Naked Stranger in My Shower!

Naked Stranger in my Shower!   #funny  #dating #roommates #naked

So then…the alarm rings for the third time in my Manhattan apartment, indicating I’m very late for work, so I lurch out of bed and scurry to the shower in the kitchen.

Yes, our shower is in the kitchen.

There is a red door in our tiny kitchen that opens to a closet-sized space that contains a bathtub-shower and a toilet that are so close together, you literally have to put one leg in the bathtub when you sit on the toilet. There is no sink. To brush teeth or wash hands, you must exit the “closet” to use the kitchen sink.

But we consider ourselves lucky because this is a 2-bedroom apartment in New York City – and as young, struggling career girls in our 20s, my roommate Stacy and I can actually afford the rent!

Granted it’s a 5th floor walk up (as in, no elevator) and there are some murky lurky creatures skittering up the pipes occasionally, but hey – it’s Gramercy Park-adjacent, for Pete’s sake!

(At the open house, I still vividly remember the superintendent opening the door at 6:00 am as dozens of us pushed through the door in the hopes of snagging the apartment. As we crammed into the small space, a naïve young woman pointed to the red door in the kitchen and asked, “Is that the pantry?” The whole room of hardened New Yorkers erupted into laughter. Even I, a sweet Southern transplant to the City, had to admit that it was pretty damn optimistic for her to think this space-constrained NY apartment would have room for a food pantry in the kitchen – it was most likely a bathroom – and yup, I was right. And a sink-less one at that.)

So I zip into the kitchen to yank open the bathroom door, but I hear running water – so I realize Stacy must be in the shower. I knock loudly to indicate the urgency with which I must cleanse myself in order to get to work on time, but she doesn’t respond.

So I open the door – and there in the shower is a naked man.

Now normally I wouldn’t object to a naked man in the shower, but this is not my naked man.

I have never seen this man before – naked or clothed.

He shampoos his hair.

I pause. I frown, trying to make sense of this sight.

He keeps washing.

If he is a rapist, he is certainly a clean and hygienic one.

Utilizing my keen communications skills, I say, “Umm…?”

He says, “Oh, hey, I’m a friend of Stacy’s. I met her at the bar last night.”

I swiftly shut the door.

Naked Guy certainly has a fast and loose interpretation of the word “friend” if the length of their relationship has comprised less than 24 hours.

Although, I suppose if he spent the night in her bedroom having hot-crazy-sexy-time, then I guess that could qualify as being pretty “friendly.”

I march over to Stacy’s bedroom. We have a strict “no one-night-stands in the apartment” policy – if you want the hot-crazy-sexy, you need to go to the guy’s place.

So I swing open her bedroom door to throw a fit – but she is not there.

She is not anywhere.

Omigod, I think. He has killed her and thrown her body in the garbage chute. And now he’s taking a quick spritz, then he will kill me too.

I grab the phone and call her office. Before she even says, “Hello,” I stage whisper, “Where the hell are you? There’s some naked guy in the shower!!”

“Yeah, that’s Rick.”

“Stacy, why is Rick here and you are not here!?” I squawk through clenched teeth.

“Sorry – but I had an early meeting and he didn’t want to get up so early, so I just told him to leave when he was ready,” she says.

“But we said no one-night-stands in the apartment! And certainly don’t leave when the one-night-stand is still here! There’s some stranger walking around our apartment while you’re at work and I’m sleeping in the next room?? That is so not cool, Stacy!”

She says, “Well, when you put it like that…”

“OK, and now I have to go to work — and what if Naked Guy is still not ready to leave? Were you thinking he would just hang out in our apartment while we’re out – some guy you met at a bar last night? What if he steals something? What if he’s here when we come home from work? What if he moves in and we can’t make him leave? What if he’s a professional squatter?” My voice rises with hysteria.

“Excuse me,” a deep male voice says behind me.

I whirl around to see Naked Guy wrapped in a towel. I’m mortified that he might have heard me impugn his reputation.

But then I think, Wait, why do I feel guilty? He’s the one overstaying his welcome!

