If you’ve been paying attention to anything I’ve been saying for the past two weeks you know two things: 1. My mom knows what a chode1. is, and 2. At the end of the month I’m moving. It’s been a difficult few weeks leading up to the event, what with the refrigerator crapping out on me and the Slutty Colorist (her official nickname, which is not racist – she works in a hair salon) screwing me over (my last email to her read: “Good luck with the job and everything, but with all due respect if I ever need my tips frosted or some awesome highlights, I’ll probably go with someone else.”) But it all worked out and now the only thing left is for me to actually pack up my crap and move, the last remaining detail being “Where to?”
Let’s do it this way – THE TOP 5 PLACES I AM NOT MOVING:
3. Los Angeles
4. Any state where NASCAR rates higher than football
5. Into my girlfriend’s apartment
And now, THE ITEM ON THE ABOVE LIST ABOUT WHICH I AM LYING:
Yes, I’m moving in with The Girlfriend. Into the same apartment. Where both she and I will live. Together. Sharing a toilet.
And it’s not that I’m scared or apprehensive or anything. I’m actually really excited. It’s just that everyone around me seems to be panicking about it. When I told a friend of mine, he responded with, “Wow, really? That’s an interesting choice,” as though I had just told him Rod Stewart was my favorite male singer of all time. Even my mom gets nervous when we talk about it, as though there is a cosmic balance dependant on The Girlfriend and I not failing at this, or as if she knows a deep secret regarding the whole situation, like The Girlfriend is really my cousin, although I hope if that were the case she would have put a stop to things much earlier than this.
The thing is, The Girlfriend and I tried this once before a few years ago, to mixed results. And by “mixed results” I mean “we nearly killed one another, but ended up not.” But we were young and I was in a particularly confusing “post-graduation” place. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, I wasn’t happy with my job and there was a general sense of uneasiness everyday where the first question I would ask myself every morning while stepping into the shower was “What the hell am I doing?” (Note that absolutely nothing is different now except for the fact that I accept my circumstances and can afford the better liquor which really does reduce the effects of a hangover, and I take a multivitamin with ginseng. Plus there’s only so much introspection a person can handle. About two years ago it got to the point where when it came time to look inside myself for answers I would instead make a sandwich and watch an episode of “Law & Order”, and you wouldn’t believe the turn things took for the better after that.) So we moved into separate apartments, fought like hell cats and came out on the other side better people and better “talkers” and better at doing that thing where you have the look on your face like you’re screaming but really you’re just “talking sternly to get your point across without yelling, because that’s counter productive, but obviously I’m yelling.”
And while I know that this time will absolutely be different, and I mean different better, not different more efficient at inflicting pain on one another, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few obstacles and conflicts to resolve. Such as:
My OCD vs. her “I don’t care”
Sometimes when I go to visit The Girlfriend and she has run out to the store, she leaves me notes that read “DON’T MESS THE PLACE UP!” as I look out over a sea of clothing on the floor, at least 18 empty water bottles strewn about, an iron in the middle of the living room floor and so many dirty dishes in the sink that I once had to drink juice out of a Tupperware because I couldn’t even find a glass.
Me? I’m not a fanatic, but I’m an “a place for everything” kind of guy. And if there isn’t a place for it, I’ll build a place for it. And if you leave the kitchen cabinets open I’ll close your head in them. You know, that kind of guy.
Her up at 5:00 every morning vs. me literally nauseous at the thought
The Girlfriend gets up every morning and runs five miles. It’s the sort of thing I had only heard about people doing before I met her, and I assumed that they did it because they were cancer survivors who worked extra hard in life like Lance Armstrong. It’s a choice she makes that I have to admit I will never understand, and while I was at first nervous at the thought of being woken up every morning at 5:00, a good friend put a positive twist on it: “Just think of it as having the bed to yourself for two whole hours after that.”
Her healthy eating vs. my love of cookies
I want no part of a home absent of desserts. To me, it’s part of life. It’s a nightly reward for having survived another day. In The Girlfriend’s apartment, the best it gets is Eddy’s Slow Churned Light iced cream, which I feel compelled to admit is as good as the commercials say it is. But that’s by no means enough of a variety for me. We have talked about segregated food stashes, so she isn’t tempted by mine. But I just feel with all the progress our ancestors have made, it would be irresponsible to not practice integration, tolerance and compromise, like maybe a carrot cake.
My love of TV vs. her love of “talking”
Yes, sometimes while I am watching TV I think, “This really is a waste of my time, I’m a smart guy I should really be doing something more –“ and then the show comes back from commercial and I go back into my happy, catatonic state.
The Girlfriend, she doesn’t really watch TV. She likes to have “conversations” and “discussions,” which I guess is alright, but I always figured that’s what the weekends were for. The good thing is that when we are watching TV in bed, if I can successfully ignore her for five straight minutes she will immediately fall asleep. Seriously, she has a resting pulse of 58. She’s constantly on the verge of sleep.
(I swear, we do have some things in common. Really.)
Her wanting a Jon Secada CD for her birthday vs. me thinking it would be awesome to see Jon Secada and Bruce Springsteen in a fist fight
Our tastes in music aren’t all that different, but every so often a Bonnie Raitt song will come on or one of the Adam Ant songs she has purchased off iTunes and in the past I could just threaten to leave but not when I’m living there. Now, I will have to go in the bathroom and run the shower for three minutes and thirty-six seconds.
Her needing a comforter and flannel sheets every night vs. me dying of heat stroke
An actual quote from The Girlfriend: “You know how in the old days they would put hot bricks wrapped in cloth at the foot of the bed to stay warm? Why’d we ever stop doing that?”
Yes, sometimes I feel bad that sometimes she has to wear a hat to bed, but while she can continually add clothes to stay warm there are only so many articles of clothing I can remove to keep my core temperature from hitting triple digits. Will it create some problems? Yes. Will those problems include “too much sex”? No, I don’t believe they will.
Her taste in decorating vs. my good taste in decorating
I’m not saying she has bad taste, I’m just saying I have good taste and we’re different. But this will be a whole separate post, because I can’t possibly describe the convergence of my “Bath 25¢ – Soap Extra” sign with her purple beaded, 5 x 7 picture frame in less than 1,000 words. It just wouldn’t be fair to either of us, but mostly me because this is my blog and my opinions are really the only ones that matter.
1. Does anyone have experience with writing Wikipedia entries? Because this one is in need of some serious clarification, if not an addendum at the very least.