Things You Can’t Do When You Live Alone

1. Share the cookie (popcorn, ice cream, alcohol or any food item)

2. “Could you zip up my dress?” 

3. Blame others for dishes 

4. Have a dance-off (I always win) 

5. Be embarrassed (have no shame)

6. Know if what you’re wearing was a good idea. (meh)

7. Laugh too loud (neighbors disagree) 

8. “Can you turn the light off?” (sleep with lights on) 

9. Finish a pot of coffee

10. Rely on another person to get out of bed at the right time. 

Society Makes Me Feel Weird: My Mornings as Told by Coffee

There are four ways my day can start out. If you see me in the morning, as most people at work do, you can know exactly how I’m doing based on my coffee. Not my coffee consumption or what type of coffee, nothing of that sort. It’s the thing that carries the coffee, whatever you want to call it.  

1. No Coffee (not really)

And by no coffee I mean no coffee at work. This day has not existed in about a month, maybe more. This is of course, my most impressive state. Why? Because it means I actually woke up, got out of bed, made coffee, and had time to get back in bed and drink it. It’s such a lovely thing to do, but it only happens when I’m adjusting to a new schedule. It used to be when I started a new round of classes at college, but now it’s when I have a new job. I’m so concerned about being ready on time and making myself presentable that I actually wake up in the morning and I have time to do things, like drink coffee and watch Adventure Time, like an adult.  

2. Coffee in my own to-go cup (do the money-saver dance)

Oh how economic of me. I did once own a pink tumbler, but I appear to have lost it in the move (as you do with most things, or did a roommate steal it? I’ll never know). The coffee tumbler is a very empowering purchase. It’s like you’re yelling to the world, “I drink coffee! But I can do it myself! And I save money! Therefore, I am better than you.” But now the pink tumbler is gone. Fear not! I recently discovered at some Starbucks you can purchase a $1 reusable cup. Don’t be confused, it is not a tumbler. This cup cannot tumble at all. If it were to tumble, you would say goodbye to your coffee and whatever items might be in the vicinity and our now covered in coffee. Still, this cup is wonderful. It has my name permanently written in sharpie on it, and it’s spelled right! Because I spelled it! I told you, wonderful. And even more, if you do choose to take this cup into Starbucks and not use it with your own coffee at home (I drink Peet’s out of it, which must be sacrilegious), you get 10 cents off! This cup pays for itself in 10 cups of coffee! My goodness. Talk about wonderful. But back to the point. I bought the reusable cup and I pour my morning coffee in it and take it to work. People see me and first think how impressive I am that I’m not only on time to work, but even had time to go to Starbucks (I didn’t, it’s Peet’s) and if they do figure out that it’s a reusable cup, they view me as both economical and “green.” I win on both accounts! They don’t know that I  haven’t showered, woke up under 30 minutes ago, have my hair braided because it’s greasy, and found this sweater under my comforter, because they don’t need to know. I work there, Jesus, they don’t need to know everything. 

3. Buy coffee (look great) 

Everyone looks great with a cup of coffee in their hands. I’m telling you, it’s beautiful. It screams, “I do things and I’m important.” I’m jealous of everyone who walks by with a to-go cup of coffee. I don’t need coffee, but I want coffee, always. Similar to the reusable to-go cup of coffee, the real to-go cup of coffee, that you just bought on your way to work, masks any and all problems you might have faced that morning, because now you’re holding coffee and you’re important. Did you eat breakfast? Certainly not. You didn’t even have time to make coffee! Your place is a mess! You can’t even find your coffee cup in the dirty dishes. And even more, this cup of coffee lets everyone know, you can afford it! “Oh my god is that from Groundworks?” Yes. Yes it is. And it’s amazing. Everyone is jealous of you. Can’t you feel it? You’re changing everyone’s minds about their day! They’re going to get coffee too! And then they’re going to do things! My god you’ve practically started a revolution. But you’re not a part of the revolution unfortunately, because you’re pretty sure you didn’t lock your door, might have left the curling iron on, didn’t put the britta away, and you just got a text from the bank reminding you that you only have $26.78 left in your bank account. What the hell are you doing buying coffee. 

4. Coffee in a mug (whatever)

You don’t want to believe me but I’ve done it, twice. First of all, it means you are way too comfortable with the people at work. More comfortable than they want you to be. Because you’re late. You’re literally an hour late for work and you’re holding a cup of coffee in a mug from home that you drove with for an hour and now you keep reheating it in the microwave. What the hell happened to you last night? On both of these mornings, I did not care about anyone, anything, any-whatever-you-can-think-of. I look in the mirror and say, “Well…okay.” Then I pull on leggings and I giant sweater, I pour coffee into my mug, add creamer, and walk right out the door. And then I spill it. I spill it all the way down the steps. I spill it on the sidewalk. It’s on my hands. It’s on my jeans. It’s about to be in my car, but I don’t care. I do not give one fuck. I don’t even apologize when I’m late to work. Aren’t they used to it? And you know what? Why can’t I bring my mug from home? It’s just as economical as the tumbler! Even more! (Maybe?). Why is everyone making me feel weird about this. They’re not saying anything, but I can feel their thoughts. I know the mailman saw me walking to my car carrying a coffee mug. I know he did. And I know that guy who walks his two great danes looked at me weird. I just know it. Stop it. Stop it. I’m serious. Stop it. Just let me work so I can go home and drink coffee tomorrow. 

