Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Time to Start Collecting Boxes Again

At least 100 phone calls and numerous viewings later, Ash and I are about to put a deposit down on an apartment. Together. I’m not sure if I know which of those two things I am most excited about.

The new place is in a fairly upscale neighborhood, though we, of course, are not in the tony part of it. In fact, we’re pretty much on the edge of it, which is fine by us. We had also looked at a lot of places in the next neighborhood over, which one might best characterize as “sort of gritty”, with emphasis on the “sort of” part. It’s not particularly unsafe or anything, but the buildings are a little more run down and the shops in the main drag are more of the greasy-Chinese-takeout and rundown-neighborhood-bar-with-filthy-windows variety. Our second choice apartment was in that neighborhood, about two blocks off of the main drag. The place we ended up taking is a block and a half off the main drag, four blocks from the train into Downtown, and about 16 miles closer to work for me. We are not particularly near any of the highways, but we’re not really far away, either. My new commute will be about 25 minutes, maybe a little less—I got lost every time I drove back to work after looking at apartments on my lunch break, so it’s hard to tell for sure.

Oh, and I love it. No, I take that back. I LUUUUUV it. It has parquet floors and big closets, and best of all, it has a DISHWASHER. I have never, in all of my adult life, had a dishwasher. As it happens, this is a very good thing because both Ash and I are, shall we say, reluctant to do the dishes. We both have very bad habits of letting them pile up and pile up, and over the years, it seems that we have each been honing our ability to turn a blind eye to a mess of dishes that would make my mother fall over in a dead faint. A dishwasher may just be the very thing that we need to help us with a smooth transition to life in the same living space.

I wonder, sometimes idly, sometimes anxiously, how we’ll manage the transition. Yes, we spend most of our non-school/work time together already. But that’s just not the same. Will we argue over whose turn it is to take out the trash? Will we be able to share the bathroom in the morning? Will we be able to fit all of our books into one apartment? I have no doubt that we’ll be able to manage it all, but I still feel a little anxious about the actual process. I’ve lived on my own for the vast majority of the past 8 years. The only times I’ve had to share my living space were the year I lived with Hulio, the summer I spent in DC and the summer I did study abroad in Sweden. I’m used to decorating as I will—how on Earth am I going to be able to live with the giant red velvet Lenin banner that Ash wants prominently displayed? And what about chores? With Luneray, and earlier with my college roommate, things just sort of worked out naturally. We were about the same level of clean, generally, and with Luneray, for example, she didn’t mind doing dishes, and I didn’t mind running the sweeper, so everything got done and no one had to do much of the thing she really dreaded to do. Ash and I seem to be about the same level of orderliness, but we have slightly different ideas of what “clean” means. There are things that bother him immensely that I could care less about, and vice versa.

I worry about making the transition from “my money” to “our money”. I’m not terribly worried about the amount of money we’ll have (or, to be more accurate, not have), I’m worried about meshing our spending habits. I don’t know what things we should be planning for, what systems we should be developing. We opened a joint checking account a couple of months ago, but so far we’ve only used it for wedding expenses. How do we divide expenses? What happens if Ash doesn’t find a job right away?

Still, when I try and find the exact, the precise word for my feelings, “anxious” or “worried” aren’t anywhere near the top of the list. Instead, I’m feeling anticipation. I’m leaving behind my life as a single woman and starting a life as Ash’s partner. That feels so amazing, I can hardly believe my good fortune. Right now, we’re nestled together in the car of a roller coaster, chugging up the first steep hill, almost to the top, almost ready for the ride to really get started, and I’m feeling the delicious shiver of anticipation, waiting for the joyous fear of the first, breathtaking drop and the rush of wind in our faces.


At 11:31 PM , Blogger Sonja said...

In our house, it is always The Husband's turn to take out the trash (unless he forgets, but he's pretty good about it). ;)

At 10:46 AM , Blogger Pei Ling said...


And yes, it is an exciting time for you - don't worry about the chores and joint account - everything will fall into place and sort itself out! It does/did for every other happily married couple I know :)

PS - I owe you a phone call (hangs head in shame)


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