So then he says, “Well, I don’t want to overstay my welcome…”

And I think, Holy Shit, he’s a psychic! He’s a psychic rapist murderer Naked Guy!

I just stare at him.

He calmly walks into Stacy’s bedroom, gets dressed, comes out to say “Have a good day” and leaves.

It would be so cool to end this story by saying, “And that’s how I met my husband.”

But, in fact, neither Stacy nor I see Naked Guy again.

I mean we’ve seen naked guys since then, but not that particular Naked Guy.

With rattled nerves, and a nagging fear that he might return to jiggle the doorknob, I hastily undress, take a shower, throw on my clothes, and cab it to work.

When my boss asks why I’m late, I give her an exasperated look and say, “Strange Naked Guy in my shower.”

She nods knowingly and gives me a jaded “what’re ya gonna do” shrug, as though such a visitation is a common occurrence in bathrooms throughout the metropolis.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Have you ever found someone naked in an unexpected place?  Any fun stories about former roommates?  Do tell!)

Hey Kid, Don’t Do the Crime If You Can’t Do the Time!

Don't Do The Crime, If You Can't Do The Time, Kid #funny #punishment #nightmare #behavior

So then…he folds his skinny little arms over the covers, juts out his chin, and says, “But, Mom, I can’t make it 4 days without TV!”

I stifle a smile as I click on the lamp on the bedside table. My 5 year-old son is fresh from bathing, so he’s tucked in bed in colorful jammies with damp hair and the sweet face of an angel — but his expression has all the gut-wrenching desperation of a junkie who’s just been denied access to the methadone clinic.

I plop next to him on the bed and say, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

Crime? Mom, come on!”

“Tucker, I warned you several times earlier today, so you knew the consequences of your behavior.”

“Mom, why don’t you take away my video games? I love video games way more than TV,” he says hopefully.

Not so fast, Brer Rabbit.

I shoot him a look. “Do you think I don’t know that your video game controller is broken? I’m not taking away something you can’t use anyway. So no TV for 4 days.”

“This is so not fair!” He furrows his little brow.

“Oh come on, take it like a man. When I was your age, if I misbehaved, I would have been spanked!” I turn toward him and prop my head on the pillow.

“But I can’t live without TV for that long!” he says.

“That’s what Rico thought too. Did I ever tell you about him? When I was a kid, he lived in the house across the street from us in Panama. He was a little older than you are now and loved TV. But his dad was pretty strict so he restricted the time Rico could watch it. And he’d take it away if Rico misbehaved. They fought about it a lot. One time, when Rico was forbidden from watching TV, he got up in the middle of the night to sneak TV without his dad knowing — but his dad came in — and you know what he did?”

“What?” asks Tucker, very interested.

“He shot the TV!”

“WHAT?” asks Tucker in surprise.

“Yep, he had a service revolver, this gun, and he just walked right over and shot the TV!”

Tucker contemplates the death of his favorite device very somberly. “Did they get a new TV?”

“No, and what’s more, Rico’s dad insisted that the TV sit there in the living room for months as a constant reminder – shattered screen and all.”

“That’s awful,” says Tucker. He’s horrified by this story, which reminds me of another childhood memory of this family.

“Yeah, the dad was really strict. Rico’s sister was a teenager at the time and really beautiful – thick long black hair all the way to her waist, pretty face, gorgeous eyes – but he wanted her to focus on high school and stay away from boys, so he forbid her to date. So one night she said she was going to her friend’s house to do homework — but when she came home, her dad found out that she’d been on a date with a college guy! So you know what he did?”

“He shot her?” asks Tucker with wide eyes.

“No, no, no!” I laugh out loud. “He didn’t shoot her! He waited ‘til she was asleep, then he picked up her ponytail and cut her hair off!”

“Really?” he asks, dismayed.

“Yes, really! She was devastated! She went from this long luxurious hair all the way down her back to this hideous pixie cut. I think he was trying to teach her something about the dangers of being vain and too focused on beauty or something. The whole neighborhood talked about that for months.”

