Archives for the month of: June, 2015

We all have relationship baggage. One of my biggest carry ons comes from an old boyfriend who grew up in a world where women must not have bodily functions. So in our relationship, he did not want to acknowledge any of the 3 P’s- peeing, pooping and periods.

tpAnd I get it, but these things are real. They happen. And they happen to me. I didn’t want to discuss them over dinner, I just didn’t want to have to hide them entirely. To preserve the relationship, I agreed to keep this illusion alive as best I could. But of course, I had digestive issues and kidney issues and that damn monthly bleeding issue. Damn them all.

When we broke up, one of his parting comments was, “I’m just not attracted to you anymore.” And while attraction can mean so many things, I blamed it largely on not being able to maintain the illusion. I vowed “next time”, somehow, I would be more of a lady. A perfect porcelain non-excrement filled lady.

And that I did.

In my current relationship, I did not poo when he was at my house. Not for an ENTIRE YEAR. Finally on our anniversary, it happened. It wasn’t pre-meditated or celebratory,  I just really had to go.

Where did I go all the other times? Here is my shortlist:

  • Jewel
  • Starbucks
  • Bakin’ & Eggs
  • Gym
  • Work
  • Other gym
  • Walgreens
  • Nearly the alley one time

When I told a close friend about this, she was amazed at my commitment and her husband chimed in, “You go to Jewel? That place is horrible. Homeless people don’t even go there.” Horrible, maybe. But it wasn’t my house, which made it ideal.

When we decided to look for a place together, my requirements list began with “more than one bathroom.”I wanted the bathroom to be a non-issue. I didn’t want to wait to use a toilet and worry I wouldn’t make it or have to ask him if he needed to use the toilet before I took a shower. Maybe I wanted the illusion too.

Luckily, we found a place quickly. And that place had THREE BATHROOMS. But in the meantime I sold my place and had to temporarily live with him in his place. For 27 days. With one bathroom.

We were in the adjustment process. We had boxes and misplaced items everywhere. It was chaotic but special. Despite the inconveniences of the cramped space, I had never been happier. Every fucking day. All four of them.

But then there was day five.

“And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”…And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.”  -Genesis 1: 20-23 

It was 8:30am. I really had to go to the bathroom. I thought about either stopping at my old condo (still technically mine until my closing the following week), or just going at work. I thought, “But I live here now. I should go here.” I needed to embrace this. He’s not going to leave just because I can’t make the dinner we ate last night adorably evaporate.

So I got to business and it was fine. But when I commanded the toilet to flush, it did not. Instead, it swirled and filled up with water. And then, it overflowed. Water poured onto the floor on both sides. Water seeped into his bathroom rug. This is the thing of nightmares. I took a deep breath and tried to make light of this. I opened the door and said, “I was hoping to have two years until this happened.” He simply replied, “Plunger is next to the toilet.” It didn’t take long to fix. But I had to mop up poo water with paper towels. And then bleach the floor. And then ask him for a garbage bag for the bathroom rug. And swallow my pride.

Relationship milestones are usually things like first dates, first meeting of families, first holidays. In fact, just the other day, we went to a department store together for the first time. And went grocery shopping for the first time. How. Cute.

After only five days of co-habitating, I clogged the toilet for the first time. And despite blowing the illusion, we’re still okay.


bedroomI have a theory. Three rooms. Three rooms is what two people need to survive in a relationship. It is why I can confidently say my past co-habitation attempts didn’t work. It wasn’t me or us. It was math. Simply not enough rooms.

When I tell people this theory, they assume I mean a number of things that I don’t, such as that three rooms counts the kitchen, living and bathrooms. Three is in fact the number of bedrooms. Three rooms with windows and closets.

Why three?

Because one you share. Room one is your romantic cohabitation. It is the place you refer to when you say you love coming home to someone at night and waking up with them. It is the place you will speak of when you say how you didn’t sleep well because someone was snoring, sneezing, coughing, turning, or being otherwise disruptive. It is where you will have to agree on the furniture and bedding. The one where your clothes will also live. And where no one can get mad at you for being naked, any time of day.

Room two is my room. This is where I’m going to store things I probably should get rid of. I might read here. I might have long phone conversations here. I might start arts and crafts project here and leave them in a state of 25% completion without any progress for months at a time. I can play any music I want in here, even if it’s slightly audible in other rooms. I’m not required to vacuum or dust this room. I can come here when I’m not feeling well. I can come here when I want to feel nostalgic and pretend this is my childhood room, a room where my whole life was housed.

Room three: his room. This is where he will do man things but not like lifting weights because we have a gym membership for that. He will do computer things. He might read. He might make phone calls. He may start a project or two or three. And he will finish them in a timely manner because he’s much better at this than I am. He might want to keep a collection here or start a collection here. And hopefully it won’t outgrow the room. But oh, too late- it has. And that’s ok too.

