Pretty much everything about Kale and I getting married was untraditional. But we were actually quite traditional by not moving in together until a few days before our wedding.
Kale and I certainly weren’t opposed to premarital cohabitation on principle: both of us had lived with exes in long-term relationships before. We simply hadn’t been together long enough to move in together: we had only been dating for four months when we got engaged and got married just five weeks after that (yeah, we moved quick). Kale ending his lease in Brooklyn to move into my apartment in Queens a few days before our wedding was pure circumstance.
By cultural standards, the “getting married” part is supposed to be the huge change that occurred in my life. One minute I was filing my taxes solo and then — ba-bam! — I’m legally joined to another person by law. And to be sure, sponsoring Kale for immigration was also a significant event. But the honest truth is that the biggest change during that time, in terms of how it affected my life and how I had to adjust and grow as a person, was acquiring not just a new husband but a new roommate. Keep reading »
My boyfriend and I moved in together last July. At the time, we had been dating for just shy of six months.
If a friend had planned to do what I did, and had asked me for advice, I would have told her that it was too soon. “What’s the rush?” I would have said. “Moving in together this early is frankly insane,” I would probably have added.
And I don’t disagree with my friend-self. I have never been a risk-taker; in fact, I’ve always been very averse to change. I had never even come close to living with a boyfriend, although I did have a few year-plus-long relationships. My less than adventurous personality is also what kept me in Boston, my hometown, for almost five years after graduating college. Why would I leave when my friends and family were there? I didn’t understand why people kept moving away from our safe cocoon. Keep reading »
I once had a friend whose mom and dad didn’t just sleep in separate beds — they had entirely separately bedrooms in the same apartment. It seemed weird to me when I learned of it, despite the fact I knew nothing about their private relationship. When the parents eventually divorced, I assumed sleeping in separate bedrooms had had something to do with it. How could it not? I mean, sharing a bedroom just seemed like something married people do.
Well, I have been married for less than one year and I started thinking seriously about sleeping in separate bedrooms when I awoke with a start in the middle of the night recently because my snoozing husband elbowed me, sharply, right in the forehead. (It might actually have been a move taught in self-defense classes. And if it’s not, it should be.) Keep reading »
I met Michael six months after I left my previous relationship and was, I think, understandably not eager to get into anything super-committed. It turned out I had good reason to be wary: I was still trying to figure out my sense of what “myself” or “Rebecca” was as an individual after being in a relationship that required me to defer to being one-half of a couple, not one whole person in a partnership with another whole person. The baggage weighed on me and made me scared of what the relationship would ask of me. Michael and I broke up twice. Keep reading »
Being the youngest in a large family has its advantages: My siblings provided plenty of grandchildren already, so there’s no pressure on me to make more. (Christmas presents are expensive, y’all.) My family has also known since I was 19 — when I fainted while watching my older sister have a sonogram because it grossed me out so much — that I’m not sure this childbirth thing is for me. So, even after being married for 10 months now, no one in my family has broached the subject of bringing a Bogdanovs-Wakeman into the world.
That being said, minding-one’s-own-beeswax doesn’t hold true with outsiders — as I found out this weekend when a trip to the laundromat turned into more than I’d bargained for. Keep reading »
Growing up, my parents were able to provide a stable middle-class upbringing for me, my three sisters and my brother. I can understand now how fortunate we were not to worry about hunger, housing, or medical bills. Although my Mom made a point to show us how privileged we were — I’m from Fairfield County, Connecticut, where the “wealth gap” between rich and poor is top in the nation — I lived securely inside a wealthy suburban bubble in the booming ’90s. As I graduated from high school, went to college and began my working life, I still managed to have financial security, even when the economy tanked in 2008. Some friends, recent college graduates like myself, lost their jobs or just plain could not get hired. But me, I still got to stay inside a safe little bubble.
Then I did something that probably didn’t make sense to some people, especially those from the background that I come from: I married someone who was unemployed. Keep reading »