Eye-roll model roomies

Los Angeles Times - - HOME & DESIGN - CHRIS ERSK­INE chris.ersk­ine@la­times.com Twit­ter: @er­sk­ine­times

This weekly mem­oir of a frayed Amer­i­can life re­lies on a cer­tain art­ful dys­func­tion, spritzed with hope. For­tu­nately, I have daugh­ters — the flow­ers to my weeds.

To catch up on how they’re do­ing, I in­ter­view the two girls separately, the way cops in­ter­ro­gate bank rob­bers. They have been shar­ing an apart­ment for three months now, an im­pres­sive length of time and far longer than most Ve­gas book­ies pre­dicted.

Here is a tran­script of what they said, wo­ven to­gether for ef­fect:

Daugh­ter one: “She steals my clothes. Even my un­der­wear.”

Daugh­ter two: “She is su­per bossy.”

Daugh­ter one: “She wears my shoes with­out socks.”

Daugh­ter two: “She has some cool shoes. But they smell.”

Daugh­ter one: “You know how much her feet sweat, right?”

Daugh­ter two: “She leaves her shoes ev­ery­where. Like, right on my feet!!!”

Daugh­ter one: “When she bor­rows my car, she never puts gas in it.”

Daugh­ter two: “Her car is a to­tal mess. I’m em­bar­rassed to drive it.”

When they com­plain about each other like this, I roll my eyes a lot, the way they used to when they were teenagers. From the time they were 15 to al­most 17, my daugh­ters rolled their eyes at ev­ery­thing I told them. At one point, I took them to an eye doc­tor to see if some­thing was wrong.

So at times like this, when they are try­ing to win my sym­pa­thy, I re­turn the fa­vor by rolling my eyes back at them. If they have picked up on the irony, they have yet to say so.

Daugh­ter one: “She al­ways ex­ag­ger­ates.”

Daugh­ter two: “A to­tal drama queen!”

Daugh­ter one: “Yes­ter­day she ex­ag­ger­ated, like, 10 tril­lion times.”

Daugh­ter two: “She should wear a tiara. A drama-queen tiara.”

Daugh­ter one: “And she cries a lot. She might end the drought.”

Daugh­ter two: “She should have her own show: ‘Snark Tank.’ ”

Daugh­ter one: “I’m sure she’s cry­ing right this minute.”

Daugh­ter two: “Did you know my boyfriend drinks whole milk? Isn’t that so gross? Ewwwwww.”

As you can see, this room­mate sit­u­a­tion is work­ing out pretty well. No one has stolen any­one’s bank card, and there have been no at­tempted mur­ders over who ate the last yo­gurt.

To be fair, their re­la­tion­ship benefits from the fact the younger daugh­ter spends about half her nights back at our place (mostly be­cause she misses her dad so much).

The other day the lit­tle guy and I dropped by their lit­tle bun­ga­low in fancy Santa Mon­ica, or “L’Mon­ica,” as I like to call it. Or, “Daryle La­mon­ica,” a joke that pleases no one in our fam­ily but me. (Ask your own fa­ther: “Hey, Dad, do you think Santa Mon­ica should be re­named Daryle La­mon­ica?” I guar­an­tee he will get a lit­tle twin­kle in his eye again, like when you were 4 and he taught you how to ride your first bike.)

Any­way, our daugh­ters’ place in L’Mon­ica is neater than you might ex­pect, with req­ui­site bot­tles of fla­vored vodka in the freezer and designer beer in the fridge.

It is as if they are prep­ping for an­other fed­eral prohibition.

For the most part, their en­tire place smells like surfers.

Af­ter a quick tour, I came up with this daugh­ters-as-roomies re­port card:

Clean­li­ness: B (yes, they hire a house­keeper)

Abil­ity to work to­gether: C-mi­nus

Kitchen: C (too much kale)

Com­fort level for guests:


There is no hu­mi­dor, for ex­am­ple, to store my cigars, which I pull around be­hind me lately in a small red wagon. There is no wine cel­lar, or a stack of old Sports Il­lus­trat­eds on the cof­fee ta­ble.

In­stead, there are half a dozen New York­ers, which I read only for the An­thony Lane re­views, and sev­eral copies of Fast Com­pany, a mag­a­zine on new me­dia that is brim­ming with ex­pen­sive print ads. Oddly, there are no signs of wear­able tech­nol­ogy: watches with wash­rooms ... Uber ear­rings.

It’s as if men have never been here, which I know is a lie. A few men have been here. Smells like surfers, re­mem­ber?

Thought­ful guests, the lit­tle guy and I have brought the girls an out­door plant. It’s a bright and clingy thing sim­i­lar to the one tak­ing over our house back in the hills. Or­ange like Hal­loween, it seems to thrive on hap­haz­ard care.

Now this new plant sits on the stoop of the girls’ place. In its lit­tle plas­tic pot, I hope it will stand sen­try to their bun­ga­low — bring them but­ter­flies and a bit of Ir­ish luck.

Even­tu­ally, the bright and clingy thing may hold their place to­gether.

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