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Connor has a new roommate and I’m not handling it well. It’s not really a new person because it’s his childhood best friend, but it’s a new body in the apartment that I hold so close to me. I shouldn’t feel as uncomfortable as I do, I don’t even live there anymore. I am still trying to make sense of it, myself. The ten months I lived in the apartment have a special place in my heart. It was the first time I ever lived away from my childhood home. It was a space where Connor and I grew our relationship. It was a space where Connor and I crumbled our relationship, only to rebuild a stronger foundation. It was a space where I could really just feel and be myself when I visited Connor. Of course I can be my full self at my childhood home, but visiting Connor was different. I could prance around naked if I wanted to with no reason to cover up. Connor and I could makeout on the couch if we wanted to, or have sex on the floor if the mood was right. Connor moved into that apartment right when we started seeing each other; I moved in four months later. I moved out after ten months, but I still go all the time and basically live there part-time. It was a place for grown-up Emma.
We threw out old furniture in the apartment and bought new pieces together, all of which are still there. I decorated it in vintage mirrors, cute end tables, and stuffed my hundreds of mugs I’ll never use into the cupboards. We made that apartment a home, our home. Sure it was tiny and the carpet needs to go back to the 1970s where it’s from (not in a good way), but it was our home.
I had already talked to Connor about the sadness I’ll feel when he moves out of it. We have so many happy memories. There are sad ones to compensate and make me feel better about him moving out – like the death of my baby bunny, Iver (Bun Iver). He died of an upper respiratory infection in January of 2019. I negatively associate that apartment with his death, which still hurts. I don’t know how to get past that grief, but more on that later.
I’ll be happy for Connor when he finds a new place. I know he wants to get out from under his parents wing (who own the building) and I’ll be happy to never have to see that hideous kitchen or bathroom again.. But I’m a very nostalgic person and it’s just going to be hard to see the apartment go. Maybe that has something to do with my perpetual fear of aging and trying to hold onto my youth, but more on that another time as well.
I think overall I’ve always associated the apartment as a place for “grown-up Emma” because it’s the first time I’ve ever left home. Even after moving back home, I still referred to the apartment as “our apartment” every time I talked about it.
It feels invaded. Like our space is invaded. Maybe because it’s all our stuff. My pots & pans, our couches, our mirrors, heck – photos of us are still on the coffee table in the living room.
After my last visit, I picked up all of my stuff that was still there and brought it home. My mugs, my vintage coffee table, my sunflower plate (which drove me ballistic when his roommate used it), and my living room blanket that his roomate used as a picnic blanket for his new gf (we all know they prob fucked on it) & btw it’s definitely not a picnic NOR beach blanket. I mean, it’s like soft, fuzzy cotton and this mf used it at the beach? YOU USE FUCKING TOWELS AT A BEACH. *Sigh*.. as I still pick out pieces of driftwood out of it’s stitching after being washed twice.
I’m not handling this new roommate well, clearly. We’ll call him Greg. It’s not at all his fault and I was well aware that Greg was moving in prior to it happening. I was fine with it too, until it actually happened. I know that it’s the best choice for both of them right now. Greg had been kicked out of his house because his family was selling it and Connor has been looking for new apartments for months; Greg temporarily moving in with him while they search for other apartments makes sense.
It actually makes total (!!!) sense for them to move in together. Living alone is fucking expensive and I know I wouldn’t be able to afford it, especially in Burlington.. I’ve known about Connor and his friends looking for a place. That’s the wild thing here – there were no surprises here, except for my own reaction to the situation. I thought I would be okay with it, but I was wrong. I didn’t expect it to be this difficult.
Greg started moving in a couple of months ago. He did it slow while his parents still had the house. So, slowly I had to start bringing more of my stuff home. My antique vanity had to be torn down and stored under Connor’s bed – which was my favorite piece of furniture that I had bought. It’ll go in the new apartment, I just miss it now.
Now that Greg’s in, he’s been bringing around his new girlfriend when I’m there as well. That apartment is barely big enough for two people & when there’s four I feel like my brain is going to explode. I definitely have a temper that I don’t know how to tame. I get angry when Connor doesn’t talk loud enough for me to hear when I don’t have my hearing aids in – yet, he’s just in his normal speaking voice, and I feel like I could slap him out of anger (all jokes here, I wouldn’t actually). So when there are four people in that apartment, I think I just feel extremely claustrophobic and it triggers deep anger. Like, I just get pissed.
So the first time that Greg brought said gf over (who is a very nice gal don’t get me wrong), it was in the middle of the night after we had gone to bed. So like, we all know what they came home to do. As Connor and I had our coffee/tea the next morning, we didn’t know if we were alone or not until she came creeping out of Greg’s room (which used to be my room) & asked if we needed to use the ONE bathroom before she used it. Okay so, I feel like my first reaction should have been “huh, that was nice of her to ask.” But actually my initial reaction was “No, but yeah you should be asking us because you’re in OUR space.” I also viewed the way she slyly opened the door and stepped out in Greg’s boxers and tee as a “walk of shame” and felt disgusted that I was also in my boyfriend’s boxers and tee. Like, I was better than that and should have been in a satin robe or something. And I knew (and still know) that this was an asshole reaction on my end. Like come, on Emma.
