Saturday, 1 February 2014

Of housemates and desks

Like being in the wrong relationship, living in the wrong place is often signposted by several small things.

And because like a relationship, renting with others requires compromise, these small things often get quickly normalised and lumped into a box marked "things you have to put up with because the location is good, the flat is nice, and you have your own bathroom."

For example, there's the dip of disappointment when you hear a key turning in the door, something that is in firm contrast with the relief you feel whenever you hear you'll have the place to yourself for a night or longer.

Then there's the lingering hope that their slightly annoying friends won't come round, or that they'll go home soon, and the "sorry, but could you turn it down a little bit?" that you never wanted to hear yourself say (and come on mate, it's a Tuesday).

There's the irritation of your belongings being moved, tidied away, just squeezed in around your housemate's stuff, or, as once happened - coming home from a trip and finding their unwanted pictures hanging on your bedroom wall.

(Your friends say "that's a bit weird", and you reply "Yes, but the flat is nice and I have my own bathroom.")

And then you move to a new place, and much like dumping the bloke you always had doubts about, the change is immediate.

It happens on the first night when - clothes strewn everywhere - my unpacking is interrupted because I've been summoned to the pub to meet their friends.

This, I think, putting down the hangers and heading out of the door, is a brave new world - and one that I will gladly toast with copious amounts of cider. On a Tuesday. 

Then it's a few days later when I'm home after work, and the key turns in the door and I realise I'm looking forward to greeting whoever comes in.

And it's not just the house, where my things can go wherever they want - and the housemates, who welcomed me in like an old friend, but the room itself: this new space I didn't have before.

Crucially, it's this one little thing: in the extra gap between the wardrobe and my bed, I have a desk - for writing, for sitting at, for putting things on.

I can't remember the last time I had one, but this small, cheap, flatpacked piece of furniture has somehow become the thing I mention. For now, it goes:

"Yes, the new place is great. My housemates are lovely. And I have my own desk."


Anonymous said...

oo that sounds like a good change, enjoy settling into your new place! :)

Melanie said...

after living with all sorts from 3 girls, to 5 guys, to a boyfriend, etc. I have found living on my own the best solution. Unfortunately my bank account has yet to agree... so I will have to opt for house mates now the lease is up. I hope to have as much luck (and a desk!) as you have! Sounds good and well deserved :)

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

Chapati - I most certainly will :)

Melanie - I have toyed with the idea of stumping up the vast sums of cash to live on my own because I thought that would suit me better (you always think its your fault when you don't get on with people) - but now I've found this one I think it's just a matter of finding the right place to live. Fingers crossed.

Skye Fisher said...

settle well my friend :)

My friends and I have housemate stories that are awful embarasissing and simply depressing but being broke ass bitches living solo isnt possible right now

btw I have a new blog and as a person I respect, if you want (Id like it if ) you can come visit it haha

P said...

Last year I moved to my own place after nearly ten years of living in a flatshare and it was amazing, so I'll happily be a bit more broke than I was to get away from that horrible feeling of hearing a key in the lock! Sounds like you're in a nicer place now than you were though!


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