Please don’t talk to me while peeing.

laides

Girls pee a lot. It’s a common stereotype that I take no offense to, seeing as my bladder is miniscule and I still insist on drinking water (…fine, coffee and Diet Coke) throughout the day while working. It’s a rare unicorn of a moment to find the ladies WC unoccupied by anyone else in the office, which can be frustrating, because I don’t want to socialize in there. I’ll chat it up in the kitchen, by the printer, in reception, in the elevator, pretty much anywhere except the bathroom. Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m walking in there, I’m really just there to get in, pee, and get out. Zero talking required.

Which is why it absolutely baffles me when I walk into a full-on conversation in the bathroom. A few examples of the multiple pee-speaks I’ve been fortunate enough to overhear lately include: a recap of someone’s ‘seriously major’ fight with her boyfriend, two girls having a Frozen sing-along (yup) and a few people discussing what I’m hoping wasn’t proprietary information about an upcoming project. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I think people should hide in a stall and pretend we don’t know what’s going on in there. But full-on conversations? Why does that have to happen while I’m sans pants? Can your hot-button issue¬†really not wait the 30 seconds it takes for me to zip up my skirt and wash my hands?

In the hyper-connected world we live in, I love the rare moments of tranquility. Too often, I find myself alone in my apartment, pretending to relax while simultaneously answering work emails, personal emails, checking social media, reading the news and texting. There are probably no less than 15 ways to get in touch with me at any given point in the day, and the idea of disconnecting for an extended period of time is at best, amusing, and at worst, anxiety-provoking. So especially in the office, where I’m surrounded by people who need things from me at all times, why is it so much to ask for 90 seconds of privacy while locked in a stall hoping the person before me wiped the seat and that I don’t fall in (it’s a legit fear, guys).

I think hyper-connectivity is a wonderful thing. Social media and texting have given us the opportunity to stay connected with friends, former coworkers, acquaintances and more in a way that we couldn’t, and let’s be honest, wouldn’t, if we had to do anything more than post Happy Birthday to their Facebook wall annually and occasionally send a ‘hope you’re well’ text. It’s great that I can quickly send ‘want to hit the gym later?’ to my friend while simultaneously talking to my mother and recalling my always-amusing antics. We may be addicted to iPhones, but it’s given us as a society another layer of understanding about each other, a chance to connect on a more intimate and consistent level than the days where you were limited to phone calls and letters.

But seriously, though.

Seriously, though.

But for the love of god. You can text me, call my work phone, cell phone, work cell phone or home phone, Snapchat me, Instagram me, email me, Facebook me, leave a comment on the blog, GChat me, WHATEVER. Just let me pee in peace.

(Aside: this is now the second post of mine that uses “pee” in the title. End aside.)

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Redecorating: It’s good for the soul

I’m not what you would call a “crafty” person. Up until recently, the last thing I DIYed was my sandwich for lunch one day and I still managed to mess that up. I have a collection of wine corks I’m “going to craft” someday that’s been steadily growing for 3 years with no final project in sight, and my Pinterest is littered with “easy DIYs!” that I pin on a board and promptly forget about. So understandably, I received more than one skeptical look when I announced my plans in December to redecorate my one-bedroom apartment “all by myself.”

When I first moved into this apartment, it was never supposed to be more than a one-year commitment. My ex and I were planning on finding a place together once my lease was up, so I didn’t see the point in really decorating the apartment, since I knew from Day 1 it was a temporary living situation. I lived for 8 months with a too-small rug in the living room, mismatched furniture everywhere and wall art haphazardly distributed between the four rooms. Nothing matched, nothing fit together, but I loved my little apartment, with it’s huge kitchen, 2 closets and bathroom that sometimes rained dirt from the ceiling. Once the plan to move out fell apart with the relationship, I looked around at the apartment that was now mine indefinitely, and hatched a plan.

It all started with the living room. I wanted to make a statement when people walked into my apartment, distinguishing it from the myriad white-walled rentals across the city. After almost zero deliberation, I set my heart on a deep but bright blue, a bold color to contrast the mass amounts of natural light in the room. Everyone (I mean that literally) I discussed this with tried to talk me out of it: “It’s going to make the room look smaller!” “Why don’t you try an accent wall first?” “I thought you meant like a pastel blue!” But I had my heart set on a dark blue and I wasn’t going to let that go. A few paint samples and a difficult decision later, I walked out of a hardware store with a gallon of the exact color I’d envisioned.

Step 1: Paint Walls

Step 1: Paint Walls

Despite covering my entire body in blue streaks during two days of coffee-fueled painting by myself, I made it through the first part of the Great Redecoration unscathed. No paint on the floor, no paint on my cat, and a beautiful deep blue, surrounding me like a wave of calm energy as I turned to admire the work. It was just paint on the walls, but decorating in such a large way cemented that this apartment was my home for an indefinite period of time. My apartment started looking like it belonged to me for as long as I wanted, rather than a place that I was renting for just a few months.

Never. Again.

Never. Again.

After laying down the new carpet, a generous Christmas gift from my parents, the next step was covering my old Ikea dark-wood dresser in wallpaper. My lovely friend M, resident HGTV superfan and person of Great Ideas, inspired this DIY project and helped me pick a beautiful yellow pattern. The problem? Wallpapering anything sucks. We spent a Sunday covered in mod podge and shellac, fruitlessly trying to smooth bubbles that appeared out of nowhere, as though the Ikea dresser refused to distinguish itself from the rest of the place. M stepped in mod podge, I hurt myself with the Exacto knife, and after steadily drinking throughout the afternoon, we finally called it a day, bubbles and all. Fortunately, once we stepped back and took a look, it was a pretty beautiful new dresser.

I have a million more ideas, from changing the light fixture in the living room to getting a new bedframe and upgrading to a queen-sized bed by summer. This decoration project, what started as a simple painting the living room idea, has blossomed into a way for me to make this apartment feel like home. I never thought I’d be in this apartment for what may be the rest of my 20s, but as I sit on my soon-to-be-reupholstered couch and soak in the changes around me, I also can’t imagine living anywhere else.