In case you are just now recovering from an illness that left you deaf, blind, and immune to my assault of the internet, I’m trying to buy a house in the fall. Also, in case you don’t know me very well and weren’t sufficiently surprised/shocked/horrified by the announcement, Graham is moving into the house.
Although I’m choosing a house I can pay for on my own, obviously Graham will be contributing to rent and utilities. He thought this amount would be $250 in rent and half the bills, which I apparently said once when I was drunk and not even really seriously considering buying a house or asking him to live in it with me. I mean, $250? Are you crazy? What kind of flophouse only charges $250 a month?
I said we’d discuss it in detail when I actually had the mortgage. Then I told him I wanted a contract. Sort of like a lease, but not like he’s my tenant. More like “you pay this and I’ll pay that, because I bought this house and you know what happened to me once.”
What happened to me once…for god’s sake. Okay, for all you new people: I used to be married to someone who was a shithead in a lot of ways, but mainly he drained my checking account and fucked my credit. I don’t mean like how normal divorce fucks your credit; I mean like he defaulted on everything and disappeared for awhile. He opened credit cards in my name. He lied to his family and everyone else he knew about it, even going as far as waiting several years to sign divorce papers – after he refused to sign all the papers I’d paid for and sent to him – and didn’t tell me about it. It sucks to be married to an asshole, but it really sucks to think you’re still married to an asshole because he never bothered contacting you about the divorce he suddenly decided to go through with.
Ya dig? So. Graham knows all about this. He knows it’s the reason I hoard money, like to be alone, and am very, very, very careful about the things I put in my name. At least I thought he knew. I thought he’d understand the need for a contract. I did not think he’d accuse me of not trusting him.
What the fuck? Again, it’s not like I’m making him be my tenant. That’s absurd. I just need a real agreement about who will pay what and by when and how all this is going to work. I need to not be questioned about why I need this, either, because it’s not about me not trusting him. If that were the case and I was projecting my ex-husband onto him, I’d also be afraid he’d cheat on me, lie about everything, and read my journals. But I’m not projecting anything. Trust isn’t the issue. Protecting myself is the issue. Despite my tendency towards mathematical retardation, I’m no dummy. I learned from my mistakes. It took two years to get back from nothing. It took four more years to get to where I finally felt like I might be secure. Forgive me if a signed declaration about your share of the rent will make me feel better.
(It just occurred to me that some readers might think my contract is just a sneaky way to keep my boyfriend. First of all, we both see moving in together as a commitment, so unless something colossal happens (in which case fuck this shit, I’m out), we’re confident we can work at staying together. Second, the contract isn’t going to bar him from breaking up with me. Third, I’m well aware that Graham will want to leave St. Louis one day. While I can’t confirm that I won’t want to go, I’m making the commitment to stay because I did leave once, and I came back because I wanted to. I know what it’s like to need to leave; I’m not going to manipulate or guilt him into staying. So see, I know this may not last forever, and the contract has nothing to do with that.)
I know I always think I’m right, but I really don’t think I’m being at all unreasonable here. I’m also a little offended that he pulled out the zero trust accusation like that’s supposed to change my mind. Pssssht. Please. He knows better. I’m like a deaf, billionaire old white man with no erection and a pack of bloodsucking lawyers. No matter how young or hot you are or how many tantrums you throw, I will have my contract.
(Hopefully I didn’t make it sound like I’m still pissed. Graham and I are going to see Henry Rollins tonight – hooray for politicized anger and smart people jokes! – and we’re just fine. This is just cheaper than therapy and I’d be a real asshole if I yelled about this to a friend at a bar somewhere.)