As most of you know, my girlfriend and I now live together in an apartment. Undertaking this was the most adult thing I’ve done since I started wearing shoes that fasten with something other than Velcro. (Which happened in 2011.) What people don’t realize is that we share a 2-bedroom apartment, with each of us having our own bedroom. Of course we still have sleepovers occasionally, but most nights we each retire to a different room. When this comes up in conversation with others their reaction is generally split along age categories. People our age and younger are aghast–why would we do such a thing? That’s not REALLY living together! Older folks, however, usually brighten and congratulate us on our foresight. You’ll dodge a lot of problems, they say, that other couples sometimes can’t get past. After all, a lot of successful older couples have separate bedrooms, and that can’t be a coincidence.
Why did we make this decision? Well for one, where else would I exhibit my absurdly large collection of Pittsburgh sports memorabilia? She’s a Cowboys fan, and she wouldn’t allow it to be displayed in the common areas of the apartment. Incidentally, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I knew she was a Dallas fan right off the bat, yet I agreed to cohabitate with her anyway, which I think shows an almost superhuman tolerance for another’s faults that speaks for itself. But seriously, a major reason for the independent bedroom situation is that I suffer from chronic insomnia. Medication helps a little, but when a leaf hits the side of the apartment at night, I jump up combat-ready wondering what kind of armored vehicle has plowed into the building. Sleep frustratingly eludes me the way Bigfoot dodges those losers on Animal Planet. And by the way, instead of “Finding Bigfoot” shouldn’t that show be called “Searching for Bigfoot” or even “Wasting Time in the Woods With Other Smelly Dudes”? Because they’re not actually finding anything except pathetic viewers that haven’t had a date since the Clinton administration. But I digress. The point is, we all know sharing a bed isn’t conducive to actual sleep. There’s the constant tossing and turning, the disagreements about room temperature, the not-having-enough-space in the bed–all of which still happen even when I sleep alone.
Ultimately, having our own bedrooms comes down to our basic personality types. She’s fiercely independent and likes having her alone time. And me, well I have an overall shitty disposition. Yeah. I make that rancor monster in Jabba the Hutt’s basement look like Jimmy Fallon. No, but seriously, I’m also dependent on a significant amount of solitude from time to time to keep me sane. I need my own space to retreat to when she’s watching yet another episode of Sex and the City. So, while having separate bedrooms at our age might be unconventional, it works for us. And if what I do seems weird and off-putting to you, hey, get in line behind the hundreds of my Facebook friends who don’t buy my books. I’m past the point of caring what people think. I’m too busy every night chasing that elusive butterfly called slumber.