5 Things You Don't Expect To Miss About Having Housemates
The Debrief: You know what they say: a house is not a home until you can write 'landlord still doing fuck-all about the boiler' in the dust as a note to your housemate
As the housing crisis continues there is a tendency to focus on the doom-laden scenarios, with the latest misery being that today’s 20-somethings will be living with housemates well into our 40s. Stories abound of housemates skipping out on bills, subletting half of another housemates room without their permission or just generally being shit at the washing up and how we’re basically all going to be living with people we hate until die. Unless you manage to escape and realize that, actually, having housemates wasn’t that bad...
My housemate horror stories have seen me through multiple parties, coffee dates, work drinks and the occasional wake. There was the housemate who used to floss in the shower and then stick the floss to the wall, eventually building up a 300+ strand collage. The housemate who stole all the lightbulbs in protest when no one thanked him for changing the lightbulb in the hall. The housemate who kept a bucket of his own blood in his room and the other one who kept a jug of gravy in there.
These horror stories provide us with hours of amusement and if you ever see me in the pub, ask about the housemate who waged biological war via 5 months’ worth of used sanitary towels. There is, however, some compensation to having housemates, little things you don’t expect to miss but are still worth celebrating. So here are 5 things I didn't expect to miss about having housemates... (assuming your housemates are actually decent human beings):
1. Being on your best (or at least better) behaviour
Whether it’s remembering to vacuum up that spilled milk or decorating a bedroom with something other than toenails: most of us are slightly better behaved when others are watching. Living with a group of strangers can be stressful but the presence of housemates is often the only thing stopping us disgusting slobs from living in a carefully constructed web of our own filth.
2. Ditching minimum order on takeaways
When you have housemates minimum order for online takeaways is a bit like council tax: you know it exists but no one really takes it seriously. 'Oh, we need another £2.45 for free delivery? Just whack on another naan, someone will want it!' When you’re sans housemates that naan becomes a papery shroud for your self-respect. 'This is extortion!' you wail to your famished partner. 'It’s a tax on love!' you scream as his eyes beg you to just add an extra can of coke to the order.
3. Ease of socializing
Yes, with any luck you probably have friends outside the 3 strangers who a corrupt housing market, serendipity and limited budgeting skills have forced you to spend your life with. But you have to leave the house to see those friends. You have to put on makeup (or at least scrape off last night’s makeup) and brush your teeth and probably spend money to see those friends. Whereas housemates, lovely, equally-zombiefied housemates, are already on the sofa: pouring the dregs from 14 half-finished wine bottles into a measuring jug and queuing up series one, episode seven of Outlander (thank me later).
4. Borrowing expensive and pointless kitchenware
Three things in this life are certain:
1. Most of us have spent too much money on some obscure piece of kitchen kit in a bid to guilt trip ourselves into giving a shit about things like corgettini.
2. Most of us have abandoned a couple of boxes mid- house move, mid-panic attack, declaring that owning stuff isn’t important, it’s the journey, man.
3. The obscure, crusty, once-used never-again, kitchen kit will survive every house move.
Thankfully your housemates will be in the same boat so rather than keep wasting money you can just borrow their melon-baller/juicer/ramekins/spiralizer and get on with your annual 12 hours of 'clean eating.'
5. Landlord haters on tap
You know what they say: a house is not a home until you can write 'landlord still doing fuck-all about the boiler' in the dust. There is something so infuriating and so deeply deeply mundane about getting messed around by your landlord, and the only people who really get it are your housemates. They’re the people who’ll head down to stake out an estate agents office with you and they’re the people who’ll help you hide the bodies when you snap after 8 weeks without hot water.
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