Cohabitation, Part II

When I was a young lass (so many, many years ago) I cohabitated with a male person who then became my husband. All of my friends were cohabitating too. And, at 22, your notion of what is irritating or inconvenient is much different from the notions you have fifteen years later.

There has been not one debate over toilet paper roll placement (paper goes OVER THE TOP), toothpaste tube squeeze methodology (I’m not touching this), bed-making efficacy, or dishes. There have been no lengthy discussions over the cat box, feeding of the cat, or locating the cat (the cat likes to hide).  There have been no concerns about money, or time apart, or time together.

In a large part, the things I have to get used to are the things that never occurred to me.

Leftovers, for one. As a mom of one (who goes to his father’s house 3 nights per week), leftovers in the fridge mean lunch– or even dinner– for the next day is taken care of. Bankable food. Thanks to folks in from out of town, and a disinclination to cook after you’ve moved furniture around all day (all the furniture that was left in the house was crammed into my 12×12 dining room), we had Indian leftovers and Italian leftovers.

They never stood a chance. I’m not saying Lobster Carbonara isn’t a perfectly acceptable breakfast item, I’m just saying that if my choice were that or cereal I’d eat the cereal.

Then there’s the GIGO law: Garbage In, Garbage Out. Literally. When the Male Person asked me when Recycling was, I told him it was on Thursday. However, I did not mention that Trash Day and Yardwaste Day are on the same day. “How come the Recycling bin is at the curb?” I inquired. “It’s recycling day, I thought you said.” “Well, why didn’t you take the trash and yardwaste out with it?” “Because you didn’t tell me that was the same day.”

Or, like the time we went to go yell at Lowes. I had ordered new basement doors — my basement doors are an odd size and come with measurements that suffix with “3/16” and so forth — and they came in incorrectly. After procuring the receipt, copy of submitted measurements, etc., and piling them neatly in the “man area” of the counter, I sauntered down to the truck and asked him if he needed help with the doors. He said no, so I went and sat in the truck. As we readied to depart, he asked me if I had the paperwork, and I said “No.” And he looked at me as though I was from Mars.

It’s fair to point out I may have been. I have no idea *why* I just assumed he’d take the paperwork, because after all he was the one to do the measuring and so, in my semi-logical brain it fitted that he’d get the paperwork. How that was supposed to manifest itself into his hands from the kitchen fifty yards away was not part of the equation.

Taking two people who have lived essentially “alone” for a period of time and having them live together is an interesting social experiment. It is also an exercise in patience, something I’ve been short of as of late. (You have your house torn up for 4 days straight and see how well you function). (Also, the IHOP in Bellevue does not have cheese blintzes, so if like me you made a special trip to get a fix to kinda calm you down? Don’t do it.)  As we move to Phase III of Operation Super Secret Project, I expect to be more patient. After all, my house is together.

If only I could get over the insurgence of forest-green towels. Really.

Cohabitation, Part I

I’ve been in absentia in the ethersphere of late, courtesy of the massive upheaval at home (including Operation Super Secret Project, Parts I-CLVIII) and the continuing fascinating Super Secret Projects at work. Sorry about that. What did I miss?

Cohabitation is both awesome and totally f-d up. The awesome is, of course, having your object of affection right there: you can reach out and touch someone, as it were. Accessibility makes the heart grow fonder and all that jazz. You have someone to share household obligations with (let the record state that I went out for a run and came home to find my car interior Armor-All’d) and now I can watch Battlestar Galactica (I’m almost done, don’t ruin it for me, I don’t know yet who the 5th Cylon is) more than one night per week.

However, this particular cohabitation is f-d up, and it’s largely due to the massive upheaval. We didn’t plan this terribly well because it took a lot less time to get some things done than we planned (this was like when I planned to have a baby and everyone told me it would take like 6-8 months to conceive, and it took like 2 weeks. You think I would have learned my lesson.) And it took a lot longer to get some other things done. In short: it ran exactly like a work project, and here I had been under the illusion I was mistress of my life.

This resulted in the Male Person moving in BEFORE the painters and carpet people came in, neither of whom can, of course, do their work in a day. We are now on day 3 of painting, which, if you’ve ever had painters redoing bits and pieces of your whole house, you know means your bed is in the middle of your room, there are no curtains anywhere so your neighbors know you wear that old sweatshirt more often than is likely healthy, and the cat is displeased.

Carpet will take two days, which results in us moving 1,400 square feet of furnishings into the other 400 square feet (compression garments are NOT available in dining-room size) on Friday, having him do tear out and putting in new pad, and then waiting until Sunday (yes, Easter Sunday) for the new, fluffy, nearly-white carpet to be put in. Meanwhile, we have my furniture, and his furniture, in the house and garage. We are the owners of four sofas and 2 coffee tables, 2 kitchen aids and a staggering volume of knives. So in addition to all of this, we need to figure out what to keep, what to store, and what to donate.

Life will calm down by Monday — just in time for the Male Person to leave for a few days. Leaving me home either with the BoyChild or alone, with the cat.  The cat is not a fan of the upheaval, either.

In other news: I’ve quit training for the STP (there is no time there is no time there is no time) but may be on the hook for 2 or 3 triathlons and definitely for one run this summer, I had the most huge injection I’ve ever had two weeks ago and will totally blog about it later, and the deer are eating my #$%%$#( tulips again.

Unlikely Happenings

Last week I was in Chicago and Phoenix (aside from weather extremes, both were lovely) and this week my world is upside down.

It is April 6, and it is snowing in Sammamish. Big, fat flakes are falling from the sky, and they’re STICKING. I have no doubt they’ll be rained away or melted away by morning, but it shows a fundamental lack of temporal observance on the part of the Sammamish sky.

I am waiting for a cat to come out.

My boyfriend’s cat.

We are cohabiting. Officially. He has no other house to go hide in, or for me to ask him to go to.

Now, this wasn’t a surprise (to me). I knew, leaving for Chicago, that when I got home 9 days later that I would have acquired some new furniture pieces, a third grocery consumer, and a catbox. Nothing here was unplanned, nothing without a spreadsheet rationale. I will say that he (and the cat) tolerated my post-trip typical cleaning frenzy quite well.

As much as we’ve all settled into a groove– there’s been a slow progression/dress rehearsal for this many times in the last year — the only one to whom this circumstance is completely new is the cat. The cat doesn’t like people much. Correction: the cat doesn’t like people. She likes *him*, but that’s about it. So here she is, ensconced in a rambler (no stairs to deal with) but with far more windows and wider ledges than she’s been privy to previously. She is not sure about the Boy Child.

Tonight is our first official night alone together. The Man is off Doing Things, and will not be back tonight. I know, here we are more than three years into acquaintance and yet I find myself wondering what she will do: will she hide under the bed all night? Will she come out now that the Boy Child is asleep? Will I find her asleep on his bed? Will we suddenly become fast friends, with me officially adopting her as my cat? An unending string of improbabilities floats before us…

Then again, it’s snowing in Sammamish on April 6. Stranger things have happened.