Ex-Girlfriends, The Rift, Dirty Windows, and Underwear This is inspired very much by this month old post from Yuki Onna's on LiveJournal. Yes, I know, LiveJournal, that home to kitty-bloggers and navel gazers, who give real bloggers like us a bad name. Except not all the time. Point in fact, this post, where the blogger gives guys (not all guys, but a certain subset, and you'll know who you are when you read the post) some advice about what to do about their apartments if they ever hope to get laid. Or, if they do successfully get laid despite their apartments, how to get girls to come back rather than to sneak out in the morning before you even get a chance to wake up and make them some coffee or perhaps a bagel served on the cleanest plate in the drain.
And while I think she's a little harsh and dogmatic at points¹, she's definitely got a point. And I really wish I'd read something like this a couple of years ago, rather than having to figure it out myself.
¹ Her insistence that you decorate your walls with posters or pictures or whatever you can find; sure, whatever, I see your point, but I don't think that rises to the level of necessity, at least not to the level of "clean your room" and "clean your junk" and some of the other rules she points out to those involved. Aso, she's needlessly hard on Settlers of Cataan.
Because I've definitely been there. Oh, I tried to cloak it in high-minded rhetoric. Something about how it doesn't really matter how my apartment looks like, the important thing is how I am, and I want someone who's going to be able to see through all that surface bullshit and like me for me, dammit! But that's all it is. It's empty bullshit rhetoric to mask the fact that my dirty windows covered in dust and tar from my chain smoking, and my cramped and dirty room, and the general lack of order...all this was actually because I was lazy and I didn't have the decency, at the time, to make an effort to make things tolerable for whoever might come along and "like me for me." It's laziness masked in the cloak of righteousness.
That, coupled with the fact I'd given up on the possibility of anyone special making it all the way up to my bedroom, meant I was living in something resembling a hovel. It wasn't precisely awful--there was no decaying food or dirty underwear or human feces on the floor, or anything like that, but it was awfully cluttered and obviously built only for me. And a couple things were definitely past the point of acceptability.
At the time--as luck would have it--that a special someone did wind up making it to my room and staying a night or two, I was so unprepared for her presence that my sheets were in the state you see here:
It'd started tearing a week or two before but I didn't think it was significant until seen through the eyes of a female guest.
Because the fact of the matter, guys, is that we have to make an effort. Sure, cleaning kind of sucks, but you want girls to like you for who you are, right? And if you don't clean your apartment every once in awhile, the person you are turns out to be a lazy slob who lets things go far beyond where they should go. You may have a winning personality, but believe it or not, the effort you put out, the amount of time you spend cleaning windows and organizing your socks, getting books off the floor and onto shelves, or trying not to smoke so much in your room, well, that's who you are as well. It's not just your ability to tell a joke that'll win a girl's heart.
Now, maybe I'm not the best example. The relationship I had that came out of the sheets rift lasted a reasonable amount of time, and despite my slovenliness, I happen to think that my winning personality went a fair distance in making sure it was moderately successful. In the end, it sunk or swum based on other factors, on its own merits, really. My hovel of a room wasn't really part of why it didn't work out in the end, and even when I moved on to my next apartment, it was only a step up from hovel to warren.
But that was really a nadir for me. And I wish someone had spelled it out for me earlier. That for a relationship to work, even if it's going to be a short relationship, it helps to put a little more effort into it, and not just lie back and hope that your personality carries the day.