When it comes to personal living spaces, I'm a bit of a brat.
It's not that I've never shared a room or a house with someone. I don't remember it, but my brother and I shared a room when I was a baby. Then in college I had bunk beds with my roommate for 7 months. And my evil ex lived in my house for 3 months.
The difference with the two latter instances was that there were second homes involved to which one or the other of us could flee. In college, I could retreat to my parents' house and my childhood bedroom. When I was living with the ex, he was gone a lot at the fire station.
This is the first time I've really been in a 24/7 cohabitation situation.
For the last 8 years, I've been in my beloved apartment with only the cats. The 5 years prior to that, I lived in a cozy studio. And for almost 21 years before that, I had my own space at my Mom and Dad's.
Now I have a bathroom. And a desk/workspace corner.
Don't get me wrong: I'm overjoyed to be living with Mr. Wonderful. I wouldn't want anyone else as a housemate. But there really is a lot of adjusting and recalibrating going on right now. For both of us.
Downtime is different. There's a sort of sense that "stuff" should be getting done. Cat litter particles should be getting swept; rugs should be getting vacuumed; dishes should be getting scrubbed. Routines have changed. Rather than the normal race-around-getting-ready-leaving-debris-in-my-wake modus under which I normally operate, I'm trying to put things away and be more conscientious in the morning. Which adds time to my previous primping timeline. Working out is also different. It's much harder to get out of bed with a warm body next to you. And if you make it out of bed and that poor body has to see you with a greasy ponytail and yesterday's black socks doing step aerobics in his office, well, I hope he doesn't go blind from the horror.
Poor Mr. W has had to adjust to an additional facet of cohabitation that I've fortunately dodged. He's allergic to cats. And now he's living with 2 (and a half if you count the fat one as 1.5). He's come to tell me seven or eight times in the last 2 weeks that my little Zoë has thrown up on something. Like his couch and rug and old VCR. (He presented that last one like a tray covered in bio-hazardous material. It was kind of awesome.) His tingly nose has been driving him nuts, despite the purchase of two giant air purifiers.
On top of that, I'm sure my chick-knacks around his house are a little unsettling.
But we're working hard at acclimating. Saturday I bought Mr. W a mini tiramisu cake to honor him for being such a trooper. And Sunday, after about a month of meltdowny-ness and a ridiculously busy weekend on my end, I came home to a bouquet of flowers.
So, it seems we're doing some things right. And hopefully they'll continue to dull the growing pains.