Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips

The closest I’ve come to living with someone is a “boyfriend drawer.” After two months of dating, my then-boyfriend basically told me staying at my apartment all of the time was inconvenient.

The last thing I want to be is inconvenient. So I cleared out my second dresser drawer, giving him the space he felt he needed.

I ventured to the store, and bought undershirts, boxer shorts, and socks to fill the drawer. I also purchased some “manly” toiletries, and put them in a black basket in my bathroom.

The 24 hours before he saw the drawer, I was nervous. Did I go too far? Would he feel smothered? To my relief, he appreciated my efforts. Well, for a little while, at least.

When we broke up, I dumped the contents of his drawer and basket into paper grocery bags, and dropped them off on his front porch. He never bothered to return my things, by the way.

As I type this, I’m waiting on the paint (“Fabulous Red,” if you’re curious) to dry on that same dresser—a cleansing, of sorts.

My home has always been important to me. It’s a place I take pride in, and I want my friends, family, and maybe someday a boyfriend, to feel comfortable in it.

But the subject of moving in has never come up in one of my relationships—I’ve never even had a drawer—making me wonder if I give off the vibe that I’d be a bad roommate.

When I was in high school, I never understood why people would move in together before marriage. If a couple already lived together, then after the wedding, wouldn’t life just be the same? I wondered.

Today, of course, I feel different. I think living together before marriage is smart—a way to see how things might be post-nuptials. But, as my mom recently told me, living together is not the same as being married.

However, there’s no guarantee that living together will result in marriage. You could just live together for eternity, or it could end in a breakup.

Breakups are awful enough. Add in moving boxes, an awkward key exchange, and you’ve just painted one of my worst nightmares.

As things are now, if there’s ever a chance someone might come over—I clean. Things have to be tidy for company, but when it’s just me (and my cat), I’m not such a neat freak.

I also paint my nails… a lot. And every other Thursday night, I host Ladies’ Night for my girlfriends, which involves lots of food, wine, and trashy television. No boys allowed.

So, my future live-in boyfriend needs to be cool with things out of place sometimes (unless he’s willing to clean on the regular), with me giving myself a mani/pedi while I watch Hallmark movies, and with disappearing two Thursdays a month.

I’ve lived alone for almost seven years; so sharing a home (and a bed) with someone would be a huge change for me. Truthfully, I really enjoy living by myself, even if it sounds pathetic.

There aren’t any surprise messes when I get home, the toilet seat is always down, and the food in my fridge is all mine.

But that also means no surprises, ever. There’s no one to bring me a mug of coffee when my feet are held hostage by toe-separators and wet nail polish.

And when an insect ventures into my living quarters, I’ve got to find my non-existent cojones and show it who’s boss.

As with everything in life, there are pros and cons when it comes to living together. Pro: sharing Baton Rouge’s high rent rates; con: sharing a small closet.

I suppose it’s a good thing I haven’t lived with a boyfriend yet, since those relationships weren’t meant to be, anyway.

And until the right guy comes along, I’ll be on my own. Aside from fantasizing about getting breakfast in bed, I’m okay with that.

Read more about Holly’s search for a domesticated man on her blog, TheBitterLemon.com.

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