Gabriella Paiella actually isn’t a freelance writer. At least not right now. When she submitted this she totally was though. Since then, her and her impressive collection of house coats have jumped ship into the public work arena, taking the entertainment helm as Senior Editor at Maxim magazine where she mines meaning from pop culture to produce cautionary gems and general coverage. Before, though, her writing was a free agent, examining the intersection of popular and sexual cultures for places like The Hairpin, The Daily Beast and Gawker, just to name a few. Here’s hopin’ those house coats still get air time in the Maxim office.
Line of work
My freelance web writing ranges from absurdist humor bits and takedowns to longer pieces about pop culture, books, and sexual trends. I’m mainly attracted to stories that are slightly deranged. (Hence why I co-write a column at Lucky Peach about deranged food crafts.) I do have a Day Job at an incredibly laid-back office where there’s no real dress code. I haven’t tried to show up without pants on, though. Yet.
Because of said job, I have to get my freelance work done either very early in the morning or late at night. I make sure to have at least one assignment going at all times, otherwise I start to marinate in insecurity about my perceived unproductivity. I work best before sunrise, but people tend to conflate waking up early with being a morning person. Absolutely not—I don’t bound out of bed at 5am with a smile on my face ready to face the day. I stay curled up in my comforter, motionless and groaning, while my alarm blares.
When I realize I might pee the bed, I stumble to the bathroom like a baby mole, then into the kitchen for water and coffee. Once I’m sufficiently caffeinated, I can spend a couple hours researching a piece or banging something out. If I’m up working late on deadline, my preferred sustenance is handfuls of shredded cheese out of a bag. My friend Eliza started calling this Couch Cheese years ago (because it was shredded cheese that she ate on her couch)—the name somehow made it sound more appealing and so it stuck. My day job is in food media, and I think they’d be more horrified to know about the Couch Cheese than if I showed up without pants on.
Pantlessness tends to be a theme whenever people discuss working from home—and that’s because it’s fucking awesome. When it’s warm out or the heat’s cranked up in my apartment, I like to wear this one-piece Speedo-knockoff. Lest you think I have some weird Never Nude condition, it’s practical: All the comfort and freedom of being naked, without my ass cheeks getting stuck to my desk chair.
I’m also a house robe enthusiast/evangelist. They’re so damn comfortable (blankets you can wear, people!) and they make me feel chic in a chain-smoking, reclusive great aunt sort of way. The sheer shawl on the far left is my favorite because it’s got a Fleetwood Mac gypsy vibe and, since I’m a woman between the ages of 18 and 65, I love Stevie Nicks.
My boyfriend accidentally threw it into the wash and the fringe was slightly ruined. I didn’t mind but I could totally see Lindsey Buckingham doing that to Stevie on purpose once. (Stevie, if you’re reading this, what’s the best way to clean a shawl?) The white bathrobe on the right is plush as hell, but I wish I had bought it in a different color because it shows food stains instantly (yes, sometimes I use it as a giant napkin). These robes don’t have a cool vintage backstory, I’m pretty sure I bought them all from T.J. Maxx. I think that makes me a Maxxinista.