So, long ago– twenty-five years, this fall actually–Mate and I had a non-fight. See, we’d moved in together in June, but this was October. School had started, and I was working full time and Mate was working and taking a break from school (which meant finding his reason to go to school while working, because he wasn’t seeing the point twenty-five years ago) and the apartment was a disaster.
Now this was back when I still did housework–for one thing, our apartment was about the size of our kitchen and living room right now (which means it was miniscule, because our house ain’t big) and it was sort of bothering me. I mean, I was DOING more at that point in time, right?
So I came home, sat down on the bed and woke Mate up and started telling him about my day. He yawned, and I said, “Yeah, and I’ve got a paper in English and I hate taking Physics, it’s making me crazy and I have to work tonight and I know you’re off and if the apartment isn’t clean when I get back I’ll go sleep at my parents until it is.”
Wait– I was gonna what?
Yeah– took us BOTH by surprise.
I was just so calm about it, but apparently, I’d hit my limit. (Oh, if only I had that limit now. You have no idea how foreign that concept seems at this moment. Pretty much every room in the house is WAY over THAT line!)
Anyway, I got home and the apartment was pristine, and although I’ve never EVER threatened to leave him since, that did pretty much begin the sense of partnership we have now. When one of us is busy, the other picks up the slack– with the kids or with shopping or with whatever. (Not the house, so much, alas…)
But all this partnership? It had to have it’s snapping point, and that’s where some of the groundwork for City Mouse came from.
Okay– so the question you had to ask yourself at the end of Country Mouse, after Malcolm makes his grand romantic gesture, is, “What next?”
I mean, you’ve got the sweet American who is deceptively submissive (HA!) and the pushy Brit, who thinks he’s a dom. How exactly do you make that work in real life? What are these two guys going to do to keep this relationship working?
Well, that’s the question that Aleks and I asked each other as we were working on City Mouse, and it came down to two things: food and work.
Sounds simple, right? But if you think about, living together really does come down to the simple stuff: sloppy or neat? Eat in or eat out? Have wild passionate chimp sex when the kids are gone or go to a movie? Or, you know, both? So food and work? Those are two “staples” as Owen calls them that can determine whether or not two people are going to make it. If they can agree on a compromise, then they’ll make it. If one guy’s eating hamburgers all the time while the other one is eating salads, and they’re constantly fighting over money? That’s gonna be a wash.
That’s the premise behind City Mouse. We have Owen in the big city, getting a job (that Malcolm hates), becoming domestic (making food he’s not wild about, because Malcolm has a pathological fear of gaining weight) and generally learning how to get on. Like most honeymoons, it’s passionate and sexy, and turbulent.
Owen’s snapping point turns out to be much different from mine and Mate’s, and Malcolm’s pushing point is different as well–but that same idea is there. What are the things these two people need to create a successful partnership?
And speaking of partnerships, hopefully mine and Aleks’s partnership worked as well in this one as it did in the predecessor– but we really did love writing this. Once again, we both got together on Google docs, and the little pink cursor did it’s magic dance. I love dancing with Aleks–I hope to dance with him some more!