I’ve spent the last three years living alone for sanity reasons (even though it wasn’t the best financial decision ever). I had moved to a strange town and had learned the last time I went away to grad school that rushing into a roommate situation is a bad idea. And I really liked living alone. I liked that I didn’t have to worry about my odd sleep cycle disturbing others. I liked that I didn’t have to dodge around someone else in my closet sized kitchen. I liked that I could have naked time whenever I wanted.
But my friend talked me into going in with her on a townhouse. A little less money and a lot more space and it was too good an offer to refuse. I moved in at the end of July but she only just got back into town. So it’s only in the past week that I’ve actually had to adjust to having a roommate again and while in the long run I think this will be a good situation, right now the childish petulant part of me isn’t liking it.
Roommate only gave me two hours notice of her arrival and admittedly I had stashed stuff in all sorts of space that wasn’t rightfully mine because the school year was starting and I was starting a new job and I’m getting ready for the most important test of my life. (And apparently have acquired a predilection towards run-on sentences) I meant to clear things when I got more settled, I just haven’t gotten more settled (somewhere, my military-wife mother is hanging her head in shame). But in the two hours I was given I did at least manage to get everything out of her room. I just didn’t get everything moved to my half of shared spaces. She’s been incredibly understanding about this.
Me meanwhile? Well I’ve spent a good chunk of the last couple days irritated. She spends an awful lot of time sitting on the couch working on her laptop. Which inhibits my ability to watch reruns of How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. And I always watch TV while I eat. And with there being no new TV on at the moment, that’s what I’ve been watching. Except when someone is already in the living room you don’t want to come in and turn on the TV and disturb her. Especially when she might judge you for watching (and even more shameful, DVRing) reruns of cheesy sitcoms. So I eat upstairs, in front of my computer and stew a little.
It also limits my ability to work out (which I try to do at home four times a week—I have dance classes of various varieties twice a week, so assuming I miss at least one workout per week that has me exercising five times a week which is my goal). I mean, you can’t just come into a room where someone is already and start doing yoga; it’s weird!
Then it occurs to me… this is all my fault. Where else is she supposed to go? She can’t use the study because she has no furniture in there, quite possibly because most of the room is taken up by my crap.* That leaves her bedroom where she’s sleeping on a floor mattress that has to be lifted up when she’s not on it to prevent her cat from peeing on it. So of course she’s in the living room. She’s not the bad roommate; I am!
But I had a much more disturbing realization: Years of living alone has turned me into Sheldon Cooper! Okay, obviously this analogy has its flaws, because he’s a genius with no social skills and I’m a non-genius with a few (though not many) social skills. I’m not a germaphobe and I don’t eat take out (because I can’t afford take out). But I have a very strict routine. Typically: I get up, I eat breakfast while watching something on TV, I do work for a couple hours, I work out, I eat lunch in front of the TV, I take a nap, I work some more, I eat dinner, I work some more, I make sure all cleaning is done in the kitchen, I take a shower, I eat a snack and drink an adult beverage, I go to sleep. This varies from day to day, of course, depending on whether I teach, run errands, etc. I knew I had a routine, I just didn’t ever realize how inflexible it was until faced with someone who was not on the same routine. Seriously, I’m a nut!
So now that I have become aware the issues are not all with her, but with me as well, I’m sure things will be okay. She will learn to lock doors, I will get my crap out of her space, and eventually I will probably talk to her about my yoga problem. I will probably wind up watching less television, but this will probably be a good thing, so that’s okay.
What all this has done is given me extra sympathy for those who have lived with me before, so Cammy, Bridget, thank you for putting up with me all that time. And thanks for never calling me on my crazy. There is a lot of it.
*Update: As of the posting of this entry I have vacated most of her half of the room and she has a desk and a chair in there.