Week 13 ~ September 14, 2005
~ Learning to Live with Someone and Learning to Like It
I'm in my second trimester now, and with calmer seas ahead, it seems high time that we get the rest of our chaotic life sorted out. First and foremost: unpack. Yes, I know what you're thinking. They STILL haven't unpacked? Ok, I admit it. I had lots of excuses for not unpacking back in my intro journal entry (oh those tricky hormones), but now that life is returning to a somewhat normal state... no excuses! I'm lazy! I'm a bad nest-building mommy type! The cats have gone feral, waging battle beneath the boxes and mattresses that have become their own personal jungle gym, and living off coffee they sneak out of Aaron's various mugs abandoned in the living room daily when he realizes that he's going to be late for work. The baby's room is littered with all my clothes that I never bothered to hang up because, well, they don't fit me anymore, now do they? And, worst of all, the kitchen that my mom and I had worked so diligently to clean and unpack a few weeks ago is now mass chaos, and I really believe that the likelihood that we have not a single clean dish or eating utensil is quite good. Gross! I walk into the kitchen, step over the empty boxes from Aaron's Hamburger Helper that the cats have knocked to the floor, and think to myself, "I'm living like a filthy, dirty BOY!" This never would have happened with my past female roommates. Sure, we had some not so clean times, but this level of filth is equal to only those times spent over at old boyfriends' Boy Houses of Doom. And that's when it dawns on me... I'm living with a boy.
No more guaranteed clean silverware. No more coy fabric matching from couch to curtains to throw pillows. No more colour tie-ins from one room to the next. Welcome enormous 87,000 square foot speakers in the living room and stinky, dirty old socks in the bathroom.
I'm living with a boy.
Now I love Aaron very, very much, and believe me, I am more than willing to forgive him his faults, but this past month has sure been more of an eye-opener than I ever could have expected. Over the past two years, when we were together, we were TOGETHER - seeing each other almost daily, constantly camped out at one or the other's places, our things all a jumble here and there. I could honestly say that there were no surprises to me as to how he lives. The thing is, though, when it's his apartment, and it's dirty, that doesn't matter because in the end it's always HIS place, and I can leave if I want to. Now, however, I have no escape! The coffee mugs and dirty socks are just a start. Now it's stubble in the sink from shaving and X-Box controllers strewn dangerously around open floor space, and did I mention those enormous speakers? Being an artist myself, I've prided myself on a very carefully crafted living room colour scheme, and a display of my much-loved pieces of Mexican art brought back piece by piece from trips to visit the family down in El Paso. And now, nestled on either side of our new Santa Fe TV cabinet, we have giant, black, furry speakers. How can I make these evil black monsters fit next to Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent god, and La Virgen de Guadalupe candles? I can't! I love living with him, I love that he's always there, I even love cooking dinner for him and doing his laundry, and the last thing I want to do is be a nag and make him uncomfortable in what is ultimately his house too. This is going to take some careful consideration.
Issue # 1: The Mess. Aaron is naturally inclined towards messiness, something I have been aware of for years. However, once his home is clean, he'll generally do his best to keep it up. The problem now is that I also am more inclined towards pack-ratism and messiness (my insanely anal-retentive clean freak brother got all the cleaning genes). This explains why, though we're both miserable, a lot of the unpacking isn't done, the clothes haven't been taken up off the floor and hung, etc. I had hoped that over Labour Day, with a long weekend, we'd be able to get it together. We did get the living room pretty well situated, but one room out of six does not a happy home make. Finally, this morning it dawned on me: with only the two of us, and our lazy expectations towards the each other as motivation, we'll never get things done. Simple solution (and I can't believe I didn't think of this before) - scare tactics. While it's really too bad that we're not having company over that would compel the Southerner inside of me to clean, clean, clean, we DO have a few repairs that need to be made. I've scheduled an appointment for the maintenance man to come by our house next Monday and fix our shower. Clean freak southern relative he may not be, but it's something at least. I don't want him seeing all my undies lying around! This weekend, we have no choice. We HAVE to clean for the maintenance man. I warned Aaron of his imminent arrival, and his reaction was the same, "gah, we have to clean!" Ha!
