It sounds crazy, I know. But trust me, MTV’s Room Raiders made me the man I am today and I’ll tell you how. For those of you not familiar with the show: it was a reality dating show where, according to such highly regarded sources as Wikipedia,
“Three men or women have their rooms inspected, or “raided” by another single man or woman. The raider does not meet or see any of the three single contestants [prior to inspection]. Those contestants watch and comment on their rooms getting inspected, while sitting in [what looks slightly too close to the likes of a rape] van. After the raider has finished with each of the rooms, the three contestants then inspect the raider’s room. Finally, the raider confronts the three contestants and makes his or her choice.”
The show was wrought with cliché horror music and Dutch camera angles to create faux suspense as the contestants watched their rooms get sifted through. It’s all super campy, but that’s the MTV we’ve come to love. As I’m sure you would guess, there was always quite a bit of debate surrounding the actual “realness” that was portrayed in the show. However, if I learned anything from the finale of MTV’s The Hills it’s that we can’t trust reality TV; not one bit. For that reason, I remained skeptical about the show overall, but nonetheless; I still assert that Room Raiders was a valuable asset in crafting the man I am to this day. The following is a list of lessons I learned from watching the show.
DISCLAIMER: As I Googled “Room Raiders” to do research for this article, I was pleasantly surprised to find that MTV.com had all 8 seasons of the wondrous show for our viewing pleasure. However, I was (also pleasantly) surprised to find that the show was quite dated. It reeked of early 2000s faux pas. As such, I thought it would be interesting if I supplied a modern-day equivalent for all the lessons I learned so modern-day gents can reach their full potential as well. First Things First, Invest in the Priceless Purchase of a Black Light Let’s face it, we all watched the show to get to the part where the nosy raider takes out the black light and runs a splooge-detection test to see how gross the person’s sheets really are. If only those contestants had invested in a black light, and of course, had some sense of personal hygiene. While watching the show, it seemed as though the guys that had cleaner rooms not only translated into cleaner guys (i.e. better dressed and more attractive), but they also tended to be the ones that won the date with the girl. Those guys generally had more organized rooms with little-to-no trash, non-douchey decorations, and definitely no gross stains on their beds. MODERN EQUIVALENT: The same as back in the day. Buy yourself a good ol’ black light. It’ll save yourself a lot of trouble. And of course, don’t be a slob. Don’t Keep Nude Pictures of Yourself Hidden Around your Room And definitely don’t print them out. That’s just asking for someone to check out your junk and put it all over the world Anthony Weiner- or Brett Favre-style. However that’s not as easy as it sounds, I know. I get it. We guys have dicks and we like to show them off. But there comes a time and a place. And that place is locked away in a secret folder on your smart phone. Thankfully I was able to stand on the shoulders of giants before and learn from their mistakes. In the pilot episode of the show, Nick Lachey (of that band that wasn’t the Backstreet Boys or ‘Nsync) had his room raided by Jessica Simpson. There she found printed out pictures of himself… of course, naked. Dude, rookie mistake. MODERN DAY EQUIVALENT: Hide your nude pics so when you show someone a cool picture on your phone, they can’t keep swiping through (like all our nosy friends do) and accidentally see your naked selfies. Don’t be a Show-Off Leaving Magnum condoms around your bed? Now that’s just sad. If you’re going to try to compensate for something, at least go out and buy a red sports car. But for real, it sends the wrong signals. Instead of, “I have a big piece of equipment and you should be excited to get to use it,” it screams insecurity, narcissistic tendencies, and amateurism. Women can easily see through that. Real men keep their condoms tucked away in their bedside drawer. While we’re on the subject, don’t keep a condom in your wallet either. That’s not called being prepared, that’s called being desperate. When the time comes, you can figure something out; whether you take a pitstop to the convenient store or employ the pull-out method. Besides, it’s unsafe to keep condoms in your wallet. MODERN DAY EQUIVALENT: If you still want to “nonchalantly” show off, you