i realised the other day that i have been living with roommates for over 15 years.
i did a quick calculation of how many roommates i have lived with over the years, and it came to approximately 38.
shit peeps, no wonder i am a bitch sometimes. i’m tired. living with other people, regardless of how good, bad, clean, tidy, loud, quiet, funny or stupid they are is often hard. below is something i wrote a while back that seems appropriate to remember when i’m thinking of my 15 years of roomies….
I have a new roommate and she is female. She is lovely and we get along and I like to pour us tea and have chats. This new living situation is still, however, going to be interesting, as I rarely live with other females, therefore I am used to being the only female in the house, which loosely translates as being used to being……………..the boss.
The male roommates I’ve had over the years would protest this remark. I don’t come off as being particularly bossy or alpha or demanding or leader-like but this just means that I am particularly sneaky about being the boss of the house. The house looks the way I want it to look. It is tidy and orderly because that’s how I like it. The things on the walls or on the benches or displayed or not displayed are because that is that way I want them to be. The things I allow to be left in the living room or in the bathroom or the things I silently remove and put back into the boys’ rooms are all very small, passive aggressive ways of asserting reign over my space. Males do not see this as evidence of you being the boss. They do not equate having control over what hangs on the walls with having control over the domain. So males will generally always let the female do what they like to the house, oblivious to the fact that females know that if the house looks more like you, then it is more yours.
But now there is more than one female in the house. And she wants to make her space look like her too. And I was in the kitchen today quietly seething as I put back my salt and pepper shaker that she had hidden away in the cupboard, trying to understand how on earth I came to be such an uptight asshole as to give a shit about such a small thing. I was trying very hard to listen to my inner calm saying very annoying things like ‘Chill out, brooke. Let it go’, or ‘Think of the bigger picture, this stuff doesn’t matter‘ or most patronisingly of all ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ (I often find that my inner calm is sometimes a smug little bitch). Anyway, it worked for a little while (even though I continued to rearrange what she had already rearranged) and I did start to at least pretend that I didn’t care about these very tiny displays of loss of control. After all, these are just little things, right?
But then I thought, wait!We’ve all been stooged. What about all that crap about how god is in the small things? About how it’s the little things that count. About how big things come in small packages? According to some ideologies, most of which espout the way to enlightenment, the only way we’ll ever find peace, happinness or a cure for that coke addiction is to learn to appreciate the small gifts in life. The ones that don’t cost anything, the little day to day things that may seem mundane, but that actually house god. And I realised that was why the little things bothered me so much. Because I got my little bits of joy out of my little clean house with my little pictures on the wall and my salt and pepper shakers on the bench. And when my little things got threatened, I got a little teensy bit uptight with just the littlest urge to fist fight my new roommate for rights to the cutlery drawer. And I thought, ‘Yeah! I’m right! I’m allowed to care about what I care about! Small things are where it’s at!’