TO: LISA AND BRYAN
Lisa: So this is fun! You and I sitting in the same room gchattin’.
Bryan: It’s like when we first started dating and we did this all day at work.
Lisa: So you and I looked at Katie’s list of roommate drama last Monday and I’ll be honest, it was a little difficult. There were a few things I wasn’t ready to talk about yet.
Bryan: It was a very extensive list, and Katie did make a point of saying she didn’t recommend going through all these things at once. But there were many things that I thought would be conversations down the line.
Lisa: Right, but a lot of it was good to get out of the way, like – the whole “saying goodbye” scenario. It’s a good idea to establish a routine now and not get into a situation down the road where one of us is upset and other didn’t know it was a thing that could upset someone
Bryan: I think we have a pretty good hello/goodbye routine
Lisa: (you type really fast) (and look really cute doing it)
Bryan: Thanks. I feel like a lot of these things we have just naturally found our answers to
Lisa: Like what?
Bryan: Like who gets in the shower first.The answer is both of us.
Lisa: Oh yes—we are so environmentally friendly by showering together everyday.
Bryan: Look—We love the earth. People need to know. Also we’re pretty good at handling our own joint social calendar.
Lisa: Yeah! We have been good at that, but a lot of the spending stuff we have yet to resolve. Thanks to a lot of the commenters on our last piece, we have decided that we don’t necessarily have to pay the exact same in rent for it to be “even”.
Bryan: Right. We decided that both of us should contribute proportional to our income.
Lisa: Fair! Man – we got through the tough stuff pretty easily. So… how many kids do you want?
Bryan: Ahahaha. Right now? None.
But who knows down the road? Remember – we need a certain number of awesome weekends before that is even a discussion
Lisa: 100!! 100 awesome weekends before I will share my daily life with another being who is not you.
Bryan: YES! Also some of the questions like decorating the apartment etc seem like discussion for after we move. The size of the apartment, number of rooms and what not will determine the furniture we need to purchase
Lisa: Right. But… we didn’t’ talk about who will pay for those things. I don’t have any extra money, and I assume will have even less after the move, so I’m fine with the couch and bed and dining room table we have now
Bryan: Me too. And if there are things we really want, we will save for them.
Lisa: I mean… I won’t want to have company over until we have chairs for that dining room table, but for you and me (and Henry, the cat), that’s ok.
Bryan: We’re not trying to go poor to get furniture
Lisa: Right (well, more poor, in my case).
Bryan: Plus, I’m a good bargain shopper. I’m sure we can find things that we like at low! low! prices. I got this couch for very cheap – like 75% off.
Lisa: Really??? This is such a beautiful couch! I’m sorry I stained it with eye make up and nacho cheese. In the new place, let’s make sure we have a table so we don’t have to always eat on the couch.
Bryan: Stains tell stories! Remember when we used to put towels down when we ate on the couch. That didn’t last very long
Lisa: Remember when you used to flip the cushions over so I would only see the clean side? That didn’t last too long either.
Bryan: Well, yeah, because you started spilling on the clean sides! Ahahahahahaha
Lisa: Jerk! Speaking of messes, we kinda touched on household responsibilities when we talked last week, but didn’t really figure it out fully.
Bryan: We discussed that you have a house cleaner but she never comes and we can cut that out.
Lisa: We’re actually both really good at cleaning. During the trial week where you moved into my place [over Thanksgiving, Lisa's roommates were out of town, and Bryan "moved in" for the week to see if they'd kill each other. They didn't.] we spent a day cleaning and were both very much on the same page. I didn’t think I could love you more until I saw you with a dust pan.
Bryan: We did a great job of cleaning together. And we talked about taking the bills other than rent and each taking a fair share, so that’s resolved.
Lisa: Wait. Does “fair” mean “monetarily equall”?
Lisa: woah woah woah. You can’t say this is resolved and then use a word like, “possibly”
Bryan: I think we really need to see what all the bills are going to be. We can’t speculate on what our expenses are going to be until we get in the new place and set up account sand see what they cost. Then we can break it down based on what we can handle.
Lisa: Alright, I like that. And we decided no joint checking accounts. That’s too much right now, right?
Bryan: I think so. Down the road that will definitely probably be what we do.
Lisa: Right, once we decide how many children we want.
Bryan: Haha. Right. Then we can figure out how much each kid will pay for utilities!
I currently pay for all those things in my place on my own. You share them with roommates. So if you continue paying what your share breaks down to I will still probably be playing less than I do now, so we could easily split the savings difference.
Lisa: That sounds like a plan. How about how many days we spend together a week?
Bryan: Oh yeah, all of them. We are going to be living together!!!
Lisa: Right! So it’s cool that we do our own thing after work, and meet back at home at night
Bryan: You will still have your girls nights, and I will still have my plans and then yes we will meet back at home. Plus we have already discussed that date nights will not go away. We already found ourselves in a couch TV surfing routine and remedied it by planning a date night. I never want to stop having nights where you put on a dress and I get to take you out. I love those nights
Lisa: Me too!! I hope we’re not being too naive about this, but I feel like we’re in a really good space. We’ve both discussed that this is a much more mature relationship that anything we’ve ever been in before
Bryan: Very much so.
Lisa: What about goals? My goal is to pay off all my debt.
Bryan: My goal is to get my car paid off ASAP and then use that money to start saving for the future. I have no retirement plan now and want to change that. I like that you have a 401K.
Lisa: Yes! I like that, too. But I have about $10,000 in my 401K now and in retirement terms, that’s nothing!
Bryan: We have many more years of working ahead of us. We’ll be fine.
Truthfully, when going through this list I found a lot of these things had come up naturally in conversation already
Lisa: I think both of us were ready to kinda “settle down” (gag me) when we met, so a lot of this stuff was on our minds
Bryan: Very true. And like I told you when we talked about Katie’s list, that I want to have our own list. Every relationship is different and we’ve gone up against some things that weren’t included here.
Lisa: Right! Like, who lights the menorah? And, are we going to have a Christmas tree? Religion stuff has been important to me, and while it’s not on Katie’s list, it’s on our list.
Bryan: Very true. That was one of the big things we tackled first. I’m getting pretty good at my menorah prayers – and in Hebrew, at that.
Lisa: You are! Santa will reward you. So… last question on the list. What do we do if we break up?
Bryan: Well I get Henry. [Henry is Lisa's very large cat who is always wearing at least one item of clothing. He has one of those robot cat bathrooms because she hates him.]
Lisa: Hmmm… Fine by me. He gets hairballs twice a week. Enjoy.
Bryan: And I guess if we break up you will just throw all my stuff on the lawn and burn it. Isn’t that how it works?
Lisa: I guess we need to find a place with a lawn.
Bryan: Honestly, I know where Katie’s heading, but it seems a little weird to have a break up plan. We probably shouldn’t be moving in together if we are already putting that plan together.
Lisa: Fair! I don’t want to talk about breaking up.
Bryan: Me neither.
Lisa: Hey – do you want pizza tonight, or the left over lasagna?
Bryan: Maybe both.
Lisa: Ok cool. Let’s heat that up and watch some UFC.
Bryan: FIGHT NIGHT!!!!!! (not with each other, on the TV)
Lisa: I love you, Bryan.
Bryan: I love you too.
Lisa and Bryan live in LA. This is their story.