Quality Time

Sunday, September 30, 2007
After living the B.F. for a mere three months, quality time is still an important aspect of our relationship that I would like to continue. Yes, I know, if we live together which means we must spend all this time together -- not exactly. Quality time as defined by the all knowing Wikipedia is an informal reference to time spent with loved ones (eg. close family, partners or friends) which is in some way important or special. I wonder if a man or a woman wrote that definition.....

For instance, for a girl, spending quality time with your significant other might mean going to a dinner, watching a movie, long walks on the beach (if you live near one) or doing something that you and that other person enjoy. To a guy, quality time means going to the bar, watching one of the many sports on TV or live or going to the bar and watching those same sports on their TVs instead of yours. Get my point? At this point, I feel like I should quote the ever-popular book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. But I won't, and spare everyone from gagging.

When we are in relationships, each person needs to remind themselves to go outside their comfort zone and do something simple and unexpected for the other person. It's very easy to stay in the same routine day in and day out. Little random acts of kindness go a long way, and sometimes, that's all the other person needs to feel wanted and appreciated. Switch up an evening out, show up early or let the other person pick the movie.

So boys and girls, we need to remember that every once in awhile, do something different and unexpected for the person you are dating. A little change can make a world of difference.

19 minutes and it's clean!

Thursday, September 27, 2007
This title caught my eye today as I scanned CNN headlines, "Clean your home in 19 minutes." Holy shit, even I can do that! A million ideas cross through my head -- this will eliminate meaningless fights with the B.F. and help me with tidy up while I'm watching reruns of Law & Order or reality shows on VH1.

As I read on a little further, I see that it is a 19-minute daily routine. OK, I maybe can keep up for a week or two, but I'd probably lose interest. Scrub the toilet, use a squeegee on the shower door -- I'd rather be at happy hour.

However, these are some tips that I think most girls could use, especially me all the freaking time.

Bedroom, 6 ½ minutes daily
  • Make your bed right before or after your morning shower. A neat bed will inspire you to deal with other messes immediately. Although smoothing sheets and plumping pillows might not seen like a high priority as you're rushing to work, the payoff comes at the end of the day, when you slip back under the unruffled covers.
  • Make the bed (two minutes).
  • Fold or hang clothing and put away jewelry (four minutes).
  • • Straighten out the night-table surface (30 seconds

Still, this is a great way to avoid petty arguments about who did or didn't leave their wine glass in the living room.

Adjusting eating habits

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
When I was in college and lived with, at one point it was 8 girls, we always bought our own food. I think we might have split things up once or twice, but realized that splitting groceries wasn't going to work out for us because of different schedules and eating habits. Since I moved in the with B.F., I haven't exactly lost weight either. The majority of the reason is because I've been lazy and haven't been to the gym or outside running consistently, however, we don't like the same food.

The B.F. is more of a meat, potatoes and pasta kind of guy. I never grew up eating pasta in every meal -- I'm not Italian, he is. As I got older, my parents became more interested in eating healthy so everything was grilled -- vegetables, bread, steak, pork chops and chicken. Yes, even bread. My dad found this recipe by Emeril where you drizzle olive oil and add cracked pepper and salt and grill it -- it's fantastic. What I'm basically saying in a very long sentence is that we eat completely different. I want grilled chicken with a side of asparagus and roasted red skin potatoes. The B.F.'s is any kind of chicken or steak with pasta. Lots and lots of white, starchy and unhealthy pasta. I eat, 99% of the time, whole wheat pasta and bread. On occasion, when we are out at a restaurant, I'll eat a piece or two of white, starchy substance -- but most of the time I say "white bread causes cancer" to refrain myself from eating it.

We definitely differ on dessert though. I will eat less at dinner so I can order dessert or go get ice cream. He isn't that keen on dessert, but I'm a fanatic and always want to try new things when I'm out or try a new flavor of ice cream. Or, I'll make brownies or cookies so I can eat the batter. (Maybe this is why I haven't lost weight?)

