I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I’m not a camping person.
I like the food, remember? I like hiking and lakes and campfires.
So at this point, I thought I could safely say that while I may not be the ultimate camper, I do like camping.
I thought wrong.
As I actually pointed out in the post at that first link, I had only ever camped in cabins before. Bare-bones-wooden-bunk-communal-restroom-type cabins, but cabins nonetheless. I had never expressed nor felt the desire to camp in a tent. And if I had just followed my (prissy little) gut, I might never have had a bad camping experience.
I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.
Last weekend, we joined a few of our friends in Vermont for a little camping adventure. I knew going in that it was tent camping. I knew it. But I had convinced myself that it would be fine. FINE. I mean, how much time do you spend in your tent anyway, right? I would still have all the parts of camping I genuinely like. And the company would be great. WHERE COULD THIS WATER-TIGHT PLAN GO WRONG?
Actually, “water-tight” is particularly apropos. Because it rained. The entire time.
And what did we discover upon arriving at the campsite and opening our tent? That we were missing the top part that keeps the rain out. Le sigh.
Fortunately, Joey was able to fashion a frankentent out of a few extra tarps:
Unfortunately, the door zipper was also broken, meaning water could leak in from all sides. Fun!
After one night of torrential rain and damp EVERYTHING, I opted to sleep in the car. I have no regrets about that.
Other than the rain, though, it really was a nice trip.
We toured the Magic Hat Brewery:
Visited the Ben & Jerry’s factory:
Shopped at a local farmer’s market that made me miss the Midwest like whoa:
And, you know, spent some time communing with nature:
Plus, we swam and rowed at the lake, ate way too much of everything, and enjoyed the company of our friends. All in all, can’t complain.
Though I think we can rule out tents for the rest of my life.
1. Joey admitted that the creature he had killed in our bedroom was roughly the size of a chipmunk. We should all just start evacuating now.
2. Apparently this fact lessens the chance that it was an actual cockroach and increased the likelihood that it was what people around here call a “waterbug.”
I’M SORRY. A waterbug is one of those spidery things that dances across ponds and lakes and looks like the insect version of a ballerina. IT CANNOT BE MISTAKEN FOR A COCKROACH.
Apparently New York waterbugs look exactly like cockroaches except giant. I had to hear no fewer than three people tell me last night, “Oh, that doesn’t sound like a cockroach. It had to have been a waterbug.” Then they would look at me like they had just delivered reassuring news.
Cuz, uh, guys? “Bug that looks just like a cockroach but is technically not a cockroach because it’s BIGGER” is not a consolation.
The only thing that might actually be a consolation? Apparently waterbugs are less of an infestation-type thing and more of a one-off occurrence. WE CAN ONLY HOPE.
On the bright side, when you tell people your cockroach horror stories in New York, invariably someone tops you. Which means I have heard some of the more horrendous, nightmare-inducing cockroach stories of my life in the last 12 hours. I haven’t even begun to live the cockroach nightmare. (One of my friends was actually pinned down and had an entire cockroach nest swarm his body. At that point, I’m pretty sure I just black out and hope I never come to.)
So anyway. I haven’t burned down my apartment (yet). But if this happens again…I just don’t know, you guys.
***EDIT: OMG I FORGOT TO TELL YOU THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. Joey also admitted that the reason why he woke up and saw the cockroach/waterbug/stuff-of-nightmares in the first place is because he HEARD SOMETHING CHEWING THE PLASTIC THAT OUR RUG IS WRAPPED IN.
I need you to take a second and think about that. He woke up from SLEEP because he could HEAR this INSECT CHEWING. CHEWING. LIKE YOU CAN HEAR A SMALL CHILD CHEWING. CHEWINGCHEWINGCHEWING. I literally cannot get over it. CANNOT WILL NOT.
I don’t even really want to talk about this, but I also can’t stop talking about it, so I’m just going to come out and say it.
Joey killed a cockroach in our apartment last night.
I just…I just can’t, you guys. You remember this? That was less than two months ago. I have just BARELY recovered. I JUST CAN’T.
Here’s how it went down:
I was sleeping soundly when I was suddenly ripped from my sweet dreams by the sound of Joey yelling and (at least what sounded like) killing someone. Violence. I was awoken by violence.
In half a second, I realized that he was stomping on the ground a mere two feet from where I had been sleeping. And I knew. I knew, you guys.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I shrieked, still half asleep. He whipped around to look at me, a wild look in his eye. (I assume. I didn’t have my contacts in. But he was definitely frazzled.)
“I don’t want to tell you,” was his reply. AND I KNEW.
“What, wh- HOW?” I stammered. I may also have started repeating “no no no NONONONONO.”
He explained that he’d spotted it crawling on a rolled up rug we have in the corner. When he shined the light from his phone on it, it took off. “It was fast.”
At this point, I start just shaking uncontrollably. And maybe hyperventilating. I just kept asking, “Is it dead?!?”
