Friday, 9 September 2011

Onwards into the unknown, otherwise known as housesharing.

In the past, the idea of living with friends has never struck me as being a particularly good idea.

Yeah, it worked at university where you're all as downright dirty and disgusting as each other, but when you grow up a bit and start pretending to be a proper adult 'n' that, living successfully in a shared house can mean putting friendships to the test.

Even the PIB and I, in frequent discussions about the perils of living with parents, often flirted with the idea of renting a place together. But it was something I always stood firmly against: being one of my very best friends, the last thing I want to do is start stressing out because she left a cup on the floor and forgot to stock up the loo roll.

Also, given my tendency to be rather easily irritated (which, by the way, is not just a throwaway blog title, but in all likelihood an actual mental condition, ref this NY Times article  - thanks @Voneron), there has always been reticence on my behalf about living with people to whom I couldn't say "Mate, although you are on the other side of the room and the TV volume is high, the barely audible sound of you picking the skin around your finger nails is giving me enraged thoughts. Please cease immediately." or, more likely, "OHMYGODCAN'TTAKEITANYMORESHUTTHEHELLUP".

Then there's good old instinct. Any niggling doubts in my mind, unless temporarily blinded by the glare of glorious love, are usually taken fairly seriously. Like, if you think someone is showing signs of being a tad unreliable now, then chances are when you've got a £100 utilities bill about to go out and they're stalling on transferring the cash, that teeny little trait might implode and really start to get on one's tits.

All this could be negated - I supposed - by living with people you don't really know that well, whose feelings are a bit more disposable when you decide to call it a day. Or by living with a boyfriend, who will probably save you the effort when things go a bit nuts, and declare his feelings for a 30 year old woman from work after three weeks anyway. Ho-hum.

Yet the minute the text message arrived from these two friends "We have a room. Would you be interested?", the response of "Yes! Definitely!" was something I didn't even have to think about. No warning bells chimed, no worries nipped at my heels, despite the fact that the living situation would be something I'd previously, vehemently, actively discounted - living with two good friends, from my immediate social circle, who are also a (whisper it) couple. I know. Don't say it, I know. I always thought the same. But somehow, this time, it didn't really bother me.

At five days in, things are obviously still great. But having turned on the shower this morning and found the water running cold, my pen was soon poised over a note that read "Hi guys, have a lovely holiday, see you when you're back. Oh and there was no hot water this morning - hope you have better luck!", before I pausing and re-writing it, leaving off the last sentence.

At the moment I feel more settled than I have done in a long time.

And given what happened the last time I moved out, I'm not about to start guessing what little shared-living nuances lie ahead.

But one thing's for sure: as blog as my witness, passive aggressive notes will not be one of them.


Helen said...

I've just taken in a lodger and it's terrifying me. I'm having to share my little palace with someone else. It's a massive compromise and I'm trying my best to not get annoyed when I get home and the washing up hasn't been done.

I just need to think of the money.

Living with people, any people, is hard. Hope it stays as good as it is now xx

Kirses said...

Good for you! Personally I've been living with a friend since May and it's been rather nice. I still prefer on my own, but as a temporary thing - it's all good.

treacle said...

"at the moment I feel more settled than I have in a long time"


Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Helen - Oh god, it's a world of difference living with someone who owns the house, too, I reckon. Like, I think I'd find that difficult both being the lodger and being the owner. Good luck to you. Hope it works out.

Kirses - I've got a bit of time to myself for a bit while they're on holiday too, so nice to settle in on my own.

treacle - Tis good, innit :)

Anonymous said...

Just echoing what Treacle said, that comment has been a long time coming :)

Katie Khan said...

Yay Jo! Great news. Let me know where you're living, and let's go for a cocktail / fuck-off chocolate brownie. Again.


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