Sunday, January 15, 2006

Player Hating, The Devilish Dog-Walker

I was not going to post, but I am a sucker for flattery and suppose I need a good vent anyway. A brief chronology of this week's drama follows, the cumulative effect of which has me contemplating a move down to Miami to be around my childhood friends and live a lifestyle which is more conducive to happiness, ease and success. (Do you know, for example, that you can rent a large, 1 BR apartment down there with sweeping water views for a little more than $1,000 per month? Sick. Comparatively, for those non-Manhattanites reading this, nice, alcove studios in newly-built 1BRs up here start around $2,100 per month.)

And a disclaimer—if you're one of those anony-commenters who hate me because you don't think I have real problems, don't read the following. And piss off; I'm not asking for your sympathy and I'm not forcing you to read this.

Wednesday, January 11
I have, as I previously stated, been interviewing for a job at an organization I really respect for more than a month now. It's driving me in-fucking-sane. Tuesday I spent 2 1/2 hours there speaking with four different people. They informed me that I was one of two candidates left. No pressure. I would've liked to have been kept in the dark about that. I cannot bear coming in second place, and I know you guys are just trying to make me feel better by saying, "Well, at least you got that far," but please stop saying that. I take absolutely no consolation in that. Second-best was never good enough for me. I like to win, period. Anywho, given the snail's pace at which the people at this place move with regards to hiring practices, it will likely be spring by the time they get around to rejecting me. Enough about that.

Did drinks with Mr. Devil Wednesday at our local haunt. We live a few blocks from one another, coincidentally, though before we met I don't recall ever seeing him in the hood. We had a lovely time dissecting our personal lives over a couple of drinks. It's always fun getting a male's opinion. He informed me that I was crazy re. the fact that I am still talking/thinking about The Asshole, and I informed him that he was crazy for myriad other reasons. After drinks, he walked me back to my apartment and we walked my dog Wally up and down my street.

Wally actually took a liking to Mr. Devil, which is highly unusual—he usually hates anyone I bring into my apartment. He's jaded and cynical just like mommy. It occurred to me as Mr. Devil was walking Wally, that he was not only the first, male, non-family member to walk my dog in ages, but also the first, straight, male, non family member even to come up to my apartment in ages. Jeez.

Interestingly, Mr. Devil told me that there is a way to track the anony-commenters. I have not yet had time to install/research this, but haters beware. I kind of don't want to do this, for fear that all the nice commenters are either my mother or friends of my mother's. Anyway, my anxiety was pretty high to start with this week, given the job situation and the fact that I had a completely blind date scheduled, so it didn't take much for it to shoot through the roof. To wit ...

Thursday, January 12
Nobody really calls my home phone save for my family and close friends, and usually it doesn't ring during the day. So when I awoke to see my neighbor's name on my caller ID, a good friend who has a day job and lives 10 floors down from me, I knew instantly something was amiss. I live in a very nice, newly built, "luxury high-rise" on the UES. My building is, in fact, nicer in appearance than any of my friends' buildings, save for the trust-fund babies. Therefore, when I had what I refer to as a "rodent issue" over the summer, I really flipped out. I had moved to a newly-built building precisely to avoid this issue. I thought, idiotically, "Oh, it will take several years for them to borough their way into this building. And even more time to crawl up to the 15th floor." Eww. I am getting skeeved out just by thinking about it. Since I had "the issue" over the summer, I have been terrorized by thoughts of the little motherfuckers. There is steel wool in every nook and cranny in my apartment, no matter how minute. "The issue" is, in fact, one of the reasons I am never home. Men do not realize the extent to which this is bothersome, but girls do. Also, I am from Florida, and therefore have absolutely no qualms about roaches, spiders, etc. Mice and rats, Oh my God, kill me now.

