~Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The roommate sent Abe a text and asked what was going to happen when I moved in to their house. I guess to her it was not a matter of "if" but "when" after I took a couple of sick days last week and puttered around their house instead of going home.

Abraham told her that he was okay with whatever she decided to do. If she decided to stay, her rent would be lowered and I would take over my portion of the bills.

"I like having her here and the place is plenty big for the three of us," she wrote. And when she found out that everything would be cheaper, she was ready for me to break my lease today.

Abraham gave her my move-in date. Everybody was happy with the arrangement. Three adults and two dogs living in harmony. Well, almost.

The only tension in the house is between the two dogs. Specifically, from the roommate's lap dog toward my big, lumbering Femme Fatale.

In my experience, the Femme Fatale doesn't care about little dogs. She could take them or leave them. When they bark and chomp at her, she holds her head back and peers at them, almost amused. She doesn't engage because she knows they aren't a threat.

That isn't to say the two dogs haven't squabbled. They have. I'm of the philosophy to let the dogs figure it out on their own to establish a domination order. But ever since the squabble, her dog has steered clear of the Femme Fatale. Won't get within 5 feet of her. The Femme Fatale hasn't realized this. She walked into the roommate's room and laid down and took a nap with them. When it was time for the roommate and her dog to leave, she called to her dog, who was cut off from the rest of the room by the Femme Fatale. Instead of walking by her, she jumped on a couch, then to the bed, and from the bed she jumped to her master. I don't think the Femme Fatale woke up.

Minutes after the conversation about me moving in, the roommate couldn't find her dog. She called to her without response. She searched the rooms for her. As a last resort, she walked into Abraham's room. Behind the bed laid the Femme Fatale, as was her habit during the day. And next to her under Abraham's bed was the roommate's dog. The roommate assumed her dog was trapped again and scooped her up. A few minutes later the dog was missing again. The roommate again found her sleeping next to the Femme Fatale under the bed. They had become besties.

The roommate has given her approval. The dogs gave their approvals. It feels official. I'm ready for the next six months.

I like that we took our time to arrive to this decision. I like that we made the decision to live together and then extended it by six months. Our decision isn't based on time or money or roommates. It's based on one thing: our desire to be together.

~Monday, October 15, 2012


I remember reading this post about a girl who disclosed her abusive past and her weird sexual habit that may or may not be related to it. And the comment section just broke my heart. There is so much judgment from all sides of the story. Someone is judging the girl. Someone else is judging the boyfriend. Someone calls a commenter a "Yakety Sax of rape."

The comment that I found myself agreeing with though was:

You see those pictures of trees that are bent in weird angles because of something that happened to them when they were saplings? Well, they are perfectly fine, strong trees now, and no need to think they are weak just because they got bent went they were young...

If I were her friend, I would tell her she unfortunately should have kept her mouth shut. She should practice saying, "My childhood was really rough. I don't talk to my father/parents/family anymore." And then drop the conversation, unless it's with someone who can handle knowing it. And just because someone loves us, doesn't mean they can handle it.

Just because someone loves us, doesn't mean they can handle it. But of course about 200 other people claim that could never be a healthy relationship. I disagree.

The reason I decided to tell Abraham was because it was starting to affect the two of us moving forward together.


I stripped off all of my clothes and crawled into bed. I wanted to be naked when I told Abraham the truth. I wanted to be exposed. Nothing between us.

Abraham instead went into the kitchen and ate a late dinner. I waited. Eventually I heard him turn out the lights and lock the door.

"Mmm," he said as he saw me unclothed in bed.

Abraham stripped down and joined me. He turned on his side and gathered me in his arms.

"I have a story for you," I began. It was a nonchalant opening for what would come.

"A story!" he said playfully.

I nodded.

Abraham watched me. "It's not a good story, is it?" he pieced together.


"You're shaking," he observed.

I stopped. I was. From head to toe, my entire body was quivering like I had been dunked into icy water.

"I'd like to tell you about the boyfriend I lived with once."

Abraham was quiet. He was listening.