He is also a picky eater. He doesn't like tomatoes, salmon, tilapia, tuna (hates it), whole wheat products, cucumbers, zucchini and squash. His picky habits limit me because I sure as hell won't be able to eat food in a fast enough time to buy separate items, before the food goes bad.

Interview with another cohabitant

Monday, September 24, 2007
Here is a short interview with my friend, Erin, who I met in college and still remain great friends with and lives with her B.F. I just asked a couple questions to get a better idea of how other couples coexist and what works for them.

How long have you lived with the B.F. and how long have you dated?
We have officially been living together for about a little over a year. We have been together for almost two years. We moved in together after only about 9 months of dating.

Why did you move in with him?
Because he asked me to and I thought it was a splendid idea. It made sense for us. I was about to purchase my own place when we realized how silly it would be for both of us to pay rent especially since we spent every night together anyway.

Name an adjustment both of you needed to make and how you have solved it-- or haven't.
I needed to make major adjustments. I had to get rid of my cat, move about 40 min away from the location I was living/working/ and friends were, and put major mileage on my lease. There wasn't enough closet space for me so his dad had to re-do the closets. We both had to adjust to sharing a bed together...every night. I had to learn to share TV time and that I needed to clean up after myself a lot quicker then I normally would.

What would your B.F. say is the hardest part living with you?
I tend to be lazy, my room is normally a mess, and I am always right.

What is the hardest part of living with the B.F.?
I cannot sprawl out and consume the whole bed like I love to do. Another hard thing is we don't have a huge house so when you want private/alone time it's really hard to get. I love living with my B.F.! I wouldn't change it for the world and what's to complain about.... It's like a slumber party every night with your best friend!

How did you decide on who does what? Who cleans/cooks/takes out the trash/household chores in general.
We basically respect one another and both do as much as we can when we have free time. At first he did most of it until he got fed up and said something to me. Now I think we have a good system. He always mows the lawn though... That's a negative for me.

The dilemma

Friday, September 21, 2007
Let me start off by writing that I've never said I was the best communicator. I'm sure studies will reveal that women, in general, are better communicators but that doesn't necessarily mean that I am -- well, at least not all the time.

The couches arrived on Wednesday. I was so excited to rush home after work to see what these fantastic new pieces of furniture looked like in the living room. The B.F. had sent me some pics via the cell phone, so I had some of idea of what I was walking into. Well, that vision...that vision that I had in my head wasn't what I saw.

I should back up even further. I've been pretty easily annoyed this week. Anyone and anything can set me off, but I've really taken it out of the B.F. If I wouldn't have had to get rid of my cat, I would take it out on Captain Jack, but since the B.F.'s allergic.....I had to give him up to the 'rents and into kitty retirement.

So back to the couches -- I was easily annoyed and when I walked into the living room to see these great pieces of furniture, all I see is big brown pieces. I mean, the couches are freaking huge in the apartment. I looked around at the set up for a split second and because I don't have a filter I blurt out, "I don't like it, " and walked into my room to quickly change so we could go look for more "furniture" at some warehouse downtown. "Furniture shopping" actually turned into dinner at Lolita, which I love and he doesn't, and the surprise was overshadowed by our arguing over the stupid couches.

B.F.-- What do you mean you don't like it?
Me -- I don't like it. It's too huge. I knew it would be too huge.
B.F. --Allison, you knew the furniture was going to be big. We have an odd shaped room and everything is going to be big.
Me -- Whatever. Maybe we should've gotten the chair..as I twirl my hair.

Then I start to move around the loveseat to angle it or do something to make me more satisfied with the purchase that took us a month to receive. At this point, I've annoyed the B.F. because I'm "complaining" and not providing a solution.

Boys, take notice, I'm about to teach you something about girls that will make your life a hell of a lot easier. Kind of like how Jeff did with the word "nothing." Like most girls, I just wanted to express what I was thinking. I just wanted to blurt out "I don't like it" and I don't need you to "fix" the problem. I'll get over it, but at that particular moment, I needed to verbalize what I was feeling. I have gotten over it, but I just needed to say it out loud so I could get used to the fact that I'm going to have to squeeze around my living room with the oversize furniture. But, I'm OK now, and I like the nice microsuede couches and all is great with the B.F. -- at least until we attempt to buy more furniture!

finally...new furniture --- almost

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Tomorrow is my big day! No, not that kind of big day with a white dress, but a day where we finally get our new couches. We've been waiting for about a month between our set being on back order and not being able to work with ValueCity -- seriously, you should be on call, not the people who bought the furniture.

