As a girl, there are some pros and cons to moving in with a woman (that is, your girlfriend).
It’s a bit like getting a good housemate at university, only with more nights in and slightly less resentment.
At first it confuses people: the chirpy, shiny-tied estate agent arrives outside the prospective one-bed flat and says, “Which one of yous two is this flat for then?” and you don’t have the heart to tell him it’s for both of you – it might make the cubic zirconia in his ears shrivel up and fall out in sheer panic.
When you’re finally moved into the place, neighbours crane their necks just a little to get their heads round the idea – as revolutionary as it is – that two women are in a relationship and living together! Imagine!
When you first move in, it’s brilliant: your wardrobe doubles. You now have eight cardigans as opposed to four, and more leggings than you know what to do with. Run out of perfume? No worries! You could move hers onto your own dressing table, if you were feeling particularly brave. Got PMT? Here’s tea, sympathy, and a cupboard FULL of hot water bottles. What’s more, your other half actually understands. You can go into graphic details about aching ovaries and it’s fine. You can ring her and say “Can you pick up sanitary towels on the way home?” and you know she’ll get you the purple ones you favour, and won’t panic at the choice, or worry about being embarrassed at the till. She’ll just be grateful for the Boots Advantage points.
And friends: well this is perfect. Her friends are your friends! Everyone’s friends together! Girls night out is just that; she’s welcome along to yours, you’re welcome to hers. Then, you realise that you haven’t actually seen your own mates on your own for about seven months. This causes a row. Her friends chuck their boyfriends out on girls nights, but I tag along for the ride. Is this fair? Is this some sort of same-sex double standard? Hmm.
More arguments spark up. And the washing – there are suddenly more bras, a mountain of bras, to handwash. Who does it? It’s 50/50. God this equality thing is hard to work out. You love that you’re both so understanding about periods, but you forgot the old wives tale that your cycles will synchronise. So that’s two lots of PMT. “I’m hormonal and annoyed,” you cry. “Yeah well I’m MORE hormonal and annoyed!” she cries back. Oh dear.
You’re getting ready in the morning, grappling with the GHDs – who bought them? It’s hard to remember who owns them now – and you struggle to find your perfume. You shake your Vivienne Westwood bottle until it’s bled dry. It was on her dressing table, as her Harajuku Lovers ran out. Sharing, it’s great isn’t it?
WHERE IS MY NUDE CARDIGAN? THE NEW ONE? I NEED IT TO GO WITH MY MUSTARD YELLOW VEST TOP AND MY – WHERE ARE MY CROPPED BLACK TROUSERS? THE ONES THAT MAKE ME FEEL LIKE JOAN FROM MAD MEN WHEN SHE’S KNOCKING ABOUT AT HOME? Your separate clothes piles stand either side of the bed like pillars, toppling with begged, borrowed and stolen items. New Look’s cheap prices have a lot to answer for.
There can be some great arguments living with a woman. You can both use “You sound JUST like your mother” with equal effect. It’s just deliciously spiteful. And there’s the sheer volume of stuff. The egg tray in the fridge is so overloaded with nail varnishes that every time you open it, they skitter forward and threaten to fall out.
But it isn’t all scratchy arguments, and fighting over leggings (although I do see mine a lot less than I used to). It’s great really; like any good-suited relationship. It doesn’t matter that calling up the energy company takes an extra five minutes, explaining that the person they spoke to about the gas meter yesterday wasn’t your mum, or that the lascivious ginger downstairs neighbour looks at you both a bit too long when you’re picking up your post.
It’s mainly nice to know that a games console won’t ever be the source of an argument about ‘spending quality time together’. We like the Wii, but after four laps of the Coconut Mall in Mario Kart (I’m Toad, she’s Yoshi, NEITHER of us are ever Peach), we get bored. Both of us. And we turn the TV off. It’s pretty neat.