Beer and cheese: on moving in together

I finally have my own kitchen, cluttered and temporary though it may be.

So Drummer Boy and I have sort of moved in together. Not properly – we’re looking after his grandparents’ house (as they are sadly both in a care home now) while decisions are made about what becomes of the property. The house is conveniently three doors away from my own parents’ place, so it’s easy for me to dash home when I get too cold, or I run short of socks.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned in the ten days or so we’ve been unofficially cohabiting.

1) Gender stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.
In the last week, I’ve heard myself say the following things:

“You didn’t make the bed this morning!”

“Why do you just leave things in the sink? Or by the sink? They don’t have legs, they’re not going to walk themselves through hot soapy water on to the draining board.”

“Erm, do red knickers not belong in a dark wash? I was kind of hoping to have some underwear this week…”

2) The idea of something is often far worse than the actual thing itself. For reasons that were 70% hormonal and 30% genuine angst, we managed to have a serious argument every day for the three days before we actually moved in together. Once actually in the house, it was all sunshine and rainbows and “do you want a cup of tea?”

3) I have spent the last three days complaining about, but trying to hide any ‘evidence’ of, having fallen to the Communists/having Aunt Irma to visit/hosting the Red Wedding (pick your euphemism). He’s an educated and liberal man, but by God, he must be protected from the realities of menstruation.

4) Tea and cheese is the best post-work, pre-dinner snack. On Fridays, swap tea for beer.

5) It is possible to be quite comfortable in a house that errs on the side of chilly, has a lot of floral wallpaper and brown carpets, and is home to a set of curtains that can best be described as “quintessentially Seventies”. You can just make them out below:

I was describing them to a work colleague, who has a degree in something art-and-design-related, and she got really excited and said “Ebay them! Seriously! Some vintage fabric freak will go nuts for those!”

6) While I’ve spent the last two years or so wishing we were living together, it does take some getting used to. In the week it’s fine, because I’m out of the house between 8.15 and 6.15. The weekends have been a bit “are you still here? Can’t you go out? No? All right, I’m going out. No, don’t come with me.”

7) But when all is said and done, I picked a good’un. He is easy to live with, and – importantly – supremely tolerant, and doesn’t mind that I get into my fluffy white dressing gown at the earliest opportunity once I get home from work, and proceed to waft around the house like a cuddly ghost. Most touchingly of all, when he could tell I hadn’t slept well on Sunday night (that ‘back to work’ dread after a week away from the office had me waking up every hour or so), at 6am, he whispered “have an extra hour in bed and I’ll drive you to work”. I could have cried with gratitude. Sitting next to him on the sofa now, while he reads out funny comments in AskReddit threads and I try and stop him reading over my shoulder, I feel incredibly lucky – and incredibly smug.

In other less nauseating news… if you want to make the most of Orange Wednesdays before they’re gone forever, go and see Whiplash. It’s amazing, and you don’t have to be a drummer, a drummer’s girlfriend, or a jazz fan to enjoy it. I didn’t think I’d live to see the day where I enjoyed a pyschological thriller about jazz drumming, but I have.

This has nothing to do with jazz drumming.

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