What to Do When You Live Alone: Mr. Cockroach, or, Randy and his Cousins

It’s a very odd thing, returning home from work when you live alone. No one is waiting for you. No one wants to talk about how bad traffic was or how you drank too much coffee again and will be up all night again. At least you think no one is there. But I’ll tell you who is there every time I come home. The cockroach. I kill him every night, but the next day, there he is again. 

There should be a handbook given to those recently living alone for the first time (similar to the recently deceased). Because this is what they don’t tell you (they being everyone, everyone in the world), when you live alone, no one is going to kill the bugs for you. I’m serious. No one cares. 

So when Mr. Cockroach flies out from under that pot you just pulled from the cupboard and you scream and look around for help, you won’t find it. But I still look for help every time, as if I’m in a David Lynch film and a man in a cowboy hat is going to appear in the corner of the kitchen. I wish. 

When it first started happening, like I said, I would scream and assume someone would come running (disappointment). Mr. Cockroach and I had our first stand off. There was nothing in reach for me to kill him with. There is never anything in reach when you want to kill a cockroach. At least not for me, because I can only kill a cockroach from a certain distance. In other words, I can’t get anywhere near the thing. So we stood there, staring at each other. He wasn’t going to move while I was there and I wasn’t going to move because, well, I just wasn’t. So we stared. But then he broke his promise. He ran under the stove. He was so fast, I couldn’t believe it. I was never going to catch him so I accepted we were going to be living together. I thought about names for him…Steve, Bob, Randy. 

Randy broke his promise again. I thought it was just going to be us. But Randy had friends. And Randy (or Randy’s friends, they’re very hard to tell apart) would show their faces within the first ten minutes of my arrival home in the evening. I was never prepared for a kill. Like I said, nothing was ever in reach. So we would stare at each other and they always broke their promise and ran away. 

I was never going to find the courage to kill. 

3 weeks ago during a stand-off I said to Randy, “I’m going to kill you.” He ran away immediately. 

The next night, there Randy was, behind the coffee pot. A genius idea came to me. The bleach spray, under the sink. It sprays, so the distance between you and the bug is still relatively far, and it had to kill him, bleach kills everything. It’s genius. 

I sprayed Randy. He fell to the counter, a dramatic victim. But then I turned my back and he was gone. How could it be? Isn’t he like a snail, ready to dissolve at one, two sprays of this cleaner? Wrong again. 

The next night Randy was in the dirty dishes (another living alone-ism). This time I grabbed the bleach and I drowned him. Probably went through about an 8th of the bottle, but Randy wasn’t going anywhere. I held a small, but quaint funeral by placing a paper towel over him and continuing to watch Twin Peaks. I felt so very accomplished. Living alone has it’s small, beautiful triumphs. 

But then the next night. No. It couldn’t be. One of Randy’s cousins is in the bathroom cabinet. In my make up brushes. I will never use those brushes again. I screamed and looked for help, as usual, then hit the wall near him to get him away from the brushes. He fell out of the cabinet and behind the faucet. A very tricky crevice. I didn’t have my bleach spray. Of course I didn’t. But then I spotted it, yes, the Shout! Detergent spray. A cousin to the bleach. I drowned Randy’s cousin in Shout!. And I swear on the baby Jesus he screamed. I know what I heard and it was even scarier than watching him run. I took a moment, collected my emotions, and continued spraying. I had to stand my ground. All I have is this studio! 

R.I.P. Randy’s cousin. 

When I told my mother about Randy (and his cousins) she asked if I was leaving food out. I said no, no food, Randy is mostly hiding in cupboards. My mother’s response, “typical.” She must know Randy very well. 

And after all that, you want to know what I found in my coffee cup the following morning? It rhymes with Shmandy’s Shmother Shmusin. 

What To Do When You Live Alone: An introduction

I recently moved into a studio apartment in Los Angeles, Silver Lake to be exact. I have never lived alone before.

From ages 1-8 I lived with my Mother, Father, two sisters, brother and dog. Then one sister left for college. The next two years it was mom, dad, sister, brother, dog, and new dog. Then my brother left. I should mention, I had terrible sleeping issues. This lead to me sleeping in my parents bed until I was 10 until my mom trained me to fall asleep to movies (I still do). Ages 10 to about 15 it was mom, dad, sister and two dogs. 15-18, people were in an out. Brother returned, one sister returned, one sister got closer, a girlfriend was added into the mix (brother’s not mine) then a nephew (not my brother’s).

And then I moved to college. I had one (smelly) roommate and travelled home on the weekends to my family, who was back down to Mom, Dog, two sisters, brother (no girlfriend), one dog, and one nephew. Sophomore year of college I lived with three other girls. Back home a husband was added to the group and not long off, another nephew. Then I moved to Italy for 6 months, with even more girls. And then I moved back to my college, the same house, only two of the same girls in it with me. Finally, Senior year I moved into a house with 5 other people, girls and boys.

So there you have it, I’ve always lived with people. I didn’t have my own room until I was about 10, then I had I had a large room to myself until college, where I was forced into an even smaller room for another person.

Now you know everything. Now I live alone and I love it. It’s terrible how much I love it. I’m messy, I’m lazy, I laugh loud, I stay up late, I always leave the TV on, I forget about bills, the bathroom door is always open, if something is broken I won’t fix it, if something drops I don’t have to pick it up and if I don’t want to do anything, no one can make me.

And since I love to talk about myself (clearly), I’m starting this here. I’ll tell you all about living alone and how ridiculously amazing it is, except for the times when it isn’t.