It sounds like the start of a dystopian synaptic misfire, but it’s actually how I keep my housing costs down.
I live in the fourth most expensive rental market in the United States but I pay less than $700 to live in my place with my two roommates. My living arrangement is something of a struggle for me. Am I happy here? 80% of the time, yes I am. But man does that 20% get under my skin. Don’t get me wrong, my roommates are wonderful people, but I doubt there are very many people who wouldn’t get under my skin if I were living with them.
Our place is next to public transit, includes our utilities in our rent, gives us free parking, with free access to a gym, a pool, tennis courts, etc. The amenities are great. The location is great. The price is great. The management is great. Despite all that, at least once a week I find myself trolling the internet for apartments.
I am a loner and extreme introvert by nature, so living with two extroverts can be emotionally draining. This is why I devised this question that I ask myself every time I find myself getting irritated with my living arrangement: would this never happen if you weren’t here? In other words would the dish rack never be packed to the point of near collapse? Would the bathroom floor never be wet? Would the trash never be overflowing? Would the freezer’s contents never come sliding out when you open it?
The answer is always no. These things would still happen if I were living by myself. Past me is a notorious a**hole to present me. She stays up late, rarely turns down dessert, lazes around in bed, puts off important errands, and drinks a ton of water before long car drives. In college, past me used to crank the air conditioning to an extreme just so the trash wouldn’t stink and she’d get a few extra days before having to take it out. She used to leave the towel on the bathroom floor and would always hang too many scarves on the back of the closet door making it impossible to open said door if one or more of these scarves fell off. For crying out loud, past me took out student loans and bought a brand new car when she had no business doing either!
For a little over 4 years now, my answer has not changed. It continues to tip further and further in the direction of yes, but for now, I will continue to enjoy my cheap (for my area) rent and breathe my way through my occasional frustrations. This won’t last forever and living alone can wait a little bit longer. After all, I have a roof over my head, a warm bed, and a fridge full of food. My current living arrangement is not a consolation prize by any stretch of the imagination.