"He was an alcoholic. And not the kind of alcoholic people accuse each other of being in college. He was a real alcoholic. The kind who threw up and shook if he didn't drink enough of it. I grew to hate the sound of the aluminum-can pop top because I heard it 24 hours a day.

"We weren't supposed to live together. My apartment had a terrible leak in it, and water would fill buckets every time it rained. It was summertime, so it rained a lot. They kept trying to fix the leak, but the plaster would fall on the counter with a great splat and water would pour through. Every time. They decided to give me a new apartment.

"Then my grandfather died. Instead of picking out the new apartment, I was out of state burying him. My boyfriend worked with the leasing company and reserved me a larger apartment. And when I came in to sign the papers, they wouldn't let me sign without him. I cried to the leasing agent. I didn't want him on my lease. I told her that my boyfriend didn't live with me. He has his own apartment. He gets mail there. And I think if I had any other leasing agent, things would have been fine, but she told me I either had to have him sign the lease or I had to move out of the apartment complex entirely, giving me only three days to find somewhere to live. So I called him and asked him just to sign the damn papers. I wasn't even worried about it. I always paid my bills on time so this wouldn't affect him.

"He lied. About two weeks after he signed the papers, he told me he was being kicked out of his apartment by his landlord. I now know this was a lie. He had broached the subject of living together before and I turned him down. But he said his landlord found a new tenant, and he had to be out and he was already on my lease..."

"How long had you been together?" Abraham asked.

"About four months."

He cringed.

I took a deep breath. That was the easy part.

"He didn't have a driver's license because of all the DUIs he had gotten from driving drunk. I told him he couldn't take my car because if he got into an accident, I would be liable. It didn't stop him. I had to sleep with my car keys under my pillow, or else he'd take my car in the middle of the night. And if I didn't put my purse under the bed, he'd go in there and take money. One time I came home and found a basket with 50 DVDs I had had been pawned.

"And he drank. All the time. He would get delirious and angry when he drank. He used to spit on me, like he would collect spit and project it on me, and tell me he hated me."

Abraham gasped in horror. Like that had been the terrible part.

I told the story the only way I knew how, by telling it exactly how I had written it.

I told him this.

And this.

And then this.

As I was telling these three stories, I felt no emotional connection to them. I felt like I was reciting a script that had been written by a roomful of writers. This was a story that had been written for me; it was not my life.

As I finished the last story, my voice began to crack and tears slipped down my cheek. It was  time for him to respond.

"That's a long time to keep a story like that," he said.

"It's not a story you tell just anyone."

He nodded in agreement.

He told me I was strong for getting out of the relationship and going into therapy and doing all of the work myself. He said he was confident that I had learned and moved on.

He said he wish he knew sooner. He would have just held me tighter all of this time.

I wept. I was so embarrassed that this was my story. I was embarrassed that there was even a story to tell him.

"I'm sorry I'm not perfect for you."

"You are."

He then made a joke. I wish I could remember it. It was light but touched on what he just heard. The joke was perfect.

I laughed.

"I'm glad I can still make you laugh," he smiled.

"Do you still want to live with me?" I asked.

It was his turn to laugh. "Of course."


The following week I signed the new lease. My move-out date is in six months.

~Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Worst-Case Scenario

Time flies. It had been some weeks since we decided that my lease that would keep me in my apartment until November 2013 was completely ridiculous. Besides, the Mayans would probably get us by then.

Abraham was going to talk to his roommate, but she'd been out of town for work. And the more we talked about it, the more I warmed to the idea of living at his house with his roommate there. As my mother pointed out, all three of our housing costs would be non-existent.

"We could vacation. In Puerto Vallarta," I dreamed aloud.

"We can vacation in Puerto Vallarta now," Abraham pointed out.

"Yes, but I wouldn't have to take it out of savings. We could just, like, go."

So I told Abraham that I was fine with whatever he and his roommate decided. I could always store my extra furniture in the basement of my mom's house. I was worried about Abraham's closet space, however, because it's no match for my shoes. Maybe I'd have to be a bit more seasonal and store that at my mother's too. But Puerto Vallarta...

