I had dinner with a friend recently who, when I opened up about some of my life issues, looked at me all moon-eyed and dreamy and said: “But being in love makes everything so much better.” I laughed. Like, actually laughed in her face. When I was single, I used to look at new couples and feel a pang of jealousy thinking life must be so easy for them. Yes, being in love is a wonderful, blissful, transcendent life affirming experience, but it doesn’t make anything better. Everything that was a problem in my life before is still a problem. What’s different is that someone cooks me scrambled eggs for breakfast and genuinely wants to see all my Instagram photos and knows what to do to make me laugh when I’m grumpy. So, back to the question: what’s changed in my life? A lot, but not all of the changes have been easy ones. Falling in love is an adjustment — like moving to a new city or starting a new job or, I imagine, becoming a parent. You find yourself a refugee from your former life, trying to integrate your old self with the new one.
You never hear much about what happens after two people meet and fall in love — or at least people fail to mention the dirty details what really transpires. It would ruin the illusion — talking about how you have a formidable pile of unopened mail on your desk, because well, you’ve barely been home in the last four months. Being in love doesn’t make the mail go away. And that’s something I miss about being single — never having a mail pile. Not that I’m complaining in the least, but below are some other random things that I’m mourning the loss of now that I’m coupled.
1. My dawdling time. In the morning, when getting ready for work, I like to dawdle. I like to sit at my desk with my mirror and spend forever doing my makeup, sipping my coffee and watching trash TV while doing so. This ritual is all but extinct for me. When I spend the night at my guy’s place, there is no makeup mirror — although he did buy me plastic organization bins from Muji which improved my morning routine exponentially — and he likes to watch NY1 or listen to records while getting ready for work. I’ve actually grown to enjoy this new morning dawdle, but I miss mine nonetheless.
2. My commute. Somewhere God is laughing at me for missing riding on the subway for 45 minutes each way. Call me crazy, but I love it. I read my book, I people watch, I zone out and have creative musings. That time is gone for the most part. I’ve started waking up earlier so I can sit in a coffee shop and read for 20 minutes or walk to work so I can zone out my brain, but sometimes I yearn for my long subway ride.
3. Knowing where my shoes are. A new reality in my life is that I never have any idea where my shoes are. The same goes for that one pair of jeans or my hot pink sports bra or my mascara. I am forever saying, “Have you seen my flip flops?” I have my stuff at home which gets carried back and forth in a series of tote bags and plastic bags. My stuff, when not at home, lives in a spare drawer, a roller suitcase under a bed and a shelf full of Muji bins. As a person who likes my stuff mostly neat and organized, this back-and-forth plastic bag/ tote bag shuffle makes me want to claw my eyes out.
4. My bed. I love my bed with it’s down mattress pad and Picasso bird duvet cover from West Elm. I love my white Egyptian cotton sheets and my fluffy pillows and my fuzzy throw blanket. It’s a fact that dudes don’t, of their own accord, put as much effort into sprucing up their beds. If it were up to them, they’d probably sleep in a sleeping bag. Well, I miss my bed. And I’m sure my bed misses me because it only sees me about half the week. On the upside, I don’t have to wash my sheets as often.
5. Eating whatever I want, whenever I want. While it’s not mandatory by any means for my boyfriend and I to eat meals together, I like eating with him, so when our schedules permit, we like to eat breakfast and/or dinner together. Only problem: I like to eat breakfast the very second I wake up (usually around 6 a.m., 7:30 a.m. on weekends) and dinner at 6:30 p.m. like a senior citizen and he likes to eat meals at the times that normal 30-somethings do. Other problem: He loves red meat and bacon and I barely eat those things. These are not problems, per se, but considerations I never made when swinging by Whole Foods after work for a pound of kale salad with quinoa (which he would rather die than eat for dinner). But I have convinced him to start eating Kashi and almond milk or eggs for breakfast and skipping the bacon and pancakes. I’m sure he secretly hates me for it.
6. Bad trash TV. Try getting a guy to watch “Dance Moms” with you. It’s never gonna happen. I even used the line, “Everything you need to know about girl drama and stage moms you’ll learn by watching this!” No go. If I want to watch that shit, it’s gonna have to happen in my spare time or I’ll just have give it up all together. Same goes for “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (which I’ll never give up), “The Real Housewives” franchise (which I’m happy to give up because it’s starting to depress me) and “Project Runway” (which I’ve started watching at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning while he’s still asleep). Luckily, he enjoys cooking shows and “Catfish,” so not all hope is lost for my TV watching life.
7. My nail salon. I’m not embarrassed to admit that, for me, there is a direct link between pedicures and mental health. Pedicures make me feel good about life, so I get them regularly. I’ve been going to the nail salon in my neighborhood for six years and in the past four months, I’ve only been there twice. Other pedicures have been procured in his neighborhood where they charge double and do half as good a job. This problem needs to be addressed immediately or I’m worried for myself.