Before moving in with David, I asked a male co-worker what it’s like to live with your significant other. “You only talk about one thing,” he said, “dinner plans.” I laughed thinking he was kidding, but it turns out he was right on the money. The texts between David and I are filled with comments and questions about food. “Did you like dinner last night?” “Can I finish the meatloaf? “They better have snacks! What kind of lame party is this?”
Most of our nights end with either home-cooked meals or ramen from across the street, boxed red wine, and a string of bloody murders carried out by Leatherface, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, or Jason Voorhees. That’s a pretty standard evening for us, alcohol and scary movies, but as two introverts who hate leaving the house and meeting new people, we’ve come up with some different ways to pass the time. Here are some couple-y ideas that don’t involve fucking or texting about dinner plans.
Fill out a book . I bought Lisa Currie’s “Me, You, Us” book at Urban Outfitters and
surprised ambushed David with it. I say ambush because there’s no way he could say no to participating without looking like a total asshole. I mean come on, these are harmless romance questions like, “What was your first impression of me?” or “List three times when I made you laugh the hardest.” Needless to say this activity is more for my amusement than his.
Color or work on a puzzle. It’s a great way to bond without any of the talking (or answering lame relationship questions). You spend so much time focusing on finding the right pieces or coloring inside (or outside) the lines that you have no time to chat. But at the same time you’re still working as a team to complete the same project. Right now we’re working on this map of the world from Pirasta.
Decorate a space. We ditched A LOT of our furniture before driving up to Portland. It make unpacking much easier, but we quickly realized that our new apartment looked empty and sad. So, we decided to dedicate every paycheck to one household item, big or small. We recently bought a writing desk for the living room from Wayfair, an over-the-toilet etagere from Target, and animal wall art for the bedroom from Urban Outfitters.
Take home a new pet. If it were up to me, I’d adopt all the animals in the world. But I live in a one-bedroom apartment in the city. In addition to the two dogs we have at home, King and Banksy, I settled on a Siamese fighting fish and bought all the bowl accessories, like gravel and fake plants.
That fucking fish died two days later, so I bought another one. The same thing happened. Finally David got sick of all my sobbing and fish funerals that he cracked. “Goddamn it, Sophie! You want a fucking fish so bad? Get a fucking fish tank that has its own fucking filtration system.”
I was later told by a PetSmart employee that a small, glass bowl is not the ideal living space for any fish. OK, then why the fuck do you sell them? And why the fuck do they appear in movies that way? Anyway, David and I eventually invested in a 20-gallon tank and put two goldfish, Darth Vader and Yoda, inside. They’re still alive.
Take home an exotic pet. Despite my track record of killing not one, but two fighting fish, I bought another pet. This time, however, I wanted something bold. Something different. A hedgehog. Oregon is one of the few states where they’re legal to have as pets, and finding a breeder was surprisingly easy. I highly recommend WestCoastHedgehogs.com based in Corvallis, Oregon. I named her Macadamia because she looks like a little white nut. AND YES, SHE’S ALIVE. Stop fucking asking.