could do something along the lines of buying bottles of Grey Goose and rare Scotches, and then filling them with off-brand stuff after you’ve finished drinking them. Or, you know, stock actually good liquor at your place so when the ladies come over they have something good to sip on. Either one. Don’t keep a wall of women’s signatures… on your wall. Really dude? A wall of girls’ signatures? That’s not appropriate for your room even if it was the early 2000s. That’s not even appropriate for the ‘90s. In fact, it’s never appropriate. It basically screams desperation and definitely sends signals to any woman that comes in contact with your room that you are an egotistical womanizer. This whole rant should go without saying, but apparently guys like Vinny, a random pre-Jersey Shore meathead contestant decided it was perfectly normal. (Needless to say, he did not get the date with the raider.) But for real, girls that are interested in you want to know that you are equally interested in them and not a bunch of other girls too. They don’t want to be just another girl on the side. When you communicate and interact with women, don’t go on and on about old flings, exes, or other girls in general. Keep your eye on the prize. Treat the woman you are with like they are the only woman worth giving the time of day. MODERN EQUIVALENT: Don’t post too many pictures of yourself with girls on your social media even if they are just friends. This causes women who inevitably stalk your profiles to think you are either a player, a gay best friend, or… both. With that last lesson being said… Make Sure to Get in Good with your Girl’s Close Friends. It’s important that you get on the good sides of your girl’s friends because those friends can make or break a relationship. A trend of several episodes of Room Raiders seems to show the girl raider consulting her friends with regards to the guys’ rooms. While the girl raider (and girl you want to be seeing/are already seeing) obviously has their own opinions, her friends’ feelings definitely play a huge role in her perception of you. MODERN DAY EQUIVALENT: The girl you like inevitably tells her friends about you so her friends can stalk your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, then come back with a full report about your personality based solely on your superficial online presence. If her friends like you, they may overlook the drunken pictures of your last Spring Break. Pick up a talent of some sort, even if it’s playing the ukulele or something. Guys that had drawing/paintings, musical instruments, or demonstrated some sort of artistic expressions in their rooms tended to be favored by the girls raiding their rooms. This obviously means that chicks dig guys who can demonstrate some sort of talent. Pick up a hobby and get good at it, but don’t let it take over your life. I happened to play a few different instruments growing up and I do a lot of different writing (hence what you are reading), which more often than not, sometimes makes me appear cooler than I really am. MODERN DAY EQUIVALENT: Show off your Logic Pro skills with pre-looped songs playing over and over in your room or print off blown-up images of your latest Photoshop creation. Every girl digs a guy who can keep up with the digital art world. Put a Password on your Phone, iPad, and Laptop Don’t leave your dial-up-internet-equipped jumbo ten-pound laptop open and logged into your AIM account like those in the show because contrary to popular belief, people will pass themselves off as you and get you in quite a bit of trouble. Also, if you’re still rocking that junkie fat computer and instant-messaging, it’s time to re-evaluate yourself. MODERN DAY EQUIVALENT: Don’t leave your Facebook logged in at your internship/job or else your slightly-older-but-very-out-of-touch boss may think they can be funny by pretending to impersonate you and post an unflattering status update and/or chat with the other hot intern. In conclusion… unlike Vinny (the dysfunctional contestant referenced before), who claims his phone “can only hold 250 messages” and he’s “gotta clear it at least once or twice a day because he’s such a popular dare-devil” (pre-smart phone problems), I do consider myself somewhat of a catch. And I’ve got Room Raiders to thank for all that they’ve taught me. At least that’s what my intermittent Tinder matches have led me to believe. Also, my iPhone 5 holds unlimited iMessages and texts. Take that 90s Jersey Shore-reject! For more fun, controversial, or crazy stories Cheers me on facebook Raise a glass with me on twitter @ChuckGreenman Toast me at firstname.lastname@example.org