I’m an independent girl. I have always savored alone time. When I traveled for work I reveled in having an entire hotel room to myself and even enjoying some solo meals. I LOVE having a partner, but I’m not a clingy, let’s do everything together kind of person.
I’m just not that girl.
Post-divorce I lived for 3 years with just my daughter and got very used to that routine. But obviously with impending nuptials comes cohabitation. So the time came for SLS to move into the house. And I was equal parts excited and freaked out. He’s wonderful and amazing and so very good to me, so it had nothing to do with him. But it’s very hard when you get used to YOUR space, to learn how to share it again.
Frankly, I really wanted him to just throw everything he owned out (most of it I hated anyway) and come to the living situation with his clothes…like a hobo with one of those stick/bag thingys. But obviously that’s not reality.
I’m not as Type A as my mother who balks at throw pillows and refuses to keep toilet paper in plain site, but I absolutely like order and a tidy home. I make my bed minutes after getting out of it. Rarely do I leave dishes in the sink and never will you find my clothes on the floor. I like things the way I like them.
So SLS moved in the weekend I was away with my girlfriends for #Rachelorette. It wasn’t planned that way on purpose, but it was definitely best for everyone. You see, having moved in almost a month before, I was completely settled and the idea of going through it again made my chest tight. I (half)jokingly told SLS to call me before he put anything away and begged him to please make sure the collateral damage was minimal when I walked back in on Sunday afternoon.
He’s a little bit scared of me so he lovingly obliged and he really did a phenomenal job. There were maybe 2 unpacked boxes but everything else was put away.
And then I lost it…over something ridiculous.
I was putting away my stuff from the weekend and when I opened the bottom bathroom vanity drawer, I saw it. A tattered plastic bag with cheap, generic Qtips – the kind that basically bend the second you touch them to your ear. I lost my cookies. Seriously. Snotty, ugly crying which prompted SLS to come in the bedroom to see what was wrong.
As I sat there on the edge of the bed barely able to get the words out through my tears and anxiety, I heard myself talking and I knew it sounded insane.
“And I opened the drawer and your stupid cheap Qtips are just thrown in there on top of all my stuff and I can’t take it!!!!!!!”
One thing about SLS is that he basically has a PHd in handling my Rachelness. He looked at me (clearly trying not to laugh), stood up, retrieved his dumb Qtips and threw them out immediately. He did this knowing it was never about the Qtips. It doesn’t take a professional to realize that I was having a freak out about actually having to share my space, that manifested in a tantrum over generic ear swabs (which beeTDubs, SLS, if you ever by those again you’re in trouble).
The Qtip incident was the culmination of all of my fear and anxiety about a MAJOR life change.
I went from having a little routine with me and a 6yr old, to living with a man and his two dogs. At 38 years old, it’s not such an easy feat to change gears like that. It’s a HUGE change, and while a wonderful milestone, you’re kidding yourself if you think it doesn’t throw you for a loop.
And the freak out didn’t end there. Already on edge from the previous night, when I walked in the very next day after a long day at work with an exhausted child who still needed to do homework, eat dinner and be bathed, I was effing livid to find that the Chihuahua (who I already kind of hate for a lot of reasons…he may be cute but he can be a major asshole) marked his territory on my brand new wood floors and brand new dining room table leg. While I would NEVER harm an animal, I have never wanted to punt something across the effing yard so bad.
I grew up with dogs my whole life but something happened to me when I had a child. And I don’t hate dogs now, but I just don’t have patience for the responsibility that comes along with a dog (and now I have TWO).
I tried to take deep breaths, and to channel George Castanza – SERENITY NOW!!! But they were futile attempts.
It’s got to get easier, right? I mean it’s Week 1.
No. Such. Luck.
That little shit gave me a 1-day reprieve before he took a turn on the other dining room table leg. I seriously turned into the HULK, bulging veins and all. I was so beyond mad that I probably could have broken a wooden plank with one punch. I sent SLS a rage-filled text detailing my thoughts on viable options on how to deal with this, poured myself a glass of wine and gave the dog bitch-face dirty looks until SLS got home.
He shortly thereafter contacted a trainer and we are in the process of trying to de-assholeify the dog.
Another good part about my relationship with SLS, is that we are solid. So even despite these anxiety-inducing instances, there’s never a question in my mind that we are forever. (There is however a question in my mind if the Chihuahua will have the privilege of remaining an inside dog or if he himself will don a price tag for our garage sale. Until then, the little shit has to be crated until a trainer can get him with the program.)
It’s interesting how your perspective changes with age and life experiences. When you are young and naive, you think all of these life moments are going to play out like fairly tales. But that’s not life. THIS is life. The craziness, the chaos, the clumps of dog hair I find blowing around like small tumbleweeds across my beautiful bamboo floors. It’s real and it’s mine and I wouldn’t trade it for anything…except maybe a dog that DOESN’T pee in my house and bark when the wind blows.
Thank god SLS is worth it.