"ON THE HUNT"
March 4, 2005
I had been living in the same apartment for the past three years with two of the best roommates a guy could ask for. They’re roommates that you can talk to and spend time with, but aren’t all up in your business. They’ve been clean and courteous and private and laid back and have been a great family to come home to. In a city of chaos and frenzy, it has always been comforting to come home an apartment that was safe and relaxing.
However, when we realized that our lease was coming to an end, I had to make an adult decision. I decided that it was time to finally leave the nest and live my New York life like a grown up adult. I mean, I have a grown-up job with grown-up money; I could certainly pay for my own grown-up utilities and grown-up cable modem. So circa two weeks ago I began the slow transition out of a three-year old home of three old friends. You could say that it would be the end of an era.
The hunt has been quite stressful. For anyone that has ever lived in Manhattan, you realize that apartment hunting is kinda like getting a pap smear. You know it’s going to be painful, but you know that you have to do it. You have the tedious task of searching through craigslist (God’s gift to metropolitans) and weaving through the bullshit apartment listings (Jersey City is NOT the same as “adjacent to the West Village!”) You also have to zigzag through the broker-fee apartment versus the no-broker fee apartments, since brokers will cost you an additional 15% of your annual rent for basically giving you an address.
And most importantly, you rely so much on the luck and timing of the moment. What you find on craigslist one week might be completely different from the week that you actually decide to move. The perfect apartment might be available two weeks before you’re willing to move, while the crappy ones seem to surface on the week that you’re actually looking. So when you apartment-hunt in New York, you’re basically leaving your living situation up to chance, praying to the gods of Manhattan to give you a break.
I’ve been really stressed in searching for an apartment this week. Now sure, I don’t have to move technically until April 1st, but I don’t want to be that guy that literally moves in the day after he sees the apartment for the first time. I want to be that guy who gets to know his empty apartment for a minute and who has time to arrange, design, and plan in advance. And I want to be that guy who is able to slowly but surely say goodbye to my current apartment, as he’s been the longest commitment I’ve had in New York.
As I started to realize that my longest commitment in New York has been to a 100 square foot room in the West Village, I smile in remembering all that we have gone through… from the boys to the fights to the sex to the drama, he has always been by my side. And now that I’m leaving him, a hunt for a new commitment begins.
In writing that, I’ve realized that searching for a new studio was kinda like searching for love. And as I sit here, feeling more stressed about this apartment hunt than ever, I sometimes get to thinking, “Is the hunt even worth it?”
My hunt for love had been relatively non-existent for the past few years. I was comfortable with where I was in life that I haven’t needed anyone or anything to distract me from my goals. Sometimes I would be hunted and shot by Cupid’s arrow, but being the Igorot warrior that I am, I would suck out the poison and keep on moving.
It wasn’t until a few months ago, that I really even allowed myself to be open to the possibility of a relationship. But of course, much like the luck of the apartment-hunt, sometimes the most perfect apartment is available when you’re not. And the week that you’re actually looking for the apartment of your dreams, sometimes the only thing that is available is in Brooklyn or Washington Heights.
But I refuse to settle for anything less!
I know that I want to live in Manhattan, so damnit I will live in Manhattan! I know that I want to live on the West Side, so damnit, I will live on the West Side! I know that I don’t want to spend more than $1250 a month for my own studio, so I will spend no more than $1250 a month for my own studio (FYI, New Yorkers are the only people in the world who have no shame in asking others what their rent is).
I guess that it’s all about knowing what you’re worth and what you’re willing to settle for. If you’re willing to settle for a neighborhood that you don’t really want to live in, then that’s your choice. If your apartment is too small, your ceilings are too low, or your seven-story walk-up is too much for you, there is no one else to blame but yourself… And if you choose to sign a two-year lease on an apartment you weren’t in love with, well, you probably will have some sad nights ahead of you.
When searching for an apartment, it’s also important not to get too excited too quickly. Sometimes you believe that the “perfect apartment” is standing right in front of your face, that you’re not able to view that there might be potential problems attached. And granted while “potential” problems means that there very well might not be any problems at all, it is still better to be safe and cautious then to invest in something that might turn out to be more hurtful in the end.
