A few weeks ago, you guys very specifically requested that we do a week of posts on moving, and moving in together. I was like, “Aw, hell, why? Moving in together is so easy?” and Maddie was like, “Aw, hell yes, because moving in together is pure hell.” Your APW staff: diversity of opinions right here! So we thought we’d kick off the week with two posts. This morning, Liz is here talking about how she and Josh moved into together after they got hitched, and it was dead easy. (I actually laughed so hard I couldn’t pull it together reading this post, because it was such a perfect reflection of my experiences.) Then this afternoon we have a post on moving in together being really hard. Oh, and did I mention? David and I moved on Saturday. (I don’t know how it went, since I’m writing this on Friday. I’m not a crazy person who tries to work the weekend she moves.) So if I can dig out from under the boxes, I’ll even tell you about our first married move later in the week. Let’s dive in….
Moving in was easy.
Josh and I waited until after we were married to move in together. The cultural dialogue has swung so far away from the old school of thought that people were regularly warning us that we were making a BIG MISTAKE. That we wouldn’t know enough about one another. That moving in together would flick some sort of switch, shining a harsh and unflattering light on all of our flaws, and we’d run shrieking, “Divorce!”
I don’t really know what the core idea is, but lots of people warned us that we had a tough time ahead. There were the, “Just you wait…”-ers and the “That’s what you say now…”-ers and (everyone’s favorite), the, “You’ll seeee…”-ers.
We got married, we honeymooned in Mexico, we adopted a cat, and we moved in together. The hardest part was the actual moving. This man had a TV, a futon, a weight bench, and a comforter stapled above the window frame to serve as a “curtain.” It took a few trips to Ikea and a couple back issues of Domino magazine before that little apartment was anything I’d like to move into (although he did set a maximum doily limit). Pretty stereotypical, I guess. But the stereotypes end there.
Our first year was amazing. Before getting married, I spent my days eating cheese curls and watching Law and Order reruns in bed at two in the morning. I figured marriage was going to make me some kind of an adult. Maybe I’d start eating actual meals and wearing real shoes with insoles and strike up conversations about taxes. But marriage did nothing more than offer me a partner with whom to share those late night cheese curls. (Using the word “share” loosely here. He doesn’t like them as much as I do, so that means I get to eat more, right?)
It was like an all-day slumber party. I looked forward to getting home from work everyday because then Hangout Time would start. This was my life now—hanging out all day with the coolest roommate ever. A roommate that had sex with me.
Those friends didn’t go away, though. “How’s maaaarriage?” they’d ask. My response was always, “Terrific!” followed by their chorus of, “You’ll-see-that’s-what-you-say-now-just-you-wait!”s. And I started to wonder. Maybe I’m missing something? Maybe I’m obliviously floating through Cheese Curl Roommate Sex Land while some dark and odious Trouble is lurking right around the corner. Every minor annoyance plagued me with, “IS THIS IT? Is this what people were warning me about? God help us, if we get divorced over toothpaste…” But, it just never happened. That first year was rocked with unemployment and mysterious ailments (Bell’s Palsy? What?) and surprise pregnancy, but that happy-fun-time-roommate status never changed.
And then I got sort of angry. Who the hell were these people trying to harsh our mellow with foreboding tales of our impending first year doom? What had we ever done to them, other than invite them to a church for some damn good cake and a garter toss?
I found myself becoming some vigilante heroine, combating the tide of “You’ll see”-ers. Friends would announce their engagement and before anyone else could, I’d corner them, gripping their shoulders, my eyes crazed, “Don’t listen to them! It’s not that bad!! YOU’LL SEE! It’s not that bad!!”
After about the seventh time of doing this and subsequently realizing that my deranged method might not be convincing anyone, I noticed a funny trend. I was, in fact, a “You’ll see”-er. I was doing it too! It made me wonder how many of my now-married friends were having really tough first year transitions and wondering, “But why did Liz say it would be awesome? WHY?!”
I guess everyone has a different response to major life transitions. For some, maybe moving in really is a tough time of change. And I guess it would make sense that those people would want to warn their friends before they have a hard time, too. All I’m saying is maybe we should cut those “You’ll see,” folks a break. Meanwhile, I’ll be focusing on handling actual problems rather than worrying about some imaginary issue that might come up.
Liz & Josh’s Wedding Photo by: Love Me Do Photography