On living together: the good, the bad and the ugly.

I have to live with a boy!

“We really need to get out of this habit of just throwing things on the floor,” he said, picking up a pair of my carelessly strewn pyjama bottoms.

Oh dear. And so it begins.

Now, I may have flown across the world to experience my first time living with a boy, and living with another couple too makes it all feel a lot less grown up. But nevertheless, the same rules apply to the latest new experience of my twenties.

Weekly eagerly anticipated date nights are now, like, just every evening at the dinner table.

When we can afford date night out (apparently paying rent can put a little dent in the weekly dinner, cinema, drinks, clubbing fund) it’s usually a good chance to have a conversation about serious stuff, like money, or bills, or business plans or the future.

And when you just wanna let it all hang out? Well, you’ve just gotta do what a girls gotta do and hope for the best that you’ll still be loved through every single surprise revelation that you might not be quite as glamorous all the time as you might have been three times a week for evening dates and weekend sleepovers.

On living together: the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good:

  • Before the day has even really started, you get to see a face you love, and that’s EVERY DAY!
  • You have someone to tell about your night full of crazy dreams without a) judgement, and b) the risk of being labelled as the office ‘most boring storyteller ever’.
  • You get to have a sleepover with your best friend every night!
  • There’s always someone there to listen to stories about your day.
  • There’s always someone there to complain to.
  • If you need a cuddle, you’ve got it. And if you really really don’t, that’s generally always fine too.
  • You share everything – secrets, in-jokes, tea-making, mutual hatred for the loud clattering of the postman, mutual love for watching hours of your current TV addiction.
  • There’s always someone to tell you that you look nice. With the correct prompting, obviously. (I.e. ‘Do I look nice? Insert wisest answer here [____]’)
  • If you forget to buy deodorant, there’s always back up.

The bad:

  • With mornings can come grumpy grunts and frowns, and that’s before the day has even started.
  • Someone might begin to realise how much you enjoy keeping your stuff where you can see it (i.e. all over the floor, desk, chair, bedside table etc..)
  • Someone might often complain about the above point by shouting ‘shit on the floor again!’ to which, any guests unaware of the context, are likely to presume that, (unless you have a dog, which we do not) you might have actually done a shit on the floor, again. And that’s never good.
  • Someone else’s hair joins yours around the sink.
  • You have to clean the bathroom that another human being has used.
  • Boys are smelly – will they ALWAYS think farts are hilarious?
  • You end up HAVING to share stuff (that incredibly expensive colour restore shampoo has been wasted wash after wash on a man that has never coloured his hair, nor has any desire in restoring it.)

The ugly:

Fights. Silly little bickery ‘can we just stop and listen to ourselves?!’ fights about mess and washing and cleaning and doing dishes and mattress toppers and early morning alarms that NEVER STOP and lights being left on and eating all the food shop on delivery day and who used the last of the milk and where did all the biscuits go and all the other things you’ve been fighting with your parents about for years, only to now realise, this shit never ends!

Like, ever.

But when it comes down to it, even through all the brand new grown up stuff that I never once dreamt I’d ever have to deal with, well it’s really very nice, this living together thing.

Snatched kisses in the kitchen, the LAUGHS that bubble out post-fight when we realise we’re arguing over whether to buy a fitted or a flat sheet, always thinking about someone else and knowing that they’re always thinking about you (sure, apart from when the football’s on, or being discussed, or being played, or being mentioned, or just existing), the sharing of the smallest most boring things like taking in the shopping or preparing a meal or doing the dishes feeling like you’re part of a mini team as you tackle this new grown up world together.

Those giggles, and that getting each other, and the comfort, and the listening and the believing in each other’s goals and plans and dreams. It all wins. The good stuff wins!

But the farts really do have to stop.

stop the fartsYou’re battling the twenties too, huh? The best way to win is to face it together! Get in touch: littleredfrench@gmail.com

Or leave me a comment below

 

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Women. Men. Aliens. Etc.

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I’m starting to realise that us females are all so alike, it’s kind of terrifying.

