Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm Quirky

My wonderfully amazing boyfriend, Jim, moved in with my son and me last week and so far, so good! There is so much I could write about why we decided to move in together, how we came to the decision, what preventative discussions we had to help us negotiate potential obstacles we might encounter later on, but in order to protect his privacy I won't. I would, however, like to discuss that in the past five nights since Jim and I became domestic partners I've realized I have a few quirks. And really, recognizing these quirks, accepting these quirks and setting them aside if need be is really all about being Sugar & Swank.

So What are Said Quirks?

1. I like to watch Big Brother. I'm aware that this reality TV program, in its 8th season, is trash, but I love to watch the house that CBS fills each summer with the schmarmiest, scuzziest people they can find. People who are willing to leave their families and responsibilities in order to backstab, gossip and mindlessly blow their summer away in hopes of winning $500,000. Not even a $1,000,000! Here' the thing: Big Brother is not on just one night a week but THREE nights a week! Worse, in past summers I've subscribed to the 24-hour live feed and would find myself in Big Brother chat rooms discussing the game with strangers. This year I passed up the live feed and went for Big Brother After Dark on Showtime which airs live, uncut footage of the houseguests from 9 pm to 12 am. I don't watch the entire three hours, I just fast forward to strategic discussions, but the commitment is there. I've also become a part of a Big Brother email group made up of friends of friends, (thankfully not strangers). We make guesses and predictions about what will happen in the house each week and are planning both a Big Brother 8 finale viewing party as well as a celebratory lunch. I've never thought my Big Brother behavior to be abnormal (of course, seeing it in writing even raises my own red flag), but one night Jim came to bed and said, "I am going to go nuts if that is always on before I go to sleep." Hmmm. Was he already attacking my way of being in my own home? And might I go nuts if the Mariners recap was on every night instead? I replied by saying, "The season's almost over," but the truth is, I've got my eye on my Big Brother quirk/obsession/addiction.

2. I need some down time at the end of the day. When Jim didn't live here we kinda looked forward to my son's bedtime because we'd finally get a little alone time before Jim would head home. Once he had left I would get in bed to read or catch up on recorded shows before going to sleep. I didn't realize how much I needed this quiet time to just space out. With Jim here, I've seen that I still need this downtime or else I get crabby, so once my son's asleep we both retreat to our corners (me to "our" bedroom and he to the den), just for a bit, to recharge our personal batteries before meeting up again before heading to bed.

3. My standards for tidiness might annoy others who live with me. I was raised in a super-tidy house. My dad was a serious neat-freak who was addicted to vacumming. I got used to living like this and find that as an adult, I'm most comfortable and productive in a space that is neat and orderly. My son's room can be a mess, Jim's den can be a mess, but the rest of the house needs to be put away. I realize it probably isn't fun for Jim to have to fluff the pillows on the couch when he's tired or for him to have to make sure the entire kitchen is clean before we go to sleep. I'm guessing I'll mellow out as time goes on - I've already mellowed a ton since I got my first real place back in 1996 - and Jim is humoring me so far.

4. When I fill up the Brita water pitcher I forget to put it in the refrigerator and leave it in the sink. Jim always puts it away for me.

5. I talk really loudly when I'm on the phone. I remember my ex-husband commenting on this and noticed Jim turn up the volume the other night after I answered the phone. Now I make sure to go into the other room when I'm on the phone.

6. I can get into a Type-A Zone. It is a bit frenetic. You can call it spazzy. For example, if I have to wait for Jim to help me with something I will likely do it on my own - even if it means moving a king-size bed out of the house and a queen-size bed in. Of course, he would question the word "wait" because when I'm in my Type-A Zone I'm also impatient. I also tend to go over-the-top when in this Zone. If I have to make cookies for an event I might make several hundred.

I am so blessed because Jim is entirely patient when I'm quirky. Of course, despite all my weirdnesses he's making out pretty well. His laundry is washed and folded for him, he gets a home cooked meal every night, his desire for freshly baked cookies is always met and because of my obsession for cleanliness he gets to live in a comfortable home that's one true rule is, "everyone gets their needs met." And really, the boy ain't perfect. I'd write about his quirks too but right now he wants me to watch the Mariner highlights with him.

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