I’m seven months into living with my capital “R” Roommate, and here are a few of the lessons I’ve already learned.
Grocery Shopping Is Now A Complete Nightmare
When I lived on my own in Chicago, I enjoyed the simplicity of spending $40 a week at Trader Joe’s on the same half-dozen things: pasta, pasta sauce, chicken breasts, a couple loaves of bread, and a carton of eggs. Before I moved in with the Roommate, this dialogue actually danced across my head: “We’ll probably buy some more vegetables and that’s about it.”
That’s about it. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I learned quickly that she doesn’t shop for meals like I do. She shops for ingredients — $75 worth of ingredients to make about two and a half meals. She was also horrified to learn that up until meeting her, I’d been poisoning myself with eggs, meats, and produce that weren’t organic. Apparently, I was on the verge of death for well over two decades and nobody except the Roommate noticed.
Luckily for the both of us, the $8 carton of omega-3, free-range, organic eggs contains the cure to all of my immediate ailments, and if you buy two, they actually let a chicken go free and star in its own live-action Disney movie.
She’ll Want To Decorate For Everything
I walked into our new apartment after being on the road for a few days, and she had decorated it with leaves and orange lights. “What are these decorations for?” I asked. “For fall!” she exclaimed. Fall, as in the season. Not Halloween. Fucking autumn. That meant the Halloween decorations were coming, followed by the Thanksgiving, winter, and Christmas ones.
I’m really curious about what she’s planning on putting up for Bastille Day. Back when I was just the one guy in the one-room apartment, I only decorated for Christmas. That’s also because I have a debilitating obsession with the holiday. Seriously. In college, I made a gingerbread skyline of Chicago for a Christmas party.
Maybe I’m the one with the problems.
Having People Over Is A Power Struggle
You’re now sharing one couch, a television, and a common space with another person. She has just as much of a right to it as you do, which means Sundays can’t be spent camped out with your buddies watching football, inhaling food and imbibing. Sometimes the Roommate needs the couch to invite her coworker over for a homemade brunch to talk in exhausting detail about “just what is going on with this company,” and how her boss is “being so weird this week.”
Trust me, she could be the dressing room girl at Kohl’s and somehow work will still be all she talks about: “This chick said she had four pieces to try on, but in actuality it was six and we didn’t have any more number six tags so she had to use a number five tag…”
Closet Space Is A Relatively Loose Term
It seems hacky to say “my girlfriend has so many clothes” and have a refreshing take on it. Instead of trying to describe it to, you I’ll just offer photographic evidence:
She could be hiding a dead body in there for all I know.
Now, we have a walk-in closet. That picture is one wall of more than three available walls. There is a dresser in there, too, and I’ve been told another one is on the way. She claims she donated “a quarter” of her clothing, but I’m pretty sure “donated” is code for “bought a storage unit across town.” There are so many damn shoeboxes that the foundation beams of the room are showing signs of buckling.
My clothes have been banished to a small third of a hanging bar in the corner, and my shoes are up on the rooftop deck. It’s okay, though — she needs the space.
She’s Messier Than You Are
But somehow, I’m the one who gets my balls busted when I am. I do run-of-the-mill messy guy things like leave something on the bathroom counter or dump my bags on the floor. However, when I confront the Roommate about the open box of knickknacks strewn all over the dining room, I’m told not to touch it because it’s a “project” that she’s “working on” for “Fourth of July 2015.” Jesus Christ.
Luckily for the both of us, I’m pretty clean and I don’t mind picking up the trail of wreckage she leaves in her wake. It’s actually a pretty sweet deal we have going. She does the cooking and laundry and I clean up all her shit. Except I don’t make the bed or fold her clothes, because that’s like folding silk napkins.
Also, she has to put up with what’s essentially me trying out new standup bits on her every single moment we’re together, so point for her.
It’s Not Bad
Listen, I don’t recommend making your girlfriend a capital “R” Roommate unless you’re serious about that person. And honestly at this age (the latter side of twenty-five) who wants to pay money to live with some random assholes he met on Craigslist? Not this guy.
I’m sure her list of the things she dislikes about living with me is twice as long. Fortunately, she’s much more mature and insightful than I am, and probably considers this a great learning experience for the both of us. Also, there’s no way she’ll read this shit anyway. She’s too busy decorating for Daylight Saving Time..