How to Stay Together and Stay Yourself
Then we moved in together, into his apartment. I had to get rid of my spindly Victorian furniture; it looked ridiculous with his chunky brown sofa and pragmatic oak table and chairs. The shag rug was a bone of contention; luckily, it didn't survive a sheepdog with digestive issues. Crammed in a claustrophobic space, we began to battle, one of us slamming the door and retreating into the narrow bedroom. We built a sleeping loft to escape to. Still, we not only survived the merger but married. We tried to become a "we," traveling for our honeymoon to the Paris I loved (and he hated), always seeing friends together, dragging each other to movies that bored one of us to death. His eyes glazed over when I tried to fascinate him with Middlemarch. I rubbed my temples while he replayed a Hendrix album into the wee hours or puzzled over some intricate business deal. We survived corporate dinners and foreign films, poetry readings and rock concerts. My role models were artists, his were entrepreneurs. We tugged persistently at each other's psyches and prayed for continental shifts.