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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Co-habitation

From the Personal File #126.

As of yesterday morning, I've become roommates with the Phantsamaphile. Fun!

So... all you cohabitants...this is your moment. Advice on making living with your special someone a positive experience.

Comment away.

10 comments:

parabasis said...

Oh, Matt... we could have so many brunches over this very topic...

(1) Pick up after yourself
(2) Don't take each other, or the relationship for granted. The moment you start thinking of your partner as the one who will always be there is the moment the chances of that coming true begin dropping precipitously (this is the hardest part about living with someone)
(3) Figure out the financial stuff early. Splitting everying 50-50 is not necessarily wise when your incomes don't match up.
(4) keep going on dates with each other.

That's it for now.

hpmelon said...

Tell funny jokes.

devore said...

Respect each other's quiet time, or need to get our of the apartment.

Clearly label who's drugs are whose.

Replace all the hair product of hers that you use, which you will

Adam said...

congrats! that's all good advice above. I have no good advice. but I'll get some, OK?

Ian said...

We got 12 years of this under our *cough* belts...we should all get together and have a looong conversation. Here's a few tips:

1)Parabasis's advice is all good.

2)Expect that Phantasmaphile is going to display a truly annoying habit you've never noticed before. It may be quite small, but it will be deeply, deeply annoying. Begin slowly to move this habit from the file marked "deeply annoying" to the file marked "lovable quirk". Because...

3) She'll be doing the same about you.

4) Toilet seat down. Otherwise, eventually, very late at night, you will be awoken with:

"OW!" *splash!* "What the F*$K?!"

5) Laugh a lot. But choose when to laugh very, very carefully.

6) Assume that whatever your living style is, she's gonna tend to the opposite. If you're a slob, she's gonna insist on a rigorous cleaning regime. If you're a neat freak, she's Oscar Madison with better teeth. If you like to stay in, she'll want to go out. And vice versa. It'll all work out, just make sure to remember that sometimes you gotta say, "Ah whatever. C'mere, you big lug."

7) Refrain from referring to her as "you big lug".

8) Do not put bras in the dryer.

9) Try to avoid fighting about money. The only way to do this is to anticipate any financial issues long before they arise, then sit down together and commit to a mutually agreeable way to handle the situation if/when it should arise in the future. I'd say making sure you're agreed on a least a six-month forecast, updated quarterly, with various plans and proposals ready as needed. This is all by way of saying...

10) Everyone fights about money sooner or later. Just try to relax and take things one step at a time. And get a counselor if you need one. If you live in NYC on artsy people's income, you're prolly gonna need one.

Freeman said...

My uncle once told me, when I was 15, that the toilet seat is the secret to a long relationship.

He killed himself still a bachelor. But I still take his advice.

This is a joke and also completely true.

Mark said...

Decide definitively whether or not you are splitting expenses 50/50 or pooling your money and acting communally. Either is fine, but there is NO THIRD OPTION. It's one way or the other.

Likewise, only get a joint bank account if you're both prepared to close your individual accounts. One way or the other.

Scott Walters said...

Listen.

That is the most important thing I can tell you. If you listen, if youpay attention, you will pick up clues as to what your partner likes and dislikes.

This is true in every room of the house.

kirabug said...

1) When she's not doing some chore around the house that you expect her to do (or she's doing something you wish she wouldn't) remind yourself that it's easier for you to change your reactions to things than it is to change her actions. That's not the same as "be a doormat", but most of life is too precious to spend it being angry over the fact that she still hasn't taken the trash out. Just take it out yourself already.
2) Say "I love you" when you say goodnight every night, even when you're angry. Mean it.
3) When something scares the everloving hell out of you, don't be afraid to say so. (This is most effective when dealing with disease and death, but might even work on bugs.) It's easier to say up front "I'm terrified I'll lose my job so I insist on having $3000 in the checking account at all times, please adjust accordingly" than it is to apologize when you explode after the balance drops to $2500.
4) Say "Thank you for making today a wonderful day" even on the mediocre ones.

david d. said...

Don't drink all the skim milk.

(An old story, couldn't resist)

All the things all these fine people have said and also- It is easier to put in the effort to make the place what you want it to be than it is to get the other person to want the same thing. Or, in other words, if clean dishes are always going to be more important to you, then it is best to just do them. Turn your radio on to NPR and make the best of the time spent. Or, assume that you'll always do them, so when the other person does them, it feels like a little gift.

And, every once in awhile during a calm moment, find a chance to do a satisfaction survey about the little things- things like, 'Do you wish we could get rid of X piece of furniture'. The little things that they may not be speaking up about, but could very easily be fixed.