Tuesday, 7 August 2012

"Guests, like fish, begin to smell after 3 days" - Benjamin Franklin

I have my cousin staying with me at the moment, he's enjoying a two week vacation in NYC.  Yup...staying with me for TWO whole weeks in my tiny NYC apartment.  I don't even have my parents stay that long, a fact that's not gone unnoticed by my father, not that my parents would want to put up with ME in my tiny apartment for two weeks either, but still my Dad has amused himself of late by teasing me on this point.

We're 11 days into his visit now, so not long to go.  It's not been *too* bad to be honest, he's pretty mature, respectful and not too untidy for a 24 year old bloke, he also doesn't take to rearranging my kitchen cupboards the way my parents do, so definitely an improvement on that score*, but two weeks is a long time when your apartment feels about as big as a shoebox and you're used to living alone as I am.  It's not been easy, especially on weekends when he wants to hang out after spending the week entertaining himself while I'm at work, I think he feels a bit starved for company, but doesn't seem to realize that I need a bit of downtime too.  I played the host for the first weekend he was in town - taking him for brunch in the village on Saturday, followed by clothes shopping in SoHo - for him, not me.  American Airlines lost his luggage and were taking their time finding it, so we popped into Old Navy for an inexpensive change of clothes - had drinks with some friends of mine who were unexpectedly in town from Kansas City; paid for dinner at Shake Shack and got tickets to the new Batman movie (meh! 7/10) and then sorted him out with a surf lesson on the Sunday morning, while I surfed the next beach down with my kook** posse, then food at the beach and then back to Manhattan and out for drinks that evening with my friend Debs and her Bulldog pup at a local wine bar, which is where we had the man from AA deliver his suitcase.  When all's said and done I think I was a pretty good cousin given he'd descended on my apartment with less than a week's notice, having realized exactly how expensive NYC hotels are, with fair notice that he'd have to occupy himself, as I'd be working, however I think showing him around that first weekend potentially set an expectation that I would do the same for the second weekend, which wasn't really part of *my* plan since I had stuff I needed to do, although it wasn't like I left him entirely to his own devices, hardly at all really.  I took him surfing again on Friday, then out for tacos and cocktails that night - he went out himself for a few more drinks and ended up staying out all night.  Uh-oh!!  I woke up at 5am needing the loo and noticed he wasn't home yet as the kitchen light was still on - I leave the light on so that he's not clattering about finding his way around a less than familiar apartment when he rolls home 3 sheets to the wind - so I was a bit concerned at that point since the bars closed at 4am, he'd only gone out locally and he still wasn't back at 5am.  I did worry that there was a slight chance that he could have been mugged, but no, turns out he'd copped off with some woman named Maureen and spent the night at her place on East 73rd St.

"Don't worry about me" said the text I received at 5.30am.  Hmmm, a bit late for that I think you'll find sonny Jim!!  "I'll meet you and Jeremy at the ferry at noon as planned."  

Sleep was impossible after 30-minutes of worrying whether he was okay, so it was a slightly irritable version of myself that met my cousin and surf buddy Jeremy at the Governor's Island ferry terminal, but all in all it was a pretty good day, we wandered around the island for a few hours admiring the Mark di Suvero sculptures they have on loan from Storm King Art Center and had lunch - $14 for a mahi mahi taco!! - before taking the ferry to Brooklyn and having a couple of cocktails at Clover Club followed by an early dinner at Buttermilk Channel
- surprisingly packed at 5.30pm!!  Then on Sunday it was up with the larks again - 5.45am, why do I do this to myself again? - to head out to Rockaway for more surfing - me with Vanessa and Lucy on Beach 68th St and my cousin with the surf school on Beach 69th.

The conditions weren't the best to be honest.  The photo below really doesn't do justice to how  choppy the ocean was on Sunday and it was a fight to paddle to the outside and even then random waves would break on you and throw you off your board.  My triceps and abs got quite the workout and I was exhausted by the time we got back to my apartment around 3pm.

