. When I was a little girl, she used to tuck me in, and I’d be engulfed in waves of her perfume. Leaning over in her nightie, she’d whisper in my ear, “Always go to bed smelling sweet.” So I continue her tradition and always dab some perfume or J.’s cologne on my neck before crawling under the sheets. I may be shiny, but I smell good — and you’ll never catch me in sweatpants or flannel granny PJs! Shiny is the new sexy.