Wednesday also starts our second round of looking for furniture that matches both of our tastes -- should be an interesting trip. The B.F. wants to go look at this place downtown Cleveland by where he used to work. As any typical female, I want the the name of the place so I can search the internet and ask friends if they have been to this furniture store before. Nope, I can't do that because the B.F. doesn't remember. His response, "Allison, I don't know the name. It's right where I used to work. I just know where it is." I'm hoping it's the Arhaus outlet and not some scary warehouse.

Keeping things new...again and again and again

Friday, September 14, 2007
I'm always saying to the B.F., "we need to keep our relationship exciting." I never want to be one of those boring couples that sit in together every weekend. Don't get me wrong...a nice relaxing night at home after a long work week is fantastic, but I don't like to make habit of it. I like to keep things moving and busy. Bartering in relationships is a pretty popular thing says the Today Show** and happens most of the time without actually pointing it out. The B.F. and I will switch off on cooking and cleaning up after dinner and household chores to balance our egos out -- yes, we both have them.

My friend, Michelle, said that her B.F. and her have blowjob Sundays and Thursdays. So if it's not one of those days, they don't discuss the b-word. My friend Erin and I used to discuss the increase or decrease in one's sex life after they've moved or have been in a relationship for awhile. Ask any guy and there response is, "I don't have sex enough." Well to prove her B.F. wrong, Erin documented their time under the covers and compared it to her other friends' sex lives and ta dah -- they actually were on the higher end.

Other simple examples can be:
-pick up a movie on your way from work
-make dinner plans and surprise the other person
-clean up after the other person if they are more messy than you (OK, maybe that one is a stretch)!

If you do something special one week, then make sure to return the favor -- bartered or not.

**Editor's note: I seem to reference the Today Show a lot, but I think about what I'm going to blog about in the morning and I happen to be watching that show.

Guy Decoder FOUND

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Whether you are living or not living with a boyfriend, you still need a guy decoder. If boys think girls are crazy, you have no idea what it's like trying to decode your speak -- guyspeak as I've called it before. Yesterday, I get this giddy phone call from the B.F. saying, "You missed this story on the Today show. I thought of you instantly." So he sends me over this link, and holy shit, where was this for the past 8 years of my dating life. Who knew guys were such head cases? Girls get always get pegged for the psychos, but boys are in the closet with their issues. I'll admit, girls have their share of Lorena Bobbitt moments when they lose all touch with reality, and I've had my share too. But this, this link, provides easy explanations to understanding and comprehending what a boy or B.F. is saying when he's really not saying anything at all.

The B.F. and I fight about the remote and DVR.
The Guy decoder says, "He will not relinquish control of the remote."

Answer is ---If this really means a lot to you, I suggest you get a television with no remote. Seriously, this is a battle men would probably die fighting. I’ve never met a couple where the man didn’t want to run the remote. My gay friends have this issue, too. (They usually wind up getting two remotes.)

So true! Every guy has this control issue with the remote. The B.F. complains that I channel surf too much, but hello, how can I be channel surfing if you have the remote?

If you and your boy/girl keep having fights over the small stuff, I suggest you take a look at that link. If nothing else, it is highly entertaining and is a good forward to break up the work day.

And the decorating begins

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
It's been quite awhile and the couches are almost set to arrive -- this Friday is the big day. No, I am not sitting at the apartment waiting for the delivery men because that is the B.F.'s job. I'm sure he'll want to move it this way, then tilt it that way or maybe decide to move the entire living room around. We've been in the place since mid-June and haven't really made decorating a priority. Last night as we were eating dinner and he suggested we maybe, maybe, go look at other furniture for the place. And by "furniture," he is really saying, "Allison, let's go check out LCD TVs at BestBuy." That, is what he is really saying, without actually saying it -- guyspeak for you.