When I first moved to Manhattan almost six years ago, I had to find an apt. in like a week. I had a broker, and at the time the real-estate market was sky-high. Having lived in Florida, Atlanta and Los Angeles for the better part of my life, mice and rats were not something I was on the lookout for. I'd spent a lot of time in the city growing up, but nobody I'd hung out with—mostly UES private school kids—spoke of this issue. I was thus under the (mistaken) impression that NYC rodents were the exclusive domain of, let's say, economically challenged domiciles. So, after having unpacked and settled into my first NYC apartment in Midtown, which I'd paid through the nose for, I was completely unprepared for a visitor of the Stuart Little variety. Wally was not yet in town. My 25th birthday was approaching and I was in the first couple of weeks of NYU grad school. I was actually on the phone with the operator from Pottery Barn, ordering furniture when the little motherfucker sauntered out into my living room. I shrieked, the mouse retreated, and the Pottery Barn operator nearly had a coronary, probably thinking I had a real "intruder."

I remember specifically the operator saying something like, "Eww, what kind of building do you live in?"

"Um, a nice, doorman building," I replied in shock.

I was so utterly freaked that I slept on top of my dining room table that night. I am not kidding. At all. I then had to go to class at NYU the next day and was forced to hire my own exterminator in order for "the issue" to be taken care of the next day. After the exterminator came, I hightailed it to the Royalton hotel for the weekend. Damned if I was going to sleep in a mouse-infested abode the weekend of my 25th birthday. I spent the next couple of weeks sealing every crevice in that shithole, but there was a perpetual problem in the building. And I was only on the second floor, facing an outdoor courtyard. It was to the point where, when I walked Wally at night, I would see them everywhere on the street. I had nightmares about the creatures the entire time I lived there. So it was with a very heavy heart that I encountered the same problem in this building, 15 floors up and like 50 years more recently built. (FYI, that old building was 333 East 49th Street. Avoid it like the plague. And all of 49th Street on the East Side, for that matter.)

Back to Thursday. Once I saw my friend's name on Caller ID and knew that she was home from work, my first thought was, "Oh, shit, rodents." My radar has been up because of the construction in the area, and I have been extra vigilant of late. Any food-like matter has been in my refigerator since the summer. This includes: Gum, vitamins, cold medicine, dog food and treats, cough drops, wine, alcohol, etc. etc. etc. I clean religiously and am a complete neat freak to begin with. I even contemplated getting a cat, but I do not like cats, so I decided against this in the end.

Back to my neighbor. Sure enough, she'd found droppings and was as terrorized as I was. We became friendly in the gym originally, so after speaking with her on the phone and telling her all the insane steps I'd taken to rodent-proofing my abode, I went down to the gym and we then kvetched for another hour-and-a-half about the absurdity and creepiness of it all. We know it's completely irrational and, as people love to say, "A part of the city," but still. Fuck that shit. It's disgusting and it's preposterous to think that these little spineless creatures can so terrorize us. But they do still. Every noise I hear freaks me out. And, I'm utterly convinced that they are in every, single building in the city, old and new. If you haven't seen 'em yet, you're just not looking hard enough. They're there. Plug your holes with steel wool, and for god's sake, keep all your food in the fridge.

To make matters worse, I had a blind date scheduled for that night. It was truly blind; I had not even seen a picture. I have never done that before. We all have our own tastes and mine is disturbingly specific: tall, dark hair and eyes, not too skinny, not too built. I can't help it; that's just my type. What turns my head on the street. So I completely understand men who have types, be they blonde, skinny, tall, huge knockers, tight ass, all of the above, whatever. I get it. Girls are no different--at least the honest ones. Frankly, there is just too much to worry about without having to fret about physical attraction. There should at least be that at the start. Anywho (and Mr. Devil, I did NOT steal that phrase from you, ahem), after discussing the "rodent issue" for so long with my neighbor, I was so drained and exhausted that I wasn't even nervous about the date.
Will pick up on Friday tomorrow. Must get to bed—the exterminator is supposed to come tomorrow morning.