After I made the cab journey from LaGuardia to Brooklyn and crash-landed on my friend’s couch, I did the hard work of finding some Craigslist randos with which to live. I met with a few apartments, but the dream apartment—the one with the most space, light, and affordability chose me and I moved in. By all objective accounts, I lucked out. My roommates are smart, interesting, respectful, and (mostly) clean. I even get to share a nice couch, a flat-screen tv in the living room, and dishes! So this is just sort of general complaints one could have about their roommates, if they have any at all:
1. Ain’t No Damn Chip-Clips. Growing up I never had the luxury of using a “chip-clip” to seal open food containers. My family was big on rubber bands. As an adult I really do see the appeal of the chip-clip. For starters, it’s two steps: fold bag, clip bag. It also is cost-effective, being probably $5 for a set of 8-10 in different sizes and colors. How do you not have any chip-clips? I don’t eat chips anymore, but I do have qualms with open food containers summoning the insect creepy-crawlies from the depths of unwashed Brooklyn. Too often I resort to using whatever fuzzy hair-tie I can find on the floor to secure the bags. Not okay!
2. The Thermostat War. To quote my mother: I’m not payin to heat up the outside! The weather has been slowly cooling down since October, and the moment I noticed it, I undertook the arduous task of removing the A/C unit from my window. It was dangerous—I put a garbage bag on my bed to shield it from whatever muck adhered to the bottom of the exposed unit. It was heavy—I am a small woman with no muscles to speak of—but somehow I got it done. I’m not saying I’m the busiest roommate, but I do think that if I can find 15 minutes to remove and store my a/c unit to encourage a maximum apt. temp of 68*, then I think you can too! Until then, I guess I’ll just keep waking up in the middle of the night to molten temperatures and moist skin. Yikes.
3. Boys…Just…Face Hair!!! I get it, being a boy is tough. Having an inexplicable condition where your face transforms into a werewolf overnight is inconvenient at best. It’s almost as inconvenient as me puking in my mouth when I’m about to brush my teeth because I see the beard homicide that has replaced my once sparkly bathroom. I should not be tempted to pet the sink! We’ve gotta do something about this face-fuzz issue. Perhaps a plastic grocery bag can catch the hairs before the sink does? Maybe we can all put a few bucks towards a dust-buster? I’m just riffing, but any suggestions would be appreciated. (also: this is not my sink, omg if this was my sink I’d jump off a cliff)
4. Drunk Binges. Not to be confused with “Binge Drinking,” drunk binges consist of getting utterly shipwrecked and proceeding to eat all of my cheese out of the fridge. I should probably thank you for keeping my diet in-tact, but I was really looking forward to that grilled cheese all day and now I have to settle for a mustard and mayonnaise sandwich. Tragic.
Is it horrible that I can’t even think of another problem? That’s how good I’ve got it. But yeah, do you have roommates? What gripes do you have?
Quick pre-text: I am going to periodically and randomly do a post called “Hi, I’m Black” and sort of delve into racial discussions—no worries, we can all learn something from seeing a different perspective and learning is fundamental amiright?
Unpopular Opinion Time: Quentin Tarantino directed a movie called Django Unchained starring a bevy of superstar actors (Foxx, DiCaprio, Washington, Waltz, and even Don Johnson!). The premise is that a freed slave becomes a bounty hunter and tries to get his wife (who was sold to a different owner at auction) back. I keep reading the same TIREDtiredTIRED excuses for why we shouldn’t all go see it, but I did see it, and I loved it, and I’m putting this crap to rest.
1. “Tarantino likes the N-word and says it too much so we can’t go see it!” This is a civil war era film, set in the South, during slavery. Those three ingredients mean that there was probably even more N-word slinging that occurred than Tarantino could fit into a 2-hour movie. Also, I didn’t see you all raising your hands in my Kentucky high school when we had to read “classic literature” that was just “the N-word” broken up by a few verbs and some punctuation. Nobody said a thing. So it’s funny that now that there’s a movie about a FREED SLAVE avenging himself, we’re worried about what people are calling him…
2. “Kerry Washington plays a wilting flower and I can’t believe Quentin Tarantino would make the first black leading female character he writes weak!” For starters, no, Quentin Tarantino had that character from Kill Bill (played by Vivica A. Fox) who fought like crazy until she got shanked through a box of cereal—so this is not the first. [EDIT: A few good friends pointed out that I’ve completely forgotten Jackie Brown, which in itself is a good enough rebuttal to this claim] This is the same static I heard when Mindy Kaling decided to play a pretty, vapid Indian woman on her hilarious sitcom instead of a stereotypical smart, nerdy, sexually invisible character. Maybe it’s fine that Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) wasn’t some crazy super heroine. Name one film about Black women where they are allowed to just be human instead of having to be super strong, tough, and against what is typically considered feminine. I think it’s good in some respects that Quentin Tarantino wrote a black female character that was depicted as worthy of saving and delicate and deserving. Also, I think we can all agree that Kerry Washington is the best and you should all start watching Scandal on ABC if you don’t already.
3. “I heard there’s a scene that makes light of the KKK. I’m against that.” Well you didn’t see the movie, so shut up. It doesn’t make light of the Klan— it very distinctly makes fun of the Klan. It is uproariously hilarious to make fun of the Klan, because they are not worthy of serious consideration. They are abysmal, and they get what they deserve in the movie. Go see it. And while you’re at it, watch this sketch from Chappelle’s Show.
4. “Spike Lee said to boycott it, so…” I respect Spike Lee in the highest, but you all need to think for yourselves. Spike Lee doesn’t want you to see it because Spike Lee has a personal feud with Quentin Tarantino about filmmaking. I’m sorry, Spike, but you decided to come out with Red Hook Summer, and it wasn’t as enticing as this film was. Get over it. Make another poignant film like “Do The Right Thing” and maybe I’ll take your cinematic suggestions to heart.
5. “There’s too much gore!” It’s a Tarantino film. There will be blood. There will be ladle-dropping-into-tomato-soup-splashy blood. If that makes you squeamish, then by all means skip it. That’s like the only valid argument I can see for choosing not to see the film.
We all need to be more open-minded and think for ourselves. Do you seriously think that Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Jamie Foxx would agree to do a movie that would cut down a group of people instead of raising them up. As a black woman, it was probably one of the only Civil War era films I could commit to seeing more than once.
Now would be a great time to start following my OTHER BLOG.
“I never get a break. I never get time off to just relax!” is something I probably text my mother far too often. She always calmly replies, “Well you never stick around anywhere long enough to get vacation time!”
I have moved around a lot in the past few years, and because of it, I really don’t ever “earn” the time away from work. I finally got to go back home to Kentucky/Cincinnati last weekend and it was all I could have hoped for with the short time allotted. I spent time with my mom, saw at least 5 good friends, ate too much, shopped too much (H&M, HOW DARE YOU BE SO MUCH CHEAPER IN KENTUCKY?!), went to the zoo with my sister who’s pregnant and my darling nephew Mason, picked up tons of winter clothes for the freezing weather to come, and sat by a fire and talked about just about everything.
(but really, I don’t have any pets, why are there dogs in my yard?)
What never ceases to surprise me is the effortless continuity of going home. I always expect that it’ll be hard to adjust, but it never is. A really easy “throw-away” question to ask someone is what success looks like for them. Well right now, I’d feel very successful if I could make enough money by doing what I love — to visit home more often.