Joey assured me it was. “ARE YOU SURE?!?!!!!”
He informed me that its “carcass” was on the ground “right there.” But I couldn’t see it because I didn’t have my contacts in. Probably for the best.
I asked him why the traps we had bought and set out in every corner of the apartment hadn’t caught it. Joey got shifty and replied at the traps he bought “weren’t made for something this…size.”
At that point, I promptly lost my mind.
I mean. I tried to fall back asleep. But I would literally jerk awake if ANYTHING touched me (blankets, Joey, my own hair, ANYTHING). Sometimes nothing would touch me, I would just wake suddenly and smack Joey and say something like, “TRAPS. YOU NEED TO BUY TRAPS TOMORROW. LIKE TWENTY TRAPS.”
He would mumble okay and then go back to sleep. I would doze until my next conniption. (“DID YOU FLUSH IT?!? YOU HAVE TO FLUSH THEM.”)
I mean, they can survive atomic bombs, you guys. They survived the dinosaurs. WHY DOES MY HUSBAND THING HE’S MORE CAPABLE OF SLAUGHTER THAN WHATEVER KILLED THE DINOSAURS?
Obviously, I’m not okay.
I started telling my boss about this, and she replied with her own cockroach nightmares and then finished with, “You know they fly, right?”
Me: “NOT ALL OF THEM. Only some of them fly.”
Her: *leaning in* “Most of them fly.”
My eyes actually welled with tears when she said it. I can’t live in a world where most cockroaches fly.
I’m thinking my options are to buy a cat (according to my boss) or burn the apartment down. Those are the ONLY options.
And that’s how I wound up naked in a building in the middle of Manhattan.
Hmm? What’s that? You find my Tarantino-start-at-the-end-and-work-your-way-back-to-the-beginning-style of writing alarming?
Well, DEAL WITH IT. It’s called a hook. Consider yourself hooked.
Anyway. Though it ends with me in the buff, this is a story that starts with trying to get buff.
As I may have mentioned, I recently joined a gym near my office. It’s a bit pricier than any other gym I’ve ever paid for (in my life), but it’s actually moderately priced for the area thanks to an employee discount I get through work, and it’s so dang convenient that I can’t even get home without passing it. Which, as we learned from my Brooklyn Y experience, help ensure I actually go on a regular basis.
For the last couple of years, I have been a staunch evening exerciser. While I would prefer to start my day with a trip to the gym, my crazy-long commute prevented that from being a viable possibility. (Unless I wanted to get up before 5 a.m. Or die at the hands of a (possibly) homicidal homeless man.)
Thanks to our recent move, however, my commute is much, much shorter, meaning I don’t have to wake up as early unless I want to work out.
I think you can imagine where this is going.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been telling myself that it would be a good idea to wake up earlier, go to the gym before work, shower there, and then walk the four blocks to my office. I’ve been telling myself this, but had yet to actually act on it.
UNTIL THE FATEFUL MORNING I DID. Also known as…this morning.
For the record, it had always been part of the plan that I would shower at the gym. And this is not the first time I’ve showered at a gym. It had just been a really long time, and I had completely forgotten how unbelievable awkward it is.
To be perfectly honest, I rarely even change at the gym. I’ll usually change my clothes at the office, in the privacy of the spacious handicap bathroom stall, before making my merry way to work out.
I mean, on one hand, I know I’m being silly. I know pretty much everyone averts their eyes awkwardly just like I do when I see someone half- to fully naked in the locker room. But I just…I don’t know. Nakedness. In front of people. Ehh.
I’m a prude, is what I’m saying.
Today, though, it just had to be done. Lest I want to become known as the “sweaty girl” in the office. (Not a very clever nickname, but it still stings.)
So after working out, I stripped down only to discover that…
1. …GOOD LORD those towels they provide are tiny. Who are they made for? Toddlers? I normal-sized woman can barely keep her dignity in one of those.
2. …few things make you feel less like a grown-up than showering in flip-flops. Though I was grateful I remembered to pack them.
3. …those hairdryers you’ve been seeing in the locker room for weeks and telling yourself “are so convenient!” because now you don’t have to pack your own? They suck. You still have to pack your own.
4. …showering at the gym is not your favorite thing.
Plus, as we covered in the first sentence, there’s something about being naked in the middle of the city that just makes you feel more…exposed.
So! My fellow morning gym-goers. How do you survive showering at the gym? Do you skip it? Do you bring fancy shampoo to make yourself feel more human? Tell me your secrets!
I’m going to start this story at the end and work my way back. Everyone ready? Here’s how it ends:
I saw a 3-inch cockroach in the ladies’ room at work on Tuesday. On the sink.
Now, I know you’re probably busy and may have read that quickly without really think about it, so I’m going to need you to back up for a second and really dwell. A cockroach. The size of a deck of cards.
