Things I Hate

Online rental is a tricky world to navigate. What with rampant Craigslist murderers and scams, it’s important to portray yourself as safe and reliable if you want to successfully rent an apartment.

Here’s how to fail at that:

Step 1: Don’t include a photo.

Step 2: Include a photo, but make sure to take it after you have removed the contents of every drawer and closet and spread the contents on to every available surface. While you’re preparing for a garage sale is also a good time.

Step 3: Include a photo, but make it of the outside of the house, a random nearby landmark (i.e. trees or the ocean) or include an especially attractive photo of your pet.

Step 4: Take all interior photos at night or from weird angles. It will make the room look bigger and definitely not like a dungeon. Trust me.

Step 5: Don’t include a city location. Potential renters will appreciate the air of mystery surrounding your posting.

Step 6: Write in all caps. It makes it easier to read, and who doesn’t love being shouted at?

Step 7: Be extremely difficult in giving out the address of the apartment, requiring no less than the promise of the proposed tenant’s first born before releasing it.

Got all that? Ok, happy selling!

Yeah, okay, this is obviously spawned by recent events. But I’ve always been annoyed by people who won’t just turn the damn thing in. It’s stamped. It has the address on it already. You have to make one decision, seal it, and get it into the postal system. No sympathy for people who are overwhelmed by that.

And if you “refuse to send RSVPs on principle,” well, then I reserve the right to not save you a seat. On principle.

The REAL Rules of Scrabble
Listen, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: no proper nouns. And no acronyms. And no using cheat sites and apps. This is a gentleman’s game, and I won’t have it sullied by cheaters.

Two-parter Twitter posts
I’m sorry, are you not familiar with the Twitter platform? You get 140 characters. That’s the point. This isn’t a blog (well, this is a blog….) You want a blog? Get one. But stop pretending Twitter is WordPress. I’ve had it up to here with your two-parter posts.

You know something that’s hard to bridge? The disparity between your quality of day and someone you care about’s quality of day.

I’ll elaborate.

Say, for example, you have the worst day ever. You forget your train ticket, get accosted by a creeper, it rains and you forgot your umbrella, you feel dumb at work, and just when you think things can’t get any worse, you train home is delayed and you have to deal with Everything That Is Wrong With The World.


You finally get home, totally psyched to just whine and moan to someone about your incomparable suffering, and you roommate/significant other/friend you called is all puppy dogs and rainbows about the fantastic day they just had.

I mean, where do you go from there? On one hand, the only way to cure a bad day is to crab about it (or write it out….ahem), but who wants to be the whiny downer who can’t even be happy for someone else’s great day?

Fortunately, modern day technology has given us about a million ways to communicate, so all you really have to do is post an emo tweet and you’re bound to find at least one other person who can relate within the hour.

Honestly, I think the real trouble comes when you’re the one who had the great day. There is nothing like coming home from a day of kicking butt and taking names to find out that someone you love had a rotten day. And the last thing you want to do is spew sunshine and daisies all over them.

So what’s the solution. I think, like so many things, the answer is time. (She said sagely, stroking her long salt-and-pepper beard.) Hold off with your awesome day until the sting of the crappy one has faded. After all, that’s probably what you’d want if the crappy shoe was on your foot. (Or something.)

Tried to forget my bus/train/subway ticket again today. It’s ok, though; I mean, I’ve been trying to fit more physical activity into my life, and that 100-meter dash I did back to my apartment and then back to the bus stop ought to help with that.

I hate doing things that make me feel like an idiot. Like, really, self? Couldn’t just do a quick self-assessment to make sure you had everything you need for the day in your bag? You know, before leaving the house?

It’s like realizing you have forgotten a really important project about two minutes before the deadline. Or that gut-punch feeling you get the moment you realize you’ve overslept.

