September 4, 2013

Bonerkiller: His Obsession With Amenities

During any courtship or prolonged hook-up, there is a battle for housing dominance. The war is passive aggressive, usually determined by a calculation of amenities and transportation proximity. It starts innocently enough. You know, “Can we hang at my place tonight? I've got Inception on Blu-Ray and I don’t want to have to transfer on the subway tomorrow morning.”

Don’t be fooled. This will get worse.

You will start reminding one another how many times you braved rush hour traffic last week to sleep over. Then, it will inevitably hurtle into, “I had to pay an $80 parking ticket on your block last week AND I paid for groceries. Can you just come over here for once?”

Here's a pie chart I made of all the times I had to drag my sleepy, poor ass to your place
Calculating the value of amenities can be tough because not everyone agrees on the value of things like big screen TVs, air conditioning or water pressure. Does central air outweigh twenty extra minutes in my commute? Does sleeping on your futon for the third night in a row mean you’re going to wake up in time to buy me a fucking latte?

To our next subject’s credit, I should disclose that I’ll never swoon at the vision of that 52” double HD screen he has artfully mounted on Ikea furniture. I’ll never be bothered by the absence of an epic digital catalog. I don’t care how many seasons of "Breaking Bad" he has on his computer. I don’t need it to be 60 degrees in his bedroom to sleep comfortably. I just don’t. Keep a little wine in the fridge and a place for me to sit and check my email and you’ll have made an honest woman out of me. It’s that simple.

And my apartment reflects that. Until about two years ago, I never had a flat screen TV. I have only just recently learned what an air-conditioned bedroom feels like (wonderful) and I typically don’t keep a lot of snacks in the house. I’m not exactly Kiera Knightly so the extra hours spent sweating at night and the lack of Tastykakes are not the worst things that could ever happen to me.

Bachelor #2 did not agree with me on these simple facts of life. When I met this potential beau, I found him quite charming. He was dorky in that indoorsy way. I liked his glasses. His room was always clean. I thought his collection of virtually pointless kitchen gadgets and computer monitors was endearing. At first.

I quickly realized that in the battle for housing, I was losing ground. I was constantly re-arranging my work schedule and spending a fortune on commuting during god awful hours of the morning. When he did hang out at my house, he’d complain about the heat or that I didn’t have a knife sharpener for the $40 knife set I got from Target. He’d complain about the shower pressure, about the fickle hot water. He’d complain about the size of my bed, the contents of my pantry, watching movies on my laptop, the sound on my speakers.

To some extent, I totally get it. He has cool shit and I don’t. But this beau was a self-proclaimed hiker and lover of nature. He liked cabins and spending time in the mountains (with his stove-top percolator and automated sound systems). But the more time we spent at my apartment, the more mundane the complaints would get.
  • “I don’t know. I was just planning on playing video games and relaxing tonight.” 
  • “Wouldn’t this be a lot easier if you just got a new [appliance]?” 
  • “I just like my bed better.” 
Coming from a girl who is, without fail, totally thrilled by the thoughtful product samples in swanky women’s bathrooms and brightly colored cooking utensils, I have to say that there is still a line between an appreciation for amenities and a totally batshit insane expectation for everyone else to live exactly the way that you do. Guess what? The summer is fucking hot. You’re going to sweat sometimes.

Everyone prefers their own bed. Everyone wants to have the easy commute. It was no longer about convenience or gadgets. I found myself less and less attracted to our bachelor in question because it was clear that he was totally and completely un-adaptable. And that very unattractive quality grated on my nerves like the stainless steel additions to his cheese kits.

Long story short, we ended it. But not before months of keeping grueling track of who owes who which comforts for the weekend. Forget what OKCupid told you about emotional compatibility. Amenities are just as important to the courtship process as any political belief or communication style. Don't lose the battle.


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