Recently, I’ve taken another step on the slow and bumpy millennial road to adulthood. Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents. The Maine Millennial has moved out of her mom’s house … and in with her boyfriend (and a roommate).

Now, on the one hand, I’m deliriously happy because I have finally achieved the girlhood dream of having my own walk-in closet (the spare bedroom, which is also serving as the staging area for my small yet thriving vintage Playboy reselling business). And it’s starting to get cold, so I’m grateful to have a warm body to serve as my personal snoring teddy bear. And my cat has started sleeping on my head again, as she does every winter, so I get a hat as well.

There’ve been a few rough adjustments.

My boyfriend – call him “Ishmael” – is wonderful and smart and funny and very mature for his age, but his age is 22, and, well, his living space looks pretty much like you’d imagine a 22-year-old guy’s to look like. I’m not a super tidy person by any means, but I do believe that socks belong in a drawer and not on the floor. Also, my cat has decided that she likes Ishmael better than me.

Every day when I come home from work, I find her curled up on his chest. Whatever the human-pet platonic version of an affair is, they are having it. I’m worried she’s starting to see me less as the provider of food and more as potential competition for her man’s attention.

Speaking of attention, I’m finding one of the trickiest issues to be the matter of: Now that my partner and I are living together, how much of our time are we supposed to spend interacting?


I’m naturally introverted. So is Ishmael. I can go – and have gone – days without speaking in person with another human being. So can he.

Now, when we weren’t living together, there were end limits to the chunks of time we spent together – I knew I would have to go home on Sunday night to get ready for the week – so when I came over to his place, we would spend most, if not all, of our time together. But now I don’t have to go home, because I am home. And after a long day, most of the time I just want to plunk myself down on the living room couch and read, and he wants to plunk himself down on the bedroom couch and play video games.

Are we doing our relationship right if we happily spend the evening doing our own separate activities, occasionally shouting a Twitter joke across the apartment (me) or calling me in to display the new virtual dog-petting feature in his video game (him)? Is this adulting?

Is it OK that none of our furniture matches and that the only reason our apartment feels like a home is because our roommate Jena (who, it must be said, is an absolute saint) is a compulsive dish-doer who keeps buying scented candles?

It’s strange living in a place where if something goes wrong, you call a landlord to fix it instead of attempting to duct-tape it back together yourself. And the lack of a backyard is taking some getting used to. In Buxton my family had a few acres, and if we needed to get rid of a small piece of food waste, we could chuck it in the backyard for the deer or the birds to eat.

I did that automatically when a pepper fell out of my bag in the apartment driveway, and only after it flew over the fence did I remember where I was. Yes. I definitely threw a bell pepper into a stranger’s yard. If that was you, I apologize.


Oddly enough, as I was writing this, Ishmael texted me. He says something in our room smells like nail polish remover. I told him three days ago that something smelled weird in our room, but he didn’t believe me. On the other hand – he has also picked up cat food and finished sealing the windows. So I guess it all comes out in the wash.

The wash! Oh no. I knew there was something we forgot to do this week.

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @mainemillennial

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.