It might be time for me to move.

On Wednesdays, Amanda Chatel will be sharing stories about her strange, fascinating and sometimes wonderful dating life. If it makes you want to date, check out TheGloss dating page.

I received a text from a random 917 number the other day. It asked if I was home and if they could come by to “visit.” Yes, visit was in quotes. I asked who it was. The return response was, “We had sex in the hallway the other day, and I liked it… ;).” Dear god, I thought, I’ve lost my mind and had sex with someone who uses emoticons. However, I hadn’t had sex in the hallway.

I have, on more than one occasion, had intense make-out sessions in the lower stairwell that might look like sex to an untrained eye, but that’s it. I like to think that if I had had sex somewhere in my building other than in my bedroom, I’d remember it. I called out this anonymous texter and asked if it was Andrew — the last person with whom I’d had one of these, er, moments.

“You can call me Andrew, if you like. You like it rough, bad girl, don’t you?”

At that point, I told the person to “fuck off,” and that I wasn’t in the mood for any pranks. The mystery person immediately admitted that it was the super of my building, Robert, and that he was just “playing around with you, girl.” I do not take kindly to being harassed before noon on a Monday. Even if my super and I have a playful back-and-forth banter, the fact that he used someone else’s phone to pull this prank made me none too happy.

Apparently, according to my super who was kind enough to fill me in, they had installed security cameras in the building to catch people who don’t know how to recycle. These delightful new devices had, inadvertently, caught me not once, or twice, but three times messing around on the first floor. Again, I was none too happy.

I picked up the phone to call him.

“Since when have these things been there?” I asked.

“A couple months now,” Robert said, “But we only check them once a month. You’ve been… busy.”

“I have not!” I snapped, as I tried to rack my brain of the three times he “claimed” to have caught me in action. He was right; it had been three times. “Well, it wasn’t sex and it was probably with the same person each time,” I explained. I hesitated, because although I was almost certain it had been the same fella, depending on what Robert regarded as a “couple months,” I could have been caught kissing Tattoo Guy at one point earlier in the summer.

“It’s fine,” he said. “You’re a tramp. I already knew that.”

“I’m a tramp?” I asked. “I hope you mean as in Charlie Chaplin.”

“No. As in trampy.”

I didn’t say anything. I knew I could try to lecture Robert on his meaning of the word tramp, but it would be pointless. As a guy who’s my age, but has been married since he was 18, I’m sure I am the perfect depiction of what he assumes a tramp is, and that’s his problem, not mine. I’m completely comfortable in my behavior, I embrace my sexuality and I’m not about to apologize for hooking up in the stairwell at 4am when no one is around and we can’t quite make it all the way up to my apartment on the fifth floor. It wasn’t sex; it maybe involved some third base type of action but considering how tight we were against each other, that would have to be one hell of a camera to catch anything.

After a long pause, Robert asked if I was still there. I told him yes. I also told him not to call me a tramp again. His response? “Why? It’s funny! You know you are!”

“Well then, Robert,” I said, “I guess that makes it all right then.” I hung up.

If I want to call myself a tramp or slut, that’s my thing. If I want to take back those words and own them, or throw them out of my vocabulary forever, that’s also my choice. Normally, I wouldn’t take offense to it, but I think his nonchalance combined with knowing that I was caught doing something on film by a bunch of guys who work in my building, made my stomach turn. I briefly considered moving, then got distracted by the thought of cupcakes (there’s a new bakery around the corner and the sweet scents have made focusing near-impossible, as evidenced by this tangent thought.)

Takeaway? Stairwells and hallways are for moving from one floor to the next, not for hooking up with hot chefs. And, evidently, my neighbors don’t know how to properly recycle. I might be the building tramp, but at least I know my plastic from my paper.


Photo: GIF/Freezethismoment