He and She

Adjustment period. My Mom used to say you’ll never truly know a person until you’ve lived with that person. J and I have been boyfriend and girlfriend for 12 years before we got married. We never had any majorly fight. Oh, we fight alright! But oftentimes, we fight over simple things.

J is a type of person who stops and smells the roses. I’m the type who believes that time is gold. I’m always in a rush, like I’m meeting a deadline and have to be on time. I don’t like any hassles. I’m always preparing breakfast for him before he goes for work. The way he slowly eats, savoring the flavor, makes me eat my breakfast real fast like I’m the one who is going to be late for work. If he’s still eating and I’m done, I’ll prepare his things, his shoes, so that when he’s finished eating he’ll just step right through the door and head on to the bus stop without any delay. Then if he’s still not moving, I’ll start talking about how late he is, that he should move fast so he could catch the bus etc. Then he’ll tell me to stop, that there’s still plenty of time and I have nothing to worry about, etc.

One time we went to the mall for our grocery after going to the church. I was heading straight to the grocery store and he told me we should roam around first and relax since it’s our day off. I was fidgeting all the time while he leisurely browses the shoes in a sports store. I frequently glance at my watch, counting how much time is left for my laundry, cooking and ironing. Ugh! Just writing this all down makes me look like a wife made in hell. I remember my younger sister telling me that when I get married, maybe I’ll be like Bree of Desperate Housewife, the way I’m so meticulous in everything, the way I like everything clean and organized. J have no complaints about my “cleanliness and orderliness” as he’s very organized himself.

The thing is, this the-clock -is-ticking attitude of mine is giving me trouble. J prepared breakfast for me before going for work, which I gobbled all up in less than 5 minutes while he’s busy doing something in the kitchen. He was surprised when I’m all done and he wasn’t even able to touch his meal. I was ready to go when he told me to wait for him because he’ll walk me to the bus stop. I told him he doesn’t have to but he insisted. So I had to wait for him while he’s preparing and my thoughts are running on how to catch the bus on time. I’ve wasted 5 minutes waiting for him when I should’ve been walking by that time. I was talking nonstop telling him I don’t want to miss the 8:10 bus, that he’s making me miss the 8:10 bus. He said there’s plenty of bus. I told him I don’t want any bus, I want the 8:10 bus, like a little brat pouting.

I know I’m being difficult but I can’t help it. I want to be like him, but not too much. He’s a good man, yes he is, and he has good intentions, I know. Maybe opposites do attract because one becomes a reminder of the other. J is a reminder of me that I should, once in a while, stop and smell the roses. I, on the other hand is a reminder of J, that sometimes, every minute counts.

There are still a lot of things that we will discover about each other. We’ll just have to be strong enough to face the challenges and accept our differences. And the marriage goes on…


Living Together: How to Adjust (Marriage 101?)

We moved in to our new room (finally!) 3 days ago. It took some time before I got used to my new routine. I had to go back a couple of times to our room whenever I go to the bathroom or kitchen because I always forget something. I have to rummage on a pile of clothes/things just to find something that I know I have hidden somewhere. Instead of hitting the sack when I come home from work, I have to prepare dinner for my husband. Well, basically, I help him prepare dinner because he’s doing all the cooking mostly. Fine, I’ll learn how to cook. I just need some time to adjust. I used to do my laundry every 3 days, but now, it seems that I have to do it every other day because the dirty clothes seem to pile up high so fast. Oh, right, there are two of us now. Great.

The two of us in the kitchen, well, it’s not a good idea. I’m a neat freak wash-your-hands-before-touching-anything type of person. My stuffs are all organized that if something is misplaced, I’d know right away. “Wash your hands.” Don’t use that, it’s dirty!” “Not too much oil.” “Remove the skin, it’s too fatty!” etc. I know. I sounded like a terrible wife. Even in simple things like folding the clothes. I’d rather do it myself than let him fold all our clothes and then I have to do it all over again. Sometimes (well, most of the time, actually), I apologize for my behavior. He’s very supportive and understanding. I wonder how long it will last.

I love our new place. It’s like we’re the only people living here. When we’re talking, we’re planning on what to do on the weekend (when it’s my day off), what to cook, what activities to do. Sometimes, we’re discussing our attitudes, what he doesn’t like about me and what I don’t like about him. I casually told him, “Maybe we will fight a lot now that we’re together.” He said, “Of course we’ll fight. It’s very unnatural if we don’t.”But don’t make it a habit to fight with me always,” I said. “I’m not fighting with you,” he said. “Yes, you are!” I said. We sounded like kids. Or, is it just me? I feel like we’re just playing house. That we’re just pretending to be husband and wife.

