I left home when I was 17 to go to boarding school in Costa Rica. From then until I was 23, I lived with roommates. After a horrible and lonely six-month stint living alone in a studio apartment in Armenia, I moved to DC and lived in several group houses. In total, I have had 31 roommates. 31! By far, the worst was Princess, my gay overdramatic, anorexic train wreck roommate that I shared a wall with for the first months I was in DC. But, overall, most of my roommate experiences have been enjoyable with little hiccups here and there.
With time, I learned things about myself that made me a better, stronger person. The most important lesson I took away from cohabiting is that God has given me the power to hate everyone. Ok, hate is a little strong. But, everyone at least has the power to get on my nerves. I think most people feel this way too (at least sometimes). Being around the same people all the time makes you realize all of their irritating habits, like stomping up and down the stairs, taking too long in the bathroom, and not cleaning EVER. Once you pick up on those one, two, or many flaws, you fixate on it/them and every time you see that person, you think “I FUCKING HATE YOU FOR SPILLING BLUEBERRIES ON THE FLOOR AND NOT CLEANING THEM UP FOR FIVE DAYS!”
That negativity just leeches into your entire life and you can’t escape it. So, after more than a year of saving money by living in non-glamorous group houses in up-and-coming neighborhoods with short-term leases, I decided that it was time to make another adult decision and live by myself.
I think that living on my own is also, in part, for the good of society. The paragraph above shows that I deal with a LITTLE bit of anger, so not forcing that rage onto others should totally be a tax break or something.
After viewing many studio apartments that made me incredibly claustrophobic and filling out multiple applications that were handled by incompetent people, I found a great deal for DC: a ONE-BEDROOM apartment cheaper than some of the studios I was looking at. It’s five minutes from a supermarket and it’s in a neighborhood I like. I moved in at the very end of August and and have enjoyed pretty much every day of living by myself (and currently with my sister’s cat Fenway).
–Pants are never required and are in fact, discouraged. The moment I come home, I take my pants off. Especially now that it’s summer/swamp season in DC. Sometimes, I just get naked and lay on my bed straddling my no-longer-oscillating fan, hoping that the heat rash “down there” will go away.
–Farting, masturbating everywhere. One of my friends told me he thinks my apartment smells like farts and tears and half of that is true. It’s pretty gross, but that’s why there’s Febreeze.
–Bathroom door never closes.
–Eat without judgement. Sometimes I have food smeared all over my face while I’m watching TV on my computer, but I don’t wipe it off because I have no one to impress.
–I think to myself a lot. About what I’m going to write my book/TV show about. About why that boy never texts me back. About how many cats is too many.
–Only mess I have to clean up is my own. Except for when I go to work. Then it’s like living in a group house all over again.
–Boys always want to come to my place over theirs. Once they hear no roommates, they’re sold. Except in the winter when it’s hot as fuck. (See below)
–Live on first floor. Can’t walk around naked with the blinds open.
–Directly above the boiler room. My apartment is the hottest in the building. In winter, I would sit around in my underwear while there was snow on the ground outside.
–My neighbors next to me and above me suck. My bedroom shares a wall with the people beside me. I either hear their TV or obnoxious laughter all the time. I did work up the courage to ask them to be quiet once. The bitch upstairs I swear just moves furniture all day. I’ve never met her but I hate her. I also hear her have sex pretty regularly. More reason to hate her.
–Expensive. It’s like 50% more than some of row houses I was living in. But, I think it’s worth it.
–Sometimes lonely. I think that I have enough friends in DC now that I can socialize when I want but stay home when I want too. Sometimes, it just works out that everyone’s busy/doesn’t want to hang out. So, some nights (like my birthday), I have to stay in and convince myself that I wanted to.
–Had to furnish myself. Because I was constantly moving every few months in DC, I was hesitant to invest in any furniture. Signing a one-year lease for this place was as close to setting down roots as I could commit to. But, the drawback was that I had to get every piece of furniture that I wanted. Everything in DC is expensive for no reason, so my solution was to drive down to my parents’ town in Methville, Virginia (not the real town name), buy cheap shit at thrift stores, and drive it up in a U-Haul.
–Have to pay for laundry. In quarters. In the basement.
–No dishwasher. And I hate washing dishes by hand.
–If I die, who will find me? My number one fear is dying while masturbating. (I’m sure that has happened to someone). Who wants to be found with a fleshlight and a bottle of lube next to them? Very unflattering. But then, I was rewatching a 30 Rock episode and Liz freaks out about choking to death in her apartment. I hadn’t even thought of that! Now, every bite I take is a gamble.
I’ve loved living alone so far. You know who also loves me living by myself? My mom. Whenever she has a late meeting or has a work trip and lands after 7pm, she wants to stay at my place. Which I like, but:
1. The first time she asked me what city I live in. WHAT CITY?!
2. She practically moved herself in. The first time she stayed here, she left a blow dryer, her razor(?), and coffee grounds. Exsqueeze me! Boundaries, Carol Ann.
3. One time, my mom stayed at my apartment when I was out of town. I had to make copies of the keys and send them to her hotel. I was worried that she’d find some of my “things” in my closet, but the biggest thing I had to worry about was her wearing my clothes.
Like mother, like son.