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Private: Why Can't I Just Shut Up Sometimes?


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I think there is some kind of law of the universe wherein the moment I open my big fat mouth about anything, I get proven wrong. The other day, me and some friends from work were having a post-workday glass of wine and chit chatting. Somehow, the conversation turned to relationships. These are not people who normally talk about relationships, mind you. It actually started out being about finding time/space to work on your own stuff (they are all writers) and somehow morphed into the conversation of how it is possible to work in a one bedroom apartment with another person there.

All three people had moved in with their significant others fairly recently, so even though I hate it when people get all like “Oh I’ve been in a relationship much longer than you let me tell you how it is” because obviously everyone is different and everyone’s relationship thing works differently, I thought I’d chime in. Because I definitely think that stuff like that—scheduling stuff, or being in the same place but not doing the same thing stuff, or trying to work when someone else is wanting to talk stuff—is really awkward at first, but the more time you spend together, the more your rhythms align.

And the longer you live together, the more natural it starts to feel. Which seems like good advice, right? Doesn’t that seem true? I feel sure that I do less active scheduling now than when Frank and I first started living together, because we are sort of just more on the same schedule without thinking about it, after almost three years.

But so, of course, because I had to go out and actually say something sincere and talk about relationships in public like some big lame-o (despite what you read here, I’m really not in the habit of talking about that kind of stuff with the people I’m friends with because, c’mon, that’s not really fun for anyone) I got bit in the ass. It went like this:

ME: Blah blah so then I said that that stuff gets more natural the longer you do it. Blah blah I don’t think we have as many problems as we used to with one person wanting to work and other person disturbing them.
FRANK: …
ME: Right? You know? What I mean? Right?
FRANK: Actually, there are times when having you around really makes it so that I can’t get as much work done as I want.
ME: But I don’t pester you!
FRANK: I know, but sometimes just having someone be there is disturbing. I never said anything about it because I didn’t want to make you feel like you had to leave.

Which of course, at the time, made me feel like a big old jackass for telling other people my fake wisdom and also made me feel sad that Frank didn’t tell me something that bothered him. So in my guilt, I agreed to leave today for a work thing I had to do and not come back until he called and told me it was okay.

It’s funny, actually, because Frank is a way bigger offender when it comes to talking to/pestering me when I’m trying to get something done. Plus I’m pretty sure the cats are way more distracting than I could ever be. Not to mention the internet. But so I was at the work thing, done with my portion but hanging around with a friend until Frank called. I explained to her that I couldn’t go home until I got the call

She turned to her husband and said, “See, I told you it’s okay to kick you out when I want to work!” Another friend of hers and her boyfriend/husband (I’m not sure which) overheard us and said the same thing to his wife/girlfriend. An entire five-way discussion/argument about who was allowed to force whom to leave and when ensued. Both of those couples are slightly older and have been together longer than me and Frank.

So there you go. I guess nobody has really got it figured out when it comes to sharing space. As I type, I am locked in the bedroom trying work while Frank watches Batman Begins on the TV. Y’know, since he got so much work done today and all.
Clearly, the real lesson here is for me to just keep my trap shut. Which is not bad advice at all.

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