Living with a roommate is taking a real chance. One one hand, you save loads of money as opposed to living alone, but on the other, having the wrong roommate could make your life miserable. There are plenty of horror stories floating around the internet of terrible roommates- people who steal your food and clog the shower drain and watch you when you sleep. And then there’s the second kind of roommate- someone with whom you live merely to save money, and maybe see in passing every few days. But there’s also a third kind that a few of us get lucky enough to have…
…the ones who turn out to be friends.
My roommate journey started when as a tender young thing I signed up to teach English in Mexico for a summer with complete strangers. I know a few months is hardly long enough to count for proper roommates, but it was my first solo adventure and as such, I’m counting it anyway. I met a few of my co-teachers right before we left and the rest in the airport, with plenty of fear and trembling on my side. But by some stroke of luck, we all got along smashingly. We talked and ate tacos and talked and made quesadillas and talked and explored Cuauhtemoc and talked some more. We bonded over our shared love of English and corny jokes and Mexican food, and to this day, some of my greatest friends were made that summer.
Armed with the knowledge of the fun teaching and independence could be, I took a job in Illinois a while later, moving to a community where the culture and church and landscape were new to me, and where I knew exactly one person. I moved into a rattly and lovely farmhouse with two of my co-teachers, and again, we quickly became fast friends. We planned lessons together, pranked our kids together, made adventures out of Aldi runs, and consumed gallons of cheese grits and atomic-spicy-soup.
It was a wonderful year, made so by the awesome roommates I got to have.
Teaching done, I moved back to North Carolina and took up a job in rent-to-own while trying to fit in back home. When a spot opened up in Lynette’s charming little flat, I jumped at the chance to live in the middle of a historic downtown, and I haven’t looked back since.
Living in such tight quarters and working in the same office has made ours a very, ahem, unique kind of friendship. She knows my idiosyncrasies and faults embarrassingly well, but somehow, she’s managed to put up with me and my weird sense of humor for two years now, and doesn’t look a day worse for the wear.
I could tell you tales all day of the adventures we’ve had together- getting caught in the rain miles from home on foot, exploring everywhere from the Biltmore Estate to NYC to the corners of Mocksville together, throwing a Christmas tree off the roof to avoid shedding pine needles in the public hall, watching the bed races and parades outside our front door, intruders on our second story roof at night (who may get the cops called on them next time, ahem), the list could go on.
It’s been quite a ride.
We share an obsession with eating peas and quantities of lettuce, we love learning to dance together, we take ridiculous helium-voice videos for future blackmail, we force our favorite books on each other (okay, I force, she recommends nicely), we bounce blog ideas off each other (find hers here), and we push each other to try new and scary things, and to expand our horizons.
I don’t know how long our living arrangement will last, but I’m pretty sure I’ll look back at these few years for the rest of my life as a sort of happy golden memory.
So basically what I’m trying to say is, if you want to live with a roommate, get ones like mine. They’re the best.