It was my 21st birthday and Nina and Micaelan both came to visit. Nina came first during my actual birthday and Micaelan a few days later after Neen had left. When Nina was visiting we stayed at Mr. NYC’s house for most of the nights. One night, however, we were at Deb’s house (where I was renting a “room”). Deb’s house was very interesting, I was proud of it, Nina, not so much.
My room was one they call “railroad” bedroom. This pretty much means you’re living in a hallway – see diagram below.
When Nina stepped foot in my shared apartment, she was less than amused.
“This is NOT okay. There is no way I am staying here”
“Neen – it’s really not all that bad. Put earplugs in and you won’t even notice that Deb is getting up to pee”.
The next day, Mr. NYC’s Mama came to town to meet Nina and take us out for brunch. Nina explained the situation and expressed her disbelief that such a place could even exist. I guess this was exactly what Mr.NYC needed to hear; supposedly he was feeling the same way the entire time.
We’d lived together (briefly) before. It was the most magical month of my life. We went to work in the morning, met for yoga after work, got salads on the way home, pretended we were going to watch a movie and make love as soon as the beginning music started. I think we “watched” The Conjuring like 10 times that month. Not that screaming and people dying turned us on, but we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other. It was grand.
Anyways, as Nina was not-so-modestly explaining her disbelief, Mr. NYC was thinking of how he’d pop the question.
It was my actual birthday – November 10th. Steph, Mr. NYC and Nina planned a “surprise” party (that Nina ruined as soon as she stepped foot in NYC, she’s not the best at keeping secrets). Mr. NYC asked Nina for her approval before inviting me to move in with him. She very happily obliged and that night, he asked me.
It took me all of a week to pack up my belongings, say fare-thee-well to Deb and lug my two overstuffed suitcases to Mr.NYC’s quaint apartment in Union Square. Micaelan was now visiting at this time (thank god) and she helped me, as any trusted pal would. We lugged my two full suitcases and five grocery store bags of my life from 72nd street to 17th. When I came to the door, I could see that Mr.NYC wasn’t hesitant or worried, he was only excited.
Moving in with your boyfriend is a huge step. The thing is, we were already practically living together and we knew we got along, so now I was just going to be there 24/7 and help with rent, but for some reason I was scared shitless. Now, if somehow things didn’t work out, where the fuck was I going to go?! I sheepishly put my bags in the corner of the living room – there was no drawer space yet so I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with all of my stuff.
Mr.NYC kissed me on the forehead and handed me a letter.
– Mr. NYC
I took a huge sigh of relief and finally, for the first time since I’d stepped foot in New York, I knew I was home.
Mr. NYC and I took a trip to Ikea the following weekend to see if there was something we could grab to help me fit, perhaps a new dresser or a vanity of some sort. The only major problem was that we were already so squished in our tiny apartment and there really wasn’t much room for anything else to fit.
We decided to go anyway and take a look. If you’ve ever been to Ikea in NYC then you’ll know it’s a full day adventure. You need to take a boat from the Financial District across the Hudson to get to it.
We chased each other around the store, ate Ikea chocolate, tested out the beds, played with all of the fake computers and forgot why we were there. We decided to grab a shoe rack – we’d be able to fit it in the closet and that would give us a bit more room in the hallway to perhaps get something else to put there. We also bought a coat rack, because we were adults now and adults have coat racks.
He picked out a hot pink towel that would be mine and I chose red hand towels for the bathroom. We were back home by sunset. Everything felt right… until I started unpacking.
I looked in the closet for the first time, there was no way in hell I was going to fit anything else in there. His drawers were already overflowing with shirts… this man had more clothes than me and my two sisters combined. My lower lip started quivering and I could barely hold back the tears, everything felt so right until now, I just couldn’t fit.
He looked at me with confusion and asked if everything was okay, I got the three words out without bursting into tears.
“I…. I won’t fit”.
He laughed and went into the room, took his clothes out of the closet and said “Use all the space you need, I can find new places for my clothes. Besides, I need to get rid of most of this shit anyway.”
I knew in that moment that I had made the right decision. This was my man and he was taking care of me. I loved him, so much.
It was perfect. And it was time to play house – my favorite of all the pretend games growing up. He was an amazing cook, I loved to clean, and everything just worked.
Every morning we’d wake up and make breakfast together. Mr. NYC would make scrambled eggs with a vegetarian meat substitute with a bit of hot sauce and ketchup, I’d make us a green smoothie. We’d sit there with our breakfasts and coffee, read our morning news together and then get ready for work.
We only had one Christmas together, and it was perfect.
We walked over 50 blocks searching for the most perfect little Christmas tree; I insisted we get one. We bought decorations, lights and stockings to hang by our fireplace. I’d never spent a Christmas away from Vancouver and had done all of these things at home from year to year. It was different, but it felt just as good doing them with Mr.NYC.
He stuffed my stocking FULL of hair ties. I was always running around the apartment looking for a hair tie every morning. It would have been easy to go and get a pack, but I hated spending money on things like that.
I put chocolates, scratch and win tickets and GU in his (GUs are these nasty little sugary goo packets that Mr.NYC would take on his long ass bike rides to give him more energy). Although both of us didn’t spend much on the stockings, it meant so much because we knew exactly what the other person needed.
In this moment, everything was perfect.