Thursday, February 3, 2011

I'm gonna navel gaze for a minute.

So the boy and I have decided to shack up.

This decision triggered a whole lot of anxiety I never expected because I've been owning my home and doing everything myself for a year and a half now.  How am I supposed to let someone who doesn't like modern furniture waltz in and have a say on window coverings?  Someone who didn't scrape a half inch of adhesive off the bathroom wall and painstakingly remove tile grout from the kitchen floor?

It's funny because Greg could not care less about window coverings. Like, at all.  It's also funny because he has good design sensibilites. He's a good dresser (no pleated pants!) and his apartment is nicely furnished, even if I like modern design and he veers traditional. But. I have worked my butt off these past 18 months and it's really hard to let someone feel like they have a stake in the house without feeling a little impinged upon.

That's harsh the way I've phrased it, but you get what I mean.  In the end it's just a house, but it's also a huge investment and my financial future.  It's MY blood, sweat, and tears in every room and it was very difficult for me to afford it on my own.  And while Greg is treading very carefully about the house and it being mine, he casually suggested one day, "We should paint the basement!"

I'm sorry, what?  I guess he didn't realize that I spent an entire winter working in the basement so I could paint it that wonderful color that I love so much.  And then, BAM, my panties are in a bunch. 

It's a difficult balance, wanting him to feel welcome and invested in the house (and maybe feeling like he wants to mow the lawn), and wanting to feel like I'm not letting him usurp me.

And, sweet jesus you guys, he has so much sporting equipment.

But yeah, if I seem a little manic lately, his impending move-in is fueling my home improvement urges.  Much like when I felt the need to patch the hole in the kitchen ceiling before Thanksgiving, I'm feeling the need to do a lot of sprucing up before he moves in.  He's used to living in really nice places and he works with people who live in nice places and I don't want him to be embarrassed to call my house home, especially because that will hurt my feelings.  I think my house is awesome.

So yeah, I'm anxious about a shifting power dynamic and I'm anxious about him accidentally/backhandedly insulting my house or my decorating choices.  So I'm scraping and sanding paint from my wood floors like a crazy woman.  It's how I process things.

I'm holding off on hanging artwork in the living room so we can do that together and incorporate some of his stuff.  I think I'll do the same in the bedroom, which I'm still planning on repainting.  We have to somehow share a closet, something I've never done before, despite living with two boyfriends previously. 

As far as incorporating his traditional housewares, my mantra is just going to have to be, "It's not a wagonwheel coffee table."


  1. congrats on the shacking up, you brazen hussy, you!

    I can't even imagine the angst I'd be feeling if I were in your shoes. (I have enough angst of my own, what with the architect being all design-y & art school-y, and me being not, which makes me feel that I don't get a say, and I should maybe just take that to a therapist, right?)

    BUT - it will be awesome, and modern & traditional can come together really well!

  2. I'm pretty sure you and I are the exact same girlfriend.

  3. Congratulations and I can totally relate. When Michelle first moved in to my condo in Seattle. I had JUST finally finished repainting all the rooms putting in new kitchen floor, etc. The first thing she wanted to do was paint the bedroom. MY bedroom! Even after we sold it and moved to an apartment with "our" stuff, it still took a few years for me to stop calling everything mine.

    Has Greg read this blog?

  4. Hi Sarah, Greg knows my blog exists but he doesn't read it. It's been SO reassuring to hear that other women went through the same thing. Especially from such a perfect couple like you and Michelle!