Living where I do, being anal about hygiene and house tidiness means I can’t turn a blind eye when faeces is smeared all over the toilet, and I prefer the fridge not to smell like it’s got a decomposing family of rats at the bottom of it. My housemates are much more laid back characters. They have a special, yet common condition called Selectively Repetitive Blindness to Disgusting Mess Disorder.
I have shared flats with people for a whole decade now, and if money would allow I would no longer be doing so. The reasons why I hate living with people are perhaps obvious but it makes me feel better if I write them down. Here. On this blog. For you to read.
When you are 19 and have finally moved out of home and no longer have your mother perched at the end of you bed at 7.30 every morning asking if you had a nice time last night and “Do you want your Cheerios or Coco Pops?”, moving in with friends is super-duper amazing. Like probably the most exciting, most life-changing thing you could ever do. You can go out every single night. You can get so drunk that you get your stomach pumped on a weekly basis and your parents need never know. At this point in your life you seem to not care about the little details. Who cares if no one buys toilet paper? You can nick one of those massive rolls from the student union. Who cares if you have mice? It’s nice to have someone to talk to when you’re on mushrooms. Who cares if there is no hot running water? Bath time is something you can save for those trips back to Ma and Pa.
The problem is most people I end up living with have never got beyond this stage in life. Unless you are a warthog you will end up cleaning their dishes for them because it’s easier than nagging them to do it. It means you will have to buy endless amounts of toilet paper because you sound like a cretin asking for 40 pence from each person to pay for it. The same applies to washing up liquid, bleach, bin bags, tin foil, hand wash and milk. It means you will more often that not be the one lugging bin bags filled with oil, stinky fish and old condoms outside. It also means that sometimes you have to knock on the wall at 3am and ask them to have sex a tiny bit more quietly because you have a meeting at 8am in Croydon.
I guess people, by their very nature, are selfish. Myself included. It annoys me if I wake up and the shower is not immediately available. How dare someone else be in there when I need to be. It annoys me if I come home and someone is watching the television and it’s not something I want to watch. It annoys me if I am watching something I want to watch and then someone strolls in and starts gasbagging on the phone for 20 minutes sat right next to me.
In my ideal world I would live alone. Just me, a garden (or balcony), double glazing, a little sausage dog and a nice friendly corner shop that stocked plenty of Irn-Bru and Haribo sweets. Like a proper grown up.
Words by Juliette Hughes