Upstairs, downstairs

Have you ever seen a couple walking hand in hand and wearing the exact same outfit from head to toes?
I have, and it makes me puke.
Because there is only so much togetherness that one can take.

When you agree to tie the knot, it doesn’t mean that you have to morph into a facsimile of your mate.
You don’t have to dress the same way, share the same political views or even share the same activities.
You might make love together but this is as far as the sharing goes. And you might negotiate who goes on top!

The animal kingdom has practiced this kind of Modus Vivendi for a long time.
At the mating season, Papa Bear and Mama Bear exchange a few smoke signals, get together, and after a few amorous encounters they go their separate ways.
Get your own space, he says.
Good riddance, she says.
This is the best way to keep a relationship fresh and exciting.

This long preamble to warn you that in order to survive a couple does not need to be joined at the hip. As a matter of fact, it needs to spend some time apart.
An occasional night out with the boys is not optional, it is mandatory.

Check_Point_Charlie_signWhen you live with somebody, one of the best ways to sustain a long-term relationship is to get a fairly large abode.
You then immediately stake claim to a space that is going to be yours, and yours alone. It could be the West Wing, the East wing, Downstairs or Upstairs.
It will be your hiding place, you sanctuary, your panic room.
It is where you will retreat when you don’t feel like making small talk or when making an artisanal bomb.

In order to remain undisturbed, you might even post a sign saying, “Keep the X#&* out”.

Then you should sign a non-aggression pact, agree on zones of influence and establish a Checkpoint Charlie. Checkpoint-Charlie-Photo9
Those wise preventive measures should keep conflicts (and togetherness) to a minimum.

If nevertheless discord erupts, the first thing to do would be to send your representatives to a quiet place (like Bagdad) to negotiate a cease-fire.
It would be understood that no rockets would be fired into enemy territory during that period and that no underground tunnels would be built.
Failing to abide by these rules would severely undermine your relationship,

To sum it up, togetherness (like sweets) should be used in moderation. Overconsumption could produce harmful side effects.


PS: I am of course half-kidding. Everybody knows that Absence makes the heart grow fonder or as one of my uncouth friend would say “Absinthe makes the fart grow stronger”.


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