Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Real Estate Fees: $2000. First Month's Rent and Security Deposit: $4200. Movers: $2600. A Couple Living in 350 sq Feet of Living Space? Priceless.

Have you ever tried to fit two mountain bikes, an elliptical machine, a tv, 3 coffee tables (yes, three!), a kitchen table, two large wooden stools, a futon, a large bookcase, 6 stereo speakers, and approximately 40 boxes into a living room the size of a largish office cubicle?

We did. If I can figure out how to post a picture later, I’ll show you.

Spiceboy is my boyfriend. He and I have been together for over 4 years, and in that time, we’ve been through a lot, including but not limited to: infidelity, death, job changes, long distance relationships, death, parental illnesses, owning a chemically imbalanced dog, mental illness, lawsuits, death, burnt dinners, and most recently, our own engagement.

True, we’ve managed to pack a lot of stuff into the last four years, but we’ve come out with our senses of humor intact and lots of funny anecdotes to tell at parties. But I’m here to tell you that nothing—NOTHING—was as trying on our relationship as moving into our fourth floor walkup on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I learned a lot about myself during that move. Let’s review what I learned:

1. I am not a patient girlfriend
2. I am not nearly as tolerant of heat and humidity as I thought I was
3. I cannot take constructive criticism or accept help, even if it’s offered in the nicest possible way
4. I am capable of saying really mean things with little or no provocation
5. Spiceboy is basically a saint.

I think most people who know me would be surprised to read this. It's not a side I usually show. It's not like I woke up one day and decided I think I'll become a supreme bitch for the rest of my life. But the funny thing about relationships is this: once you break the ugly behavior barrier once, it's really easy to keep on doing it. I understand this is not an ideal situation.

I don’t think many people can say that living in Manhattan has taught them patience, since the vibe of the entire city is basically can’t you move any faster? But during that tense, sweaty, cluttered, confusing first week, I realized that if I didn’t start working patience into the equation, our 350 sq. ft of living space would very quickly become 350 sq ft of living hell.

It’s not easy being the imperfect party in a relationship. And since our relationship will soon include legal paperwork and vows of “’til death do us part,” I’d really like to even out the score a little bit.

Since I was such a jerk during the moving/unpacking process, I’ve been trying to incorporate more patience and virtue into my everyday girlfriend activities. Let’s review how I’ve been doing this:

1. When he steals the sheet in the middle of the night, I let him keep it.
2. When he stares longingly at my piece of candy, instead of shoving it my mouth so I don’t have to share, I offer him a bite.
3. I retired several pairs of my favorite shoes to make room for his shoes on the shelf instead of yelling at him that he has too much damn stuff.
4. When he’s walking very slowly up the four long steep flights of stairs and I am behind him, instead of sighing and complaining, I playfully poke him in his ass. It’s funny.
5. I make an effort to tell him I love him everyday. When you’re practically living on top of each other, it’s easy to forget to say it.

For the most part, I’m doing okay in my quest for patience, but I still have my bad moments. Hey, it’s a process. Despite my moodiness, Spiceboy continues to do really nice things for me. Like making yummy chocolate covered desserts when I casually mention that I wish I had some chocolate.

Chocolate dessert and a great guy to share it with in a 350 sq. ft. apartment on an otherwise blah Tuesday night?



Blogger blueintheface said...

I found your blog and I love it. Irreverant and funny. Keep up the good work!

9:22 PM  

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