Love is a battlefield

It started as the most straightforward thing: sorting my Kilimanjaro of dirty clothes. Under the “I heart Unicorns” t-shirt, there was a pair of eCrush’s pants. Thinking I’d accidentally grabbed them on a recent cleaning rampage, I set the pants aside to wash and return. A few minutes later, I pulled out his boxers. Then more pants. Socks. By the time the darks and the lights were separated, two weeks of His and Hers clothing was piled on my bedroom floor.

So late last night, eCrush and I talked about Laundry Etiquette. I explained that finding his clothes, and the assumption it was OK to leave them for me to wash, felt like a passive aggressive infiltration into my space. Plus it irked my feminist side to holy Hell and back. eCrush felt leaving his dirty laundry was an indicator of relationship security. He explained it as form of marking his girlfriend territory. Sorta the domestic equivalent of Arnold’s “I’ll be back.” He couldn’t understand why a shared spin cycle pushed me to an Emotional DEFCON 5.

As we talked, I realized I’m not ready for such a tangible expression of commitment. I need relationship baby steps, preferably with written notice and a side of valium. The most I was willing to give at this point was toothbrush lodging, and I had extended that invitation a few weeks back. At the time, eCrush saw it as a relationship milestone while I saw it more as continuing a lifetime of good oral hygiene. For me, sharing bathroom real estate was a Big Step that I’m still adjusting to. Weeks later, I still experience a nanosecond of panic whenever I see his blue Oral-B sitting next to mine.

And there’s a universe of difference between a toothbrush and Tide. The thought of washing his clothes with mine felt like playing a game of Chutes and Ladders. Except that I’d just landed on the square with the super huge ladder; that one that surpasses the entire board and leads to victory in one turn. It felt like I’d missed all the steps; that I really didn’t get to play out the game and because of that, winning had become essentially meaningless. And sometimes, playing is just as important as winning the prize.

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One Response to “Love is a battlefield”

  1. E Says:

    Everything I could say about this should probably be regulated to an email.

    In short, this new behavior is not made of win.

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