My new lease date starts at the end of October. Abraham shrugged and told me to just pick a date. All it was was a matter of me sitting down with my leasing agent.

I hemmed and hawed all morning. Talked to my coworkers. Talked to my boss. Pick a date. Pick a date to leave my apartment, the last place I'll ever live alone. The last place that will be mine. Hand the keys over to my safe haven from the world.

I felt anxious. Just pick a date already! I sat quietly in my car instead of driving to the leasing agent. Why was I feeling so anxious? Because the last time I lived with someone, it was pretty much worst-case scenario. And Abraham didn't know that he would be living with someone who had a worst-case scenario past.

No, I couldn't move in with Abraham until I told him about S. He had the right to know with whom he would be living.

~Thursday, October 04, 2012

Jew and Me

This conversation was not going as well as I thought it was going to go. Previously I always thought my mother wanted me married off. Who the man was didn't really matter. Now when I'm actually talking about it, she's shied away from the idea of marriage. Two bad marriages will do that to a person I guess.

"Mom, I told him that if we get married, I'll convert to Judaism."

Her initial response: "Aren't you worried about going to hell?"

That escalated quickly.

"Jews don't believe in hell," I quipped.

"Well that's convenient."

Oh holy shit. Can I say that in this instance? Ho-ly shit.

"I don't believe that Jews go to hell. I don't. I believe that God is good and wants good for us and wants us to do good."

"It's not that Jews don't believe in hell," I continued. "They don't know what happens in the afterlife, and they don't pretend to know. They believe that the focus should be on our time on Earth and to make Earth as good as possible. That's why they do acts of service."

"Well that sounds nice," she softened. "But he was born into Judaism. You would be turning your back on what you were taught."

This argument didn't even begin to make sense to me.

"As long as you are comfortable with coming to terms with your soul in the afterlife," she added.

For a lady who wasn't born and raised in the Bible Belt, my mother sure got the language down.


My father's response when I told him: "Don't tell your mother."

Please, please, please let's not have a religious discussion in the comments section. This post was about me telling my parents about a serious decision.

~Monday, October 01, 2012

Counting Chickens Before They Hatch

One of these days, I am going to have to learn to cook. Cook, as in learning to skin and de-bone a chicken and no longer rely on 1 of the 10 recipes I know. Fine, maybe of the seven recipes I know.

I called my mom. "I want to learn how to make chicken soup from scratch."

"I haven't made that in 10 years."

"Well I want to know."

So while Abraham was on the couch watching football over the weekend, I loaded up the Femme Fatale and drove to my mother's house.

We threw a chicken in a pot of boiling water and put a lid on it. I was off to a good start.

"Now what?" I asked.

"We wait an hour and a half."


I looked around the house. My mother doesn't use distractions: a TV playing in the other room, radio while she's driving, etc. It was just the two of us and the dog in silence.

"So I'm trying to rework my lease," I announced.


"Because it hasn't started yet and Abraham and I are talking about moving in together."

"Don't you want to wait for a commitment?" she snapped.

Oh, so I guess my prior experience wasn't just hard on me.

She went on to say the equivalent of the milk and the cow analogy. "By waiting to move in until you have a commitment, you're giving him an incentive to marry you."

"It isn't like that, mom."

Abraham and I talk about marriage every single day. We already know how we're going to handle finances and kids and childcare and spanking.

"He could change his mind, you know."

I knew she wasn't talking about my relationship with Abraham anymore. She was talking about her past marriages.

"I still want to renew my lease, but I think I'm going to do it for 6 - 8 months instead. Until next summer."

My mother relaxed, "Well you should know more about where things are heading by then."

She began grilling me about Abraham for the first time. She's seen how he's changed me (How? She never said), but how have I changed him? I don't know! I only know him when he was with me, not before me.

And while I'm counting my chickens before they hatch:

"Mom, I told him that if we get married, I'll convert to Judaism."


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