I struggled. I don’t know what I felt. I do remember thinking, what was this? Would Connor applaud him for “getting it in?” – no, he wouldn’t do that. He’s not that kind of guy… is he? We also had sex that night. Would they share stories? I didn’t know. I didn’t think so, but I felt dirty, and not in a good way. For some reason I cannot figure out, this situation just made me feel invaded and less than I am. Like, where’s my fucking boudoir draped in satin and red light? Where’s my fucking silk & lace gown? I expect Connor to bring me my morning tea on a fine china platter on top of my vintage tea cart.
I know I can’t have these items, but this is the way my initial thought process works. Yes, I know I’m a dick. At least I know these thoughts are extreme and ludicrous. I take note of my feelings and then reflect later on how silly they are, but also, like, I should be in a silk robe.
So, when I came home from the gym and saw her using my bumblebee mug, I lost my shit. When I saw them use my sunflower plate, I lost my shit. Did they notice me losing my shit? I am not sure. I definitely gave several cold shoulders when they complimented my appearance.
Why can’t I shake this feeling? Here’s what I did to fix it. I brought home all my stuff. Okay, it neutralized the situation, so now everyone uses their green mugs, blue plates, and old glasses. My pots & pans are still there, but if I take them then Connor doesn’t have any, so I can give up some things. So I fixed the problem for when I am there, but how about the initial issue in the first place? There’s children in cages and I’m pissed about a $1 sunflower plate from the Dollar Tree?
I never confronted that issue, I did what I do best: suppress & forget.
It’s better now after bringing my stuff home. I was with Connor this past weekend and we had the apartment to ourselves most of the weekend. On the last night I was there, Greg got high af and ended up using my green beans in the freezer. I am working on confrontation, not that I’m bad at it, but I worry about upsetting Connor by confronting his best friend. I simply told him they were mine, but obviously it’s too late now so it’s fine. I said it with a smile and then continued a conversation where he asked me how to cook rice. I was annoyed, but I didn’t get angry, so it’s a start. Connor is actually the sweetest human and asked me if I wanted him to go to the grocery store and get me new green beans before work the next morning – which he has to leave at 7:30am for. I thanked him, but told him it’s not necessary. They were just 99 cent green beans.
I also cannot put all the blame onto the new roomie. Connor told him it was okay to use my blanket before asking me. Connor also assumed that whatever I left in the apartment was fair game.. So, this just set up a conversation about communication and boundaries for us. We worked it out. I expressed that he really needs to ask me before letting Greg use my items, but also, we just moved what I did leave there so it’s separate for us to use. Connor expressed to me that if I have an issue with something, I need to just express it to Greg. He does a good job at bringing my head down from the clouds. I love the shit out of him even if he doesn’t bring me my tea on a fine vintage set. He gets my hot water going in the teapot.. There are some things I need to settle for less on.
One thing I haven’t gotten over is when we found Greg and his gf showering together. Connor and I have this thing where we shower together every single night before bed. We talk, we laugh, we cry, we argue, we hug, and we love. Our shower conversations are some of the most intimate we ever have, apart from being in the car. Sometimes it’s just asking about how our days were, sometimes we argue, but we always work it out in the shower before bed. Even when I lived there, we showered every single night. If we didn’t shower together, we were reallllllly pissed at one another. There’s only been a small handful of times that has happened.. Like, maybe three. Anyway, when Connor said, “I think they’re copying us” and I found out his roommate and gf were showering together, I got sooo angry. When I expressed it to my mom, she put it in a good way and said, “is nothing sacred?” This is definitely how I felt, but what are we going to do? He lives there, he can shower with his gf. I’m just having a difficult time with it. Especially with there being only one bathroom.
There’s no move out date for Connor and Greg. They’re looking for apartments together, but taking their time doing so. I wish Connor and I could live together now, but I need to finish school and he has his job, so, long distance must go on. It definitely got better after bringing my stuff home. It neutralized the situation (for the most part). Connor anticipates bringing the furniture to the new apartment when he finds one as well, but I brought home the stuff that is important to me.
The best thing for me to do is try to make light of the situation and have fun. As claustrophobic as I feel, at the end of the day I try reminding myself that this is not worth ruining our weekend over. We don’t see each other often (typically biweekly), so I’d rather not spend it fighting over something so small. Also, Greg’s a nice guy. He compliments my outfits, which we all know is important.
Ultimately, this was just an experience for me to do some self-reflection and try to pinpoint why I get so angry. I haven’t really figured it out yet, but I did discover ways to come out of the anger: Separating myself from the situation, neutralizing it, and taking preventative steps for it happening again. Obviously I’m still a little salty over the blanket, but it’s more of just annoyance that Connor & Greg thought a comfy blanket was acceptable for a beach.
So, like, should we tell Greg & his new gf that we’ve fucked on every inch of the apartment & furniture now or later?