Guest Post: What to Expect When You’re Expecting….To Live with Brett and Vanessa

An open letter to Rhonda from Jackie and Foxy (former roomies of Brett and Vanessa):

We moved in with Brett in October 2009 after reading his Craigslist ad and viewing the apt for less than 5 minutes. To be fair, he had only met one of us in person. This is an open letter to Rhonda: what to expect when you’re expecting to live with Brett and Vanessa for a year.

Foxy and I had been together for 5 years when we moved in with Brett, but she fell in love with Brett the minute she saw him. He’s a handsome dude…but keep your distance. Vanessa looks sweet, but she won’t hesitate to choke a bitch. Brett reciprocated her love by penning a beautiful song on his guitar about Foxy’s poop. I’m sure you’ll hear it and know it by heart soon.

Brett is not what I’d call a handyman, but what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in enthusiasm and creativity. Over a period of weeks, Brett disassembled and repaired his malfunctioning toilet tank assembly. Using a kit and sometimes unconventional methods, Brett had a will to stop sharing my bathroom…and he found success. This success was celebrated by Brett yelling the news to the neighborhood from the balcony (“I’m a man!! I fixed my toilet!!”) and celebrated by our very un-New York neighbors who yelled back with their congrats.

Vanessa moved in about two years later for the summer…which turned into a year (due to delays you are well aware of). One would think adding an extra person to a small household would be challenging, and sometimes exacerbated by adding two girls to the mix. Let me assure you, this is not the case. Vanessa is the most considerate and accommodating person you could have the pleasure of spending a year with. She will cook you dinner, make fun of your ex-boyfriends and tell you that skirt makes you look like a skank, but it’s really working for you. Vanessa is also full of fun creative surprises. She can make smoked salmon look like vaginas, pickle her own pickles, and turn beer into lemonade. She can turn a lamp into an IV drip. She will buy you a cake on your birthday and write a card that will make you cry. And she’s the kind of friend who will hold your hair out of the toilet when you’re hungover (so she can get a better picture of your face).

I also realize you must be intimidated to take a hungry poop-powerhouse like Brett on a long trip with you, but I assure you, Vanessa has never once pooped in the time I’ve known her, so it will all even out in the end.

As great as Brett and Vanessa are apart, together they are more than a sum of their parts. They inspire and support each other, compound on each other’s jokes, and make up for what the other lacks. My favorite evening with the two of them was on Christmas. I had totaled my car only days before and making the effort to visit my family was too much. Vanessa was unable to fly home to New Mexico, and Brett was Jewish.  Vanessa decided to make a rack of lamb/beef from a calendar recipe and we all got hammered playing scrabble and reciting amateur erotic fiction in a terrible Boston accent. We exchanged gifts by the utility closet and I passed out while straining to hear Brett and Vanessa getting it in through our bedroom walls.

But I assure you, they are not just fun and games. Brett will vouch for your sobriety to get you in a bar even as you fall down a flight of stairs directly next to the bouncer. Vanessa will look for your lost retainer in your vomit-soaked pants pockets without a complaint. And they’ll get you home safe.

You guys are going to have a great trip. 🙂


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