My mind is still replaying those memories when I notice Tucker becoming very quiet, a tiny little worry line between his eyebrows. I guess I shouldn’t have mentioned these stories right before the poor little guy goes to sleep. He’ll probably have nightmares of gun-toting, scissor-wielding maniacs chasing him!

I hug him and say, “Don’t worry, honey. No one’s gonna shoot the TV or chop off your hair while you sleep!”

“Um…OK,” he says unconvincingly.

I feel terrible, of course, but maybe his 4 days of TV exile doesn’t seem quite so bad now.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Have you ever taken TV away from your kids?  What consequences do you impose when they behave badly?  Do those differ from the way your parents punished you and your siblings?)

Funny Design Advice (aka “Gonna Smack My Sister”)

So then…she hugs me close, exclaims, “I had a great time seeing you!” — steps back to look at me — then looks up, down, left, right and declares, “You know, all your walls are white – don’t you find that bland and…well…just kinda blah?”

Then without waiting for a response, she snaps her roller bag, zips down my front steps, and heads to the airport to return up North.

Funny Design Advice from Unlikely Source #painting #interior design #funny #homeimprovement

I stare after my sister, vexed that she’s managed to fire a stinger on her way out, without me having a witty and withering reply at the ready.

And what’s worse is that she didn’t seem like she was intent on inflicting pain.  She genuinely seemed like she just noticed this deficiency and felt compelled to share it with me.

I’ve been living happily in my lovely house in a nice LA suburb for many years and not once did I notice that the walls were all white.  That’s just the way the house came when we bought it brand new and it never really occurred to me to notice it — much less change it.

I close the door thoughtfully and glance around.  This is fine.  This is just fine.  The wall color is perfect for our floors and furniture.  Who cares if every room is white?

I go about my day and my night and the next few weeks – and all I can think about is“Oh my God, I am suffocating in this white house!  It is too much white!  It is institutional and boring and completely devoid of creativity or freedom or air.  I can’t breathe.  I can’t breathe.  The white paint is CHOKING ME!!!!!”

And now I am really mad at my sister, because I had been living here peacefully and content for years, focused on important things like family, health, social life – and now I am obsessed.  As each day passes, I am puzzled how I could have lived any kind of meaningful existence in a two-story house where EVERY bedroom, bathroom, living space, and closet is painted white.  Every room I walk into taunts me with its uniform bleakness, whispering, “Paint me, paint me.”

She makes one off-handed comment and I am tormented.

It reminds me of a recent business trip.

I’m in a small town motel room, working on the presentation, when my colleague Jared stops by to give me a binder of reports.  We sit at the little table in the room, talk about tomorrow’s meeting, then he says, “What’s that weird clicking noise?”

We’re silent for a moment and now I hear it – a distinct “click……click-click……click……click-click.”  It appears to be emanating from the heater/ac unit under the window.

Then Jared says, “Well, OK.  Good night then.”  And he leaves!

Leaves me there with that weird clicking noise!  I call the front desk but there are no other rooms available – and the technician/handyman has already gone home for the night.  I push all the buttons on the heater/ac unit and kick it a few times for good measure – but to no avail.

So I lay there all night long, unable to sleep, because of the incessant annoying weird clicking noise.   “Click……click-click……click……click-click.”  All frigging night.

And where is Jared?  Sleeping like a baby in his silent click-free room, oblivious to my agony – but most definitely the cause of it.

I’d been working in my motel room for hours without even noticing the noise.  But as soon as he mentioned it in his off-handed little way — it was all I could think about.

And now my sister is doing the exact same thing to me.

I call my sister and demand, “Why did you have to say that to me about my white walls being bland?  I was so happy before!  Now it’s all I can think about!”

She backpedals quickly, “Oh, it’s not that big a deal.  The walls are fine.  I didn’t really mean that you should do anything about it.”

I shout, “You sent me paint swatches!”

“Oh, did I?” she asks innocently.

“Um, yeah Remember your thank you note:  ‘Thanks for the visit.  Great to see you and the family.  Check out these samples — Riviera Sand would look great in the family room, but you need something darker in the dining room like Mocha Frappe.  Here are a couple reds to consider for the Kitch–‘

“OK, OK!” she interrupts.  “It was just a suggestion.”  I can feel her pouting through the phone.

