Cope With Unemployment With a Nooner and a Sandwich

Dear Dategirl, I was recently laid off and am having a little trouble coping. I'm usually a workaholic, so I hadn't been home very often since the girlfriend and I moved in together. She, on the other hand, works out of our apartment. Our place is not tiny, but it's definitely not huge, so personal space is at a premium nowadays. I was looking forward to spending my off-time between jobs drinking beer, playing Halo, and listening to Metallica on 11 for a few weeks before I get back into the job search. My idea of fun is putting a huge strain on my other half. She's a great girl and is giving me as much room as she can to spread out and explore my free time, but I can't really get loud and drunk when she's working five feet from my face. When we spent eight-plus hours apart, it was a pleasure to see one another. But now we're actually making excuses to get away from one another on a regular basis. We can't even enjoy the simple pleasure of watching Weeds together after we've smoked a bunch of weed. Any advice on how I can decompress in my downtime without making m'lady turn into a witch?—Kabin Fever Kenny

Have you been peeking in my window? Following me home from the corner store? Hacking into my e-mail? Because I am KFK's girlfriend! I mean I'm not, but I am. I work at home, and about a month ago the Depression came crashing into our little house when the Large Greek got the heave-ho from his employers. And yes, it's really hard to both be home 24/7! Really, really hard! I think it's great that you guys have been making excuses to get the hell away from each other, because that's the only sane thing to do in such a situation. Can your girlfriend rent a temporary office until you get a job? I get that finances are tight when you're down to one paycheck, but maybe she can find something cheap. Check out companies that have been downsizing. (I hope it goes without saying that you should pay a portion of the rent, since you're causing her to move.) Then again, you could make the most of your unemployment outside the confines of your apartment. You have all this free time—why not spend at least half your day doing something you wouldn't normally have time to do? Like go to the movies at 11 a.m. Or work out while everyone else is pushing papers. Most gyms are surprisingly empty midmorning, and you'll have the elliptical all to yourself. And isn't that a healthier option than decimating both your hearing and your liver? One thing that makes me nuts is when people don't respect the fact that I actually work at home. It may look like your girl is just staring at her computer or typing or talking on the phone, but most freelancers work even harder than people in an office, because we tend to have many bosses. For example, I have four bosses every week, and on the weeks I get lucky and more work comes my way, that number multiplies. And there's nobody to bitch with over coffee. So here are some suggestions for things I wish my man would do. After all, we are your sugar mamas for the time being. • Offer back and foot rubs. Not only will she be indebted to you, she'll probably want to have sex after you're done. Even the most harried freelancer can fit in a nooner now and then. • Make her lunch. Few things make a freelancer hornier than a delicious turkey sandwich on whole wheat with a couple of those snappy little pickle chips on the side. • Get a job. Sorry. Did I say that out loud?

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