One house, one girl and three guys: What could possibly go wrong?
When I moved into my new American home this summer, fresh from the peace and quiet of my family home in England, I thought I had it all figured out. As it turns out, I was kind of wrong about that.
Living in what can only be described as an oversized bachelor pad was eye-opening, to say the least. Among other things, I learned that you can't totally know men until you've lived with a pack of them.
I was aware guys like to yell, but I didn't realize guys like to yell about everything. I knew that guys have certain issues with basic hygiene, but I didn't know some men never actually learn to aim correctly at the toilet seat.
I did know men have soft spots, but I had never seen them at their most vulnerable, crying over a character death in a movie, with a face full of popcorn.
Sometimes, the lingering scent of testosterone can be enough to send you running away for a pumpkin spice latte. Sometimes, you yearn for someone with whom to get excited about crafting and celebrity gossip.
Above all, you learn. You learn to drown out the screams behind the bathroom door, while you relax in a hot bubble bath. You learn the correct way to tell them to get their sh*t together and clean their own dishes.
Being the only woman in a house full of dudes can teach you all sorts of weird and wonderful things. Here are a notable few of them:
1. In the company of their bros, all men are confident they are masters of sex.
Sweet, sweet bravado. It really is adorable.
2. Pizza every day? But, of course!
At home, guys have two main food groups: pizza and beer. Your recycling bin will become a testimony to this fact.
Your freezer will become a carefully curated trove of frozen pizzas: Totino's for lunch, DiGiorno for dinner and pizza bites for snacks. Splurging on Domino's is considered fine dining.
3. Woe betide any mancave with only one bathroom.
Men tend to take a 20 minutes minimum in the bathroom when nature calls.
You will also come to realize exactly what it means when your favorite bottle of body lotion is suspiciously left on the side of the bathtub. Hint: It wasn't because Glamour magazine reported that shea butter was good for skin.
4. Taking control of the remote is everything.
Oh, you wanted to cuddle up with your duvet and hit up the new season of "New Girl" because you weirdly identify? You will have to fight for the remote first.
The good news is, once the boys settle down and allow you to watch your "girly shows," they will realize that your girly shows are actually awesome. Next week, suggest ice cream and the Tuesday slot is officially yours.
5. They're just as addicted to Tinder as women.
Just like girls, guys huddle together on the sofa and swipe left in unison. It's fun for a while, until one of them swipes right to a girl who hasn't been approved by the group; then, all hell breaks loose.
It's also worth learning the art of tactfulness for those moments when someone takes the judgment a little too far. Walk away, my friend; just walk away.
6. Guys love "feminine touches," honestly.
Don't let them fool you into thinking they don't like your fresh-from-Pinterest mason jar herb garden. Despite the protests, guys actually don't mind all of our cushions and string lights and trinkets.
In fact, they like the house to smell like potpourri and having fluffy pink towels with which to scrub their faces. Give it time; you may even notice one of them sneaking a scented candle (or three) for the bedroom.
7. Socks. Everywhere.
One of the bizarre evolutionary quirks of the male gender is the capacity to misplace socks.
You will find socks on the kitchen table, in the sink, on the counters, on the stairs, stuffed in shoes, stuffed in pockets and everywhere else, except for where they belong.
8. You must accept that "toilet seat up" is the new default.
The struggle is real.
9. They have an extensive survival plan for the zombie apocalypse.
After sex and pizza, there's no topic of conversation more thrilling to your average Joe than detailing his escape plan for the zombie apocalypse.
Just remember to whip them back into check when they tell you you're going to be the "cooking wench."
10. You'll discover new hobbies.
When they're not glued to the TV, eating or sleeping, most guys have a secret stash of strange hobbies. After all the geeky Xbox games have been exhausted, there's a whole world of weird, wonderful things for you to indulge.
LAN parties. Magic the Gathering. Dungeons and Dragons. You may scoff, but once you've felt the exhilaration of kicking some (imaginary) orc ass, you'll admit it's pretty fun to nerd out with the lads.
11. They know exactly how to cheer you up after a long day.
Sure, you could buy a pint of Ben & Jerry's and cry into your pillow, but in a man's world, it's always time for beer pong. Channel your rage into sinking that perfect shot.
12. Sh*t gets real when it's time for DIY.
Yeah, okay, they might put glass down the garbage disposal (true story), but dammit, they get that garbage disposal fixed — even if it takes away from precious gaming time. There's no stopping a man on a mission.
13. Sometimes, just sometimes, they're really insightful.
Honestly, who's better at guy advice than, well, a guy?
14. At the end of the day, your bros always have your back.
Once you've earned a dude's loyalty, you have a friend for life. What's better than a best guy friend? A pack of best guy friends.
This was apparent to me after a wasted weirdo accosted me in Starbucks. I sent one swift "SOS" text, and the cavalry came to rescue me, no questions asked. It's times like these when you'll realize that being the Clan Matriarch is pretty damn great.
Top Photo Courtesy: Fox/New Girl