Fortunately, I was regular about going to the gym this weekend, so made it back to the bus stop about 35 seconds before the bus arrived, only slightly out of breath from sprinting in heels and a pencil skirt. (And that, my friends, is why girls are stronger. Just sayin.)

Speaking of things that are awesome, the fiance and I might be looking at an apartment this week, possibly even tonight. Have I mentioned how excited we are to finally be living together? It’s going to be really nice not getting dropped off for the night anymore. So here’s hoping the place is awesome and the landlord lurrrves us! I mean, I dressed all “young professional” today (remember the heels and pencil skirt?) Just in case, so at least I’ll look the part of a responsible tenant.

So I guess here’s hoping I manage to get through it without doing something that makes me look like an idiot, too. Ooph.

I am not a picky eater. I like to say there are about three foods I don’t like. (Which always prompts the question, “Which three foods?”) And then I say:

1. Olives. I really hate olives. I hate the look and smell of them. I hate biting into what looks to be a great sandwich only to discover it has been mutilated with olive tepenade. I. Do. Not. Like. Them. (Sam I am.)

2. Melon. Yes, all kinds. Yes, even watermelon. Yes, I’m being serious. No, it’s not just a texture thing, though I’m not too keen on that either. Yes, really watermelon too.

3. I can never think of a third one. I say “three things” because I’m sure there’s something else, and because there are several foods I only like in certain context. Tomatoes, for one. I love prepared tomatoes; fried, roasted, sauteed, sun-dried, mashed into sauce or ketchup — sign me up. I don’t usually care for raw tomatoes, unless they’re in bruschetta or doused with vinagrette and sliced with mozzarella.

I also don’t usually care for eggplant, brussel sprouts, sprouts in general, sardines, or giblets, but I have a feeling there’s probably a method of preparation out there that could change my mind, at least for one meal.

In general, though, I like just about anything, and I’ll try anything once.

Which is why I’m kind if embarrassed about my next statement.

Sometimes I’m that person who says I don’t like something when really what I mean is I’m pretty sure I don’t because it doesn’t visually appeal to me but in reality I’ve never really tried it.

The thing is, I hate people who do that. Because I’m a firm believer in at least trying everything and giving it a fair shot. Then decide you hate it.

It’s not like I refuse to try these things. Usually I’ve just never been offered them before. And I don’t like to order things I might hate when there’s something I know I like on the menu.

One example is Bloody Marys. Ok, the name itself is gross, and the look of tomato juice has always turned me off. (I guess that’s one method of tomato preparation I don’t care for.)(Maybe.)

I’m very visual with my food. Even when I’m just bringing a limp sandwich to work for lunch, I like to slice it, arrange it on a plate, and add a side dish like chips or apple slices or something. But a thick sludge of red goo can’t really be dressed up for me, no matter how many celery stalks you stab into it.

The reason why I bring this all up is because last night I was craving a Pop-Tart (I know), and the only kind the fiance had was cherry. Without even thinking, I curled my lip in disgust and said, “Ugh, I don’t like the cherry ones.”

Now, the only cherry thing I don’t like is marachino cherries. I like pitted cherries, cherry slushies, cherry Coke, cherry Tums — you name it. But for some reason I had decided cherry Pop-Tarts would be cloyingly sweet, sticking in my throat and instantly rotting my teeth. Basically, what I think marachinos taste like.

The fiance was stunned I didn’t like them. Then this morning when he drove me to the train, he pulled one out to eat. (Breakfast of champions.) Again, he expressed his surprise that I don’t like cherry, and I grudgingly admitted I’ve never tried it. (Because, again, I hate being that guy.)

He offered me a piece, I took it (because I really am willing to try virtually any food), chewed thoughtfully and declared it…not as bad as I expected. Not great, mind you, but only marginally sweeter than the strawberry version, which I do like. (I know, I’m making a mountain out of that mole hill distinction.)

So lesson learned: You can’t judge a food by it’s cover. Now, who’s up for some Bloody Marys?

