21 August 2014

A book I'm in, a roommate lesson

Last year I read an irresistible request for interview subjects around the topic of roommates. I have had a lot of roommates in my life but I agreed to be interviewed about one in particular, my experience with whom is captured in the chapter "Newborn Baby." (Some of you have heard that story, and the rest will just have to go seek the book out, I guess.)

Now that I've read my portion, I am pretty happy with how it looks. (I do sound a little naive, but that's on me. And perhaps I was at the time!) I would probably stress again that my story differs from most in the collection in that my experience was uniquely positive. I think if my roommates were to come across it independently, they would be pleased with their portrayal (though they might not remember it the exact same way). The way they handled the stage of their life that they were in was remarkable to me at the time, which is one of the reasons I agreed to be interviewed; it was an uncommon thing.

I haven't read the whole book yet (though I planned to) but I get the sense, again, that most of the stories collected are about bad or bizarre roommates. That can happen, as can the million tiny petty aggressions that come of living with people and that can slowly drive a person crazy. But overall, living with roommates has been beneficial to my life. Even if I would rather have lived alone at times given my druthers, and even though I sometimes still relish the solitude that comes from an empty apartment, on balance it was good for me to have that close-range personal experience. In the portion of this book that came from me, it was much more than that. If you're afraid of moving in with roommates, you shouldn't be, because everyone has her own weird quirks. Sometimes, living with people is as much about discovering what your weird quirks are, and when something goes from "weird quirk that I can get used to" to "intolerable state that I devoutly wish never to experience again." Self-discovery is just the bonus. And the best part is, as long as you're not legally attached, you can always move.

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