They say that the best things in life come in small packages. That may not be true for some things, however. Going micro-sized in your housing completely changes the equation somehow.
There is no privacy, no sense of personal space. If you are mad at your partner, where are you going to go? You can’t stomp off and slam the door, that’s for sure…if there is even an interior door that could potentially be slammed, its likely to lead to the bathroom…and monopolizing it during a dispute isn’t going to work.
There’s another cliche that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. The same can be said of relationships. If the cramped space doesn’t kill it, it will undoubtedly make it stronger. You will know everything about each other, and every minute you spend at home is spent in close company with your partner. It sounds romantic, but that includes spending time in small spaces with someone who has gas after eating bean dip or chili or cabbage. It includes spending time cramped together when one is having a plain old fashioned bad day too. It includes both the best and the worst times spent nearly literally elbow to elbow. It can be very romantic…for about the first fifteen minutes. About then, the reality is going to kick in.
Your micro-quarters are going to magnify everything…from the overdrawn bank account to your dirty clothes. One thing out of place creates absolute clutter and chaos. Muddy shoes? Now the entire living room is covered in mud…all ten square feet of it. Even the trash can’s location can become a major issue when you have a total space of twenty square feet in which to place such accessories, and differences of opinion begin to look more like the Grand Canyon than a crack in the mud when you live in a travel trailer.
With all of that said, GM & I are not in danger of breaking up–we’re happy, and personally, I can definitely say I’m the happiest I have been in the last two years. It’s not perfect, and we definitely will conflict on occasion, but if we didn’t…then someone’s become a door mat, and that’s not desirable either!
But the small space does make you address any issues you may have, whether they are in regards to your relationship or yourself. I’m messy and prone to clutter…GM is prone to save every receipt for everything we’ve done…in a can or a box or whatever he finds that can hold receipts. Together, we are working on addressing our personal messiness and become more organized and neater. That actually is making our relationship stronger, and humor helps with a lot of it, at least for me. I’ll admit…GM doesn’t see the same kind of humor in some of the problems we encounter as I do. I know that laughter is not going to fix it, but it definitely makes the fixing part go easier.
Every time we hit one of those speed bumps, as I call them, and the laughter comes…I think of Mary Poppins and her song about how a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. It’s hard to be too terribly mad when you’ve got this image of Julie Andrews singing in your head! For some reason, that image when GM is ranting about whatever has gone wrong now makes the whole situation look a bit more ridiculous. I can’t see him dancing around singing that song at all, so the mismatch tickles my funny bone. A bearded Julie Andrews just won’t do if you are trying to be serious and gloomy!
But the last few months have made me realize just how lucky I am to have a partner in life that I really do consider to be not only my lover but my best friend and partner. I can’t imagine being crammed into this small space with all of the other issues we deal with…and have anyone else share it with me. I think about past relationships and the very idea of having to share this with them is hopelessly gloomy. They’d not make it through the first twenty four hours before they’d be booted out or I’d be fleeing myself.
So don’t think its easy, or that it is going to fix anything. It isn’t. It’s real hard some days when you are stuck inside with pouring rain, the roof started leaking somewhere, the plumbing is leaking, you are stumbling over each other, you need to do laundry, the dogs are whining and underfoot…and you want to scream from sheer frustration. If your relationship has any cracks or flaws in it, I’ll guarantee that living in a travel trailer will surely find them in the first ninety days.
At the same time, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll get everything functional, we’ll find a new place to park it, we’ll figure it all out…and in the meantime, I have the love of my life to share a rocky journey with, to build memories with, and to get stronger with. I consider myself to be more than merely really lucky, I have something that is really worthwhile, unique, special and worth holding onto. I didn’t find it in our “sardine can” but I had it when we embarked on this journey.
Maybe the fact that Thanksgiving was just a week ago has me thinking about it, but I am really and truly thankful for that. I’ve had hard times in my life before, but I didn’t have GM to share it with then. It’s easier when you do have someone sharing it with you, helping you up when your world seems to be crashing down, and someone to do the same for. I don’t know what I’d do without his “You know what would be really nice?” silly questions in the evening when he’s wanting a sweet or a snack or a cup of something hot. Even his morning grumpiness…as much as I nag him to TRY and not be so negative first thing in the morning…I’d miss it if he wasn’t there to be a morning grump!
And…just because I love him, in the morning, I’m going to make him some french toast with homemade jelly to start the day. After all, we’ve got a lot of work to get done, and if I can sweeten his mood a bit, maybe it will go a bit easier for him!
Love in small spaces does require a bit of sugar sometimes, even when its the kind of love that you count on!