Valerie is making the move to Seattle from Portland. Finally.
We have been doing this back and forth every weekend routine, three to four hours each direction, for two years.
TWO GOD DAMN YEARS.
I’m broke. I spent all my money at the gas station and, sadly, only about $20 of that was ever on snacks. (Though as a consolation, I did see Mary K. Letourneau at one several months ago.) Gas is so expensive. Someone needs to invent me a car that runs on feelings.
As it turns out, moving is also very expensive and stressful. There are trucks to rent and gasses to buy and trips to make back and forth with cars full of things.
I think one somewhat unexpected stress from all of this is the notion of sharing. I don’t know if I was good at sharing when I was little. I haven’t heard horror stories about throwing other kids down the stairs because they wanted to touch my toys, so I can only assume I was at least average in my distaste for sharing. But here I am now, having lived alone in my home for nearly two years and I’m having a hard time sharing my space. She isn’t even moved in and already I want to set all her things on fire. It’s not like I don’t want her to be here. I want her to be here every day forever. I just want to not have her things in places I don’t want her things. Like everywhere.
I’ve been allowed to have things go where I want them to go for years. For always. My ex and I moved in together after a year and we cohabited for…I can’t remember. 7 years? 8? Something on two hands. And she didn’t have a lot of things and I had a lot of things and so naturally all the things went where I wanted to put them because they were mine and she didn’t care enough to challenge me to a duel.
Valerie has things. One might say that Valerie has ALL the things. I have all the feelings and Valerie has all the things. She also has OPINIONS about the placement of things and she’s not afraid to fight me.
It’s not like she just has a lot of furniture. In fact, she doesn’t have much furniture so THANK GOD FOR THAT. But she has everything else. In fact, I imagine that there will be a shortage on knits around the world because I think Valerie took all the yarn. And don’t get me started on the paper. Or the markers. Or the stickers. Or the paints. Basically, the condo is going to have to open as a craft store because you can’t legally possess this much crafting inventory for private ownership. I’m pretty sure I read that in the Constitution.
We decided long ago that the back room, which used to be the office, is now a guest room/craft room where Valerie will attempt to keep her craft items contained. She will decorate it as she likes, which means there will be a lot of purple and sparkly things. I’ve been settling into this idea for many months, but the reality of it, watching it happen slowly over these past couple of weeks, is overwhelming. THERE ARE THINGS THAT AREN’T MINE IN THIS HOUSE. I know this is just something that I need to adjust to, but it stabs right into the heart of my issues of controlling everything around me so I don’t go insane. I know it will get better, but as I look at boxes of felt, sewing supplies and beads, I can’t help but clutch my chest and scream that I’m having a heart attack and if I die it’s okay if she puts her things wherever as long as she promises to vacuum at least twice a week.
In a couple of weeks we move the bulk of her things in and I’m not sure the back room is enough to contain it. Last weekend we sorted several BOXES of yarn into hanging organizers. We don’t yet have a hanging rod in her craft room closet so we used the hall closet to hang them. They’re still there, the closet door unable to close because they’re bursting out of it, so full of fluffy colored skeins. Every time I pass it I think to myself, ” THE YARN IS IN THE HALLWAY!” What next? THE STICKERS ARE IN THE LIVING ROOM. CRAFT SCISSORS ARE SCATTERED IN THE KITCHEN. Until one day all of my things are covered with her things and I suddenly don’t know who I am anymore and I have a psychotic break one Sunday afternoon and disappear, leaving my keys and wallet on the counter. Six years later the police will find me eight states away, wandering naked in an alley and eating hot garbage.
But this is how relationships work, right? You merge two households, you compromise, you let the person you love move her recumbent bicycle into the living room because it’s the only place with enough room and she gave you that look when you casually mentioned she could ride it just as easily in the basement storage room. I know I’ll slowly adjust to having to heed my partner’s desire to hang her cross on the wall in the hallway and at the same time, she’ll have to adjust and heed to my desire to nail myself to it.