A Room of My Own (and a kitchen, and a bathroom)

Exhibit A

They’re at it again. You’ve just walked through the door and you can hear psycho couple number one, who happen to be your flatmates, not just arguing about some insignificant difference of opinion, but actually screaming at each other. And they’re in the loungeroom, sprawled out all over the floor, hogging the television. When they do stop arguing they go back to being all over each other and really grossing you out.

You walk into the kitchen and for the umpteenth time that week you put the milk and butter back into the fridge and wrap up the bread packet so it doesn’t go too stale. You know it’s time to start buying food separately. Why didn’t you do that from the beginning? When you want to cook dinner, you realize once again that every single thing in the kitchen is dirty, so if you want to cook, you’ll have to wash everything first. Haven’t these people heard of at least rinsing dirty plates if you don’t intend washing up for days? No wonder there are mice running around everywhere. How many times has this happened now?

Exhibit B

While you flatmate is watching Party of Five you remark how all three (heterosexual) couples on the show consist of a guy being a complete bastard and a girl pathetically wondering how she can make him treat her better. You wonder why the girls don’t just dump the guys and find people who treat them better. To which your (male) flatmate replies, “You know you’re not a normal girl because you don’t let guys treat you like shit.” He also tells you that his family is a better family than other families because all the kids will go to uni and get degrees.

Exhibit C

So your partner’s moved out, broken up with you and seeing someone else. You find out it’s been going on for a while and he introduced her to his sister and a friend (who both still live with you) only a couple of days after he breaks up with you. A little later his pathetic sister informs you that Bitchface herself is coming to Brisbane and needs a place to stay which leads to a long argument over whether or not she can stay at your house. She doesn’t end up staying but she does come over one afternoon when you’re there – the fucking nerve!

And people still wonder why I choose to live alone. Moving into a flat by myself was one of the best decisions I ever made. I was finally doing exactly what I wanted and I didn’t need or want anyone else. I was independent. I’ve lived in share houses where I had all sorts of shit I had to put up with as well as just not feeling ‘at home’ in my home, so living alone meant leaving that stuff behind and working out what I wanted and going after it. There is no one to clean up after, no one else’s shit to deal with. I don’t have to listen to racist, sexist, homophobic or classist crap from flatmates (I’ve got a television for that). I don’t have to chase after flatmates for money for that phone bill due two weeks ago. I can watch what I want when I want on TV. I won’t have my flatmate treat me like a freak because I watch the ABC and SBS and I’m not into Melrose Place (not that I had anything against Melrose).

When I get home from work and I’m tired and sweaty, I can strip off anywhere, wander around naked for a while, have a shower with the bathroom door open, not get dressed straight away if I don’t want to. I can have whoever I want over whenever I want. All the phone calls are for me. Then agains so are all the phone bills and all the other bills. Of course the downsides of living alone are an incredible increase in rent and bills (no one to split them with), getting lonely can be a problem (a telephone can help alleviate this and it can be a good incentive to keep busy, and it can be good for teaching you how to enjoy your own company), when I get sick there’s no one to help/look after me and there are also security concerns. I am a person who needs space! I can’t spend all my time with one person. After I’ve had a big, busy day out I just want to come home, chill out and be alone for a bit. I’ve realized this and think it’s good to be aware of what I need to make me happy. If you know you like to have space and you don’t think it’s a good idea to move in with a partner, then take it from someone who knows – DON’T DO IT!!!! I understand that a lot of people can’t live alone for a lot of reasons (financial, family, medical, etc) but if you want it and can do it I would highly recommend it. I love having my own place. It feels great.

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