Issue # 2: Girly House? Nay, artist house, I say! So, whilst in the admittedly sporadic process of unpacking and decorating our new house, I've been the Commander of Detail, dictating where every picture, and mirror will be hung, which throw pillow goes where, etc. This has come after a month of walking through the house every day and mentally fitting our belongings into the rooms. Then, the other night, Aaron and I were getting into a slight squabble about why I was not going to be hanging his hippie zodiac wall tapestries anywhere, when he suddenly burst out that I was turning this into a Girl House. I was aghast, didn't know what to say. True, I'd never had to accommodate my tastes for a boy before, but he knew what all my belongings were before we moved in together, and it's not like they're pink and purple with unicorns and fairies! Yuck! No, I favour a theme of blues throughout, with bold highlights in red. Now it would seem that he's trying to back-peddle on an earlier statement that he is not visually motivated, and does not generally notice decor in a room so much as he notices good sound flow. I've been trying to compromise, angling the TVs just so for him, and allowing those ghastly speakers, but he's nit-picking my carefully coordinated artwork! And so, since the upset, I've been very cautious, asking his opinion on each and every piece I plan to buy, explaining to him why and where things go where they do, and how does he react? With complete indifference! I can't win! Frustrated, I went to my mother, and we came up with our solution. Perhaps it's unfair, but here it is: We decorate the house exactly as I want it, while he's at work. Allowances will be made for him, of course. The speakers can stay; we're just going to pretend that they're tables and put candles and such on top of them. He hates the white bedroom furniture I have, and has stubbornly placed his dark, dark wood dresser right in the middle of everything. Ok, I'll work with that, I'll get dark wood decorative pieces to put all around and play off dark and light. We can work with this. As my mother says, he might not be exactly thrilled once I'm done with it, but chances are he'll be too lazy to change it, and then eventually, he'll learn to love it. Ha! Maybe that's mean of me, but what else can I do if he only criticizes but won't help me? And if he absolutely hates something, we'll change it. I'm not that mean. In the end, I'm the artist, he's the music connoisseur, I'll take charge of the visual embellishments, and he can have fun with his speakers.
Other than that, not much on baby front this week. I've been eating for dear life to try and stop the daily 5:15 p.m. throw up sessions. It's been frustrating, because no matter what I do, every day when I get home from work, I get sick. It finally dawned on me that what's really going on is most likely a combination of end-of-the-day tiredness and the late-afternoon heat more than my not eating. I'm going to try the Hop Immediately Into Bed method this week, and see how we stand on the sick issue after a good nap. Not surprisingly, I'm in the bathroom constantly now, as Squirt seems to have made my bladder his/her own personal trampoline. Ah, how I regret always making fun of my mom for needing to use the bathroom at each and every store we enter while shopping. And in other big (heh) news, I suddenly have enormous boobs! And apparently, everybody else has known about this for some time, while I've been in the dark. Last Friday, at work, I was suddenly hyper-conscious of the amount of boobage bursting forth from my blouse, but wasn't sure why. I was wearing the same style bra I've worn for years, the same blouse buttoned to the same level, but suddenly I felt almost obscene. I went over to my parents' that evening, and there, in the better lighting of their bathroom, I noticed itů BOOBS! I seem to have gone up an entire cup size without having even realized it. I mentioned it to some of my girlfriends, and they complained that I had indeed been "spilling out" of my shirts for some time. Apparently, everyone has noticed this (the most embarrassing is, after I had been visiting my mom's co-worker's new house, and after I had left, her outspoken daughter pronounced of me, "Wow, she is REALLY short, and she has REALLY big boobs!") When Aaron got home that night, I told him my tale of woe, and he just looked at me with his slightly befuddled Aaron look, and said that he'd assumed I knew, and was just trying to be sexy. No! NO! In the end, I've decided that it's all Aaron's fault for having noticed for weeks my sudden additions, but not having told me (poor Aaron!), and am determined to be more chaste from here on out. Humph.