In case you didn’t already know, the people you meet in Los Angeles are unlike anyone else in the world. Always trying to become the next big thing, there is “the actor” (a waiter who’s been an extra on “Glee”… once), “the screenwriter” (a misunderstood blogger who lives on his mom’s couch), and of course “the agent” (an assistant who gets screamed at for 20 hours a day, all the while pretty much hating his existence). Unfortunately, starting out in the entertainment biz, I didn’t know any of this.
Something else I didn’t know: living in The Valley sucks. Remember in “Clueless” when Cher goes to the Valley party and gets held at gunpoint? Yeah, I’m pretty positive it was at the gas station on my block.
I was young and naïve and starting my first grown-up job in the film industry, (by “grown-up” I mean hourly pay, no benefits and doing someone else’s bitch work) when I met Ben* for the first time.
Another thing about Los Angeles: it is safe to assume that a high percentage of the guys you think are cute are gay. Ben was about 5″6′, 140 pounds and looked like he was trying very hard to grow a beard that grew in random patches across his face. Nevertheless, I was diggin’ it. It became my mission to figure out his sexual orientation.
One day I was on a film shoot being very useful (my job was to get breakfast for the directors) and decided to make my move on Ben. I sat down next to him, and blurted out, “So, are you straight?”
“Um, yes,” he responded, as if I should’ve known the answer already.
I think at that moment we both knew we were definitely going to have sex in the near future.
After that, we went out on a few dates and I learned a some important things about him: he hated garlic, loved Ke$ha, and was insanely motivated to make movies.
One night, after several dates, he decided to introduce me to his friends. The thing about the beginning stages of a relationship is that you really want to be the carefree, awesome girl that guys absolutely adore (your true colors come out much later). I was on my way to meet my new man-friend’s besties and I was ready to be the coolest girl they’ve ever met.
“You want a Jäger-bomb?” Ben’s friend asked me.
“Hell yes I do,” I shouted.
Five shots of Jäger, a couple mixed drinks and one “adios mother fucker” later, I was completely hammered and at that moment I only wanted two things: In-N-Out Burger or sex with Ben. I honestly could’ve gone either way. I went with the sex.
We got back to his place, and he started giving me the grand tour. First, he showed me his roommate’s room, which had a little kitchenette, bathroom and full office area. We made our way upstairs and I peaked into a room with a desk, a computer and a suitcase.
“Is this an office?” I asked.
“Nope, that’s my bedroom,” he beamed.
“Where is your bed?” I asked.
“I don’t need a bed. The floor is pure and George Washington slept on the floor and his back was amazing,” Ben responded in a matter-of-factl tone.
It was in that moment that I really wished I’d gone to In-N-Out for a burger, but I was not about to let the whole bed thing kill the night. I had a stomach full of Jäger and I really liked this guy who had a couch and knew his history down to George Washington’s bedding.
That night, I had sex on a couch. I had made it 20-something years without banging on a couch and let me tell you, it’s really uncomfortable. What’s even more uncomfortable is attempting to spoon on a couch. Ben had to move to the floor in the middle of the night.
The next morning I had a hangover that could only be cured by bacon, so Ben made me breakfast.
“What’s the deal with the whole bed situation?” I asked him.
“Did you know James Cameron wrote ‘The Terminator’ while sleeping on his friend’s couch? Damon and Affleck did it, Halle Berry, Stallone, basically anyone who’s done anything,” he defended.
So, this guy was basically bed-less to prove a point? Great. After breakfast I drove home to my crappy apartment and slept all day. I got a picture message from him later that day of his little room with a bed in it!
Me: YOU BOUGHT A BED!?
Ben: Well, no. It’s an air mattress, but I thought if I got it then you’d come and sleep over more. Plus it’s temporary, when I have the money I’m getting a Tempur-pedic bed — it’s space foam. It’s fucking brilliant. I don’t want to waste money on some shitty bed. Tempur-pedic lasts forever and is super pure!
Now, I know by this point in the story 75 percent of you would’ve been out of there, but remember, I was still in “I’m the coolest, laid-back, girlfriend ever mode,” and also, you’re kind of an asshole if you yell at someone for buying something they can’t afford. So, I kept my mouth shut and hooked up on an air mattress for almost six months.
Why didn’t I make him stay at my place? Well, with traffic, to get to and from my apartment from work was an hour and a half each way, while his apartment was within walking distance of the office. Did I give up the comfort of a real bed so I could sleep in for an extra 90 minutes on an air mattress? Yep, sure fucking did. Worth it.
Until, one morning around 4 a.m., I woke up to what sounded like a vacuum in my ear. I opened my eyes and realized I was drowning in Ben’s fucking air mattress. My head hit the floor with a thud.
“Oh, uh hey, can you get up? I need to re-inflate the bed,” Ben said.
“Oh, uh hey, Ben, can you get a fucking bed?” I snapped back.
With that, I quickly freed myself from the air mattress sinkhole and drove home to my crappy apartment in the Valley never to return again.
What did I learn?
1. At 25 years old a man should have his own room and a real bed (twin beds don’t count).
2. Air mattresses are not made to have sex on.
3. Never live in the Valley.
*Name has been changed