Giving It All Away

I’ve been reading my second book on de-cluttering, The Joy of Less and I was KonMari’ing again last weekend and gave a bunch of stuff away. It felt really good to give my stuff to people who would give it a new life. These are inanimate objects, but humor me. 

Although my couch was old and kind of crappy (I bought it from IKEA in 2008), it was still totally usable and I really wanted it to get a new home and not go to a landfill. After little success on Facebook and with my IRL friends, I asked the intern at my office if she could post an ad on the Columbia University Marketplace on Facebook. I live quite close to Columbia and I knew I had a pretty good chance of finding a new home for my couch if I got the ad in front of Columbia students. Minutes after she posted it, I received three emails and narrowed it down to one after revealing when I could move furniture in and out of my building (there are very strict rules – M-F only). Three roomies came for the couch the day after I got my new one and thanked me profusely via text message after. I never met them but I’m glad some students who are paying high tuition have a free couch. And I’m very happy my couch has a new home.

Next on the chopping block were two yoga bolsters. I had three in my apartment but let’s be real, how many can I use at once? Answer: One, but I actually don’t even use that one all that often. So, instead of hiding the extra two under a chair, like I had been for months, I advertised on my Facebook wall that I had these two extra hardly-used bolsters and won’t someone please come take them from me? They were gone in a day. Yay!

After that I decided to purge my shoe collection. The floor of my small walk-in closet was covered and I touched about 4 pairs of shoes regularly. I did a Marie Kondo and put all of my shoes on the floor of my living room and picked through them. At the end I kept about dozen pairs – enough to be hung in the shoe holder on the back of my bedroom door and tossed a big bag after. Well, not tossed, donated. I also donated a small bag of clothing that had been sitting on a chair in my bedroom for a while.

I tackled the contents of my coffee table and ottoman, too. I was keeping far too many magazines – Time Out New Yorks – that I would ever look at again. So I kept about 10 issues that I especially liked and recycled the rest.

My bookshelves also got swept. When I was boxing up books, I decided to get rid of a few dozen plays that I’ll never read again, and some books that I read, enjoyed, and will never read again. And let’s not forget about books that I never read and probably never will. I’m taking these over to Book Culture on Saturday.

Previously I’d cleaned out my kitchen island and my tupperware (because as long as there is takeaway, there will be plastic containers, sadly).

It’s a privilege to be able to give stuff away and I’m fully aware. 

I’m not done yet, but it’s nice to start the process of streamlining. And please don’t worry, I’m not killing myself. No, no. I just got a new couch and cleaned out some junk – more than ever, now is the time to enjoy my apartment. (That sounds ridiculous, but you get what I mean.)

Sunday in the Hall with Meatballs

On Sunday, my dude and I went with a couple of our friends to Houston Hall in SoHo (the edge of SoHo? i don’t know) for Time Out New York’s Meatball and Beer Chowdown. I’d seen an advertisement for it in the magazine and thought, “beer and meatballs? Sounds awesome!” And it was.

We each got two free beers with our ticket and as many mini-meatballs as we could eat. I was a little sad that there were only four restaurants competing, but what can you do? The Ainsworth ended up winning and rightly so. They were meatballs with a bit of Asian flare and they were delicious.

After a while, we moved next door to The Brooklyneer for another pint and some nachos before I had to say goodbye to walk over to NYTW to see Lazarus (review to come). 

For $35, this was a good time for sure. 

How It Went: My Side

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So, this happened. I’d kind of been in the pool of people they could pick from for a while but our schedules finally lined up and I said OK. At worst, it was a good story and free drinks. 

My words that were printed are accurate. I kept telling Dana, the editor, that there was no chemistry but he was a nice guy who just wasn’t right for me. I didn’t want to be portrayed like this asshole. Luckily, I don’t think I was. (But totally tell me if I was!)  And my side is only one side, but this is how the date went from my perspective:

I arrived at the restaurant and waited for a short while. He was about five minutes late – not awful. Like I said in the magazine, he seemed flustered and nervous. After he told the hostess who he was, I immediately introduced myself, we shook hands (or maybe we hugged? I don’t remember) and we were seated. 

I could tell sort of immediately by the silence that followed our being seated that I was going to need to lead the conversation. I had no interest in sitting in silence with a stranger. I knew he wasn’t my type when he appeared in the doorway all flustered and nervous (come on, this is a harmless date) and he didn’t look like my type physically but I thought, “he could be a really awesome person if we have stuff in common, let me dig." 

So, digging I went. I asked him what he did (publicist), where he lived (Astoria), what his favorites movies/TV shows/bands (Alkaline Trio was literally the only band he could name) were, I asked where he went to school, I asked him if he had pets, I asked what his hobbies outside of work were. 

Unfortunately, we had nothing in common. And I mean nothing. I had really hoped to find some sort of commonality to build a connection off of with him even though he wasn’t really my type physically. 

Awkward moments: There were more than one. (1) In the magazine I said he asked for a half-time report on how I thought the date was going (you’re 33, dude, if you have to ask, you know the answer isn’t good.), and when I answered honestly, he looked defeated. Sorry, dude, I’m not going to lie to you. (2) When we ordered drinks, I ordered some pink martini thing and he ordered a virgin bloody mary. I asked him if he was sober and told him that was totally cool if he was cool, but he just shook his head and said he wasn’t in the mood to drink. Well, whatever. I had two because conversation was pretty boring. (3) When he told me to stop asking questions and doing all the talking because he ”didn’t want a bad write up in the magazine.“ It became pretty apparently that he was worried about a bad write-up in the magazine more than actually getting to know the person sitting across from him. Also: when I stopped talking, he didn’t talk. So, I kept talking. (4) More than halfway through I realized I gave zero fucks about impressing this person because there was no chemistry. I may have been reading Kingdom Coming at the time so that’s possibly how we got on the topic of abortion and who should be deciding whether or not it’s legal. He thought the states should decide for themselves whether or not it’s legal. I told him that he was very entitled to his opinion but he was a dude, and has never and will never need to have an abortion, so I didn’t think he should have a say either way. 

Now I’m not sure how someone who works as a publicist and has to talk to people for a living is so bad conversationally, but he was probably just super nervous. He also had no confidence. After he answered questions a couple of times, he’d circle back and ask, "did my answer sound too unambitious/bad/whatever?” Dude, just be yourself.

He asked me to “make a pact” at the end of the date to not say anything negative in the magazine. What?! Like I said, he was only concerned with his write up. I said OK. 

Afterwards: After dinner he asked if I wanted to go to a bar (why, I thought, so you could not drink some more and we can continue this amazeballs conversation we’re having?!) and asked twice for my contact information. I declined all three of those requests as nicely as I could and went home, relieved it was over. 

I’m not big into wasting my time with someone that I can’t hold a conversation with on a date anymore. I have no problem saying to someone, “you’re really nice, but we have nothing to talk about,” and it was no different in this situation. 

This was really just a case of having no chemistry with someone. He’s not a bad person, just maybe slightly awkward. I’ve been told by a few dates/friends lately that I’m easy to talk to and that I have a “certain energy” abut me, so I’m not too worried about what this dude thought. He got rejected. I understand his hurt feelings.  

I’ve had people tell me since the magazine has come out that, “Look at him. Someone like you would never go for someone like him,” which they mean as a complement, but I feel like it’s kind of insulting. My attraction to someone is based more on personality than looks. I, of course, have a type, but it’s more than that. 

This was an interesting experience (I got what I thought I would: free drinks/appetizers and a good story!) that I’d never do again. Even though Time Out asks you a few questions about yourself, I don’t think they really work at trying to set people up who might be compatible.