Hey there adoring fans (Andrea Boerem)!
Well, it happened. My gas problem has been fixed! After some very cute construction guys spent a month in my dumbwaiter (don’t ask), we now have gas! If you haven’t been paying attention to my sporadic bimonthly (one post every 13 to 79 days) blog, then poo on you…and here’s a refresher in what you’ve missed at sixtysixdaysofsarah:
we almost blew up.
Yep. After a horrific building explosion in Harlem (one mile away from my apartment) our super-awesome super decided to look into our gas lines, and low and behold…we had tons of deadly gas leaks seeping into the walls of our building! Hooray!
In order to not go bat-shit-crazy and find my “happy place” while being unable to cook, dry clothes, or walk down the hall in a towel without bumping into a construction worker (one of which had the trademark I-killed-a-guy-in-prison-so-now-I-have-this-tear-drop-tattoo-on-my-face-so-don’t-make-eye-contact-with-me-or-I’ll-have-to-kill-you-too thing), I decided that now would be a good time to reflect on one of the many awesome truths of living in New York City….
sharing an apartment.
When I go back home to the suburbs to visit my friends and family, it seems to be rather odd to Non-New-Yorkers that I’m a 31 year old woman who lives with roommates. “You live with another girl and a straight male? Oh, how Three’s Company of you!” is what my parent’s friends say. “OMG, you are just like New Girl, except John is Zoe Deschanel, and you’re Winston. No big deal.” is what I hear from the kids my roommate John and I teach tap to (it’s clear who their favorite is). The truth is, as semi-working-dancer/actors living in New York City you could choose to spend 90% of your income on rent for your own apartment, or you could spend 60% of your income sharing your apartment with others and still have 40% left to blow on extravagant things like boxed wine and health insurance. I know for some people, it’s not easy to live with others, but my roommates and I have figured out a fool proof system to make sharing any apartment awesome.
Sarah, John, and Abby’s Fool Proof Way to Create an Awesome Sauce Apartment Dynamic
1. Wall Dopplegangers
Arts and Crafts are a great way to spend time being creative with your roommates (especially when you drink beer during it!) Take turns tracing each other’s bodies onto brown packing paper. Cut out those bodies, hang them on your walls, and dress them up for holidays and special events.
This is a particularly fun way to decorate your apartment year round, and a fun way to remember your roommate’s faces when they leave you for months at a time to do regional productions of A Chorus Line in Vermont. But when they do leave, the wall dopplegangers are fair game for sexual harassment by third parties.
and speaking of parties…
2. Throw Parties
Throwing parties is a great way to bring all of you and your roommate’s friends together. We recommend BYOB parties because often times your friends go home (or go out for a smoke and we lock the door behind them) and leave extra beer behind! This will create more memorable times for you and your roommates to drink free beer in your apartment in the future (plus it will make your friends think twice about smoking). An apartment that drinks free beer together, stays together.
3. The Magnificent Wunderlist.
Wunderlist is an app that my neighbor Justin told me about that’s totally changed my life! It’s an app that holds all of your lists! Being a member of the list hoarding community, wunderlist is a must. Instead of having to do lists on the “notes” section of your phone, shopping lists on the back of your cable bill, or writing a reminder to pay your cable bill on the back of your hand, wunderlist is an app that holds all of your lists in one place. Some of my personal favorite lists include: Books to Read, Blogs to Follow, Songs to Download, and That dude’s Name You Keep Forgetting. Yes, I literally have a list of descriptions of people who’s names I should totally know but always forget. After I awkwardly run into these people in the city and say things like “Hey…er…lady! Good to see you!” or, “No, YOU look great…uh…champ!” I jot down their physical description on the app. Then, when I go home I look them up on Facebook based on their pictures and facts like: We went to the same college, she did that production of Chicago with my friend Emily, or she’s my-dad’s-friend-from-childhood’s-daughter’s-lesbian-lover who always says “Hi Sarah! How are you, Sarah? Oh my god, Sarah, I love those crotchless chaps” the 2 times a year that I see her.
