It recently occurred to me that I’ve become one of those “we” people. You know, the people who can no longer formulate a sentence in the first person singular to describe any and all of their actions here on earth? It’s symptomatic of being in a relationship – not just any relationship – but one in which both parties have lost relatively all autonomy and must (even though I swear it feels natural) do everything together.
Single people bemoan “we” people. I remember being single Justine (when wasn’t I single Justine?), rolling my eyes so far back into my skull when a girlfriend, at 23 years old, had the audacity to text me saying she had to cancel our evening plans because “we got asked to babysit his niece tonight.” Really, I’m sure it takes two people to babysit a 7-year old. I mean, they weren’t even living together. She was going to drive downtown from Woodbridge to his place and watch his niece in a “we” sort of power play instead of hanging out with me.
You see? Bemoan THAT SHIT.
Now that I’m a “we” person, too, I can still say, yo girl, you were way too young to be “we-ing” at 23 – or maybe I’m still bitter because I spent that night alone, just me myself and I, watching reruns of Cheaters, texting marginally tolerable guys I swapped numbers with at nightclubs, shopping malls, deli meat counters (true story), seeing if anyone would want to pretend to be a “we” with me for just one night.
Being a “we” person when you’re thirty has a totally different ring to it. It’s more like, I can’t do anything alone anymore because the prospect of getting older and dying (I think about dying at least twice a day now since turning thirty) is all too much to bear so I must piggyback my existence onto someone else’s just to be safe. In the face of mortality, it is indeed strength in numbers.
There is, however, a downside to being a “we” person. Sure, the other person’s happiness is your happiness. The other person’s youth is your youth. The other person’s mistakes, lack of discipline, scheduling penchant, bad driving, indigestion – well, those are all yours, too. Welcome to the “we” club: where you both grow out your bangs together.
As I thought about this more, I made a list of instances when I’ve unfortunately roped my boyfriend into my schemes and abused the “we” factor.
- “I’m growing out my bangs” vs. “We’re growing out our bangs”: He told me not to do it and I went against his will. The bangs have since been a point of contention, a signifier of internal strife. We have both suffered. And so, we will both grow them out, together.
- “I’m making homemade sauce today” vs. “We’re making homemade sauce today”: Obviously any time I get it into my head to cook, I force him to also take the day off and drive me around to get groceries, chop up vegetables (even though his technique irritates me), wash plates, knives and pots as I go and then make him sing my praises minimum ten times throughout the meal. And then make him do the dishes. I love cooking.
- “Netflix and Chill” vs. “Netflix and Chill”: Thou shalt not put on Netflix without the other person’s consent. Thou shalt not start shows without the other. Thou shalt not watch a new episode of Downton Abbey without the other. You shalt pause that shit when I have to go to the bathroom.
- “I’m pregnant” vs. “We’re pregnant”: I have to throw in a subliminal message now and then.
- “I’m training for a half-marathon” vs. “We’re training for a half-marathon”: That was a fun time, wasn’t it, babe. I decided to sign up for a half-marathon and poor Alex all of a sudden became a running coach, chiropractor, life coach, shoulder to cry on, paramedic, punching bag, recovery smoothie-maker, coconut water procurer, RMT, the wind beneath my wings. Followed by us swearing to never sign up for a race ever again. (Well, more me swearing it with a gun to my head).
- “I’m a morning person” vs. “We’re morning people”: Sorry, if one person in the relationship is a morning person and the other is not, the night owl must assimilate to the morning person’s schedule. Like, how can we be a “we” if my better half spends the majority of the day in bed?
- “I have food poisoning” vs. “We have food poisoning”: Because I couldn’t finish an undercooked burger and Adam & Eve’d him to eat the rest. Actually, any time I’m feeling sick he likes to take the opportunity to become an equally-as-sick victim. You want to see a grown man experience phantom period cramps? Come to my house.
- “I’m writing an embarrassing blog post” vs. “We’re writing an embarrassing blog post”: Today’s post. Because I’m a ride or die kinda girl.