There I am in the office, doing what I think is ‘whispering’ about having to remind my boyfriend that it’s the anniversary of our first date next week (I know, right? They don’t write that stuff down?) And that he was then all like ‘that’s a thing?’ and that I had to tell him that ‘yes, it’s quite the thing actually’ and that ‘I suppose I’ll have to organise it all as usual’ and ‘oh yes by the way, a card wouldn’t go a miss’ – with a side note of ‘not that it will be very meaningful now that I’ve had to suggest it’.

Yep, that conversation, I’m sure you know it inside out, plus swear words, and the rest.

I heard a response over the desk to my not so whispery whisper, ‘yep, I’m afraid nothing changes, and that’s after 20 years.’ Great.

A further response – a male voice. Here we go. ‘Yeah, my girlfriend makes all these things into ‘things’ too, surely that’s just what you do when you’re married? And that won’t be happening.’ Charming.

And the debate picked up, one by one across the office, the women all rolly eyed with tuts and sighs while the male head shakes were tied with ‘I don’t get its’ and ‘how are we supposed to know thats’.

And then we all laughed at the sound of ourselves, as it was all so funny because it was all so true and we are all just so alike and so similarly different to men.

So sometimes, we don’t want to ask something because we feel like we shouldn’t have to. And then we get angry when our minds haven’t been read and the thing we decided not to ask hasn’t happened.

So sometimes, we make up a perfect scenario in our minds, again expecting our better lesser equal halves to become Derren Brown for the evening and we then proceed to be disappointed when the plan that we failed to share didn’t play out quite as we’d imagined.

So sometimes, we wake up in the morning and we’re just in a bad mood. We could have won the lottery or be lying next to [place appropriate hot celebrity crush here] and it wouldn’t change a thing. This mood occurs for no reason, and with no explanation, whatsover, but we’re just in need of a mini pity party and some sympathy and probably a few hours of guilt free shopping to numb the random sorrow, and a little cry – yep, still for no reason – all without being looked at like we’ve a) escaped from a mental asylum, b) have grown an extra head, or c) both. And, before you know it, we’ll be right as rain again, wondering if everyone else’s moods can change quicker than you can say ‘for your own safety don’t speak to me right now,’ or if we should in fact be thinking seriously about giving that mental asylum a call.

Because that’s just what we do, sometimes.

And I must admit, putting it all down into words can make a girl question her own sanity slightly, and can also make her confess that in the tiniest way we might just be a little bit of hard work and probably a weeny bit confusing. But, it would appear that we’re loved and accepted all the same – I mean, it’s endearing, right?

Then, on overhearing a taxi driver’s phone conversation, it struck me that, despite everything, there’s really only one thing that men will never accept or tolerate about us, and that’s our intolerance of the ‘F’ word…

‘Football’, that is:

“She wants me to come over tonight, but the Arsenal game’s on. I know, she’s crazy isn’t she! They just don’t get it.”

The Tough & Terrific Twenties!

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Being in your twenties can be really hard work. There’s so much fun to be had but so much pressure too,  so much to do and complete and see, yet the feeling that there is so little time to do it all!

My friends and I talk all the time about our plans for the future; what we’re doing now, what we should be doing, what we plan to do, what we’re scared to do, whether we’re doing things right or wrong, whether any of it even matters at all.

It’s certainly a decade full of contradictions, but I’ve got to admit it’s definitely a fun one to be muddling through.

In your twenties you:

  • Have enough disposable money to make plans
  • Have more plans than money and more money than sense
  • Want to be in a career, committed to your job and work your way up the ladder
  • Want to be doing more than sitting behind a desk
  • Want to start settling, to be content
  • Want to throw caution to the wind and travel the world
  • Want to be single and go on countless dates and spend Saturday nights partying
  • Want to fall in love and get butterflies and a racing heart and spend Saturday nights with that guy
  • Want to holiday and stay out til 6am and sleep all day then do it all over again
  • Want to take day trips and city breaks and have a civilised meal and glass of wine and be rested enough for another day of culture and adventure
  • Are an independent, career woman, to whom marriage and kids seems a life you’ll never know
  • Secretly know the style of your wedding dress and what your children will be called

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It’s no-one else’s business the way we choose to live our lives, a lot of our decisions are based on the experiences we have and the people we meet along the way and as long as it makes us happy, well that’s all that matters.

And sometimes, we should really just stop thinking about it altogether.

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw:

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