Why do you guys shed so much?!
By Scott Muska
I’ve never lived with a significant other, but I have lived with a woman. Her name is Stephanie.
She’s one of my best friends in the world, and from July 2014 to August 2015, we shared a super-janky two-bedroom apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where rats came and went as they pleased and the bathroom was so cramped you had to sit sideways on the toilet. It was blissful, really.
I learned a lot during my co-habitation with a female, and it was a great experience—though not as great as my current setup: a studio in Park Slope where I live alone and do whatever I want. (I’m naked sitting Indian style on my couch as I type this, actually—date me!)
Here are some of the things I learned about women and life from living with Steph. (Disclaimer: I’m not stupid enough to think that Steph is an accurate representation of all women, so if one or more of these don’t apply to you, you don’t need to e-mail me—I already understand that all women and people are not the same.)
1. Women Shed Like Crazy!
At first I was kind of worried that my new roommate was dying or that she had developed a sudden case of alopecia because there was hair everywhere in our apartment. It would get stuck to my clothes, and there was enough shedded mane in our bathroom that I could have made a hair doll out of it (which I thought about doing and then mailing to my ex sans return address, just to freak her out).
Eventually Steph and I reached an agreement where I would snake the drain if she did the dishes.
2. Guys Have it Easy When it Comes to a Beauty Routine
I knew this already but wasn’t aware of just how awful it can be to get ready in the morning if you’re a woman. I usually roll out of bed, shower, get dressed and am out the door within 20 minutes of waking up.
Steph would wake up in the morning and spend more than an hour getting ready to leave the apartment. And all the maintenance stuff women do, like hair cuts and colors and mani/pedis—girl, pah-lease!
3. Online Dating is Way Different for Straight Girls
Sometimes I wonder why I have such a low response rate to messages I send out, but then I remember when I would sit down with Steph for a leisurely night of checking her online dating profiles and responding to gentleman callers. There would be a seemingly infinite number of matches and messages and occasionally an unsolicited d*ck pic or two. I’d obviously return much fewer messages if I was receiving as many as she often did.
On the one hand, it seems much easier for women to score dates. But women also have to deal with some really sincerely creepy stuff, along with some really terribly misogynistic and downright threatening stuff, too. In a few instances, she got so overwhelmed with the constant influx of messages that she would delete her profile for a while.
I’ve never been overwhelmed by online dating...which I guess is male privilege in a nutshell.
4. People Never Believe We're "Just Friends"
In the year that Steph and I lived together, I don’t think I had one phone conversation with my grandma where she neglected to ask if we were “friends with benefits.” Some a-hole had taught her the term, and she really latched onto it. I guess she figured that if we were going to live together we might as well get married and have sex while we were at it because that’s what Catholics do or whatever.
But Steph and I never hooked up, and it was never even something either of us wanted. We are sincerely just friends, but I can’t tell you how many times people would say stuff like “Really? Not even when you were really drunk?” And I’m like, “That’s ridiculous. Why would you hook up with someone you live with? I don’t even like hooking up with people who want to sleep over, let alone live in the same apartment.”
5. I. Love. Face Masks.
One night shortly after we moved in together, Steph was rocking one of those green face masks that exfoliates, alleviates stress, etc. I was like, “What’s all this, then?”
And that was how “New Girl, New You Tuesdays” started. Every Tuesday, we’d face mask up and sit down and drink some booze while watching New Girl and The Mindy Project. It was lovely bonding time, and those face masks are really refreshing and great for the skin and not emasculating at all. Your pores are worth it.
6. Girl Friendships are Tough
I don’t mean this in the way it’s often conveyed on sitcoms, where the women talk about deep feelings and stuff while the men sit in front of the TV and grunt about sportsball or whatever.
I mean that although men and women are generally able to reach the same levels of emotional complexity, it just seems like when I’m getting deep with my friends, it’s about life or some issue, not about the nature of our relationship. If one of my friends is being a d*ck, I call him out on it and we argue a little bit. Then we’re good.
Steph and her friends, though they love each other (I assume), would sometimes get into drawn-out, anticlimactic quibbles. They were more sensitive and passive-aggressive about their disagreements, which would occasionally last for weeks, then come to an amicable end without the grievances ever actually having been aired.
It was interesting to observe.
7. Girls Make the Best Friends
The year I spent living with Steph was also a very hard year for me personally and for my family. And no matter what, Steph was always there for me when I was feeling down or things weren’t going well. She seemed to almost instinctively know when I needed someone to hang out with and air my sh*t to, just as she seemed just as tuned into when it was best to give me some space and some time to work things out on my own.
For example, when my grandfather passed away earlier this year, Steph was there for me 100 percent of the time. Even when it was indirect and she was giving me time to grieve alone in my room. In those scenarios, she’d always make sure I knew that she was just on the other side of the door if I needed her.
Additionally, she was always super-valuable when it came to guiding my fashion and in sharing insights about the way certain women think or behave.
8. But Those Ladies Are Thirsty
Hard to believe, right? But it’s true. Steph was always able to match me in forthright ludeness whenever we would discuss seeing or meeting attractive people.
Actually, just last night she texted me from Pittsburgh to riff on how hot her hot yoga teacher was. Basically, if you have a beard and tattoos she immediately wants to climb you like a pole, and she will be plenty vulgar in describing to you or me or anyone who wants to know about how and why.
This article was originally published at Women's Health. Reprinted with permission from the author.