Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I have recently been musing upon the complexities of cohabitation. Or in my case, tri-habitation (I am 78% sure that I made that up.) To put it bluntly, living with people who aren’t your family is weird.
Since I have been living with my two best friends for the last two years at school, I have yet to experience the bone-searing awkwardness of living with strangers. Most likely I would only survive that until my small talk ran out. (How are you? Still good? That’s good…)
So in terms of living situations mine is pretty tops. I’m not one of those people who can tell excellent, cringe-worthy roommate anecdotes. But I would like to take a moment to point out the little things that people never talk about but that are completely bizarre.
To point out something obvious: Heather and Courtney (henceforth known as ‘the roomsies’) were not raised by my family. They had their own families who formed their own habits. Teeny, tiny nothing habits that you never think about until holy shit why do they do that differently than you?
For instance: did you know that breakfast pie is apparently NOT a thing? In my household, if there was leftover pie (or certain kinds of cake) it was basically expected that it would be enjoyed in the early morning.
Neither of my roommates has ever enjoyed pie for breakfast. I weep for their misfortune. Also they eat a lot of things with whole wheat and enhanced fiber. And they talk about apples the way normal people talk about brownies. (“Ooh, yeah, I love honeycrisp! Honeycrisp is the best kind!” “Me too, although red delicious sounds good right now!” “MMMM yeah it does!!!” “…have you guys even tasted chocolate?”)
But I digress. Although I could rant about their obnoxiously healthy food habits forever, that wasn’t entirely my point. I don’t think. I tune in and out of my own thoughts a bit. There is only so much ‘me’ I can handle at a time.
Another example: I’ve never owned a wooden spoon. Which is apparently a big deal or something. I don’t think there has ever been a single moment when I felt the need to have a wooden spoon. But the roomsies act as though they are the most important utensil ever to grace the earth. Wooden spoons are second only to apples.
I often call my sister and tell her about these little quirks just to regain some sense of normalcy.
Me: “People eat hotdogs in tortillas, right?”
Sister: “Of course, that’s the best.”
Me: “Ok, just checking.”
That’s something about family: they are the only ones who will completely understand and identify with every little quirk and habit you assumed were universal. Because I’ve found out that just about nothing is universal, and part of what makes family so indispensable is that they do things the way you do because they are the ones who taught you to do it in the first place. (I’m pretty sure that sentence was impossible to follow. Well, my family will understand it. BAM, point made.)
But as much as I love my family, there is something to be said for living with friends. I have managed to find at least two people who, even though they don’t agree with it, allow me to cover the stove burners in tin foil. And then are totally unfazed when I use the excess foil to make tiny animal sculptures. Or decide to dry my fingernails by prancing around the dining room to ABBA. Or yell the word “train” in response to the train whistle (it just sounds so lonely).
Me and the roomsies are extremely different on paper: A blonde, a brunette, and a red head. (We're like a television trio.) A Christian biology major who is possibly dressed by birds and other woodland creatures in the morning, an Athiest computer science major who listens to dubstep and is wonderfully sarcastic, and an Agnostic, childlike business major with a tendency towards crazy.
But we work. Because we all use words like “roomsies”. We can turn on a strobe light in our dining room and have an impromptu rave just because studying is killing us. Because they are completely into the idea of me recreating the Wuthering Heights music video over Christmas break. (Oh yeah, it’s happening. Prepare yourselves for the overload of awesome.)
So I think there might be two kinds of families: the people who form all of your weirdness, and the people who later have to put up with it.
But I still say breakfast pie isn’t weird. Only amazing.