Rockaway Beach, NY, Sunday August 5th 2012

Having a house guest was wearing on me a bit by Sunday afternoon and I was in need of some time to myself.  On the way back from surfing he asked me what my plans were for the rest of the day and I told him I had some stuff I needed to do to get ready for the work week.  I was hoping he'd take the hint and make himself scarce, but I think he was content to just stay home too, so while I was trying to get stuff done yesterday afternoon he parked himself on my sofa, my internet cable plugged into the mini-laptop he'd brought with him, looking all settled in for the rest of day.


"So what have you got planned for this afternoon? " I called to him from the kitchen, as I prepped the vegetable soup I take for my work week lunches.

Why don't you go out for a few hours and give me some time to myself is what I didn't explicitly say

"I'm not sure!!"

"Why don't you go and see that Total Recall movie" I suggested, feeling bad about kicking him out into the heat and humidity.  At least the cinema would be lovely and air conditioned.

"Erm, yes yes I think I might do that.  Do you want to come?"

"No, no, I can't I've got stuff I need to do."

I left it for 15 minutes or so and then said "so what time does the movie start?"

Seriously are you going out or what?

"Um...how do I find out what time it's showing"

"Well if you type 'movies "new york" "total recall"' into Google it will tell you the times of the shows"

Why was I teaching a 24year old how to use Google?  Shouldn't that be ingrained into the fiber of his being?

"Oh it starts in 15 minutes at the one nearest here, I won't have enough time"


"Yes but the movie won't start until 15minutes after that, why don't you see if you can catch it.  I can meet you for dinner afterwards"


"Or you could see if it's showing somewhere else, or maybe go and check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it will be cool in there if it's not closing soon"

"It's showing at Times Square in 3D, but not until 7pm"


Finally I just had to tell him directly that I needed him out from under my feet and would he mind going out for a few hours!!  I felt like a bit of a be-atch, but he seemed fine about it.  Clearly men don't read between the lines well.

I had a few blissful hours to myself and managed to straighten up my apartment a bit and prepare my lunches for the work week before he got back just after 9pm.  He was supposed to see Maureen of East 73rd St tonight ("Do you like her?"  Shrug "Um..she's okay I suppose."  Men!!) but after unsuccessfully trying to reach her he ended up making plans to meet Paula instead, a woman he met at his surf lesson on Sunday.  Clearly my romantic misfortune doesn't run in the family, although I did get a smile from the cute EVP GCD yesterday.  Well I think I did.  I was stood in the hallway talking to a couple of account people about some work after we'd been kicked from the conference room and he came around the corner and smiled at me, or perhaps he was already smiling and i just happened to be in the way.  Perhaps it was meant for someone else, perhaps it was gas, who knows, it still gave my mood a boost as I was definitely having a case of the Mondays yesterday.  With any luck I'll run into him again today as I could do with another smile:  I have cramps, my hairdryer stopped working and then I killed a cockroach with a flip flop this morning.  Ugh...and you know there are more where he came from.  I was in the Duane Reade by work this morning buying roach motels, Advil and tampons.  You could just tell from my shopping basket that I wasn't having a good day and I think the salesperson took pity on me as she was much nicer than Duane Reade staff usually are.

Three more days of playing hostess!!  Deep breaths!!

*It takes me about 2 weeks to fully get my apartment back in order after a parental visit.  They like to torment me by putting things back exactly where they didn't find them.  My cousin on the other hand daren't even open the cupboard door to find a water glass.  "I don't like to go through your stuff," he said when I asked him why not.  Seriously it's just dishes and food, it's not like I have a man tied up and hidden in the cupboards above the sink.

**A kook = a novice surfer

1 comment:

Kitty said...

ha. a man in the cupboard!!

I wish!!!! :-)

It's tough to have guests in nyc, the conditions are just not good for it. I totally understand.

Just happy to catch up with you, Fish!