You know what I did this week? Nothing. It was so awesome. I went to work, I went to the gym, I made dinner, I ate dinner, I went to bed. This weekend Frank and I finally got internet and cable so I gorged on dumb TV and websites. We went on walks through our new neighborhood. It’s so boring! I love boring! I haven’t been bored in like a month and a half.
I’m sure I’ll get tired of it. And there’s still lots of crap we have to do around the apartment—the last couple of boxes, buying some furniture, cleaning. We’ll get to it. But for now: sweet, sweet boredom. It’s funny because I kind of don’t even remember what I used to do all the time, when I wasn’t packing or unpacking or moving or going on vacation or painting or going to a wedding or waiting for the cable guy. Watch TV and browse the internet, I guess. How I’ve missed it.
Though the new apartment isn’t all that much bigger, square footage-wise, than the last one, it’s divided into six little rooms instead of two. Because of that, it’s a lot easier for Frank and I to be home together without having to do the same thing. In fact, if he’s in the bedroom and I’m in the parlor, we basically can’t understand what the other person is saying, even with yelling.
Last night, glorying in our new cable, we had cocktails and both sat in different rooms with a computer, listening to music and reading and/or downloading. It was like being home alone - only better, because there was someone other than a cat to listen to your dumb ideas as they bubbled up.
Because I come from a family of five that went on many, many very long car trips, I have really good concentration. I can block out pretty much any noise or TV or music distractions if I’m reading something interesting. So though I had heard people say that they enjoyed being with their partner more when they had enough space to spread out and occupy different rooms, it never occurred to me that I would prefer that, since I can just build a cone of silence around myself whenever I need to.
Turns out I was wrong. It’s so awesome to have some separation of space. I still need to use my excellent noise-blocking powers—the apartment’s not that big, geez—but being able to sit in a chair near a window doing something and have no idea what Frank is up to is really nice.
When I was younger, before I’d ever lived with a boy, it made me a little depressed to hear people say things like that. Not that I didn’t understand the need for alone time and people living their own lives and all that crap. Duh, I was a feminist and everything. But just the tenor of it, “It’s so nice to have some room, to not be on top of one another,” always seemed to me to have an air of resignation to it; a certain ’50’s Raymond Carver couples who hate each other but stay together because they’re lazy type of flavor.
But now I realize, with relief, that it isn’t that at all. It isn’t that I’m so tired of Frank that the sight of him makes me sick or whatever I was imagining. (By the way, I had all kinds of these weird, domesticity-and-commitment-as-soul-crushing-exercises-in -failure-type fears that have been proven wrong. I dunno where I got them from but whatever.)
The truth of the matter is that it’s nice to have a choice. People who live together spend so, so, so very much time together that if they hated each other, it would be constant misery. But it’s nice to not have to go out to a coffee shop or out on a walk or to the gym just to have some time where nobody is distracting you.
See, the thing you don’t realize when you share one room only is that even though you don’t mean to be distracting when you walk around or chop vegetables or play Wii, even if you’re just doing your thing as someone else is doing theirs, it’s still distracting. It’s not your fault. But it is kind of annoying.
Even to a person with my conditioning. It’s definitely the sort of thing that I never would’ve noticed until the circumstances changed, and then it’s like whoa, we were really sort of crammed in there before.
It’s funny, there was a time when spending time bored and alone would’ve made me sad, but this weekend has been completely awesome. Does that make me lame? Eh, who cares. I got internet to read.