As some of you may very well know, there are plenty of ways to creatively (and peacefully) resolve the ages-old “I can’t stand/I need space from my spouse but can’t move out” dilemma. There’s sleeping in separate bedrooms (ideal for bickering empty nesters), carving out a mom and/or man cave, or installing a prefabricated backyard structure for quick escapes (yoga, meditation, naps, arts and crafts, screaming and throwing things) without having to really leave home. There’s also therapy.
Or, if you’re Collette Stallone and Allen Sheinman, you can simply not live together for the first four-plus years of your marriage and then live together — yet totally separately — in the same cramped 576-square-foot apartment in Manhattan’s West Village.
As reported by the New York Post, the couple, who met on an AOL personals site and might as well be supporting players on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” wereforced to commit the unspeakable — live together at the same address — when Sheinman’s landlord raised the rent at his Chelsea bachelor pad and he had no choice but to move in with his wife.
To cope with the horrors of married cohabitation, the couple installed plastic walls and divvied up the small amount of available space in Stallone’s rent-controlled apartment. Sheinman, a former staffer at illustrious publications such as Swank and High Times, resides in the living room, and Stallone, a retired high school teacher, got to keep her bedroom. The kitchen and bathroom are “demilitarized zones” and there’s little, if no, intermingling. Household policies include keeping doors closed unless previously arranged, no sharing of newspapers, no watching TV together, no sharing of toiletries. Unannounced entry into each other’s lairs is verboten during weekdays.
By living together but not really living together in a tiny New York apartment, Sheinman and Stallone certainly have smaller environmental footprints than, let’s say, a couple who live in separate wings of a sprawling mansion. But when it comes down to it, Sheinman and Stallone’s odd anti-communal lifestyle leaves a lot to be desired on the eco-living front. I’m curious to know if their personal carbon footprints decreased at all when moving in together or if they’ve remained the same. One thing’s for sure: they’ve cut out the expense of taking late-night cab (or subway) rides up and down that "long hallway," 7th Avenue, to see each other.
Check out the trailer (embedded above) for “Two’s a Crowd,” a 20-minute “cohabitation docu-comedy” from Gloaming Pictures about Sheinman and Stallone’s unique living arrangement. Do you, like the subjects of this documentary, think cohabitation is overrated? How have you gone about finding space from your spouse at home?
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