Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The past couple of days have seen me undergoing some real adjustments and soul searching in terms of my living arrangements.

My boyfriend, Alex, and I have been living together for just over three weeks now. One of those weeks, I was away on vacation. And at first it was kind of like a really long sleepover. Now, real life has stepped in. We're starting to figure out this whole roommate situation.

I tell you: it's hard.

I'm sure it would be a little easier if there were multiple rooms in my jr-1 bedroom apartment. But there's just the living room/kitchen, the bedroom and the bathroom.

Little things like when one does the dishes and whether the TV is on and what you watch become a really big deal. Because you can't escape from these things - even though I try.

I'm one of those people who really enjoy my quiet time.

You might have read about how much joy I take in my quiet coffee-drinking, book-reading weekend mornings. I also use the quiet as a way to unwind after work, after walking the hour-long smoggy, sweaty, honk- and siren-filled path back home. I like to do my yoga tape and take deep breaths and get calm. This is my routine.

Now, I get home and someone's there. And the TV is playing a brainless bounty-hunter show very loudly. The air conditioner roars out its chill. A cacophony of sound hits me. I am immediately uncomfortable.

I try hanging out in my bedroom but the TV is still distracting me. It is only about five feet away on the other side of the wall.

I try working on my computer, hoping that it will keep my mind off of the noise. Often this is the case - I can usually work on my computer, oblivious to everything else going on around me.

No deal.
Besides, the air conditioner is now giving me goosebumps.

I draw myself a bath. Yes, on the hottest, most humid day of the year, I am drawing a bath to warm up. But also to drown out the sound and be able to concentrate on my book. It works for a while and my shoulders start to drop away from my ears.

But as soon as I turn off the water, the TV drowns away my calm oasis. I yell to please turn it down, but of course he cannot hear me. It is too late anyway, the moment has passed and I am irritated.

Conversation is not welcomed. Quiet is not to be found.
Desperate screaming is soon to be had.

Of course, I know that no one is being unreasonable. Alex is just doing what he normally does. I understand wanting to do that. I also want to do what I do.

I realize that life will never be the same.

Gone are the days of selfishness, when I just cleaned up after myself and did what I want to do, when I wanted to do it. Gone are my routines that I cherish, because they interfere with someone else's routines.

It's a hard adjustment.
I suppose this is why it's best to marry when you're young: you haven't yet become set in your ways. You don't have such cherished routines.

And I suppose I know that what we will likely do is create new cherished routines together.

Living together, even when you love someone, is difficult. I know this from talking to my brother this weekend at his BBQ. Of course he loves his fiance. But that doesn't mean they don't argue about cleaning responsibilities and money and plans.

Just now we are figuring out how to live together without irritating the other, because we know it's possible. It just means change and compromise and unending patience.

I guess I'll just have to grow some patience.


Sara Desjardins said...

It's just one more month...and then you'll have more space. Things will get easier!

Just keep busy until then so these behaviours don't become your norm :)

Anonymous said...

Having more space isn't going to solve your problems. Both of you are going to have to make some serious compromises. Unfortunately, the best relationships are ones where you don't have to compromise. Relationships in which both people can be who they are without having to change are amazing. Sadly you are most likely destined for a mediocre relationship where you will have to give up some of the things that make you awesome to preserve something below average. Eternal bliss will not be yours.

You can add roomate grief to your long list of issues. You heard it here first - May 30, 2006.

Sara Desjardins said...

Just to clarify, I didn't say having more space will solve her problems.

Of course there will be compromises, but with more space there will be less compromises compared to where she's living now. I don't know if you've ever been to her current apt...but it's TINY! I can NOT imagine sharing that space with ANYONE for a weekend (my place isn't that much bigger), let alone for several weeks. It's good for one person and maybe a cat :P

And...of course the best relationships are those where you don't have to compromise, but in 17 years of dating, I've never found one where I don't have to. I offer congrats to anyone who has found that - but then I'd ask them how much they walk over their partner, for even the tiniest issues. Just b/c they don't voice them, doesn't mean they aren't there.

Anonymous said...

Oh man. Alex watches "Dog: The Bounty Hunter"? That's inexcusable. That's one of those shows where I wonder, "Who actually watches that?" Now I know. Does he watch "Mindfreak" too?

Maybe he could pull himself away from the TV to update his blog for the first time in over a month. I'm just sayin', is all.


Unknown said...

Ha, yes, he DOES watch "Mindfreak" - how did you know?!

PS Anonymous, thanks for calling me "awesome" I guess, though not so much for the doom and gloom on the relationship. Obviously you are an expert on relationships and especially mine.

I don't think adjusting your behaviour to please a mate is a problem.

It's not like I'm asking him to drugs nor is he asking me to drink out of the toilet.

Anonymous said...

Cath: I don't know how I knew. I just knew. Of course, I'm sure Alex thinks my Raptors obsession is supremely douchey so it all balances out.