I am (happily) immersed in the exercise of co-habitation after so many years of living alone. I tread lightly and pay more attention. Careful not to clang the dishes, I (nearly) always put the toilet lid down, I smooth the sheets, I don’t fling things in the refrigerator willy-nilly and I try to remember to turn the kitchen light off, even though the switch is tucked in under the cabinets and soooo easy to forget.
Yet the challenge, is, at the same time — to include my stamp and to make this place ours. Joseph doubled the shelf space in the bathroom and insisted that I put all my girlie stuff out. The bathroom is definitely pinker now, with a basket of nail polishes and a few creams and lotions and soft, puffy things.
In the kitchen, he has shoved aside his pasta maker and hand-held mixer to make room for my food processor and frozen yogurt machine. We are still waiting to see how we can logically accommodate the spices we own collectively — this, after I left most of mine in NYC, knowing he was well-equipped in that area. I brought along the porcini mushroom powder, the Mexican oregano, the saffron and exotic Saigon cinnamon. But he already has three lazy susans of things like arrowroot and asafoetida. Yes, asafoetida. (That last word is a clickable link, if you are curious). When you visit, we will cook for you.
Joseph even thought to bring from storage to the little apartment a coat rack my friend, Bill, found on the street in NYC. It is badly in need of refinishing, but it is mine. And Joseph didn’t say “boo” when I hung three multi-color Mexican rebozos there, just because I can. Just because they are colorful, and they come from a space I love.
We are gentle with each other. I try to stack the bowls in the right place, and Joseph gives me space on the bookshelf for my copy of “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian,” even though he hopes I don’t cook much from there. I enjoy his rib eye steak “tagliata” and he eats my homemade salsa. We are learning each other. It is sweet.