“Happy FUCK Valentine's Day my love!” This message came to me Sunday morning via email from my girlfriend, who is visiting her family of origin in the Western U.S. And I completely agree with its sentiments.
Last year on Valentine’s Day my girlfriend and I had known each other less than two months and, as we found out, we both despise Valentine’s Day: the crass commercialization of it, yes, but also the faux romance of the once-a-year “holiday.” So, we had our own little anti-Valentine’s Day dinner with a few friends.
Since my gal is away and I am here in Brooklyn, I don’t have any plans for V-Day, and don’t really care to make any. I have too much to do—real quality stuff in my life and I don’t have room for bullshit. I mean, does anyone really need to give or receive a heart shaped box of chocolates? Do you really need to give or receive a keepsake ornament? Do you really need to buy a $100 bottle of wine? To celebrate your caring for someone whom you should be telling (and showing) you love her every day?
Anyway, this all awkwardly leads me to that somewhat verboten topic of living together. Yep, we’ve discussed it my gal and I. And, since she’s so easy to get along with as am I, we’re exploring the idea. Simply exploring, like looking at apartments in our price range on Craigslist just to see what’s out there. She’s been comfortably snug in her place in Bushwick for nine years while I’ve had mine in Flatbush me for three and combing two households—or rather beginning one anew is not something either of us are taking lightly.
We’ve both lived with girlfriends before so we know it’s a big commitment. And it’s also been totally fraught before, for both of us. Crazy making stuff from exes about the details of where they could and would not live, what neighborhoods, what type of apartment, how much to spend, etc. Well, we’re very open—and compatible—about exploring the idea and the myriad possibilities. I mean the idea is to share our lives, right? It’s not about exposed brick walls, parquet floors, fireplaces or the perfect address. There is no perfect.
It’s actually very interesting and delightful to discuss this topic with my very sensible girlfriend. We know we can afford only so much; that we need to have a place with an office for us to write and neither of us can climb too many stairs. But other than that, we’re open to all possibilities. Neither of us has a laundry list of don’ts and cant’s or oh no’s.
And, by the way, we haven’t told many friends we are even thinking about moving in together because, as you might remember, after just two dates too many of them had us married off and we don’t want the same pressure here. Really, we want this to be a positive experience, not a spectator sport.
Blogger Bio: Stephanie Schroeder is a dreamer, wanderer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She likes to exchange apartments with artists and other interesting folks from around the globe and travel in search of new friends and singular experiences. She makes purple a way of life and also fancies green, purple’s complementary color on the color wheel. (stephanieschroeder.com)