Sunday, July 20, 2008

Things That Go Bump

Tonight, MM left our apartment (formerly “my” apartment) bound for the suburbs to spend the night at his mom’s house so he can take her to the hospital for a minor surgery at 4am. Despite the sad fact that I didn’t want him to go, I knew that bitching and moaning about this would be beyond immature and insensitive, and completely out of the question.

Instead, I seized the moment. In his absence, I watched Tivo-ed episodes of House Hunters International and brought my laptop to bed… two hours ago. After typing until well after 11pm, I turned out the light ready to fall asleep only to find that I was wide-awake, and – dare say it – a little jumpy. So jumpy, in fact, I got out of bed to check the locks on both the front door and the back door… twice.

MM and I have been living together for approximately one month. Sure, we were spending most nights of the week together for several months before that, but have I become so accustomed to having him here that I can barely survive one night alone in my own bed in the apartment I’ve rented for two years? I’ve spent more nights here by myself. Why can’t I reveal in peeing with the bathroom door open and sleeping spread eagle? When did I get scared?

I admit that I’m a person who wants to be together. If I’m going to be a part of a couple, I want to spend our downtime together. If I’m going to live with a significant other, I want home to be where we spend our evenings, having dinner, catching up on the day’s events, and, most importantly, sleeping next to each other. Call me dependant. Whatever. I’ve spent plenty of years on my own to know that I can survive – heck, I can thrive – being single. But, if I’m in a relationship, and I enjoy that person’s company (because, you know, sometimes you’re in a relationship with someone’s who’s company you don’t enjoy), I’d like him to be around. We don’t have to be all up in each other’s business constantly, but proximity is important to me.

MM’s job rarely functions like your normal 9-to-5… or 8-to-6 for that matter. He was lucky this year to be put on the day shift, which most closes mirrors my own schedule but forces him out of bed at 4:30am and often keeps him until well past my own quitting time. Normal business hours do not apply. Each year, his job requires him to bid for a shift, basically putting the three shifts in order of preference – days, afternoons, midnights – so that the next year’s schedule can be determined. He has warned me that because of his seniority (or lack there of), days may not be an option in 2009.

So what do you do? Go to afternoons, and see each other only briefly, when one person crawls into bed at 1am and the other gets up for work at 7am. Or, do you go for midnights, and see each other, but live with your internal clocks on completely opposite schedules.

MM warned me about the day shift not being available in an effort to prepare me because he knows I am vocal about wanting him to be home as much as possible. Afternoons would be the next obvious choise, because… ewwww… who wants midnights? Am I right?

So I thought about it and I realized that midnights would be better for our relationship. Though I’d be going to bed alone and waking up alone, we would be able to see each other before I left work in the morning and have our evenings together before he went to work at 10pm or so. It seems to be the most reasonable option should the day shift not work out.

That’s going to be a big adjustment for me if it happens. I’ll get used to it, but I never really thought – prior to dating MM – that I would be with someone who was on a vastly different work schedule than myself. I’m sure we will work it out, whatever happens, but in the meantime, I’m crossing my fingers that he remains on the day shift.


Roisin said...

That's a tough one...I'll keep my fingers crossed for the both of you.

My mom and dad were in that situation for many years when he was in the Navy, and now more recently due to the weird shifts the TSA people work. It takes a good deal of getting used to, but it is do-able.

L Sass said...

What a pain that schedule is! AS generally works much, much longer hours than me, but he typically has some flexibility outside of normal business hours. Even that makes ME grumpy!

I'm sure you'll find a balance for your relationship, though. Establishing a routine that works is 90% of the battle.

Kendra said...

You will get it figured out.

Try working at home and sharing an office with your SO. I would venture to say that is probably worse than trying to balance the night shift.