The reason that I bring wunderlist up as a way to live awesomely with your roommates (which is what this post is supposed to be about Sarah…so stop going off on tangents about how you’re an amnesiatic weirdo who can never remember anyone’s name…oh, and amnesiatic isn’t even a word you moron) is because you can share your lists with other peeps. My roommates and I have one called Apartment Necessities. We add things that we all use like olive oil, toilet paper, recycling bags, etc…and also add tasks like DVR the Tony’s, or Switch the battery in the smoke detector so it won’t ruin the Tony’s, or Too late… Hugh Jackman already ruined the Tony’s…etc. This way, when we go to the store or are drinking our free beers on the couch, we can check the wunderlist and take care of what needs taking care of. Once you’ve taken care of business, you simply check off the item or action you’ve completed and your roommates are alerted. This way, there’s no coming home from Trader Joes only to find that you all have picked up toilet paper and now must find space in your Manhattan sized apartment for 72 extra rolls of toilet paper. It also prevents you from assuming that one of your other roommates has already picked up toilet paper only to come home and realize that you’re now using strips of paper towels in the bathroom which is kind of ok because last month you picked up 10 rolls of paper towels not realizing that your 2 roommates did the same and have 28 more rolls of paper towels than necessary to get through, but kind of not ok, because you’re not supposed to flush paper towels down the toilet which you learned the hard way last month…which is why you needed more paper towels than necessary in the first place. Which leads me to my next way to make your apartment awesome…
4. To the Pooptorium and Beyond!
We’ve already learned that roommates who drink free beer together stay together, but roommates that have a nice place for number 2 are roommates for life! In our bathroom, we not only have ample supplies of magazines and Charmin Ultra Soft, but we also have a…
wall of fun!
In order to create a wall of fun, simply paint the wall closest to the toilet with a magnetic primer (yeah, they make that shit now…we’re living in the future kids) and chalkboard paint. Then buy a few of those magnetic poetry kits (we really enjoy mixing Bacon and Shakespeare) and let the fun begin!
Sharing a bathroom between 3 people is hard. Why not take the time to make your number 2’s more fun for everyone?
5. Hey everyone…come and see how good I look!
What’s the best part about living with 3 actors? Vanity! For the most part, we all look pretty gross while traipsing around our apartment. Lots of glasses, acne cream, and t-shirts with no bras. Plus most of our side jobs include, gym receptionists, waiting tables, teaching kids how to shuffle, fake radio calls, and walking tours in Times Square. None of which we need to look remotely decent for. But occasionally we do get gussied up for an event/date/funeral, and need others to come give us lots of compliments. As actors, we can’t appreciate anything good about ourselves until someone else tells us they like it. This is why we have a standing apartment rule that whenever you feel like you look exceptionally good and need other people to acknowledge it, simply yell this:
“Hey everyone…come and see how good I look!”
Upon yelling, all roommates in the apartment must drop what they are doing, run to the hallway, and come see how good you look. Once in the hallway, you must “ooohh” and “aaaahhh” at the gussied up roommate and give at least 3 compliments…if you can’t think of any, here are some great examples we use in our apartment…
“You look great! Don’t forget your stick…to beat off all of the men and/or women that are going to hit on you tonight!*”
“Oh my god, you look so thin. I almost want to feed you a pie right now…in a good way!”
“Holy package dude! It’s like those pants hired a snake charmer**!”
“Great dress! You can barely see that price tag tucked into your armpit..Anthropologie will totally take it back tomorrow if you don’t puke on it!”
“Nice armpit fold!”
*It is perfectly ok to giggle when saying “beat off” after this one. We’re not monsters.
**We never say that…I just was trying to figure out what the equivalent of a skinny girl compliment would be for dudes.
And there you have it. 5 great ways to live with roommates in New York City. If after trying all of these you still can’t stand living with roommates, stay tuned for next weeks post titled:
5 Ways to Hide the body in New York City