Monday, 16 November 2015

Accommodate Your Introvert

"FORTIES!" I exclaimed, when I first clicked on this BBC article about flat-sharing in your 40s - itself prompted by the latest and final series of Peep Show.

I'm still coming to terms with the fact I house-share in my thirties, for crying out loud. (Which I actually do as a result, frequently). I don't wish to have this sentence extended.

As I trudge home this is my time to think (I never listen to music when I gad about, due to fear of being knocked down by a vehicle, and remembering the times I've been embarrassed trying and failing to grab the attention of a friend in the distance in earphones). I sometimes ponder what my friends might be up to. Probably heading home to a hot meal and hot sex, I resentfully surmise, thinking of the mold and notes which await me.

This sort of thing. Currently averaging one of these per week.

But at least I'm not one of the many rough sleepers on the streets of Brighton & Hove, a problem you only need to walk about with your eyes open to see.

Excusing that awkward juxtaposition for a moment, troublesomely I often find that conversation is expected of me when I arrive home. Not from the two tenants I rarely see (one, having lived there for over a month, I haven't yet met), or the one who's rarely there, but the one who bounds out of her room when she hears the front door go, like a puppy welcoming its owner. If I were to drape myself in a t-shirt emblazoned with 'INTROVERT' you can bet her only response would be to talk over it.

I know all her problems. She knows none of mine.

I hardly earn enough to afford a place of my own in B&H. Nor do I wish to leave this permissive paradise. I also got so tired of needing extension sheets for the address bits of DBS checks when job-hunting I swore not to move again unless I won the lottery or met a man, both of which seem to have an equal chance of happening. Might help if I bought a lottery ticket once in a while, I suppose.

When I daydream about parting with half my salary to live in a grotty bedsit where at least I'd be able to wash up without forcing conversation about my day and listening to the health problems of others, while wanting to escape so I can give my back a rest from the pain of standing while I'm trapped talking, I sometimes trawl the 'room for rent' sections of the sites too.

"We don't want someone who sits in their room all the time..."

Why ever not?!

"I'm a language student who loves baking and Mary is a philosophy teacher who likes to paint. Finn (this is B&H after all) is an accountant who's sadly moving to Scotland/getting married and that's why we need to replace the best housemate ever with YOU! We all enjoy a drop of wine and cook together at least 3x a week. It's not a party house, but Mary sometimes gets her sitar out and we all enjoy a rousing rendition of 'Kumbaya' around the fan heater while munching on vegan nibblets from Taj. We have a cleaning rota - it's worked wonders so far!"

This all sounds absolutely horrendous. I only clicked on this to see a picture of the room, where I'd be spending most of my time, which you have not provided as you deigned it more appropriate to include pictures of bonsai trees. Go away.

What we need is a house-sharing site, or at least a sub-category on one of the existing ones, for people who wish to be left in peace. People happy in their own company. There could be an option for stating how much interaction, if any, you imagine yourself requiring on a daily basis, with one of them slidey things.

I also got to thinking (I do a lot of walking) that perhaps the housing crisis is a government initiative to get people to put in longer hours at work so they can avoid the people they're forced to share a roof with.

She types, as she gets set to leave the office at 10pm.