In a few short months, Michael and I will be moving in together. Two months and twenty seven days to be exact. To say I’m that terrified would be understatement.
I haven’t lived with anyone for over twelve years, and I wouldn’t exactly say I’m easy to live with. I’m particular, I like my space and my things, and I need a great deal of alone time. These attributes have softened a bit since Michael and I started dating a little over a year ago, but I’m still a little frightened for his safety.
It’s not that I ever saw myself living alone forever. I just sorta blinked and a decade had gone by. Revealing all the ways I’m not a complete grown-up has always been scary for me. Like, what’s gonna happen when he finds out that I sometimes go full days without ever once putting on pants? Or that I sometimes watch the series finale of Six Feet Under just to cry. While I don’t necessarily think that any of my “single behavior” is a deal-breaker, I could probably go the rest of my life without Michael finding out first-hand what I can do to a bathroom after eating dinner at Flat Top.
Soon enough we’ll start looking for an apartment to co-habitate and then we’ll go about the delicate business of deciding which of our own prized possessions meets the others’ standard of living. Will I be able to make peace with the fact that he owns more IKEA than either he or I would care to admit? Will he be able to handle the hodgepodge hand-me-down furniture that I love? And most importantly, can either of us handle each other’s hands on our stuff?
And how do we know that this is even the right move? Have I lived alone for so long because I’m incapable of sharing the same space as another human being? Of course I’ve read all the pre-move in blog entries. Huffington Post says there are five things we should ask before moving in together. Those questions are all well and good, but what about questions like, “What should I be doing when you’re being a huge brat?” and, “What is an acceptable amount of alone time?” “Am I allowed to tell your cat to STFU after she’s whined for an hour?” These are the important questions and am I a total dick for asking them?
I do believe that Michael and I are approaching this merger as adults and that there really won’t be a ton of snags along the way. I love him. He loves me. We handle problems pretty quickly and easily. We already have a drawer and a toothbrush and keys to each others’ places. We spend most of our time together. I think that what I really need to do is get out of my own way and be happy about taking this step with such an amazing guy.
He’d be lucky to have me anyway. I come with a rather impressive dowry of tireless wit, out-of-print comic books, and a semi-decent DVD collection. And one asshole cat.
Shortly into our relationship, I asked Boyfriend the most important question anyone can be asked ever. “If you had your choice of mutant powers, what would you choose?” He told me that he’d choose the ability to turn intangible. To phase through solid objects and walk through walls like Kitty Pryde. I’m pretty sure my choice would be to be able to teleport from one place to another or flight so that I’d never have to take another damn bus again.
I recently took him home to meet my family for the first time and things went well. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the whole thing, but I wasn’t nervous for the reasons that you’d expect. I wasn’t nervous about them meeting him. I wasn’t nervous about him meeting them. I was nervous for him to see my interaction with them. I’ve never had a very high patience threshold for my family. It’s something I’ve been working on for the past year, but no one can push my buttons quite like my family. I’ve never introduced anyone I was dating to my family for this exact reason. I knew there’d be a time where I’d had enough and I’d snap on either my mother or my brother and I’d really look like an asshole even if I’d been justified. So I built a wall around my family and I and the outside. But there I was, introducing Boyfriend to my family and my head wasn’t absolutely exploding. (Even with a little snag at the very end of the weekend, we all got out relatively unscathed.)
Throughout my life, I’ve gotten through tough times and situations by putting expiration dates on everything. I’d get through projects I didn’t like at work by reminding myself that it was just a project and would be over in a set time. I got through school the same way. It started spilling over into the good things though too, and made even happy times just something I had to get through. It really made dating difficult. I’d meet someone and already be counting down the minutes thinking about how soon I could be done with the date. Half the time I’d only half listen in conversations. I wouldn’t even bother really getting to know someone because I was making sure that it wouldn’t last or have a chance to go anywhere meaningful. I’d erected walls around my life basically. Carefully constructed mazes in my head to keep myself from getting off track or even looking at my surroundings. I’d transformed everything into a task to be completed. A hall to walk down. Being with Boyfriend has been a completely new and different experience for me. For the first time in as long as I can remember — maybe ever — I’ve found myself thinking of things as open-ended. We’ve talked about our futures together. I’ve actually let myself realize that the future is something further down the road than three months.
When I was just coming out, I fell hard for a guy I met during my first stint in college. I was completely and totally infatuated with him and I spent the better part of a decade sewing the pieces of my heart back together after he shredded it. There were plenty of guys after him who left plenty of scars, but by then I was already largely done building up my defenses and failsafes. Cement brick by cement brick, I’d inclosed myself inside a structure strong enough to weather whatever I knew was gonna be thrown at me. I’d always thought that love was something that the other person also had to feel for you to be considered “in love.” I sure as hell wasn’t going to tell any of those guys how I felt, even if I’d been growing immune to whatever their feelings for me might’ve been. With Boyfriend, I’ve been removing pieces of that armor. Enough to let in a little light and enough to let out an “I love you.”
Maybe Boyfriend already has Kitty Pryde’s powers. Or maybe I’ve inherited them from him and it’s me who’s walking through the walls I’ve built in my life. Whatever the reason, being a mutant in love is pretty fucking rad.