I hate myself for even thinking about it, but I’m really wondering how long this will last. We’re still in the adjustment period. I need to cut us some slack.

The Girl Who Can’t Seem To Give Up Comfort (and Forgets She’s Married)

It’s been 2 days since I’ve moved out of my flat. I went back to my old flat yesterday morning to get my other stuff and to leave my keys to the owner and I was feeling melancholic already. As I was walking the path towards my old flat, the sight of the park and the beach on the other side of the road, the building lobby, the elevator, the hallway, and finally the door to my old flat. As I turned the key, I already feel like a stranger. I no longer live here. I don’t own any stuff here anymore. I tiptoed inside our room and found my roommate/colleague S sleeping. I didn’t disturb her because I know that she’s from night duty. I saw my old bed all bare and empty. It felt lonely. That was my comfort corner. I quietly gathered my remaining stuff, left the key of my cabinet for H, then knocked on the room of the owner to surrender my key. We exchanged a few words, I said thank you and that we’ll still see each other hopefully, then left. When I closed the door, I know that I just left my old, comfortable life with the people who became my family for the past year. I felt sad all of a sudden.The feeling of not wanting to leave was so strong that it’s making me want to cry. Did I really have to leave? Oh, geez, I’m married. Of course I have to.

I didn’t go back to G’s flat right away. I walked and enjoyed my surroundings. I haven’t bought anything for my husband for our wedding monthsary because I was too busy moving out so I decided to go inside a department store and look for something to give him. When I found the thing that I want, I had it wrapped and headed straight to G’s flat.

Being in G’s flat is one of my comforts. This is my home away from home. I became a part of her family. I played with the kids for a while before I decided to drop by to my new flat to clean our room. My new building is huge. It has a vast lobby. It almost looked like a fancy hotel. When I reached my floor, I pressed the doorbell and the owner let me in. It’s a 3-bedroom/2-bathroom flat. The master’s bedroom belong to the owner. The other room belongs to another couple. I went straight to our room. Our room has wide glass window and I can see G’s flat from our view. Now I’m feeling like a newly-wed already. I’m starting a new life. I took the vacuum cleaner and started cleaning. It took me 3 hours to finish cleaning and organizing our stuff. The owner gave us a queen-sized bed and some furniture. I haven’t done beautifying our room yet. I have a lot of ideas in mind. J hasn’t brought his things yet. He said he’ll do it on his day off. I walked back to G’s flat, took a shower and rest. J and I had to stay in G’s flat for a couple more days until our room is ready.

J came and I assumed the role of a wife (as I always forget), gave him my late gift, he said I didn’t have to (what the heck, did he like it or not?) and we talked about how our days went. I let him rest after dinner while I chatted online with my roommate/colleague H. H and I always talk about anything back when I was still staying in our flat. I miss her already. By the time we finished chatting, J was snoring in his sleep.

I have to (always) remember that I’m married now. Why is it so hard to get used to changes?

Moving Out

Finally, I’m moving out to a new flat with my husband. It all came too suddenly. One room was vacant in my friend’s/colleague’s flat and she just innocently asked if I knew a couple who is looking for a room to rent and I quickly volunteered myself. And she gave it to me at a discounted price. Considering how much a room costs here in UAE, the price she gave us was reasonable enough. Everything is falling into place. J found a car lift from Abu Dhabi to Yas Island where he works. And I found us a room. I mean, a room found us, technically.

Staying in G’s flat whenever my husband is off from work is no longer an option. We need a place of our own. When I’m with my husband, it’s so hard to part with him. But when I’m in my flat, it’s so hard for me to think that I have to give up the comfort that I have. I’ve grown to love my own little corner, my roommates who are dear to me, the late night chat, jogging, the beach, my surroundings. But I’m married now and I have to live with my husband. Why is it so hard to be married?

When I was packing all my things, I wasn’t thinking that I’m finally leaving. My mind was preoccupied with the thought of how I can move all of my things on my own. J is at work and he won’t be home until 7pm. H was watching me pack my things and said she feels sad. I also feel sad to leave them. They’re like my sisters. But I have to go. H was kind enough to help me move out. Then J came just in time to take my remaining stuff to our new flat. The couple who owns the flat even helped us load our things in the taxi. I feel like I just left my family.

The room’s still a mess. I have to go back to clean and organize my stuff. For the meantime, we’re staying in G’s flat until we’re settled. The good thing is, G’s flat is just walking distance from our new flat so I think I’m still closer to home.

The things I have to sacrifice for a married life. What else is there?