Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cohabitation: I'm Probably Over Thinking It

As an adult, anytime I'm in a relationship I consider the implications of living with the other person. Will we find out things about each other that just absolutely do not work with our respective ways of life? What if he's only been keeping his place clean when I'm coming over? What if he considers clean sheets a novelty? Will he think I'm weird that I regularly go through the fridge and dump anything that there's not a chance in hell that we're going to eat before it expires? We're not actually waiting for the apocalypse are we? 

I don't recall having these thoughts when I was a young woman embarking on my first cohabitation with my future husband. Things were what they were and we were too excited to play house to fret over the little things that would one day annoy the living shit out each other. As long as the sex was plentiful nothing else mattered. Ah, ignorant bliss. 

I have a million face creams, lotions, serums, and washes. I keep 2-3 different shampoos and conditioners on hand at any given time as well as a multitude of hair products necessary to create whatever hairstyle I am trying to create. There are tweezers, clippers, flat irons, curl irons, blow dryers, and other implements of hair abuse to house. I have many products that men will never use. 

My ex husband grew up with two woman in his family. My last two partners had both lived with females for extended lengths of time. I felt pretty secure about handling the fact that I was still of breeding age and health and as such, still had to deal with that monthly visit from Flo. It's life. I considered it a sign from God that I'd not be dealing with 18 more years of parental worry. I'd cramp a little, cry a bit, and get the hell over it. 

Tampax will tell you that their products are flushable. In some cases they are. I'm not saying you specifically determine whether or not you can flush your feminine products. I am telling you it is entirely dependent on your plumbing system. Septic tank? No. Old plumbing? No. Heavily used shared plumbing? No. So to be on the safe side, the answer is wrap and toss. Wrap and wrap and wrap and wrap and toss. Do a good job. You don't want it to look like you found a mouse in a trap and mummified it. Use half a roll if you need to. 

I will also tell you that it's pretty damned important that you square this little thing up with your partner.If you don't think it's important, tell me what you think the conversation will be like when you're caught smuggling your toilet paper and plastic bag covered products and digging surreptitiously to the center of the trash in another place in the house to dispose of them. You don't want to live like a squirrel burying a nut do you (thanks SK)? 

Do yourself a favor and make it a moving in discussion point. It might start something like, "Hey, dude... listen. I get my period. When I do, I will use products that allow me to leave the house and function like a regular old human being. Those products have to be disposed of. How would you prefer that I do that?" 

If your guy freaks out, remind him that if he likes girls it's sort of part and parcel of the whole vagina package. If he still seems disgusted remind him that you don't say anything about the fact that during those days he humps your leg in his sleep or uses too much of your conditioner in the shower and doesn't have much hair. True or not, it's ammunition. 

For the record, as I searched for suitable articles to cite in this post I found a magazine called Period Living. It wasn't at all what I was looking for, but I got some awesome tips on decorating my house! 

What is your biggest fear/irritation about cohabitation?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Making Something Better

There is nothing worse than spending your life questioning yourself. If something so real and painful to you didn't actually happen what does that mean for the rest of your life? What is real? If something that impacted you so dramatically never happened what else isn't real? If you close your eyes for a time and reopen them will everything still be here? Paralytic fear is something you can't ever understand until you experience it.

Thus began the phone calls. "Do you remember the day that___ ?"  or "How old were we?" and "When did your parents remodel?" and the inevitable, "Am I crazy?" Of all the questions I asked, that last one is the one I hesitated on the most. Something beautiful happened when I broke down... I realized my family is the most amazing group of people a girl could ever hope for. 

Today begins a new phase in my life. Summer is unofficially over today, but I feel reborn. The things in my past that have needled me are getting put in a locked box, sealed in concrete, and dropped into an abyss where I will never see them again. I've learned all I can from the pain and isn't that what it's for? Once something has outlived its usefulness what is the point in keeping it? Nothing really.

I want to thank my mother, sister, and cousin for being there for me when shit got real. I hope that each of you knows how loved you are. You're amazing, strong, beautiful women who deserve all of the very best things in life. I am so very blessed to have you in my life.

For the first time in a long long while, I woke today feeling empty. It was different from the emptiness that comes from a void you can't hope to fill. The emptiness was a space where anger and pain used to live. There was a sense that I'd cleaned out the closet of my soul and threw out everything that just isn't me anymore. It is a space that can now be filled with happiness, joy, and love. Deciding what to fill your life and your heart with is a conscious choice, and I'm choosing to look forward. I'm choosing to make something better.

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