When I moved in with my boyfriend, I had no illusions about the tensions that often plague people living in confined quarters. I knew, for instance, that domestic disputes regarding dish washing, prolonged bathroom use, and sleep habits were likely to follow. Romantic comedies had prepared me for those things. What the movies did not prepare me for, however, were the hours spent bickering over completely inane things— like the correct color of duvet to match the sheets. Or the height of the picture frames from the floor. Or how many “shabby chic” items are permissible within one household (none, I would soon learn). Hollywood had prepared me for living with Ashton Kutcher. It had not, however, prepared me for living a man whose uptightness rivaled my own.
As anybody who has been in one can attest, relationships are all about compromise. It is because of this that the act of shopping now lacks the freedom it once had. When I used to peruse the home decor aisles of Target, for instance, I could throw things willy-nilly into my shopping cart, confident that the only critic I’d have to deal with at home was myself. This is not the case anymore. Things that I might have once purchased without debate now need to be weighed against my boyfriend’s taste. The question is not only “Do I like this?” but “will he like it?” Because of this, it’s become increasingly difficult to shop on my own.
This is why I became practically manic with glee when I stumbled upon Nate Berkus’s new Arrowhead rug at Target last week. I’ve been a huge fan of Target’s Nate Berkus collaboration in general, but this was beyond exceptional because I knew that both myself and my boyfriend could agree on it. It was black and white. It had triangles. It was wool. It was reversible. Did I mention that it was black and white? Sound the cute alarm! I reached for my phone, photographed the hell of that thing and began furiously texting my boyfriend. After waiting a few anxious minutes for a response, I got the go-ahead. BOOM! Ten points for Max! Finding agreeable rugs like a champ! I can do anything!
I ended up buying two of these bad boys (the runner and the full-sized rug) and bringing them straight back to the apartment. The full-sized guy is on the floor of our living room now and, I gotta be real, I am loving it. I’m usually suspicious of carpeting that runs this cheap (the smaller one was just $70), but the quality is quite remarkable given the price: the weave is nice and thick, it feels fantastic on the feet, and the fibers have a lovely coloring up-close. Moral of the story: Nate Berkus rugs—good for your relationship. —Max