Every time Wine Guy and I make plans, we end up with the same annoying question. "Who's apartment are we staying at?" Even though we live about 2 miles apart, this seemingly small issue causes a heck of a lot of annoyance. After six months of dating, with things moving along nicely, I'm starting to wonder, at what point are you supposed to just say, "Screw it. Let's live together."
I know co-habitation is a big deal. I've done it before and it didn't go all that well. As a result, I vowed I would not do it again unless there was solid proof of an impending marriage. Sounds old fashioned I know, but I've seen the whole "Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?" scenario play out too many times with the girl on the losing end.
But as this apartment shuffle grows more irritating, I'm starting to look at the other side of the equation and remembering all of my friends who've lived with their significant others and had it turn out beautifully in the end. I should know, I bought them all wedding gifts.
If any of you are Dr. Laura listeners (or like me, you "love to hate her" and guiltily tune in from time to time), you might be thinking, "Shacking up with some guy is a bad move." Well, it's not like Wine Guy and I have talked about it. OK, we've hinted around at it in a playful way ("If we lived together, would you want that couch in our living room?", stuff like that). But it hasn't come up in any serious way. And it won't and shouldn't until the whole "I love you" thing is sorted out (see this entry if you want to catch up).
But here's the thing. I've been quite careful to not leave things at his place. I pack a bag when I go over there and make sure I bring it and all of its contents back when I come home. Yes, I have my own supply of beauty products and feminine type things there, but for the most part, I live at my place.
On the other hand, my little apartment is quickly filling up with his stuff. Granted, most of it is kitchenware since we do most of the cooking at my place (I have a nice outdoor patio to dine on) and I have no kitchen supplies that any serious cook would deign to use. So those things stay here and I don't mind since they help to create mouthwatering meals that bring him joy to cook and me joy to eat.
Then there's the clothes he leaves. Again a reason - I have a washer/dryer which is easy and free. Whereas his place requires lots of quarters and a schlep up and down stars, around the corner, etc. So now our laundry gets mixed.
And let's not forget about the toothbrushes! Why he needs so many, I have no clue. But I now have more brushes at my place than I do holes in my toothbrush holder.
I don't mind. I like having his presence here even when he's not. The problem is I have no room for his belongings. My place is so small and every nook is filled, so it all sits out in a temporary eyesore of a pile. Every time he leaves, I'm always shoving his arms full of stuff to take home. I'm sure he feels like I'm kicking him out. But I'm just trying to keep the place livable.
What it feels like now is just one big temporary housing situation. I do not do well with words like temporary, unstable, uncertain - especially when it comes to my love life. Stuff is constantly being packed, unpacked, piled up, shuttled back and forth in cars. It just seems, well, inefficient and jumbled. Hardly a reason to make such a big leap, I know. Honestly, I love living alone and the thought of having a co-habitation situation (no matter how much love we're in) scares me.
I guess I should just take a deep breathe, exercise patience and remember that Wine Guy and I are only six months into this thing. We should still be enjoying the process of getting to know each other (in addition to packing bags every day or two). So now that I've written this, I think I'll shelve this concern and go back to worrying about the whole I Love You thing. (I'm sort of kidding...I promise I don't spend all my time worrying. Just enough to keep me on-the-edge neurotic. Hey, that's my nature and I've learned to embrace it.)