Vancouver
4 min

It works like this

Combining our fortunes together

I have to admit, I thought saying goodbye to my bachelorhood was going to hurt a lot more than it actually did. After living on my own for 13 years, the concept of a roommate seemed uncivilized somehow, and the thought of living with my lover used to make my necktie feel too tight.

I had grown attached to working in my underwear and eating soup straight out of the pot. Perpetrating these and some of my more unmentionable habits on a partner seemed somehow ungentlemanly, and changing things about myself that I personally didn’t have a problem with seemed highly unlikely.

We moved in together last December, and aside from an ongoing struggle for domestic dominance between me and her cat, it has been bliss. There have been some adjustments, for sure, but nothing that left me longing for the good old days. Mostly, I’d say it has just been educational.

For instance, one might think that jumping into the shower while she is blow-drying her hair is acceptable behavior, but it turns out that I had much to learn about the physical properties of steam. Steam from a shower can not only lead to unwanted frizzing of the hair, but it can also be hazardous to the clinical application of a proper amount of mascara, not to mention the tribulations of applying lip liner in a foggy mirror. I mean really, what was I thinking? In case you are wondering, showering while she is attempting to use the straightening iron is even worse.

I have also learned that it is not necessary to wait until you have completely run out of a particular product before purchasing more of said item, it turns out that a girl can never have too many different kinds of moisturizer or shampoo, nor is it true that all toners were created equal. I have worn the same cologne for years, never realizing that I may have been selling myself short all along. Not only might it not have been my signature fragrance, I have been negligent when it comes to scenting for seasonal change. My spring fragrance now possesses a much lighter citrus top-note, far more appropriate for the times than my more woodsy winter blend.

Not to mention this news flash: a good facial moisturizer is not optional.

I was going to comment on moving day that she might need to pare down some of the four boxes of bathroom products I packed up our stairs, but then I remembered that she hadn’t blinked an eye at my entire truckload of tools, or even inquired as to why I owned three bikes, none of which she had ever seen me actually ride. Before my house fire, I owned 11 pairs of black boots, and she never raised an eyebrow at that, either.

We have a much different approach to home improvement, hers is the why-don’t-we-just-try-this-and-see-if-it-works method, as opposed to my let’s-read-three-books-and-consult-a-professional-and-then-take-the-eight-week-course tactic. I wanted to wait until I had time to buy the half-inch bell-hanging drill bit and drill a hole through the wall to properly run the ethernet cable into her room. She waited until I was out teaching a class one night, and tacked the cable along the carpet and across the stairs instead. I couldn’t even complain that it was unsightly, because I walked right over it without noticing, largely due to the fact that she had painted the cable the exact same colour as the rug with low-gloss nail polish. Now we don’t have to bring paint swatches home to match colours to the carpet, we can just bring the bottle of London Bridge Is Falling Brown straight to General Paint, saving us yet another superfluous and time-consuming step.

Since the old pipe connected to the shower in the bathroom was rusted and its threads were welded to the old leaking showerhead, I mistakenly believed that installing the new detachable one was going to be a big job. I was pretty sure that we were going to have to knock out a couple of tiles to get at the old pipe and replace it, and that while we were at it we might as well re-do all the tiles as well. I had completed the preliminary research and signed us both up for the tile workshop at the Home Depot, and then I had to go on tour for a couple of days. When I got home there was a gleaming new silver showerhead installed. She had bypassed the old shower altogether, and just removed the main faucet and attached the hose for the new shower to that pipe instead. The old shower now provides a nice place to hang that puffy pink bath-scrubber thingy from.

I have learned that the right way to do things is often the long way to do things, and that sometimes the long way doesn’t get done.

We also have a lot of common interests, which is one of the reasons I think we co-habitate so successfully; our shared love of cigarettes, all foods made of meat, and Air Supply, to name but a few. We both believe in the importance of a clean bathroom, Sunday dinner, and the morning paper.

Sure, living with my girlfriend has cut back on my ability to bring home lap-dancers in the middle of the night, but those kinds of activities always turned out to be more complicated than they initially appeared to be anyway, and often more trouble than they were worth.

I can still work in my underwear, but I hardly ever eat soup right out of the pot anymore. It seems a little gauche now, what with the new table and the floral arrangements and all. Besides, it marks up the coasters.