On the bathroom sink that you use multiple times a day and have done so for almost nine months.
Is your face contorted in disgust and horror? Ok, now we can proceed.
I’ve mentioned before that cockroaches are my greatest phobia, but I feel like you probably thought I was kidding around. I mean, sure, no one loves cockroaches or spiders or camel crickets or what have you. It’s not that big of a deal.
You guys. It’s a very big deal.
It had been a long time since I’d seen a roach, and I’d kind of started to think I was a little bit over it. I would mentally imagine what I would do when I found one, and I would genuinely think, “Ok, it would suck. But you would handle it. I mean, you handled the centipedes. You would figure it out.”
Well, if Tuesday’s experience taught me anything, it’s that I am not equipped to handle it.
I literally froze and gasped when I first saw the semi-sized bug crawling near the faucet. Then I simply fled. I may have blacked out for a second.
As I made my shaky way to two of my coworkers, one of them went, “You look really rattled, are you okay?”
Nope. No, I was not.
I explained what happened the best I could, but I could barely put the words together. They heard “cockroach that is three inches long,” though, and quickly jumped into action.
I kept trying to explain why I was freaking out so much, but then promptly burst into tears. While still laughing about it at the same time.
If I’d committed a crime right then, I’m pretty sure I could have gotten of with an insanity plea.
Anyway. My coworkers apparently got someone I take care of it. I left work partly because it was about time to go, and partly because there was no way I was getting anything accomplished at that point.
Now I just can’t use that bathroom without feeling deeply uncomfortable and trying to check every corner, surface, nook and cranny while simultaneously, you know, using the bathroom. (I tried yesterday…it didn’t go we’ll.)
When I got home from work, I told Joey the worst thing in the world had happened to me that day.
Without missing a beat, he went, “Oh, you saw a cockroach?”
That’s why I love him.
So there you have it. I am not over it. And I may actually have to burn my apartment to the ground if I ever find a cockroach in it.
Please tell me you also have bizarre phobias I make myself feel better?
We’re moving in less than a week. I am only panicking a little bit.
Well, panicking isn’t the right word. Obsessing probably is.
For the record, we’re in pretty good shape. I’ve sold everything we needed to sell. (Oh! Did I tell you I sold our dining set? Well…I did.) More than half of our stuff is boxed up. And the hubs has Thursday and Friday off of work this week to start moving things.
I’m sort of hoping once he transports everything that is packed, it will make the stuff that’s not yet packed seem more manageable.
Side note: Is it me, or is packing one of the hardest things in the world to focus on? I swear, I get three or four boxes in, and I am wiped out. My friend Erin explained it pretty well that you get mentally exhausted from having to make so many decisions. Which is probably why packing things like books and dishes is easy, but wading through the mess of our bedroom has taken me two weeks.
Side question: I feel like I’ve asked this before, but is there a thrift store service that will pick up stuff from your house? I seem to remember that Salvation Army used to do this. Is it still a thing? Because I have a pile of stuff to get rid of. (Unless anyone I know is planning on having a garage sale soon? In which case, I have some stuff to contribute.)
Anyway. Packing sucks. On to happier topics.
I bought the rug for our bedroom! I used a 50-percent-off-plus-free-shipping coupon code (WINT50, if anyone else is in the market for a RugsUSA.com rug) and my parents got it for us as an anniversary gift. Awesome, right?
Second side note: Joey and I have been married for almost two years. Wacky.
I’m excited to get the rug mostly because it takes me one step closer to accomplishing my grown-up apartment goals of having a put-together bedroom. Next up, new bedding, possibly new curtains, and an artwork project. (Stay tuned.)
Here’s a list of everything else I would like to acquire/update at some point in the new place (in order of urgency):
1. Free-standing closet/armoire. Our bedroom closet is teensy. Considering right now our clothes are spread out between two closets, we need a bit more storage.
2. A small dining table. I really like the IKEA Docksta tulip table, and I’ve seen it on Craigslist a few times, I just need to get back in the apartment an measure to make sure everything will fit. Really, though, is be fine with almost any small white table.
3. White kitchen pantry. We have a couple of these right now, but they’re a light wood color and they’re pretty banged up at this point. I’d like a white melamine version for the kitchen for a bit more storage.
4. Storage coffee table. This is the least urgent furniture need, though of course more storage is always helpful. I’d like either a Crate & Barrel Hunter Trunk (if I can find one on Craigslist…no way am I spending over $600 on a coffee table) or a white table with drawers.
5. White bedding. I will have a grown up bed if it kills me. Fortunately, Homegoods seems to have a few options at very reasonable prices.
6. White IKEA picture frames and lamps. Because it’s all in the details, right?
So, six-ish things. That’s not bad at all, right? It’s definitely easier setting up an apartment this time around, when I have a better idea what I like and how we live.
What’s next on your home shopping list? I know I can’t be the only one with one of these things…