Wednesday, January 30, 2013


After moving out of Arlington and before house sitting my aunt and uncle’s home in upper northwest D.C., I stayed at my parents’ house in Manassas. One-way commute times like 2:25 made me question whether it was worth three months of free rent. I had to decline social invitations because of exhaustion and transportation availability, thus breaking my “Accept All Social Invitations Because You Never Know What You'll Miss” life rule. On gym days, I arrived at the house 13.5 hours after leaving for work, only to wake up 10 hours later.

When I finally moved to D.C. I realized I was far from most of my friends. “Oy, not really close to the metro, either,” Mimosa added. I’ll just have to make new friends, I thought, so I joined email blasts for several young professional Jewish groups. Mimosa helped me fix my OkCupid inadequacies and I dropped major dough to join JDate. My mom had offered to pay for this service many months ago and if not for free rent and turning 29 years old, I would have accepted. I joined a “social sports” table shuffleboard league that I’m probably far too old to be in, though thankfully still far too young to play with Floridians.

My body fat containment system failed, so I stopped my weekly Cheat Meals and now reserve them for special occasions. But my aunt and uncle have an overwhelming quantity of junk food and my willpower was crushed on my first day there. One Cheat Meal was fine, but I can’t make it common, so I’m learning to moderate and abstain in the presence of unending treats. If that doesn’t work then behavioral shock therapy is next.

My favorite aspect of house sitting is the “resources.” When I told my parents that, my mom said, “What do you mean ‘resources’?”

“He means ‘free stuff’,” my brother, JD, correctly confirmed.

Though free rent is awesome, I’ll always require shelter. But my house has many luxuries that I otherwise wouldn’t pay for or have available: every DirecTV channel, a lifetime supply of books, a housekeeper, access to a luxury car that should quadruple my dating success to three dates, a different room for every home activity I can think of, beautiful art and all-around really nice stuff, and food, like gourmet chocolate, nuts and crackers, processed snacks and beverages, and soups. And did I mention chocolate?

I am far too young and simple to be living like a king, but I’ll take it for the next three months. Below is a spoof I made of my kingdom. Enjoy. And make sure to come over and eat my chocolate.


JR said...

Great video. Many laughs. Not quite the "hard time" that you describe in your video.

Benjamin Rubenstein said...

Thank you. And the awesome housekeeper has been coming twice a week instead of once, so I'm clar of hardships for the time being. Whew.