Saturday, December 02, 2006

Communal Living is Not for Sissies

So, duh. DC is an expensive place to live. Studio apartments in an area you'd want to live in run a minimum of $1000, so I live in a group house (sometimes affectionately called a 'group home' by those of us who live here - tee hee).

Ahem, anyway, to live for under $1000 per month, I live in a gorgeous house five bedroom, three full bath, two full kitchened house with five other women. My first six months here were great. It was exactly the type of homey atmosphere I needed (I didn't know anyone in DC and TOHMF hadn't moved here yet, so I had an instant community.) And I like living with people - there's always a new recipe to learn, or someone to chat about your day with. Loneliness is not a real problem.

Every group house has its own personalities. Our house falls into 'garage sale homey', I think. It's comfortable, mostly clean, and full of lots of plants and light. There's tons of free parking and a great backyard (as someone put it to me last night: you could play football in your backyard!) I love the house (even its quirks) but sometimes the people...not so much.

Point blank: it's stressful. When someone moves out, or moves in, or someone invites their high maintenance mother over for six weeks, or falls seriously ill, or doesn't pay their share of the bills (or their RENT!), it is stressful. Living in a group house is a lesson in interpersonal communication, conflict management and controlled chaos 24/7. Sometimes, I'm just tired.

And while I love the house, I've been ready for a while now to move out on my own. Yet, I still can't afford the $1000 price (to live above ground, mind you, in a place I won't get mugged) and this house still has too many amenities to keep me (did I mention the ample non-zoned parking? Guess who hasn't switched her MN plates yet?)

Yet, when the stress comes (and it always does), I just want to run away. Or live with mutes. Or move to Tora Bora.

I can only hope that someday I will look back on these days (and the eleven roommates I've had so far) with lots of forgiveness of myself and others. I know that this season of my life is very short, comparatively, and I AM trying to enjoy it.

But really, how hard is it to change the toilet paper roll?!?

No comments: