Being back at work has definitely made my new living situation both feel more normal, and a lot harder. The first two weeks of living with my man were filled with quiet days of unpacking and then vegging on the couch. Indulging the ‘playing family’ fantasy we all have as kids – cooking, wearing an apron when greeting him as he walks through the door, all that schmaltzy but kind of awesome jazz.
Then reality set back in, and instead, I’m coming home with little over an hour of me time before he gets home, which just gives me time to collect myself and then wash the dishes from the night before. Ah, dishes. The bane of a shared household. I know when I lived in my first share house, the Christian hippies I lived with didn’t seem to believe in cleaning. The dishes, the floors, their baby… I’m not a neat freak by anyone’s standards, but I do appreciate seeing the surface of tables and knowing there isn’t mould growing on unexpected things (just don’t look at the lemon that decided to mutate overnight in our fruit bowl, ok?).
Learning how to live with someone new is an adjustment, no matter who they are. When it’s someone you love to bits, the pressure to make sure things go well is even stronger. So when the inevitable stresses and strains of working life started back up, it filtered into our home life a bit. We got snappy, we had tense moments. I asserted my feminist foot stomps just slightly too much (refusing to do both the cooking and the dishes didn’t go down well – could have handled that conversation better!). The moments have been fleeting, however, and now Simon is sharing the cooking with me we’re both responsible for the series of disastrous dinners we’ve had this fortnight.
We did have our first big storm away from each other, impassioned ‘discussion’ the other night, which was a highly unpleasant but apparently healthy part of being in a relationship (so everyone has been telling me). We’re learning more about each other every day, including the signs we should just stop whatever we’re doing to each other and cool down. Some are learning these lessons more quickly than others! But in the end, we love each other. For those who know the MBTI system, you’ll get a fair idea of our mismatch moments when I tell you that he is a very strong INTP and I am a very strong INFJ. We’re considered the ‘golden couple’ by many in the personality typing world, generally because of a glorious misunderstanding of each other. I don’t think that’s entirely true for me and Simon, as I like to think I’m getting to understand him more each day. And I love everything about him being an INTP, even the bits that frustrate the hell out of me or confuse me. Sometimes we are that couple in the picture above (thanks Pinterest), taking it in turns holding the umbrella.
All up though, I’m very happy. It gives me a warm glow thinking of waking up next to him in the morning (and also gives me the giggles to think of his sleep talking). And our dinner disasters have been fairly hilarious. We have developed an uncanny knack of planning one thing, it going horribly wrong, like the time the steak we had planned to stir fry had gone funky, and then our back up plan also going haywire. Like putting frozen fish in the oven, turning it down from the high heat used to start cooking the frozen chips and not realising that turned the oven off. I came back, cooked our vegetables, opened the oven to serve up and found some slightly soggy, partially melted fish. Mmm, tasty.
Not all dinners have been complete write offs though. We made the mistake of grocery shopping while hungry on the weekend, and Simon convinced me we should get some rib eye steaks. One each. I have never had a rib eye before, so I didn’t realise how huge they are. I have never eaten so much meat in one sitting in my entire life. The thing didn’t even fit on my plate! I didn’t quite make it through the whole thing, but by god, it was delicious. It’s the little things like this that are making it heaps of fun to be living with Simon. That and the stupid goofy feeling I get when I look over at him and realise I get to see him all the time.