Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

One of the hardest things about moving to Guinea is that I will no longer live with my sister. Beth and I have lived together so long and get along so well we're like an old married couple, and now it's like we're getting divorced, except without all the animosity.

We have to divvy up the stuff. I came with stuff and she came with stuff, but we both bought things in the intervening almost-three years with the other's stuff in mind. Our dining room table is mine but the chairs are hers. The plates and silverware are hers but the glassware is mine. The futon is mine but the TV is hers. The kitchen stuff is probably split about 50/50, except neither of us remembers exactly which whisk/bowl/pot belongs to whom. And so on. Somehow we have to sort it all out, and then we both have to buy stuff to fill in the gaps the other's stuff previously filled. We will no longer be able to borrow each others' jewelry or shoes, which is especially tragic for me since Beth is a much better accessorizer than I am.

We have to give up our routines. By this point we have the household management organized for maximum efficiency and utility with the tasks divided according to comparative advantage. I make the food plan and do all the cooking, and she washes all the dishes. We buy the groceries together. We alternate weekends for laundry duty. Every season we have a dinner party, for which I take care of the menu and she decorates. The two of us together do a hell of a Martha Stewart impression but it takes both of us. Now Beth is going to have to relearn how to feed herself and I'm going to have to remember how dish soap works.

But most sadly, we have to give up each other, at least on the daily basis we have now. Who will I tell how my day went? There's the cat I guess, but he doesn't really care what I say as long as I keep the scritches coming. Who will bring me pho and Sudafed when I'm sick? Who will I watch chick flicks and eat ice cream with when I just don't feel like going out? Who will tell me that I look awful in that dress/top/skirt and I need to take it back pronto?

I've lived alone before and I'm sure I'll get used to it again, but living with Beth has been great. I'm going to miss her.

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