“Well, don’t suggest!  Keep your suggestions to yourself!  I was living in perfect harmony before you and your big mouth mentioned the damn paint color!  And I’m not about to spend a bunch of money and uproot my whole household to repaint this whole two-story house when the white walls are absolutely fine just as they are!”

(The painters arrive on Tuesday.)

— Darcy Perdu

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What Makes YOUR Kid Freak Out?

So then…she shrieks, “The fly! The fly is on my food!”

At age 5, Chloe is absolutely terrified of a fly that’s been menacing her for the past hour. I’m beyond exasperated.

She is a little tired – and the fly is rather huge, persistently buzzing around her head and her plate, no matter how often we shoo him away. But she’s driving me crazy with her squalling.

When "Mom Logic" Fails -- It IS pretty Funny!

I try to remember how my parents handled such histrionics when I was a kid.

My Dad would have laughed and said, “Don’t worry, honey. He won’t eat much.”

I try this on Chloe.

Chloe squeals, “But the fly is DIRTY! He’s making my food DIIIIRTY!”

I think about how my Mom would handle this.

Whenever my siblings or I would complain about an apple falling in the playground dirt – or sand blowing on a popsicle at the beach – Mom would say authoritatively, “Oh, go ahead and eat it. They say you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die anyway.”

What?

Who says that? At the time, I remember being instantly worried about that concept as my sandy popsicle dripped on my little 7-year-old self.

Is that a law? Does the government say I have to eat a peck of dirt before I die?

Who’s monitoring that? What possible program has been put in place to ensure I eat a peck of dirt during my lifetime?

And if I avoid dirt, will I live longer?

What a brilliant age-defying scheme! I need to tell people this:
Want to live longer? Eat less dirt.

And how much is a peck anyway? What unit of measurement is that?

I know what a gallon is – and a pound – and a cup. But what’s a peck?

I’ve heard of a bushel and a peck.

Is a peck as big as a bushel? Because a bushel is HUGE! Do I have to eat THAT much dirt in my lifetime? I’m really worried now. Maybe I should set up a quota system to ensure I get all that dirt in – maybe a tablespoon a week? Two tablespoons? And do I eat it right off the spoon – or maybe ask for it to be cooked into spaghetti sauce? How am I going to manage this whole new requirement? A peck of dirt!

“THE FLY IS BITING MEEEEEE!”

Chloe’s cry brings me back to the present with a jolt. She is now jumping around the kitchen, flapping her arms and screeching about the fly.

I’m trying to swat the fly away from her, while maintaining a calm composure. “It’s just a little fly, honey, it’s not going to hurt you.”

“YES IT IS! THE FLY, THE FLY, GET IT OFF OF ME!”

“Honey, it’s nowhere near you. You’ve got to calm down.”

More shrieking, more crying, more flapping. She’s inconsolable.

“Chloe, let’s just go upstairs, OK. It’s close to bedtime anyway.”

“NO NO NO THE FLY WILL FOLLOW ME!!!”

I say, impatiently, as though that’s a ridiculous idea, “Don’t worry, he’s not going to fly upstairs.”

She whips her head around in disbelief: “What do you mean he’s not going to ‘fly upstairs?’ He’s a FLY! That’s what they DO!!”

Hmmmm.

Good point.

Um, excuse me, I’m going to the backyard for my daily dose of dirt.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any insects/animals that freak out your kids?  Do you say absurd things to calm your kids down — or distract them?  Does YOUR “Mom Logic” ever fail?)

Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Shelly Draven

I Write

So then…I write my first post on my brand new website, sothenstories.com.

But why?

Mainly because of conversations like this that I’ve been having for the last kabillion years:

When I meet someone new and they ask what I do, I typically say, “I’m meant to be a world-renown, best-selling writer!”

They smile expectantly and nod encouragingly, like…and?

I say, “But I understand you have to write something first.”

They frown, perplexed.

