On Wednesday morning, I awoke to my usual alarm, and after hitting snooze somewhere between 3 and 17 times, I awoke in earnest. I stumbled from my bed chamber and into the living room, bleary-eyed and shirtless, as is my custom since reaching Week 10 of P90X. I’ve never had abs before, so you know I’m going to blast them now. It can make for some awkward dinner dates, museum tours and parent-teacher conferences, but the amount of times I get compared to Mark Wahlberg makes the arrest record worth it. I’m like two months away from being a professional “after” model. But I digress.
On this particular morning, I was surprised to find that my living room was not empty. This wouldn’t be noteworthy under most circumstances, except that, 1) I had already heard my roommate leave for work, and 2) my roommate is a dude, which this person was not. Indeed, a strange girl was in my living room. After blinking a few times and shaking off some cobwebs, I recalled that my roommate had a girl over for dinner last night, and that she had clearly stayed the night. Apparently the sight of my half-nude form was too much for her to bear, as she quickly looked back down at the shoes she had been putting on with nary a word.
I continued my way through the living room to the kitchen to start making coffee. Recalling that roomie (let’s call him “Johan,” for the sake of simplicity) and mystery girl (henceforth, “Melania”) had only first made each other’s acquaintance on Sunday, and that the previous night had been her first as sleepover guest (that’s an adult term, right?), I
grew concerned had a brief panic attack wondered about the Johan’s wisdom in leaving her here…unattended. My head immediately filled with all the mischief an unknown entity could conceivably get into when left alone in one’s private quarters. What if she snoops through his shit? What if she robs him? What if she takes some small, unnoticeable souvenir to start building a creepy shrine which will ultimately be the site of some twisted sexual torture she inflicts on Johan two months from now?
And then, finally, as I regressed at least a bit towards the mean of rational thinking human beings, one question lingered: what the fuck is wrong with me?
What does it say about me that my mind immediately goes to these worst case scenarios, featuring Melania as the devious mastermind? In an attempt to process my predisposition toward paranoid delusions, I started mentally flipping through some example of past irrational behavior on my part:
- Despite having something like 5 bank accounts, I keep my extra cash in books. Always a different one, to avoid being predictable. And I make sure the curtains are drawn first. (I realize the non sequitur in disclosing my cash security secrets on the Internet. Maybe I’m getting better.)
- Once, on a date with my girlfriend, I didn’t have anywhere to put my iPod. I considered putting it in her purse, but then realized I would have no recourse if we suddenly had a huge argument in the middle of dinner and she stormed out, never to be seen again. Then I’d iPod-less. Not worth the risk.
- Similarly, I take my phone with me when I go to the bathroom on dates.
- Speaking of my phone, a while after I broke up with my last girlfriend and started dating again, I had occasion to see her under casual circumstances. Before meeting up with her, I backed up all my texts off-site, then deleted them and installed a password, lest I fail to adhere to the bathroom protocol.
I can keep going with this, but it’s getting hard to see the screen through the streaming tears. Plus, by my nature there are some examples I cannot readily share. That would defeat the purpose and possibly hurt innocent bystanders. I’m nothing if not compassionate.
So what the Hell is wrong with me? I have reason to believe there may be a genetic component to it, because that same morning I had the following text exchange with my brother:
Dan: “Ways to get robbed, volume 1: have a girl you met on Sunday stay the night on Tuesday; in the morning, leave before she does.”
Bro: “What did [Johan] lose in this exchange? Ipod? Laptop? Cash?”
Dan: “Probably nothing. Point is he didn’t think that bit through.”
Bro: “Not many people do. It’s a fairly common scenario.”
(Before you ask, I absolutely do punctuate my text messages with semicolons.)
After reflecting on this for several days, and writing about it here, I am still no closer to the root of this pattern of behavior. For now, I guess I’ll chalk it up to a combination of the genetic thing and my strong desire to only be stabbed in the front. I at least want the chance to see it coming.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to spend the rest of the day apologizing to my girlfriend. And my roommate. And my ex-girlfriend. And possibly my phone. At least it’s easier to forgive a dude with great abs.
(*With apologies to Shirley Manson and the rest of Garbage.)