I crouch uncomfortably over my boyfriend's guitar cases, with my makeup bag perched precariously on top of his dirty laundry. I've perfected the art of applying eyeliner, even when my calves are screaming and my space is limited.
Every morning, both my boyfriend and his mom fight over the bathroom. So, I've ritualistically applied my makeup in the dark corner of his bedroom, therefore nearly eliminating myself from their routines entirely.
House-hunting has been particularly difficult for us because even the worst houses and apartments are well out of our price range. So, we've been spending some time back at our parents' houses until we can get enough money saved up to get over the massive expense that is the first month of renting.
So far, living with his parents has been a journey into the awkward and uncomfortable. It's like being the third wheel to a family: They're all helping themselves to things they can find readily, while I have to ask bae where the forks are.
If he hops into the shower while we're all watching TV, his parents and I indulge in meaningless small talk. While his parents are genuinely some of the nicest people I know, I can tell that none of us are thoroughly enjoying this situation.
Basically, if you live with your SO, that basically means their parents have temporarily adopted an extra child.
It amazes me how different things are for the both of us now. Things went from the two of us having 24-hour washer and dryer access to having to do our laundry whenever we have a spare moment. We had all-night TV show marathons on random Wednesday nights. But now, we typically have to turn off the TV whenever his parents head to bed.
But the most important change is this: We used to be very affectionate with one another. But now, we can hardly even hug without wondering if we're being too sexual. Needless to say, our relationship has taken a very different direction in the past few weeks.
And to be honest, I can't tell if this change is for the better or not.
On one hand, we've been forced to think about our relationship in the long-term, which makes us both feel very secure with ourselves. But on the other hand, the suddenly long-distance relationship has put a lot of pressure on us that we've never had to deal with before.
We no longer come home to each other. We have to drive over an hour just to get to the other's family home. This has inevitably made us irritated and argumentative.
We've been trying for any housing leads we can get ahold of. But with the current economy – managing car payments, insurance payments and student loan payments – many Millennials are finding that leaving their parents' place is harder than ever. The “house-hunting struggle” is putting recent college grads and couples to the test, and it's all because we are up to our ears in bills and payments.
So, for the moment, my situation is not an unusual one for a lot of people my age. I'm not the only girlfriend doing her hair and makeup in the corner of her boyfriend's childhood bedroom. I know I'm not the only one bashing her head on her laptop, wondering why every single place is so fucking expensive.
Maybe our generation just wasn't designed to have a successful living experience. Maybe we were just designed to choke on our debts.
So, I sit awkwardly at the fifth, non-matching chair at the dining table, while making pleasant conversation with people who don't mind my presence, but who would probably prefer if I wasn't there.
I'll leave early the next day and get a coffee somewhere else because I'm too afraid to ask how their coffee maker works.
I often wonder when I'll next feel 100 percent comfortable with my living arrangements. But for now, I guess my boyfriend and I are just in it for the ride.