Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Two Homes, One Heart

So this is a blog about life and love and dealing with problems and this post is about all three.  I just haven't posted something of such a personal nature in a while and thought it should come with a disclaimer, as it's a bit of a shift in gears.  (Get it?  Because of the car posts...)

I've often joked that I have a home in the city and a home in the country.  Now that My Runner has purchased his own house, that feels even more true.  But the reality is that I have an apartment in the city, and My Runner invites me to visit his home.  That's a subtle but emotionally important distinction.

 I know he's excited to have his own place, and settle into it.  "Hell, *I'm* excited for him that he gets the chance to live on his own, set things up the way HE wants it, and make all the home decisions.  I know it was a great growing experience for me, and I hope he finds benefit in it as well.  He has asked my advice on some things, but ultimately has made his own choices.  I've helped (or attempted to help) on some of the projects around his house.  However, there's a line that I worry I keep crossing.

I'm an over-share-er.  You want to borrow something I have, then help yourself.  Need extra storage?  I've got space.  Like my sweater?  Sure you can wear it Wednesday.  That's me.  I generally don't get annoyed until someone, say, borrows my underwear or has sex in my bed (ok, this was ONE college roommate, but yes, both happened).  And even then, honestly, the right person asking in the right situation I'd be like, well ok, go for it.

I don't always realize other people have different boundaries than I do.  I try to be considerate, but because it wouldn't occur to me that, say, leaving earrings on the table or a coat in the closet might be an encroachment, I just don't think about the earrings I left on the table.  I think My Runner doesn't mind one thing here or there every now and then.  But because I've been staying at his house so much, my stuff is spreading, and more of it is staying... The other night I got a text from My Runner: "You moving in?  I think you have more coats in my closet than I do."  I'm sure it was meant in a joking manner, but the message was clear- you're NOT living here, so please don't take advantage.

On the flip side, My Runner has offered a place to keep some toiletries, the bed stand on the side of the bed I sleep on is empty, and he, at one point, mentioned keeping a few things at his place for work-clothing emergencies.  I'm at his house just about every weekend from Friday night to Monday morning, and generally one more night during the week- ie, more than I'm at my own place.  So, where does the line get drawn?

I want to be considerate of his space without having to worry that I'm overstepping.  But I don't want to seem like I'm withdrawing.  And honestly, I know me and I know at some point I'll absent-mindedly forget a pair of shoes or a hair tie or something, and I don't want that to cause a major issue.  Ultimately, I don't want to worry about this all the time and have it be a "thing."

Obviously it's time for a brief chat about what's ok and what's not.  He's rarely at  my house, and with my non-borders, it's never been an issue when he stayed there anyways.  And honestly, while a discussion will help me remember a bit to keep my "stuff" tamed, I'm bound to forget.  So there also needs to be an understanding that I'm NOT "playing games" or being passive-aggressive, but just forgetful.

There is a darker side to this, and I'm embarrassed and a bit ashamed to admit it.  Of course my actions came from being excited for My Runner to have his own place, but upon examination there was some selfishness at play too.  I would often interject or respond as if I had any authority at the house.  Like, when the neighbor asked about cutting trees, *I* said "That shouldn't be a problem."  Or I would state "We just moved in," leaving out the necessary language to indicate that we had just moved ONE PERSON in.  I don't recall doing this on purpose, but I do recall replaying these things in my head after I said them, thinking, "that can't be good."  But I didn't make a very conscious effort to stop.  I guess part of me wanted it to be true, and part of me was so excited for him I just didn't care.  Not until he cared and expressed to me how much it bothered him.  I know this was rude behavior, and it's embarrassing to admit bad manners.

So now, I make a conscious effort to not answer on behalf of him, and to make sure it's clear that I'm not a resident.  But that doesn't mean I haven't screwed up.  It's possible that I wasn't paying attention while talking.  Actually, that's likely because I rarely pay attention to what I'm saying until after I've said it.  (I don't recommended this- it gets me into trouble A LOT.)

Maybe some day this will all be a moot point, but for now it seems like an important stepping stone in our relationship.  How do we express our boundaries?  How do we tell each other when we're hurt or bothered? What's acceptable behavior and what's not?  What can we forgive and learn to live with, and what's unforgivable?  The actual topic might not be incredibly weighty, but the practice of resolving this little thing might have implications in how we resolve the big things.

**Edit: this post was written and for the briefest of moments published before I spoke to My Runner about the situation.  Since he reads the blog (hi baby!) I figured it'd be best for our relationship if I brought this up with him before putting it out for the world- or the 8 or so of you that read this- to see.  The chat was quick and productive, and as per usual I blew the issue way out of proportion in my head.**

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  • At 2:24 PM , Blogger Heather said...

    I would like to clarify one of the most important details of this entry:

    I never had sex in Leah's bed and I do not recall ever touching her underwear, unless maybe moving it one day before company arrived and unearthing a dead, dehydrated frog. And honestly, I think that was just a shirt. And it may have been mine. So.

    But I can only really be sure of the first point, so reassure me I wasn't the panty snatcher, please.

  • At 2:36 PM , Blogger leeapeea said...

    It was Katie- my Post-Heather roomie. And I didn't find out she had sex in my bed until I was working at Fidelity and met a fellow classmate in my department and had a very awkward moment when we figured out she had sex with HIM in MY bed. WEIRD.


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