I met my partner in graduate school. When I think about how traumatic graduate school was, I often remind myself that I would have never met my partner (nor my best friend) if I had chosen another path. I mean, maybe I would have found another partner (or another best friend) but I think I found a pretty awesome one. I’m pretty content in my choice. I waited a hell of a long time to be in a relationship, and I’m lucky to have a partner as supportive, considerate, fun, and intelligent as my partner.
With all of that said, I HATE SHARING AN OFFICE WITH HIM. This is not a closely guarded secret. Many of our friends know that I find that constant togetherness to be stifling, but I don’t believe I’ve ever outright said it to my partner.
For many years we did not share an office. We worked on different floors of the same building, which provided the perfect balance of accessibility and distance. I worked on the third floor, and he worked on the second. If he had a meeting with his advisor, he could stop by my office. If I felt like taking a break, I could walk downstairs and hang out with him. Even when he got a fellowship this past year and moved to another building, my graduate assistantship for the year was located in that same building. The move was not coordinated, but it was convenient.
This summer though, he has been between offices – he no longer has the fellowship office, but his old spot was also given away. So when I was asked by the department administrator if he could occupy my office for the summer, primarily so the students for his summer course had a place to find him, I said fine. How bad could it be?