Ok people, it’s common knowledge that the dude and I have moved in together. This ain’t my first rodeo; I’ve had live in boyfriends, roommates (most of them crazy as fuck), and also one of those husband types for a decade. Sharing a home with a man isn’t a new thing for me, but sharing a space with a NEW man presents a whole realm of WTF moments and reasons to love Xanax.
Let me first start by saying that I knew I would have some serious adjustments to cohabbing after being single and completely independent for going on two years. Duh. I got used to green apples and wine for dinner. Pedicure nights in my underwear watching a Nicholas Sparks movie and crying. Days where I didn’t shave my legs or do laundry because I didn’t have to. Then date night would roll around and I could shower, throw on a sexy bra, glitterize myself, and woo hoo, let’s go play!
It was fun, but honestly, the novelty of doing whatever the hell I wanted to whenever the hell I wanted to do it was wearing thin.
So, when I met the first man who didn’t make me want to shoot myself in either mine or his face after our first date, things progressed rapidly. Things have clicked frighteningly easy especially considering I’m kind of a pain in the ass. Personality wise, we are both strong, some might say slightly overbearing (I am pretty sure that just applies to him, but whatever, I’ll take one for the team here), set in our ways, and have a hard time admitting when we’re wrong. Let’s face it, when you’re wrong as little as I am, it’s hard to quickly come to the conclusion it might be happening again.
Anyway, I digress. So, 6 months after a date at a Thai place where we discussed religion, politics, sex, the clomping sound my heels made on the tile floor, coffee, movies, music, the weather, and I’m pretty sure we covered the possibility of a zombie apocalypse and the morality of cannibalism, we found ourselves moving into this awesome giant family home in Pleasantville. Whee, rainbows and unicorns! Sex on the kitchen counter! Holding hands and gazing adoringly into each other’s eyes as the sun sets.
Um… yeah. No. (Which I’m sure is a relief to all of you who attended our housewarming party and now know for certain there was not any NST had on the kitchen island.)
Enter REALITY. No longer is the theme “Oh it’s date night, I need to do the big shave, change the sheets on my bed and throw all my laundry in the girls’ room.”
He can no longer get all his computer game playing, online geekdom out of his system before it’s time to shower and pick me up for dinner.
It’s a whole new land of snoring, bed hogging, nocturnal farts, stumbling around for coffee, whose turn is it to hold the remote (somehow almost always his), where did these socks come from on the floor, I’m on a conference call could you STFU, no I don’t want to go to bed, where did I put my keys, how long are these dishes going to sit on the counter, one of the kids is fighting, one of the kids is missing, the dog peed because we forgot to open the doggie door, no you answer there’s a Jehovah’s Witness knocking and what do you want for dinner, babe?
Add to that we have completely different styles of execution when it comes to projects. One, I am a domestic goddess of the highest degree. I was a stay at home mom for 8 years, so I can kick the fuck out of laundry’s ass, clean an entire house in under 3 hours, get a stain out of anything using baking soda, club soda, vinegar, Oxy Clean or a magic eraser, organize every single closet by color, label things, and can’t seem to relax until my house is set to rights.
He’s more of a “the house might look a little shitty til the maid comes on Tuesday” kind of guy. Laundry gets done when he runs out of underwear. If faced with a chore or a chance to beta test a new game on his computer, I’ll give you three guesses which one wins and the first two don’t count…
So, let me give you an example of how we’re getting used to this living together song and dance.
During the preparation of our home for our housewarming party last week, I was in uber crazy get shit done mode. And it hit me somewhere in the middle of the party prep that we execute tasks in a completely opposite manner.
Me? I decide what needs to be done. Then I do it. Most of the time, start to finish. Get it out of the way move to Task #2. You call it uptight and OCD, I call it efficient.
He’s got a more circular way of thinking. One, he’ll talk about HOW it needs to be done. Then plan it out. Then maybe enlist a team of experts to offer their opinions on how best to complete said task. Discuss it on a message board. Once that is done, he’ll spend a little time on the task, wander away, do something to clear his head (blow shit up on his computer), then maybe revisit the task when the game crashes, or his bat shit crazy girlfriend comes in and says, “Hey, were you going to finish breaking down the boxes, or should I just throw all this crap in the yard and set it on fire?”
To be fair, his job has been this way for a long time. He’s got three screens on his computer, so he’ll start something for work on one screen, and while he’s monitoring it, play a game on the middle screen, send some emails, or shop on Amazon with the left screen, then wander away to take a poop, or watch TV. So there is a lot of routine that goes along with this.
I have a drive to start something and finish it as soon as humanly possible. I’m that way when I paint. I start a painting, and I need to finish it. I can’t move on to something else until it’s done. If I do laundry, I wash it, dry it, fold it and put it away. I don’t leave the basket of clean clothes sitting on the floor for two days waiting to be folded.
His way is more relaxed. And as a result, he’s more relaxed. Who’s wrong? Who’s right? Both, and neither. Just different.
So, we’re learning. And while there may have been a slammed door (or 15), I may or may not have thrown cardboard boxes at the closed door behind him when I was cleaning the garage, he may have stared at me like I’m a fucking lunatic that needs shock therapy, we seem to be finding (slowly) a rhythm that works for us. It’s going to take time. It’s going to take compromise. It’s going to take patience.
And if I sit down, think and look at my life as it is, I am 100% grateful. Especially when I sit up in bed after just waking up, hair sticking up all over the place, and I have a man hand me a strong cup of Cafe Americano, hug me, kiss me on the forehead, and tell me he’s going to feed the small people so I have a chance to wake up.
Moments like that make up for the times I want to set him on fire.