Before Husband and I got married, we lived in two separate two-room apartments in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When we moved into our bigger-than-expected apartment here in Chicago, we had one bed, two air mattresses, two sets of all the basics you might need in the kitchen, two rolling office chairs (Moses, from Ikea), two wood-framed sitting chairs (Poang, also from Ikea), and two too-tall stools. No couch, bookcases, nightstands, tables (no surfaces at all, actually), or anywhere moderately comfortable to sit, in spite of all those chairs. So we got some furniture and told people we were minimalists and I think they believed us. Even if they didn’t, we really relished our clutter-free lives. Until winter came, and our few surfaces began to disappear under hats and gloves and scarves. And then puppy came and, with him, and unbelievable amount of stuffed ducks and squirrels and snacks. Before breakfast this morning, I had to shove aside a small mountain of Husband/puppy things to make room for our dishes on the table and as I moved Husband’s blue knit hat and keys and puppy’s leash and collar, it occurred to me that each new relationship brings with it a loss of control. Gone is my space, time, and routine, and we don’t even have kids or family in the city or even all that many friends yet. I can’t even fathom the ways my life will change next time I invite somebody new in.
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