THE BEAR, who I’ll henceforth just call B, is a bit shy and a lot private, so I’ve been reluctant to go into too much detail on our relationship. I will say this—we’re as happy as clams. Chubby, couch-lounging clams in blissful cohabitation.
We’ve become the picture of domestic perfection, settling into an easy pattern of slow-cooked dinners and casual Netflix binge watching, and it’s a strangely unexpected lapse into adulthood. B’s become something of a culinary artist – his tuna burgers are absolute masterpieces – and I’ve become an amateur housewife, culling home decor and design suggestions from the likes of Real Simple and Bon Appetit to fashion a real home in our cozy apartment. I’ve got myself an apron now, a cute Anthropologie number with Scotties adorning it, and a matching pot holder too, and I like to imagine a not-so-far-off-future where I don it with matching heels and a choker of pearls.
Our life is an interesting snapshot into suburban young adulthood. We’re not quite grown yet—B’s still got a semester and change left in his physics program, and I’m still settling into a professional workplace—but we’re trying on adulthood for size. We live a good distance from the city proper, and, although it’s readily accessible by public transit, it’s a hassle we avoid more often than not. Instead, we frequent the joints in close proximity, including a great taqueria, a fancy pantsy hip bar, an acceptable sushi place and an absolutely delectable Jewish deli, and we spend the large majority of our evenings on the oversized sofa laying claim to roughly 67 percent of our apartment. It’s not entirely surprising, as I still work too much, holding on to my restaurant job in addition to my daytime magazine gig, and B is commuting to school three+ times a week. We’re easily exhausted and particularly lame, but I’m finding myself enamored with our lifestyle. It’s a pretty simple happiness, and it’s lending itself well to growing up right.
Speaking of growing up right—the picture above at left is an homage to a photo I discovered tucked in an album from B’s youth. In the original, he’s barely a toddler, all towheaded and spectacular, straddling a hippopotamus statue. The best part is his face: He’s mimicking the hippo, his mouth wide, his eyes closed tight and crinkling in the corners, a hypnotic roar audible even in the decades-old photograph. It is the cutest photo I have ever seen, ever, even in a digital sea of corgi dedication sites and carefully choreographed Suri Cruise fan sites. We celebrated our anniversary recently and paid a visit to Starved Rock State Park, and, at my behest, he reenacted the pose. The result is here, ripe for all sorts of mocking and d’awwing and Photoshopping.
The simple fact is that we’re happy. I’ve had my doubts with lasting happiness in the past, and it’s remarkable how much brighter life becomes when there’s someone true to spend it with. Without dedicating too much time as of late to writing for fun, I’ve yet to determine how this newfound domestication will impact my writing here. I think it’ll likely be a lot more Instagrammy—I’m sure y’all love filtered photos of food as much as I do—but not really, though I expect there’ll really be some shared recipes, some fashion tips from the truly unfashionable and more than a few desperate requests for home design advice. But I’m still me, so I’ll still fangirl over Pretty Little Liars and fawn over Jess Day’s exquisite wardrobe and conduct an in-depth analysis of Miley’s newest music video, and I’ll not lose my gentle cynicism. I’m just happy to report I’m happy.
As always, thanks for reading.
Happy (almost) weekend.