Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's no secret how strong my love is for you

This morning a momentous event occured. Me and B moved his kitty from his house to mine.

Here's a picture from a year ago when all 3 of our kitties were hanging out. B was going to visit his parents for a few weeks, and his kitty (the one in front, mine are the black and white ones) came to live at my place.

I have no picture from today, cause his kitty is baricaded in the second bedroom for a few days since she is freaking out. It took them about 2 weeks last year to get to the point where they all were sitting on my bed at the same time..and even then, if the other kitties got too close, his would start hissing and growling.

So anyways, why am I talking about kitties? Well, this time his kitty isn't only visiting, it's coming to stay. Along with B.

That's right, B is moving into my apartment. Pretty slowly actually, since he still has a few months left on his lease. So far we have about 8 boxes (mostly stuff he doesn't really need, like DVD's and old stuff from college), and a kitty. Tomorrow he moves in his computer, and after that he will start living at my place and only going to his place to slowly move in the rest of his stuff. We plan on having it all at my place sometime around May. May is also when he starts paying his half of utilities, and in June (when hopefully he will be out of his other apartment entirely and not paying rent there, although that depends to some extent on his roommate and landlord) he'll start paying his half of the rent.

I can't even begin to explain how excited I am, and how happy I am as well. We've been discussing moving in together for a year, and now that it's actually happening I'm more excited than I was when I was engaged (to not B). My officemates make comments on how unusually happy I seem to be all the time. I spent 3 hours this morning moving around furniture in my living room/bedroom so that his stuff can fit. (part of that is I need to clean 3 years of paperwork off my desk so that I can move it to the other room, since that other room is going to be our office, and the room it's in now needs room for his clothes and stuff). I have a ton of work to do at work, but I keep rushing home to move furniture around and plan stuff. It's awesome. And I've actually never been more sure of something in my life....even when I used to be engaged I was unsure of my ex (and rightly so!), but with B I have no doubts or misgivings. I'm not even nervous! And I'm the type of person who always gets nervous about this stuff! But I have never done anything in my life that felt more right to me, or that I was more happy about.

Over all my happiness lies the shadow of my parents. I talked to them today for the first time in a while, since it's my dad's birthday. They ask all about what's up, and I tell them things about school (I just got word that I'm having a paper published, I'm working on a teaching certification, I'm defending my dissertation proposal soon, etc). And I make no mention of B. And I definitely make no mention of B moving in with me.

I feel like momentous things are about to occur. My parents have flat out told me that moving in with someone I'm not married to is unforgivable to them. Worse than being a murderer, in my my mother's words.

Of course, I don't have to tell them. I had a (male) roommate for about a year once, and I didn't tell my parents the entire time- since when I casaully brought up the idea of my male friend moving in my dad was like "OMG IF YOU HAVE A MALE ROOMMATE EVERYONE WILL THINK YOU ARE SLEEPING WITH HIM!!!!!" Which I wasn't. And everyone who? My dad's friends, 200 miles away, who have no idea what's going on in my life unless my dad tells them? My dad?

But now of course I AM sleeping with him. Different him, but nonetheless.

If I didn't tell my parents, chances are they would never find out. In the 4 years I have lived in this city, my parents only visited me twice, and both in the first year. First was when we got in a big fight about how they never visit me, and second was for a wedding. If any visiting is to be had with my parents, it's always me visting them. And I haven't done so since Thanksgiving (although I did see them for about 2 hours in December at my brother's graduation). Point is, they never come here, so they would never find out. I could live with him for the next few years, we could elope, I could move off to wherever I will move when I graduate, and I can pretend that we're still dating and not living together at all. Of course at some point they will probably figure it out (probably when I move off somewhere and I'm still 'dating' him), but it could easily become one of those things that we just don't talk about. Kind of like the way he is now- we just don't talk about him.

On the other hand, if I were to tell them, how would I do it? Via email? Letter? Over the phone? In person? My parents usually have a BBQ on memorial day weekend that I go to (except last year). I could go there and tell them. Of course, I would have to wait until the end of the weekend, and make sure I had a way to get back to the train station, in case they refuse to drive me there. Or I could casually mention it as I'm stepping out of the car at the train station. Or I could avoid the whole in person thing, as it may result in my parents being crazy and bad things happening, and I'm not sure if I want to be around for that.

Furthermore, should I even tell them? What good would doing so do? Yes, I would no longer be living a double life, I wouldn't be lying about my relationship, etc. But I would essentially be cutting off my relationship with my parents. Also, it would make my parents very upset and sad. Also, as I said, bad things may happen. My dad has a gun, (and a concealed weapons permit actually) and he knows where I live, and he only lives a 2 hour car ride away. And he's seen pictures of B, and we could only barricade ourselves in our house for so long. Although I guess I could call the police and have them take him away if it comes down to that...these ideas make me feel like I should just wait to tell them until I move off somewhere far away for a job, and just not give them my address.


  1. If your parents are anything like mine (and I get the sense that they might be) I doubt it will do you any good to tell them straight out that your bf is moving in.

    What you might want to do is plant the idea in their head that it is a serious possibility that "one day" you will move in with "a boy". You want to present that in a matter-of-fact way. You want to make sure they don't get the impression you are asking for approval. You might also add that you don't necessarily feel like they would be comfortable with you telling them if/when you do move in with someone so, unless they show an interest in your personal life you'll assume they don't want to know.

    Hopefully this will a) plant the idea in their minds that this is a real possibility and b) if they do learn that you are living with someone you've let them know that you were willing to talk about it but they weren't interested, so they shouldn't assume you were hiding this from them.