Wait, are we still talking about apartments?
Maybe I really should just leave it all up to the gods of Manhattan. They say that you find what you’re looking for when you least suspect it. Maybe when I stop searching, it’ll actually show up and be exactly what I was looking for…
And the apartment too.
"I'M THE ONE THAT I WANT"
February 18, 2005
I was at my weekly karaoke joint with some good friends on Tuesday night and one of my female best buds wanted to sing a duet with her man-of-the-week. She said that she wanted to sing the final duet from Grease (you know the one where Sandy gets her hair permed and wears tight leather pants). I quickly started my search through the karaoke bible book. Another friend stopped me and said asked why I was looking in the "I" section. Flustered for a second, I realized that I should've been looking for the song called "You're the one that I want." Instead, I was subconsciously looking for the song called "I'm the one that I want."
Quickly putting on my therapist hat, I laughed at myself thinking, "What does that mean for me?"
This is what I mean. I've been through relationship after relationship, most that have lasted for no more than 24 hours and have ended in disaster. There was the rooftop guy also known as the confused heterosexual who played on my team on New Year's Eve. There was the Dominican with the good heart but limited English. There was the Boricua with the "good personality" in the same way that straight guys think fat women have "good personalities." There was the whiteboy that I randomly met on Saint Mark's while walking with friends. There was the Colombian who liked to stick his tongue out. There was the Australian Brad Pitt that I met at a straight venue but who was going back down under the next morning. There was the Jewish guy who was a master of Reiki and hypnosis. There was the Polish guy who I met at a hetero-venue on Single Awareness Day. There was the Black hairdresser and there was the Puerto Rican guy from the gym. And last but not least, there was the Italian-Irish-Chilean who just wanted to be friends, and who is actually turning out to be quite a fun one.
And to think, this has only been THIS MONTH… over the course of about 40 days… And each has a unique storyline to fill up my thirty-minute episode.
As someone whose longest intimate relationship has been shorter than a woman's periodic cycle, I realize that the only person that is ever going to love me in the way that I love myself is MYSELF.
I'm not saying that I'm closing the door to relationships. But I'm definitely saying that I'm not looking for anything… at least not right now.
On an island with 8 million people, it can be discouraging when the one-eighth who plays on my team are 1/8 crazy and 3/8 dramatic. No thank you to the random hot Dean Cain lookalike who randomly approached me and grabbed my crotch while I was walking in Washington Square. No thank you to the confused/ing heterosexuals who say things like "Hey handsome" but also say things like "Why would you think I'm gay?" No thank you to the boys that don't know how to return a phone call. No thank you to the boys whose pick up line is "So what are you?" And no thank you to the boys who stand in front of my apartment like a bad Kevin Bacon stalker.
Someone in my life very recently told me that there are two types of romantic relationships: 1) the ones where people learn to love and respect each other, and 2) the ones where people are actually in love.
Although I'm often deemed the Samantha, the Charlotte in me believes that there is someone out there waiting for me. And I really need to get through the bullshit before I find it. I'm not going to settle for anything less, simply because I'm afraid of not knowing if there is anything more. I'm not going to force myself to be in love, simply to say that I was in love.
So what is it exactly that I want?
I want somebody to share, share the rest of my life, share my innermost thoughts, know my intimate details. I want somebody to make me laugh. I wanna dance with somebody. I wanna feel the heat with somebody…with somebody who loves me.
Most importantly I want somebody to love the "me" that I have learned to love. Because I'm the one that I want! I'm the only one who can comfort me when I'm feeling down. I'm the only one who knows how to cheer myself up. I'm the only one who knows exactly what I'm feeling and how I'm feeling it. No person will never be able to fill the void in a way that I can do for myself.
Maybe I'm being unrealistic. Maybe I have too many expectations. But I do believe that there's somebody there for everyone. And sometimes, individuals might miss that person because they were so busy worrying about turning 30 or getting married or having children, instead of taking their time and waiting for that true somebody.
But until that somebody comes into my life, I'll definitely settle with some body after a night of clubbing.