I’ve already described the three basic types of people you will meet on the LIRR. However, an event that occurred yesterday reminded me that there are certain subsets that warrant their own explanations.

Yesterday, a train became “disabled” in Penn, and all of the trains were affected in the way of delays and “limited service” for the majority of the evening commute.

Putting aside how it enrages me that a single train can somehow upset an entire transportation system, I was fortunate that as I approached Penn, they were just beginning to allow people back into the station and trains were proceeding in their “limited” and “disabled” fashion. Naturally, this had some consequences. Namely, the cars were so crammed it made the blizzard debacle of 2011 look like a cozy slumber party.

I once said on this blog that these sorts of inconveniences often bond commuters. We talk to people we would otherwise ignore. We joke at the railroad’s expense. But the last two times I’ve dealt with overcrowded cars, I’ve experienced what I would call “Everything That Is Wrong With The World.”

I’ll explain.

When a group of people are crammed together in the face of commuting adversity, a number of specific personalities arise.

1. The Class Clown
This is the guy who thinks it’s his job to lighten the mood. It’s important to note that there are actually two different types of CC. One is a loudmouth who cracks jokes just to hear himself talk, whether or not he or she gets a favorable response. The other is a person who is just so generally easy-going and good-natured that if you don’t chuckle along, you realize you’re just being bitter and self-centered. This person is extremely helpful at reminding everyone that it’s just a crowded train, and we’re all going to get through it. Last nifty, this was a guy with long hair and a skateboard (but a bespoke jacket that undercut his “too cool for school” attitude). He managed to befriend everyone exhort being annoying. Well done, sir.

2. The Person Who Flips Out
This person is, in a large part, why CCs are so helpful. This person responds to unfavorable circumstances by simply screaming at everyone when they don’t get their way. They’re generally immature and selfish, and it’s safe to assume they’ve never experienced actual crises in their life. (I have also referred to them as “easy lifers.”) At some point, they will start a fight with almost everyone within a four foot radius, prompting someone to yell, “All right! Let’s everyone just calm down!” Last night, this was a teen girl with a fondness of the F-word who for some reason seemed to think her plight was worse than everyone else’s and that we were all just kidding around when we told her there was no room. She was a sweetheart.

3. The Old Man Who Just Gets Furious
This guy is almost more alarming that the PWFO. He’s sitting quietly, his eyes closed in silent fury at the delay in his life, but the second the mood changes one degree toward the more annoying side of the scale (for example, when the PWFO enters the scene), he will snap. This can start a screaming match between him and another vocal party, however, his anger is more controlled. Read: a little scarier. Usually, though, he’ll tire of the fight before things can escalate. He’s too old for this, after all. Last night, this was the guy who screamed, “You SHUT your MOUTH!” at the bratty tween. At some point, someone actually started filming their interchange for YouTube. Wish I was kidding.

4. The Person Who Looks Terrified The Whole Time
Last night, this was a girl who wad about 4’8″. She was cute, but tiny, and obviously aware that if things went awry, she did not have the stature to prevent herself from being trampled. This person will generally stare in suspicious panic at anyone who makes a loud noise, their hand clutching desperately at any stable surface to keep themselves upright. They might try to join in on any good-natured joking that occurs, but it will always be with a nervous laugh that will undercut any facade of ease they’ve worked up.

5. The Person Who Just Plans To Get Through It
I like to think of myself as this person. I’ll roll my eyes at the crazies, make a few jokes about how “this is my nightmare,” and smile conspiratorially at the people who seem to be like-minded, but in general I’ll keep to myself and concentrate on not locking my knees or bumping in to anyone. There was also a few other people like this in my car last night. You can usually recognize them because they’ll say things like, “Geez Louise!” and “Only in New York, right?”

Of course, you also have the people who just literally shut their eyes and ignore everything until they get to their stop, but these are usually people who are lucky enough to have found a seat. They miss all the fun that happens by the doors anyway.