You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
That’s OK, it’s been a while and we got complacent, a little smug, but Delta isn’t something to be taken lightly. Just like your dog, though, I was happy to go into lockdown. I’d been waiting for the other Covid shoe to drop, and not that the anticipation made me any more prepared, the signs were all there: in the days leading up, people had been talking non-stop about the really great snowfall; "pow pow", Judith Collins had run out of things to complain about; and I had zero dollars, two eggs and packet of ramen in the house. My civil defence experience hadn’t rubbed off one iota, clearly. Never mind, I get lockdown but I get up again.
Just like last time, the weather was lovely, nothing but blue skies. The difference between this lockdown and the last though is that I have company.
The Casanova of Wanaka rushed over the Lindis, arriving just before midnight and bringing the essentials: wine, vermicelli, an Evolve e-board. Funny thing was, we had been having the "living together" talk, where he offered solutions and I mostly freaked out internally, and now we’re going to have a forced experiment.
Things always seem more romantic when they aren’t actually happening, don’t they? When you only see someone on the weekends you’re used to a two-day love festival where you’re both on best behaviour, not hairy, super understanding, delightfully witty and fun. Of course that’s not sustainable. The waxing at the very least.
By 9am on the first day of the great cohabiting experiment, I wasn’t coping marvellously. The ground outside my house officially lava, the Casanova was getting "shushed" quite a lot and the washing needed to be hung out, like now. Not later.
I’ve lived alone for five years. I’m not used to having someone in my space for prolonged periods. Everywhere you go, there they are, doing stuff in a different way, moving things. Leaving massive shoes lying around. Like someone serving a life sentence, or a toddler, I like my routines and riot if they are upset.
Talk about the end of the honeymoon period. It just goes to show that you can be intimate with someone but not intimate with their more revolting personal habits. Instead of perfectly presented (achievable when you communicate mostly via Messenger, which crops out a lot of chaos and provides the opportunity for flattering angles) he got to experience the real Lisa; discover that when I wake up, my face doesn’t wake up for at least an hour and I’m not always sunshine on a stick. That I have an inability to regulate the amount of coffee I drink if I’m at home all day. That Brussels sprouts have an unholy effect on my digestive tract. Was I always so bossy? Did he always hate being touched when he’s eating?
"Harassed. No animal likes being harassed when they’re feeding. Don’t grapple me. And your hair’s gone completely feral, by the way, at like, day one."
"Well, you over share bodily function news. We aren’t potty training."
Living with someone else is opening yourself up to be judged. Yes, that’s the way I scrub my teeth. Yes, I shed blonde hair everywhere, like there’s an invisible Afghan hound somewhere in the house, quietly going bald. Surprisingly, disappointingly, you do not have non-stop sex just because you’re both under the same roof.
So, here we are, during a nationwide lockdown - an experience in itself far from normal - experiencing a taste of normal. This is what couples do, spend time together. Making strange odours, tripping over each other, talking, bossing each other around. It might be three days right now, but for all I know we might be here for a month. Delta is scary, but this will make or break us.