My Big, Dark Secret Revealed... And Its Consequences on My Love(less) Life

Photo by  Morgan T. Stuart

I’m coming out...again. My name is Greg Mania. I’m a 25-year- old living in Brooklyn who earns a (somewhat) stable (OK, let’s just go with “stable-adjacent”) income and I sleep in a…




No need to read that again; you read it correctly the first time. Yes, it’s true. I sleep in a twin bed like some college freshman. May I remind you that I’m six-foot- two (five, if you count the hair), so I look like one of those giant inflatable flailing tube-men you see on car dealership lots sleeping in an ashtray. What’s worse? It’s the same bed from my parents’ house -- which means it’s also the same bed I slept in as a teenager. WHO WANTS TO TAKE ME DOWN TO POUND TOWN IN THE SAME BED I MADE A COLLAGE OF INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES FOR A HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH PROJECT IN?

I was at one of my neighborhood bars the other night with a friend -- a friend whom I may or may not be interested in upgrading to a “more-than- just-a- friend” friend -- and I was showing him pictures of my dog because she’s the cutest and what’s the point of getting a puppy if you can’t use them as cute guy bait? I swiped to a picture of my little nugget sitting on my bed and he immediately asked, “is that a twin-size bed?” I changed the subject by punching him in the face. OK, no I didn’t, but I panicked and continued to show him the remaining 90,000 pictures I have of my dog on my phone.

After we left the bar, he walked me home and we had a brief, albeit enjoyable, make-out session and I briefly thought about asking him to come upstairs until my twin-bed anxiety flared up, which, more often than not, flares up even before my am-I-sufficiently-prepared- to-have-sex anxiety and what-if-there’s-a-rogue-Ferrero-Rocher-wrapper-somewhere-in-my-sheets anxiety. This is not the first time this has happened. Every time I have the opportunity to bring a cute guy home I think:

What does this goddamn mattress say about me? That I permanently reside at rock bottom? That my shit is perpetually not together? That I don’t know how to budget? (Seriously, I’ve had a nightmare that Suze Orman looked at my finances and then made me stand in a corner.) That I’m an overgrown child who might as well just incorporate a propeller cap into my everyday look?

These are all the thoughts that flash through my mind when I debate bringing a cute guy home with me.

I try to compensate for my less-than-impressive mattress with the right combo of bed sheets and blankets that make you feel like you’re sleeping in the womb of a cumulonimbus cloud and garnish my space with expensive scented candles (OK, they’re not Diptyque, they’re Yankee -- which is the equivalent of an A-list candle if you’re a writer). I have literature strewn in various nooks, a writing desk peppered with all types of memorabilia, maintain a distinct color pattern that includes a matching zebra-print rug and comforter, and top it off with some intensely hued red and white Christmas lights. The look I’m going for is “middle-aged romance novelist with a pension for an Atlantic City getaway weekend here and there.” MINUS AN APPROPRIATE BED FOR A PERSON MY AGE AND HEIGHT.

Like most of my insecurities -- both large and small -- I’m working on it. I realize this ranks on the lower end of the spectrum, but it still echoes in my mind when I go through my rolodex of insecurities that I have an affinity for ruminating on when I find myself developing a crush on someone. But I can happily say I’m working towards a future where I don’t have to file a FAFSA in order to afford a bigger mattress and one where I don’t care about what some dude thinks about what kind of bed I sleep in -- because there’s only one thing we should be judging people on: how they rank their flavors of Starburst.