I have had twenty-eight roommates in the last eight years. No, you did not read that wrong… and I just got #29 at the beginning of this month. Needless to say, I have mastered the art of sharing a living space, or at least I like to think so. When I tell people this “fun fact” about myself, they automatically assume that I’m a complete slob and no one can stand to live with me. Quite the opposite, actually… or at least I like to think so. 😉
So, I’m introducing The Roommate Chronicles (TRC) as a collection of stories and experiences with all twenty-nine of them. You can brace yourself for real-life nightmares and tall-tales… only everything is 100% factual, so not tall-tales at all. I always, always operate under Anne Lamott’s mantra:
“You own everything that happened to you.
Tell your stories.
If people wanted you
to write warmly about them,
they should have behaved better.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to lay people’s shit bare… at least not all of the time. Many of the roommates will have the warmest of melodies written about them and others, not so much. Nonetheless, I aim to protect identities [where warranted], so all of the roommates will simply be referred to as a chronological number (e.g., #7). And some of them will be lumped together based on the living situation. Meanwhile, others are completely worthy of their very own post.
Let’s talk some demographics and facts first:
13 women / 15 men. If you subtract six from the women count (since that was in college and there was no option for co-ed cohabitation, and rightfully so) and you’ll note that most of my adult life has been spent living with men. Sometimes this has been by choice. Most of the time, it has been convenience.
I’ve lived in seven distinct locations since departing for college in Fall 2009: two dorms, one college apartment, a townhouse, my grandmother’s basement, a condo, and a shared single-family home.
In August of 2018, I will have been at my current residence for four years, which is the longest I have ever been in one of the above locations. Don’t ask me who my longest-standing roommate is/was. I have no idea. These peeps come and go faster than Britney Spears’ marriage to that one dude whose name I can’t remember and don’t feel like looking up.
So, what’s the point of this series, you ask?
A couple things… your entertainment, for one. But also, I think the people I have lived with provide a nice collection of the “Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Roommate.” You’ll also get my expert insight on how to handle the sticky situations, because I am, undoubtedly at this point, an expert. Oh, and some of you all might need a reality check (i.e., your current living situation is nothing to complain about).
So TRC is for anyone who 1) needs a laugh, 2) needs to know how to be a civilized human-being when sharing living quarters, 3) needs to know what to do when others are not acting like civilized human-beings, and/or 4) needs to feel better about their current living situation. Whatever your reason, I promise some great lessons and even greater entertainment.