And I say, “I know, right?  What a hassle!  Do you know how long it takes to write a book?  And they won’t even consider publishing it until you’ve written the whole damn thing.  I could write screenplays instead, but everyone’s writing a script!  Hollywood execs literally burn screenplays for fuel to heat their hot tub parties with sexy starlets!  And don’t even get me started on the market for poetry!”

Then they look confused.  So I tell them what I actually do for a living and we carry on.

But it’s a shame, really.  I would be such an AWESOME world-renown, best-selling writer!  I love to write!  And ever since childhood, I could totally envision myself on late night talk shows, chatting away about my books – sharing amusing anecdotes – engaging the audience – charming the host.

I had my endearing grin nailed.

And I wouldn’t be one of those celebs who complains about fame — or whines about fans invading their privacy.  I would revel in their adulation!

I would totally sign autographs for anyone

anywhere

even in the bathroom.

Even if they didn’t ask for an autograph!

Occasionally people follow up on my stated desire to write – and the conversation usually goes something like this:

They ask me, “Well, then why don’t you write some books and try to get them published?”

And I sigh and list the 57 reasons why this is simply not possible, what with my full-time, high-pressured job; the care and maintenance of my two adorable children; business trips; room parent duties; photos albums to organize; cleaning out the garage–

Then they look at me with disappointment and say something like, “Really?  Those are your excuses?  Didn’t J.K. Rowling write the Harry Potter series by candlelight in her trailer while supporting her daughter on welfare?”

I say, “Well, I’m not sure if it was really by candleli—”

Then someone else says, “And didn’t that John Grisham guy work like 70 hours a week as a lawyer and still write tons of books?”

“Yeah, that’s right,” the first person says.  “Lots of working lawyers write legal thrillers.  And doctors with full caseloads write medical thrillers!”

Full caseloads,” the second person says admiringly, shaking his head.  “Saving lives – and still finding time to write.  Remarkable.”

I shift uncomfortably.  I don’t like the direction this conversation is going.  It’s less about how fabulous I could be – and more about how fabulous other people actually are.

“Remember that Michael Crichton guy?” asks first person.

Jurassic Park?” says second person.

“Right, Jurassic Park, Disclosure, lots of stuff.  He sold like 200 million books!  And he started writing books while he was still attending Harvard Medical School.”

“Oh.  My.  Well, that is impressive,” I concede.  “But you know, not everyone can find the time to—”

“The key is time management,” says second person.

“Right — time management.  Lots of these writers are parents, work a busy career – but they get up at 5:00 in the morning to write,” says first person.

“Yeah, why don’t you get up at 5:00 in the morning?” the second person asks brightly.

“Hmm – mm, well,” I stammer.  “Five o’clock is awfully earl—”

“Oh,” they say in unison.  They exchange a look.  A disappointed look.

“Well,” I splutter quickly, “I just mean that I, ya know, it’s so hard to – ya know, with work and kids and –”

“Oh, no, no, that’s fine,” the first person assures me, holding up a hand to halt my attempt to explain.

“Yeah, totally,” the other person says kindly.  “We get it.”

“Yeah, we get it,” the first person says.  They sip their drinks and look at me quietly.

Their judgmental expressions whisper slacker, slacker, slacker.

And then I feel really bad.  And then I don’t do anything about it for 100 years.

And then I say to myself, Well, I certainly don’t have the writing talent of a Grisham or a Crichton or a Rowling, but I’ll be damned if I let a time management issue be my excuse for not doing something I love to do.

So then…I write.

And it’s not a whole damn book or a whole damn screenplay.

It’s just a story.

A story from my life.  Because that’s what I can handle right now.

A few stories a week.

And I’m putting them out there in the hopes that you might find them amusing, or intriguing, or enjoyable, or at least relatable.  And I’m hoping you’ll write your story and post it next to mine so I can enjoy your related experience too.  And I will laugh or chortle or snort.

Because I love to laugh even more than I love to write.

And we will share the funny, one story at a time.

And who knows, if enough people read my stories and enjoy them, maybe one day someone will ask for my autograph — in a bathroom – and I will toss my hair and flash my endearing grin – and gratefully sign that toilet paper:  “Darcy Perdu, Writer!”