Let me preface this story with the fact that since 2007, I have only ever had female roommates. Except for one year when I shared a room, I’ve always had my own. The past four years were spent with two of my best friends and we moved three times.
The search for each new apartment or house we moved into was as much of an adventure as it was stressful. Will there be enough parking spots? How close are we to bars? Who gets which room?
We always compromised on what girly décor would go in the common areas. That seashell will go on that mantle. That picture of my Van Gough Paint-by-numbers, “Sunflowers” will go in the kitchen next to my roommates’ paint-by-numbers of “Mixed Fruit.” Someone bought a used couch, someone else paid for the coffee table, and someone else paid for the bright floral rug. We split bills up as evenly as we could and it was fun.
There was always somebody home when I got there. If I needed a friend to talk to because I couldn’t sleep at 1am, I knew my night-owl roommate would let me into her room and we would cuddle in her full size bed and watch “The Help.” (No, cuddling with your gfs isn’t weird). Sometimes we would look up pinterest recipes and bake for each other. There would be girl talks that would last for hours about life, love, and weird childhood habits.
The best part was my room. It was my display of my personality and style. Anyone that knows me, knows I have an obsession for all things paisley, vintage, lace, and floral. I had a teal antique dresser, a full size bed with a lacey, floral duvet from anthropology, picture collages of me in Vegas with my girlfriends, and LOTS of pictures with my tongue out. I was doing it way before Miley, so she can seriously suck it…(love you Miley).
So, when my boyfriend of a year and a half asked me to move in with him, it was exciting, but only sort of scary. At this point, my lease with my gfs was almost up in July. One was moving out of San Diego, and the other was considering moving to Los Angeles. I felt that moving in together made sense not only logistically, but it was also the next step in our relationship as well.
Anyway, three weeks before my lease is up with my gfs, on an ordinary day, I go into Marshall’s thinking I’m going in to buy only one pair of workout pants and will immediately leave. Much like Target, you know what kind of unearthly vortex these types of stores are. You think you’re going in to to buy shampoo and razors but you come out buying bathing suits you won’t need for another six months, stock up on batteries and light bulbs because you can’t remember if you have a good enough supply at home, and other things you really can’t afford or need. These places are vacuums that suck out our money and a little bit of our soul. This is true, especially for me, on this one day at Marshall’s, when I had a nervous breakdown.
I pick out the workout pants and against my better judgement, I decide to peruse the home section. I walk down the bedding aisle and I swear Marshall’s knew I was coming in that day because they had bountiful supplies of rose-patterned sheets, paisley ones, baroque style ones, and those French country style sheets too. They are all in my bed’s size too! For a full!
Then it hits me. In three weeks, I am no longer going to have to use my bed. We will probably use K’s queen sized bed. It only makes sense. A 240lb, 6’1 man needs a bed of that size. Both of us on a full is just not rational. I can’t buy any of these sheets. It’s not logical. So, then I trouble shoot and think well maybe they have these sheets in queen. There was nothing. I started feeling this overwhelming anxiety and kept pacing up the same two damn aisles of bedding hoping queen sized rose-pattern sheets would magically appear. Then it really hits me.
Moving in with K means I can’t just decorate my room like I used to anymore. I have to consider his taste and his style. OH MY GOD, will San Francisco Giants crap permeate every corner of our new home? My anxiety escalated. Where will my Victorian teal dresser fit in, since all of his furniture is black, modern, and from IKEA?!
The panic increases and I feel this inner turmoil. Should I just buy the damn sheets? Maybe we could put my bed in the guest room and we could still use them! My full size bed can still be of use! No. Wait. There is no room because the guest room will be the office and a bed won’t fit. Face it, I tell myself, my bed IS going in the garage, unused.
To make matters worse, I see yellow, floral decorative pillows on a display couch. I am almost at the point of a panic attack. Mind you, I have been this crazy woman pacing the same area of Marshall’s for almost an hour deciding whether to buy sheets, and now pillows.
He calls me in the middle of this mental shitstorm, just like he would on any other day, “Hey babe! How’s it going?” I hesitate and dramatically say, “It’s ok, we need to talk later.” I know I have now made him worried. All that is going through my mind is how I can NEVER just buy what I want to ever again. He won’t like the house decorated in girly shit. I feel like moving in with him might be the wrong choice because my independence and identity will be slowly stripped away.
I call some girlfriends who live with their boyfriends, to get some perspective, they try to calm me down, but it is no use.
I walk out of Marshall’s over an hour later, spending over $100 on 5 different sheet sets for a bed I will only be using for a few more weeks. It felt amazing. That will show him! Not even knowing what I was trying to prove, at least now I reassured myself my independence was intact.
Later that night, he comes over concerned about what we needed to talk about. I basically explain my trauma at Marshall’s and admit I am really worried that once we move in together, he won’t like the way I decorate, and even worse I’ll hate all his sports crap.
The truth is I’m sad that I will no longer be living with my girlfriends; I recognize that I am not really a kid anymore, and this whole thing is one scary-ass adjustment.
I confess that I bought $100+ worth of sheets for my own bed. Even if I could find paisley sheets in queen sized, would he be ok with it? I keep thinking I am so selfish. He laughs at how ridiculous this situation is and explains that he will probably be ok with most things I buy.
He trusts my judgment and says he would prefer if I didn’t buy hot pink sheets for the bed, but overall he doesn’t care. If there is something I am seriously doubting buying, I should send him a picture of it so we can COMPROMISE on it. Compromising, it’s not all about me, ahh, ok I get it. So, I showed him the pictures I took of the yellow pillows for the couch and we went back and bought them because he genuinely liked them too.
I returned my sheets and got my $100+ back, not like I could actually afford that anyway (I charged it). We went to pottery barn, and got a brand new, gender neutral, paisley duvet cover for his bed in OUR new home. We found art we both liked for the living room and hung his sports posters in the office and the garage. The whole experience reassured me what a great guy I have in my life and that Marshall’s WILL make you lose your shit.
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