Monday, April 28, 2008

Goodbye And Hello

I've been hinting at this for about a month or so, but yesterday, The BF and I finally moved in together. After two-and-a-half years or traipsing back and forth to each other's apartments (he traipsed more than I, mostly because I was the one with cable), we purged some things and he made room for me in his cute little one-bedroom. The plan is for him to sell his place sometime over the summer, and the two of us get a larger loft where we can both spread out . . . and up (more details on THAT later, too).

All of this has churned up some bittersweet emotions in me. This is the first time since 1988 I have lived with someone who was more than just a roommate. Ex#1 and I moved in together exactly 20 years ago, when I was 22 and he was 23 (coincidentally enough, it was also the end of April). We had been dating for 2.5 months, and living 140 miles apart. Moving in together was more convenience than anything else. Ex#1 and I are still in touch with each other and I get a card or email from him every year around my birthday - mostly because he remembers that I share the same birthday as his mother.

God, I was so young back then! Moving in with someone when you are 22 and 23 is nothing more than just playing house. Not to mention, it was my first gay relationship. I had no idea what I was doing, and within 8 months, we split up. And back in 1989, I swore I would never live with another boyfriend again.

And I haven't . . . until now.

My move-in was pretty simple, with only a few minor adjustments needing to be made. At first I thought I had done so well at purging things I really didn't need. But looking back, it's more to The BF's credit that he made so much room for my stuff. He's sacrificing alot (space, privacy, a bed to himself now and then) just to be around me more often. It's a bit overwhelming. I've never had anyone this "into" me before. But then, I totally deserve it!

As exciting as this new chapter of my life will be, starting a new chapter means ending another one. After 8 years, Ashley and I will no longer be roommates. He's been a constant presence in my life while so many other things have come and gone: he's seen me through Ex#3, 4, 5 and all the men in-between; almost all of my health issues; 3 jobs; 3 apartments and 1 house; 2 remodels; 2 major cities; 2 jeeps (mine and his); countless shopping trips; 3 trips to Provincetown, 1 trip to New Orleans; and nights filled with karaoke, boys, shots, showtunes, dancing, booze, drag shows, dinner parties, and the million talks we've had over the years that were our equivalent to sitting around the kitchen table and eating a cheesecake.

And now we both live in the city we first visited together back in 2001 for Market Days. He's running a successful business and dating a great guy. We probably could have gone on being roommates for life, I guess. But love trumps everything. And I would take one year of living with The BF over a lifetime of living with anyone else.

It's all very exciting . . . and scary . . . and fun . . . and strange . . . and wonderful. I never thought I would get to this point in my life, yet I've arrived, seemingly without even trying. In a way, I feel 22 again - only this time I've got 20 years more experience.