How to live like a 27-year-old male bachelor (and survive)

On the surface I’m just an average 27-year-old guy, but when you look closely you’ll discover that I am, in fact, just an average 27-year-old guy. I like to think I’m different, above the mark, funny, comical, smart, intelligent, witty, hilarious, though perhaps a bit repetitious.

I haven’t been shopping in quite a while. And by quite a while I mean since June. While it may be a slight exaggeration, it’s not too far from the truth (because that’s what slight exaggerations are: not too far from the truth).

I moved to New York City in November of last year, right after Thanksgiving. My apartment is located in Spanish Harlem on the island of Manhattan; my roommate and I call it Hotel Harlem. The reason for this name is obvious: we know a lot of people and a lot of people come to have sleepovers. We have an uncomfortable couch and a few uncomfortable air mattresses. Perfect for a hotel.

At the end of April we had a friend come stay for a few weeks. While here she ended up getting a job. So she came back to work for the summer a few weeks after her vacation was over. She was originally going to live somewhere up north, but that didn’t work out so she ended up in Hotel Harlem for the duration.

When you have someone living rent-free on your couch for 3 months, and that person is not a jerk, they tend to do nice things like buy food, cook food, clean the dishes, etc. In other words, I haven’t needed to go shopping much in the last 3 months.

All of that is the long way of saying: I am out of food.

Like, almost completely out of food. This isn’t exactly a new situation for me to be in, but it’s never a fun one.

So imagine my surprise when I realized that our nearly-permanent Hotel Harlem guest didn’t clean up after herself! She left peanut M&M’s, some chocolate, and gingersnaps. That’s like enough food for a week! Or perhaps just an afternoon.

What would you do if the only food items you had were peanut butter, gingersnaps, chocolate, milk, butter, tapatio hot sauce, apple sauce, eggs, old cookies, honey, pancake mix, syrup, and grape nuts cereal?

That’s right. Mix it all up and eat it.

No, I didn’t do that. I don’t have a blender.

This is what I did:

  • Ate some peanut butter
  • Ate some gingersnaps and peanut butter
  • Gingersnaps + milk!
  • Gingersnaps + butter
  • Gingersnaps + honey
  • Gingersnaps + chocolate
  • Gingersnaps + syrup
  • Gingersnaps + tapatio hot sauce
  • Gingersnaps + ketchup

At that point I knew it was time to stop. The ketchup wasn’t even mine. Sorry, roommate.

It was with this that I came to the realization that I am just an average 27-year-old bachelor. Single men do weird things. And I am one of them.

Oh well.

If you’re ever starving with gingersnaps and ketchup, don’t worry, it’s not as gross as it sounds.

Food, New York, Harlem


  1. bob schwartz Ryan Get married, have babies.. you wont ever worry about such things as food and grocery shopping. No, rather your mind will be intensely focused on Mortgage payments, college savings, health care, diapers and from time to time you may find your self longing for the sweet taste of freedom that comes with ginger snaps and ketchup! B
  2. SpecKK

    Much as I love catsup (it was my first word after all), I’m more strongly in favor of Cream Cheese on ginger snaps. Now that’s good eats.

    Oh, and go shopping for some real food.

  3. justin hileman Gingersnaps + ketchup sounds absolutely awful. For the record.
  4. Brandon As a 22 year-old-bachelor who just finished a mind-blowing lunch/dinner of two extra large bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I hear ya, bro.
  5. Ryan

    @bob I think I’ll go savor some more gingersnaps and ketchup! haha

    @SpecKK I want to try the cream cheese. Duly noted.

    @justin That’s what I thought, too. I’ll never eat again if I can help it, but it’s sort of nice to know it won’t induce puking.

    @Brandon I wish I had Cinnamon Toast Crunch! That’s hands down one of my favorite cereals.

  6. Stephen Palmer Oh man, that’s the life! Totally brings back nightmares, er, memories. You can have your “freedom,” I’ll take my hottie and the responsibility. ;-)
  7. justin hileman @ryan I answer to ‘bob’ often enough that I thought you were replying to me… Stop trying to confuse :)
  8. Beth I’m sure if you posted your address, tons of girls would mail you Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I even have a large box to spare! ;)
  9. Kevin I think Beth is offering. You should take her up on that. I mean the only thing better than cinnamon toast crunch is free cinnamon toast crunch..well err that and lemonade, chocolate milk, oranges, oreos…well you get the point :)
  10. Renee I have sugar-free Cool Whip, cheerios, and eggs. Suggestions?
  11. Brandon What a delicacy!
    1. Heat the cool whip on medium heat until it boils down to an oily gray texture. 2. Fry the eggs in it. 3. Sprinkle the cheerios on top for an added crunch. Bon apetit! (also goes well with easy cheese, for some extra ZING)
  12. rachel

    i told you you would miss me.

    also there’s cream cheese in the fridge; next to the butter. i just bought it like a week and a half ago so it probably isn’t even moldy yet.

  13. Jonathan

    I’m curious, and tempted to try other gingersnap combinations.

    I’ve been living off of puffed rice for breakfast. For lunch, I’ll have Top Ramen with an egg. Yes. Egg-drop Ramen. …mmm, delicious. Or at least less unhealthy?

    Oh, thanks for trying the ketchup so we don’t have to.

  14. Ryan

    @Beth Whoa that’s tempting. I hadn’t thought of putting my address online in order to receive free food. What if I end up with stalkers?

    I setup a amazon wish list for food, but unfortunately amazon really only has food in bulk. Oh well.

    @Renee I’m really curious if Brandon’s idea for that would actually taste good… I bet the easy cheese would be amazing.

    @rachel oh shoot! Now there’s cream cheese, but no gingersnaps. I shouldn’t have eaten them all so quickly.

    @Jonathan you’re quite welcome.