    I hope this helps.

  2. AE,

    I'm glad you posted here, 'cause I wasn't going to reply fully on the board (hi, it's me, s(b.)).

    I've done the "don't ask, don't tell" with my dad re: stuff that I know will hurt his feelings (which is illogical, but I caught myself having an illogical feeling once, and I wondered what my problem was and remembered that religion just isn't always logical and let it go).

    lnm's advice seems sound. If nothing else, it confirms your heterosexuality to them (yeah, whatever, but they care about everything else). So you get to be the "old maid" daughter and they get to stay in the reality bubble they need to cope with their world and you get to have the peace of mind knowing that at least you were female mensch enough not to rub their faces in the fact that they allow their inability to deal with your life choices hurt their feelings, even though hurting their feelings is the furthest thing from your intentions.

    People have their limitations -- in this type of case, the lack of ability to cope can manifest as a voluntary blindness (and I love Judaism and I respect orthodoxy, I just don't like when people allow something I love that much as a reason/excuse to not be unconditionally loving to their families. That sort of behavior has zero to do with Judaism, as far as I'm concerned.

    Anyone who disagrees with me can pick from one of the three shuls on the desert island we'll one day share. lol

    ((ae)) Hang in there. You could be doing so much worse with your life. I'm sorry not everyone you love is always able to remember that.

  3. PS: Home is where your kitties are.
    (at least, my home is where mine are)

    sarah b.

  4. sarah- while it would be great to pretend I'm an old maid for the rest of my life, eventually I'm going to have to say SOMETHING what happens when we get married? When we have kids? We're planning on doing all those things, and I can't just go on having kids and not mention anything to my parents about it...that would be crazyness!

    Oh and home totally is where the kitties are. :) Late last night we were watching the daily show and all 3 of our kitties were hanging out in the living room and it was like "yay! Our (kitty) family is all together!"

  5. Congratulations on the exciting step! I'm really happy for you. I won't bother chiming in on the parents dilemma, don't think I have anything too helpful to say about that, but if you ever want to talk about it with a kindred spirit, feel free to drop me a line.

    (kitties are awesome, btw)

  6. I'm glad stuff is working out with you and B =)

    As for the parent stuff, I'd say I agree with LNM mostly, but fear it may be too late for that - they know you're with B and will certainly translate "a boy" to "B."

    Perhaps some alteration in that plan is in order? Maybe you could break it softly to them through inoccuous statements made from time to time which hint to the situation.

    That being said, I don't know what hints to drop or how it would be phrased, but saying nothing sounds appealing, even if it is a little dishonest. Whilst I don't think your dad will use that gun, what good would come of telling your parents news which will sadden them? But still. They have to know at some point...

    I still haven't told my parents I have a non-Jewish girlfriend, but the amount of times I go "out of town" to visit her (I never lie about where I'm going) they've guessed - something I've not yet confirmed.

    Oddly, they're ok with the idea of me having sex before marriage with a non-Jew, but aren't that keen on a that non-Jew being a serious girlfriend. The worst thing for them is the idea of me not keeping kosher or shabbat. My mother's parting words to me the last time I "went out of town" were "Bye...and don't eat any pork!"

    I suppose every parent has their thing...

  7. My dad has a gun, (and a concealed weapons permit actually) and he knows where I live, and he only lives a 2 hour car ride away. And he's seen pictures of B, and we could only barricade ourselves in our house for so long.


    That you even wrote that paragraph is pretty troubling. I think you should definitely not tell them.

    However, you can't hide it forever, particularly if you're going to get married some day. I think that maybe you should first them that you are an atheist/nonbeliever/whatever. Hurt their feelings -- you're a grown woman, you shouldn't have to live in secrecy to protect your bigoted parents' fragile feelings. I don't mean that you should be rude about it, of course, but just tell them.

    It will take them a while to get used to that. I don't know them, obviously, so I can't predict when or even if that will ever happen. But if it does, then the whole living together thing will be somewhat less of a shock. And at least some of the anger will have already been dissipated and directed towards you instead of towards B.

    When it comes time to finally tell them that you live together and/or are getting married, then maybe you can find a rabbi who would be able to influence your dad somewhat. Obviously, such a rabbi would not approve of your relationship, but he might at least dissuade your dad from doing anything crazy. Of course not all rabbis are so reasonable.

    This post actually made me appreciate my parents a little more. They don't approve of my cohabitation, but they at least maintain genuine relationships with my gf and me. Of course it might be a different story if she weren't Jewish.

  8. Oh, and congratulations!!! This should be a happy time. I'm sorry the parents are making it a little less so.

  9. If the guy loves you why doesn't he marry you?

    My wife's cousin lived with some "great" guy for three years. Then he dumped her. He had to hit her to get rid of her.

  10. Jewish Philosopher-

    B actually wants to get married ASAP, I'm the one who wants to live together for a while before going through with the legal aspect of it (mostly because I know doing so will result in being disowned, so I'm trying to push that off as far as possible, and partially because when I get married I want to have at least some kind of party, and we are both so swamped right now that we don't have time to plan anything)

  11. Jewish atheist- I told my parents at thanksgiving that I am an atheist, and we had a whole long discussion. Knowing them they have already repressed that memory, but I did it :)

    I'm like 98% sure that my dad wouldn't do something like that, but like 2% uncertain, and that niggling uncertainty is why I'm not telling them for now

  12. Abandoning Eden, I'm in an almost identical situation. I read your posting and it feels as if i wrote it myself. it's scary. i would like to talk to you about this a little more.
    A lot of people can tell you what to do but if they're in this situation they will never ever understand.


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