Maybe it’s just me, but I treat happy couples like they’re lepers. I don’t want to see you in public canoodling on a park bench or hand holding as you walk fucking everywhere. I don’t want to see or hear your stupid side conversations when I’m sitting on the train, minding my business, as your girlfriend snorts in laughter about some joke you made. Cut the shit. We all get it.
When you live with this on a daily basis, you become kind of immune to most of the mushy crap. Instead, you tend to find very specific, tedious things that you don’t like about being a third wheel for months on end. I’m certainly not saying that every waking moment is pushing me closer and closer to pulling a Kurt Cobain in the shared bathroom (besides, it’s only a matter of time before I take a dive from tripping on one of the flatiron or curler cords in the bathroom, subsequently breaking my neck on the edge of the bathtub “Million Dollar Baby”-style). I really do enjoy the company of my longtime roommate and his girlfriend, but with tolerance comes preparation. If you ever find yourself in this predicament, here are the basics I’ve learned over the course of almost a year.
1. Start Drinking
Nothing makes a shitty situation less shitty than adding a few drinks into the mix. If I’m going to sit on the couch on Sunday night to enjoy my weekly dose of tits and swordfights and you’re going to annoy me with your whispers and giggles, then it’s fair game to start pouring Maker’s. If this is an ongoing thing and your in-home sitcom couple shits up all your sitcoms, feel obligated to make this a regular thing. Besides, people who have a few each day are statistically proven to live longer and fuller lives than Sober Sally.
2. Buy Noise-Canceling Headphones
Noise-canceling headphones are great because you can just zone out on anything: a movie, music, one of those nature soundtracks with the waves and the crickets, even porn. They’re also great because when certain people you live with want to go to pound town, you don’t have to listen to it. You don’t have to hear the heavy breathing, the squeals, or the sometimes awkward “uhh, uhh, uhhhhhh” confirmation of climax (unless you’re into that kind of thing, sicko). Instead, you can listen to the peaceful sounds of wind chimes or Metallica. Noise-canceling headphones are great for airplanes, too.
3. Bring A Friend
Misery loves company, so if you’re going to be constantly bombarded with unwanted exposure to intimate moments between people you probably know a little too well, bring a friend. Having a friend with you is like going on a road trip. If you take a road trip by yourself, you’re going to be bored as shit by the time you get on the highway–you’ll just end up going nuts and start talking to yourself or something. But a road trip with a friend is great: good conversation, someone to flip off people in New Jersey when your own middle finger is busy, and your friend will split meals and shit with you. Bring a friend into your dungeon of baby talk and let them suffer. Apply rule number one and you can make a fun game out of it.
4. Get Wifed/Husbanded Up
Similar to number three, getting your own significant other makes the situation drastically less bad. Why? Because number three indirectly correlates with number four. There’s a 99 percent chance that your girlfriend or boyfriend will become friends with your roommate’s girlfriend or boyfriend, but only if they’re the same gender. Opposite genders will just bitch about the other one to you, or worse–they could get it on at some point. My experience has always been that if I’m dating someone beyond the extent of an iced coffee and a quickie, my roommate’s girlfriend has always buddied up with her. They pin stuff together, they complain about how awful we are as men, and they probably lend each other tampons and condoms when necessary. This rule is great until you break up or get dumped, because your roommate’s significant other will either tell you how fucking awful the person was or how great they were and how you fucked up a good thing.
5. Have A Car
It doesn’t matter if you have some beater Camry or if you’re renting a Zipcar. Just get in that puppy and drive. Drive far away. Bring your favorite mix CD with you. No one can hear you belting out some Bon Jovi (favorite guilty pleasure, for the record) and absolutely no one will care if you’re “dipping again,” because it’s your damn car and McDonald’s sweet tea cups are the perfect spitters.
6. Move Out