R and I are moving in together at the end of the month.
This is (shockingly) not a post about all the details (and decorating...) involved in that development (yet). It's a post about the very curious reaction I've gotten from people upon sharing the good news.
In almost every circumstance, from almost every person, it's been some form of "CONGRATS!!"
- Via g-chat from my cousin: "WOW! CONGRATS!!"
- Via e-mail from one of my best friends: "Such great news, congrats!!"
- In person (with a kiss) from R's parents who are in town: "Mazel tov!"
"It is!!" said Carly when we chatted about this whole thing earlier. She would know. Carly has lived with her now husband for a number of years I can't even remember, but her perspective comes from the "been there, done that" place. She should be congratulated; she's done it...successfully.
My current congrats are technically more of the, "way to go! you got a guy to want to live with you!" variety. They're congrats on not breaking up, or congrats on being mature enough to take a big step in your relationship, or congrats on arriving at a point in that relationship where you believe you can compromise on where the shoes should live. Are they accomplishments by the simple definition of the word, yes, but at no point in the beginning of the relationship did people say, "nice guy, good luck not breaking up." It's like these congrats upon moving in imply that the whole world didn't think it was particularly likely. That the odds of arriving at "move in" are so low, they deserve recognition. Oh, you did it? Wow, what's the chance! Congrats!
I guess it's also curious because no one said congrats when I announced I was moving into a 200 square foot apartment in Manhattan with a rando off Craigslist. They said, "wow," or, "cool...," or, "you're paying that for that?!" Somehow the world didn't view my ability to live on my own, navigate the Manhattan real estate market, or finagle a way to pay 1K a month on a 28K salary as worthy of commendation. Trust me, it was a lot harder than settling into a lovely one bedroom with a giant back patio on the cusp of Beverly Hills will be.
I know it's not an uncommon reaction to this common life milestone. I, myself, have probably offered congratulations to a friend in a similar situation. But when you, yourself, are sharing the news, the congrats feels somewhat strange or unjustified.
"That's great, though!" a colleague said, "It means you don't feel like it was difficult at all to get to this point.
Maybe that's it. Maybe all these congrats make me feel like moving in with R is somehow a bigger deal than it is in my head. I never doubted we'd get to this point. Now that we're here it just feel exciting and natural. So maybe that's the rub for me, hearing, "you did it!" when I never questioned whether this day would arrive.
Of course, talk to me after I move my never-to-be-disclosed amount of shoes into R's not-the-biggest-walk-in-you've-ever-seen closet. I wholly welcome your congrats now, but after that war is waged, I'll actually deserve them.
Wish us/me luck! Or, you know, however you want to react.