Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Annette/Benjamin: Moving Up and In

As much as I understand why so many people move during the last week of August and first week of September in Boston, and I'm glad to lend a hand, it's kind of exhausting, and the really unfair part is that my own move was not that taxing - I felt pretty comfortable making Allston Christmas presents out of anything that dated to before I took over this life, and I could only buy so many books on my salary overt the past year, even with Marybeth using an employee discount.  They're heavy, but I'm a reasonably buff guy, so I could get them to Marybeth's place via the subway.

It's kind of a big step moving in together, I guess, but we spend most of our free time together anyway, and we each had enough roommates moving out that it just made sense to consolidate.  The rent is a little bit higher than she's comfortable with, as most of her job offers have been for unpaid internships, which is kind of crap - six years of school and racking up loans, and now places expect her to work for free?  She's trying to hold out for places that will pay her actual money, but the competition for even the internships is fierce in this area.

The upside is that we've got a little more time to be together now; applying for work and going on interviews is not quite a full-time job, and even since we're both mostly working evenings now, we get a lot more time to hang out in the daytime, which is pretty cool.  Dating is normally something you do "after", but doing it "before" is actually pretty cool if you can swing it.  Aside from the savings of matinee-priced movies and ordering lunch specials rather than dinners, you can make a day of walking and talking in museums, tag along with tourists on the sort of sightseeing outings that locals don't do much.  There's less dancing and it's harder to end a date with the sex, but we're pretty creative in finding watts to fit it in.

We probably won't need to be quite so budget-conscious when she lands a job, though.  Right now, we're doing okay; I've actually been promoted to assistant manager at work, which during the evening shift still involves clearing tables and filling in for anybody who is sick or late, signing for the occasional delivery, and counting the registers at the end of the night.  It's not that much more money or responsibility, but it's not nothing, and it will look good on the résumé when I do try to do something a little more ambitious.

There has been a little tension over me getting a promotion while Marybeth is still looking for work, though.  She didn't resent it, really, but she didn't expect to still be at the bookstore four months after graduation, and me inching forward woke she's staying in place is a bit rough on her.  It's those moments where I wish I was more experienced in certain ways, that I really was a 25-year-old guy who had been getting used to the roller-coaster ride that is dating women for the past ten years.  I feel like Benny would know the right thing to say, rather than have to think about it, and by the very process of pausing give Marybeth a moment to wonder if I'm the right guy for her.

Don't get me wrong, she's not resenting me most of the time or anything; we still have a lot of fun and I think that most of the time, I'm good at making her feel better.  If nothing else, I'm utterly sincere in giving her a thumbs-up when she presents the day's cute interview outfit (which she does even if she's just interviewing via Skype).  It's funny - after two years as a guy, I'd kind of stopped giving much thought to how specific a woman's wardrobe can be.  We're pretty causal with each other most of the time, but sometimes we'll go or someplace nice and she'll break out a skirt, stockings, and heels, but it's not really the same ensemble that she wears for an interview, or at least, the top she wears and the way she does her makeup wears her hair makes a big difference.  I feel little pangs of envy even as I feel incredibly lucky watching her; I know all this is kind of a nuisance or expensive, but I used to kind of look like Marybeth, and I could be doing that rather than just choosing between jeans and dress pants.

Still, I'm getting the benefit of being around it, and a number of guy friends have pointed out that this does not suck at all.  I'm really pulling for something to come together soon, because my girl deserves it.

-Benjamin/Annette (you end a post with "my girl deserves it", you're a guy first that day)

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