We need a whole room of new things -- coffee table, end table and some lamps. I really want to paint a wall, which I'm going to, as soon as the B.F. leaves for a day or more. We have this ongoing tiff about painting or not painting the walls. In my previous apartment, my roommate and I painted everything -- the living room, kitchen and our bedrooms. It was one long ass task painting over it to secure a full security deposit refund. So the fact that he doesn't encourage my painting, makes me want to paint that much more. Then, I want to buy a pretty big picture to hang on that wall as the main focus of the room, then toss out the black entertainment center.

Romance will catch on fire.

Thursday, September 6, 2007
While I was pondering moving in the with the B.F., I made a list or five of positives and negatives of moving in with him. I kept wondering how being in such a close space would change our relationship. Would we not like each other anymore? Would we still enjoy hanging out together and going out to eat? And, most importantly, what about the sex? For instance, in order for the romance to go away, one needs to be romantic in the first place -- I'm not and this is pointed out by the B.F. on several occasions. Last night, he tells me he wants a chimnea for our small patio, possibly for his birthday coming up in October. My parents have one on our ridiculously large deck. In high school after football games, we'd hang out there and try to drink until my parents would come out and sit with us. I believe my brother broke one of them and my dad had to replace it. My rambling point is that my parents use there's a lot and our fireplace in the winter. The B.F. said he wanted one, but I don't see us using it at all because A) we are never home B) we are never home and C) it's a very small patio. And, I agree, sitting by a fire is somewhat romantic if you are in Aspen, outside in the snow and drinking lattes or vodka martinis. But, there is an abundant of room when you are outside in the snow in Aspen, not on a small patio in Ohio where you could possibly get evicted for having such a "fire arm." Maybe a new Coach wallet will work nicely instead.

In-laws -- an old wives' tale

Tuesday, September 4, 2007
One plus of never getting married is technically never having in-laws. I'm sure plenty of people have interesting in-laws stories (feel free to share), but one family I don't know if I'd want to join is mine.

See, I'm pretty much used to my dysfunctional, yet functional family on my mom's side of the family tree. I feel bad for people just walking into it -- like the B.F. or my cousin's G.F. I mean, my aunts are so loud when they get together and yell, not talk mind you, while we are all in the same room. Because I'm part of the family, I'm able to yell back at them pointing out how disgustingly loud they are talking while we are in the the same vicinity. They say, "Oh shut the hell up, Allison," and continue fighting about who has less wrinkles or whatever you fight with your sisters about when you are 45+. At least the B.F. could escape to the outside patio where he and the boys (made up of my uncles, dad, brother and cousin) talked about all the manly things regarding the latest Cleveland Browns football player. My cousin's G.F. and I were attempting to watch "Hitch" but kept getting interrupted by my aunt's yelling about something that happened in Amherst or "Allison, are you sure you don't want more cake?" "No, Aunt Renee, I don't need more cake, I need fucking liposuction." My mom --"Allison, don't use the f-word," which then goes into a conversation about how our family could be the Osbourne's if only we had a reality TV show about us. (There would need to be a lot of bleeping, but I find that it would be one hell of an entertaining show with my parents as the stars -- who knew parents got cooler as you got older.)

The visit to the B.F.'s family house was always interesting and unforgettable. The B.F.'s family always seems to inadvertently leave his dad out of the joke, story or anything for that matter. He basically doesn't pay attention and then wants to be caught up in the middle of the story. Well no one wants to catch him up, so they ignore him, continue with the conversation while he grows more and more impatient and then blurts out "Who said that?" or "Who did that?" Then, the B.F.'s dad looks to me for explanation and I can't help but laugh and then he tells me, "You are losing points," and walks away, still without knowing what the hell anyone was talking about.

My cousin's G.F. had a good point though. She said, as I'm sure all women have said, "I don't think I could ever marry someone whose family I can't get along with." It sounds great on paper, but never ever works out in the real world -- or in any reality TV show either.