Exactly ten years ago today I did something I thought I'd never do. I lived together. And I have to say, I don't know how I did it.
Two delivery vans pulled up at the house that day. All my stuff went into either the spare room or the boarded loft above the garage, because it never was quite an arrangement of equals. But it was proper sharing of house and garden and stuff, proper living together, which I'd never managed before and have never managed since. Because I don't know how you do it.
Two people, one bathroom. How does that work? "I'm just going for a shower." "But I wanted to wash my hair." "Sorry, you'll have to wait." "But I'm going out in half an hour, I need to get in the bathroom now." "Hang on, this shower's cold, there's no hot water." "Ah yes, I used it all up when I had a bath earlier..."
Two people, one TV. How does that work? "Have you got the remote?" "Yes, course I have. Why?" "My favourite programme's just starting on the other channel." "But I'm watching this." "That's not fair, we always watch what you want to." "Can't you record it and watch it later?" "But that's not the same, and someone's bound to put the result on Twitter before I get round to watching it." "Ssh, it's just getting to the good bit..."
Two people, one fridge. How does that work? "Where's the milk?" "I finished it off earlier." "Well, why didn't you buy some more?" "Because I don't need any milk, because I used up the last of the old bottle, didn't I?" "And what's this meat doing at the back of the fridge, it's well past its sell-by date." "I thought you liked that, I hate it, I bought it for you..."
Two people, one garden. How does that work? "That lawn needs cutting." "There's nothing stopping you from getting the lawnmower out." "But it's not my turn." [30 minutes later] "You missed a bit..."
Two people, one weekend. How does that work? "Lovely weather for it, what shall we do today?" "I need a coffee. Let's go somewhere that serves coffee." "But where shall we go later?" "I need some new shoes. Let's go somewhere that sells shoes." "But where shall we go later?" "The spare bedroom needs repainting. Let's go somewhere that sells magnolia emulsion." "But where shall we go later?" "Oh, I'll be too tired to go anywhere later..."
Two people, one bed. How does that work? (well, obviously, that bit works fine. I meant for sleeping) "Ready to turn the light off?" "I haven't quite finished this magazine article yet, and then I fancied reading the next one." "But I'm tired, and you know I can't sleep with the light on." "Go on then, but I want five minutes extra tomorrow." "Take your knee out of my back." "Only if you give me half my pillow back..."
Two people, one house. How does that work? "I've brought you a cup of tea in bed." (Ah yes, that's how it works)
OK, so I may not have had the best living together experience myself. But I'd rather live alone any day. How do the rest of you do it?