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“Latins are tenderly enthusiastic. In Brazil, they throw flowers at you. In Argentina, they throw themselves." -- Marlene Dietrich

Life changes are healthy

There comes a time in every man’s life when he must stop watching TV all night in his underwear, noshing on unhealthy meals of microwave burritos from 7-11, and move in with his girlfriend. For me, that time is this weekend. And while Ar-Jew-Tino loves The Princess very much and is ready for the next step, there are some pleasures – some secret and some not ‑ he must give up as he ventures from Adams Morgan into Cohabitation-burg, aka Takoma Park:

1. MY place. I know it’s a piece of crap apartment with panels for walls, a double layer of carpeting, and a bathroom only the bravest hazmat teams would venture into, but it is MY place. My empty Diet Pepsi cans go where I want. My AC is set to High Cool. And my remote control is ALWAYS in my hand.

2. After work. There is nothing I like more, on evenings when I don’t have kickball, softball, darts, or other social engagements, to come home, pop in my latest DVD from Netflix (I’m really into the British spy series MI-5; seriously, check it out, better than 24), and watch until it’s time to go to sleep. The Princess last night, though, told me she is VERY much looking forward to nights of cooking dinners together, going for walks along the creek, and playing board games. For a man who’s been on his own for more than three years, this feels weird. I mean, really, who thinks about the pleasures of cooking all day? One friend told me that if his girlfriend had her way every night, there would be less SportsCenter and more “sitting on the couch, staring at each other, and talking about how much in love we are.”

3. Sleeping habits. In college, my girlfriend told me I was like water because the second she got out from bed, I would wash my body over the mattress and take up every corner of space. I haven’t changed much since then. I like having my feet in one corner and my head diagonally at the opposite corner. I also like snoring without being woken with a jab to the head or a kick in the shins. Call me crazy, but that’s how I roll.

4. Time. “That’s how it works,” my aforementioned friend told me today. “It’s natural; a man needs some time alone.” I’m lucky in this respect because The Princess is very big on her own time alone and giving me mine. Still, we’re not always on the same schedule. Melding our life habits together can be tough, but when you’re used to deciding for yourself when you want to be alone, it can be even tougher. My time along can involve reading my book at Tryst, hanging with my boys at Bedrock at our Monday Mensa Meeting, or (this is one of my secret pleasures) making up games of statistics involving coins.

5. Sleven (aka 7-11). I know eating at 7-11 is not good for me and I know it’s not technically a “restaurant,” but god help me I love their selections of day-old sandwiches, microwave burritos, and taquitos. Also, it’s only half a block from my place. I’m going to miss the slow employees, the 2-for-1 Camel Light specials, the incomplete Sunday Washington Posts, and the ungrateful beggars who become selective food connoisseurs when I offer them dinner.

There it is. Five things I’ll miss from living alone. But here is the best part about moving in with The Princess: I get to live with her. I get to come home to her. I get to share my life with her.

Those gastrointestinal system havoc-wreaking microwave burritos suddenly don't seem so appetizing.
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