Having one’s own space is luxurious. I know it’s not something everyone can do or something that everyone would want. But I love the space.Space to miss each other. Space to visit. Space to organize and reorganize or not organize at all.Space to take a pause or take a nap. Space to feel a spectrum of emotions in the stillness and silence of your own breath. Space to bounce off the walls. Space immerse in true self. Space to appreciate space. Space to appreciate everything.

 Flashdance 1983Somewhere on the way to my 40th birthday*, I must have stopped to tie my shoe or been delayed by traffic, figuratively speaking of course. The world seems to have skipped ahead leaving me way behind the times on everything from fashion to technology. When I see women wearing clothes with cut outs, I can only relate to them with memories of what I wore to my 8th grade dance. When I hear about some uproar on Instagram, I can’t remember if that’s the one with the likes, the tags or the filters. Or maybe, it’s all three.

I’ve heard of people exploring their inner child. But right now, I’m most in touch with my inner senior citizen.

Recently, there was a girl at work who was acting peculiar. She was jumpy. She would disappear frequently. She had disengaged from co-workers. In hindsight, there are so many reasons she could have been acting this way. She could have been going through a rough personal time. Perhaps she was battling depression. Maybe it was some sort of irritable bowel thing. But my inner little old lady just scratched and squawked out loud, “I wonder if she’s on drugs.” In a time when so many people are on a myriad of drugs, being on drugs isn’t even a thing anymore. But my Nancy Reagan was firing on all silver cylinders ready to solve the mystery.

The girl ended up finding a new job and leaving. There were no mysterious drugs found and no peculiar behavior that followed her to her next job. Later I found out- she had just been bored.

My old timeyness does not stop here. Remember when Google was just a search? And then how they seemed so generous for offering free email? And then when they made all those cute holiday animations and we were so busy watching bunnies hop into the shape of the logo, they took over the world? And then suddenly you were expected to know the Google suite of tools?

Maybe it’s all easy. For you. But for me, it harkens back to my memories of trying to teach my mom how to use her first personal computer.

“When I click this, it doesn’t do anything”

“I keep pushing the power button but nothing happens.

“Where does it save?”

“That’s the clock.” “It’s unplugged.” “It’s right there on the desktop.”

So it’s only fitting that now I’m the geezer with the questions, “How do you make an excel sheet a Google sheet?” “How can you let people see it?” “Where does it save?” I am hoping no one can see my Google history of questions on these matters. In fact, everyone should get to take their history of questions to the grave. It’s only dignified.

I put on my reading glasses and slowly learned about life beyond “Googling” and Gmail. I invited people to my new document. I watched them add to this document. I hoped it saved.

But my worst old person offense was a recent phone call. On my office phone, the caller ID read “Harris.” I don’t know why a bank would call my work number. No one knows my work number. I don’t even know my work number. It must have been a mistake.

But then I saw “Harris” on my cell phone. I have a bank account with Harris and have recently had a beef about a fee they charged me. But I don’t know why they would call me- they’re the ones with the money, not the beef. I decided to pick it up.

They explained they were calling about a collection. I was mad- was Harris Bank so awful they would charge me fees and then put me into collection? THE NERVE. But it wasn’t that. Different Harris. It’s a debt collector for my last gas bill from my old condo. Oh, that makes sense. I never received a final bill. When they verified my addresses and told me the outstanding balance, they said I could pay with a credit card over the phone. THAT IS SO CONVENIENT. So I gave them my information. They then told me, “There is a $9.95 convenience charge for paying with a credit card.” Not so convenient after all. I told them I would send a check instead. Immediately the woman said, “Let me see if I can get that fee lowered to $4.95.” She was gone for half a second, came back and said, “My manager is allowing me to waive the fee. Great! Though that “Let me check with my manager” line was the oldest trick in the book.

And now I worried this whole call might be a trick too.

I had visions of logging into my bank account to see “0”. I would wonder how I had let this happen. Of course, they had my credit card, not my bank account but still, I felt violated. I realized, “OH NO. This is what happens to OLD PEOPLE.” You hear it all the time- an old person who’s just sitting on their stoop sipping lemonade or in a rocking chair listening to an old timey radio gets a call from a “nice young man” selling one thing or another. Just like that, a poor sweet old person is swindled. Well, today, that was me.

Of course, I do have a shred of life left in me so I called my credit card company right away, disputed the charge and cancelled the card. And maybe it was also super “old person” to get paranoid like this but I’d rather not take my chances, sonny.

*Note: I’m not saying 40 is old. I’m just saying I AM. Also, happy birthday Mom!