I have always contended that living with another person is a good thing because it's much harder to get set in your ways, curmudgeonly so to speak. Indeed, when I have lived with roommates my naturally controlling nature was subverted to my sweet considerate self who had to acknowledge that there were other people under the roof and sharing the rent who had a say in how life went in the house. I did pretty well with this as long as they were easily manipulated, er agreeable to my preferences, and for the most part they were because I like to live a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing life. I also owned all the furniture and appliances and dishes and art work.
There was this one time when I went away for a week and came home to find that my manic depressive roommate, the one with 5 years of sobriety in cocaine annonymous, had decided to redecorate the living room. She had a penchant for plastic flowers and also felt that pushing all the furniture against the walls was a way to create more space. Consequently when I came home, late at night on a Sunday, it was to a room that looked a lot like what I imagined rehab to look like - everything was oriented around the television set instead of the fireplace. As soon as she left the next day I "fixed" it and it actually looked better than it had when I left.
Outrage proved to be inspiring.
I've been living by myself for the last 7 years because I got into a great apartment that is perfect for one person. It has two bedrooms, but only one bathroom and so it's better for a single, or possibly a couple. I say possible because A. moved in with me back in February when he started his remodel and things have taken longer than he thought so we've been cohabitating at my place for the past four months. During this time I have become aware of how curmudgeonly I've become, or plainly speaking, what a weirdo I am.
We get along exceedingly well for two people who spend almost 24/7 togther but there have been times while he's been...visiting, that I thought I was going to lose it. Like when I came home and he'd re-organized my bedroom. Or when I get in bed at night after he's "made" the bed in the morning, only to find that the sheets are wadded up under the comforter. Seriously? I can't sleep unless the bed is neatly made and the blankets are put on in the proper order. Can you say OCD? I'm letting stuff go because I don't want to become one of those tight lipped ladies whose face gets more and more puckered with distaste. But some of his foibles could use a little examination as well.
He doesn't throw food away. Ever. There are cheese rinds in my refrigerator. They're sitting next to the container of juice leftover from the tomatoe and cucumber salad. There are no more tomatoes and cucumbers. Just juice. Maybe he's going to drink it. I don't know. When he takes a shower he leaves his underwear draped over the side of the tub. Each day there's a new pair sitting next to the pair from the day before. As I mentioned he insists on making the bed, but this is more of a covering of the covers wadded from a night of sleeping. I mean, why bother? He spends hours shopping on Ebay. I didn't really know how many hours until he moved in.
It's one thing to go stay at someone's house. It's another thing when their space is your space, or as I interpret it, my space is their space. This is why I am choosing to see the occasional annoyance or irritation as a gift. It's my opportunity to stretch and go with the flow.
Cuz, I'm not getting any younger and flexibility is something you've got to use.