I’ve always liked to think of myself as a pretty even-keeled person. Whether this is the case or not… well, you’d hafta ask someone else, but I’d like to think that’s my reputation.
Then something comes along and tests that.
I, like everyone else I know, am prone to freak-outs. They aren’t “well, we sent him to spend some time with his great-aunt in the country (by that, we mean he’s upstate in a sanitarium)” freak-outs. They’re more “he’s so agitated only dogs can hear him” freak outs. Yes, I belong to that unfortunate group of men whose voice goes up several octaves when they are irritated.
Still, I tend to get more jokingly pissed than legitimately pissed. Then, I started living with a couple.
A few disclaimers: the two of them are both wonderful people. I love them to death… but living with a couple will be the death of me. Also, it should be noted that their relationship is a little- well, let’s just say unorthodox. It started out “let’s keep it casual” then they started spending more and more time together. By the time she had conflict with her roommates and was looking to move out, his suggestion was, “well, why not move in here? You’re here all the time anyway.”
At this point in the process, I was consulted. I was asked if it would be okay, reassured that nothing would change that drastically and, well, I’d seen how she’d been living with the other roommates, so I agreed.
Alas, how quickly that tune can change. I don’t care what anyone tells you, things change when two people move together. It’s a growing process the two of you have to work through in order to find your balance… and then there’s the third guy.
I don’t know, I’m a weird guy when it comes to this sort of stuff. I always tell people, I was raised Catholic. That’s just code for emotionally stunted and sexually repressed, but you know what I mean. You move to a new town, you’re settling in, then something happens and what few comforts you had are turned upside down.
Again, I should clarify, I do care about these people dearly, it’s just- well, when I moved into this apartment, I didn’t move in with a couple, for a reason. Particularly as couples become closer, there’s that weird phenomenon of two becoming one. Suddenly, it’s not “I want Chinese food,” it becomes, “we want Chinese food.” There is nothing worse than the couple’s “we.”
Now, what does that mean for the third guy? Well, any couple will tell you a “we” trumps an “I” any day of the week. After all, majority rules and- well, an “I’ is rarely in the majority.
Still, it isn’t even a matter of control. Well, that’s a bit of a lie… the issue of majority rules really only takes place in the common room, which is admittedly more “we” territory than it is mine. Still, it being the common room, you’d think I’d have some say, right?
Well, let me give you an example of how little sway I hold in the common room. Like I said, I’m Catholic (not in the religious sense, just in the emotionally scarred sense) so I get a little weird about sex. Don’t get me wrong, love it, have it, just don’t talk about it. That’s not so much the case when living with a couple…
You wanna have sex? Totally cool. Just do me a favor, don’t start your foreplay on the living room couch, cuz I see things when I’m goin’ to the kitchen to get a glass of water- things that I cannot unsee.
Still, that’s one of my hang-ups, I get that some people are more open about that stuff. Whatever, let’s just let that one slide. Ya know what we’re not gonna let slide, though?
Hold up, a couple things you need to know here. Male half of “we” has a bad back (like, really bad) and needs to have Icy Hot rubbed on it every so often. Well, I guess that’s not a couple of things, more like one thing…
Anyway, the other night, he knocks on my door and gives me a heads up to not come out cuz he’s rubbing lotion on her sunburn or something and she’ll have her shirt off. i jokingly respond with something about, I dunno, no tits on the living room couch or something.
A few moments later, he gives me the all-clear. Karl (the dog) and I grab his leash and I’m about to take him outside. We aren’t gone for long, but when I come back in, what do I see?
My roommate’s ass as the female half of “we” rubs icy Hot on his back and ass. Mind you, they are no less than 30 feet from the entrance to his bedroom.
I get it, you’ve got pain and I’m sorry for that, but I should be able to walk into our apartment without worrying that I’m gonna see hairy ass.
It’s as if, when living with a couple, the “common space” becomes the “we space.” I didn’t know it going into the situation, but agreeing to live with a couple is like agreeing to be a stranger to your own home. Suddenly, “I” find myself kowtowing to the almighty “we.”