The Perils of Cohabitation
It has been one month since cohabitation with the boyfriend began, and I’m happy to report that things are going well. Of course, there are growing pains — kitchenware chief among them (who needs that many koozies?!). But, all in all, we’re settling in without snags.
However, my boyfriend has faced more than a few realities in the last month, which come accompanied by regular shoulder shrugs and inner thoughts of “what did I get myself into?” Below are a few of those realizations.
1. I hoard.
Or, at the very least, I have a tendency to hoard. I blame my mother. Because of decades of constant moving, she’s militant about cleansing and getting rid of sentimental items, and it bums me out.
Did you have a baby book? Yeah, good for you. What about your mom’s cool vintage wardrobe? Oh, it looks great. So in retaliation for my mom’s inexplicable paring down, I keep things I probably don’t need. Like T-shirts from a volunteer event 10 years ago. Or 50 back issues of Real Simple magazine that I tell myself I keep “for the recipes.”
2. I don’t shop well.
A decade ago, I loved to shop. I had stamina for bargain hunting rivaled only by Lance Armstrong’s lung capacity. I could go for hours — running errand after errand, with energy to spare. Those days are long gone.
Today, domestic errands bring out the petulant small child in me. I get sweaty in the garden section of Home Depot, so ready to leave I near temper tantrum level. The grocery store on a Sunday? The mere thought gives me hives. I don’t even want to talk about IKEA. The only thing that gets me through the store is the promise of an ice cream cone at the end. I’m not proud.
3. I’m not a mom, but I play one on the Internet.
Do I have a child? No. Am I ready to have a child? Not yet. Do I own a home for which I can do DIY projects at will? No. Do I knit charming garments with great regularity? Not a chance.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t gush at cute kids and cute moms and their cute lifestyles on the web. I don’t know Jezebel editor Tracie Morrissey, but that won’t stop me from cracking up at the Instagrams of her deadpan toddler Oona.
When people ask, "Where did you get this recipe?” I reply, “Umm … from a friend.”
Nope, it came from a mommy blog, and the jig is up.
4. I am a little neurotic.
Okay, fine. I’m a lot neurotic. I’d fit very well in a group of Jewish mothers. This is nothing new, and my boyfriend isn’t discovering it for the first time. But when you have your own place, you get a reprieve every time you go home to do your own thing.
Now? Neuroses are front and center, as I overanalyze and worry about most things like it’s a pastime.
5. I get sick at the drop of a Kleenex.
It’s true. I’m pretty weak-willed when it comes to immunity. A baby of premature birth, I didn’t have much hope there. But I powered through and had a healthy childhood, save for a lifetime of poor muscle tone and an iron deficiency.
Cut to adulthood, and every airborne pollen seems to derail me. Even with a daily cocktail of allergy remedies, I’m doomed to regular sinus infections and the not-so-occasional bout of congestion so crippling that I’d rather stay home than expose myself to the devil air.
If there’s a reaction to an antibiotic, I fall into the 5 percent affected. And now I’m not the only one. Date night? Sorry, babe. It’s me and the neti pot, and we’ve got a real rocking evening planned.
I could go on and on about my quirks, e.g., my ability to watch Seinfeld reruns at any time, my disdain for making the bed, my inability to return the remote control to its designated location. I would never expect these things to cause my boyfriend to run for the hills. Thankfully, I found someone who sees those quirks as charming.
And he’s handling things quite well.