1. Send out my laundry.
I remember visiting my college friend Cara in Brooklyn when she first graduated. EB and I were still in school and marveled at Cara's strange life: 10 p.m. dinners, sushi cafeteria lunches, most of all: the laundry. She sent out her clothes to a wash-and-fold service and they returned neatly folded and wrapped in paper.
"So strange!" I said to EB. In farm country where I grew up, we hung clothes on the line even in winter. What do you mean, the still-frozen towels chafe? Deal.
EB was equally shocked. "Can you imagine someone else folding your underwear?"
No need to imagine, "someone" is the elderly Croatian man 'round the block. He even matches my socks!
With no laundry in the building and petty theft not uncommon, the alternate is to sit in a laundromat for two hours watching my panties spin in the dryer as the colorful locals sip Colt out of paper bags. No thanks. Here's my $16, I'll be back in five hours.
2. Hire a cleaning lady.
Sensing a theme? I will make you a flaming dessert, beef seven ways, a classic Caesar dressing. I am a considerate hostess, fine friend, loyal girlfriend, pleasant neighbor. I can locate the best artichoke vendor at the farmer's market, the perfect gift for your mom, the right bouquet. But I will never get around to scrubbing the shower grout; let's not discuss the stove top.
One problem: I love a clean, orderly space. Luckily, I have Duc, referred to me by my cousin's wife. "Sometimes I love her more than I love my husband," she admitted. Duc's sweet, she's thorough, and everything sparkles. Team Duc; I'll get the t-shirt made tomorrow.
3. Live alone.
I lived with a big extended family as a kid, with a roommate in college, then shacked up with a boyfriend until I was 25. Since then it's been a mish-mash of sublets, a studio and roommates until I realized finally that living alone is far superior, despite that one problem.
The problem? Monsters, naturally.
After I saw Nightmare on Elm Street in fourth grade I posted above my bed a picture of the Freddie actor in the make-up chair to remind myself that he could not actually invade my dreams and rip me to shreds. Even now I'll wake in the night and imagine I hear a claw scraping at the window, a screwdriver loosening the knob.
Whatever: better than living with hippies.
4. Compost indoors.
Live inside a tiny apartment with a pail of rotting vegetables? Nay. And yet: yay. Curse you, Albert Gore.