Don’t Talk To Strangers! Unless You Happen To Live With Them

17 Oct

In the last ten years since I have dwelled with people other than my family, I have gathered a heap of stories and experiences, like a magpie with shiny coins. I’ve made some great friends, lost some good ones and learnt a lot about patience, virtue and picking wet towels up off the floor.

Living with boys definitely gave me some insight into the ways of the opposite sex. One house share that I lived in had a perpetual problem with dirty dishes and it was a constant power struggle of me cleaning the kitchen, going out, coming back and lots of dirty dishes being back on the site. Ex-boyfriend used to leave everything he owned on the floor, and one boy used to use a tea-cup, pour it out in the sink and then (without washing it, just in case this isn’t clear) PUT IT BACK IN THE CUPBOARD. His argument was that no one should take offence, give that it was his cup. Shudder.


On the flip side, living with girls ain’t exactly a walk in the park at times either. Hair (fake or real, take your pick) in the plug hole causing the shower to fill up like a bath, using sharp kitchen knives to open tins (“we don’t have a can opener, I looked!” “it’s in the dishwasher……”) and taking clean washing out and putting it on the floor in the laundry room, so its gets all dirty again.

So male or female, living with other people is hard. And I’m no angel. In the past decade I have realised that there are definitely things you can do to minimise the awkwardness of living in a house share with a bunch of nut jobs…. Namely moving in with a friend of 25 years.


But when that friends circumstances changed I found myself in the position of having to find a new, STRANGER, to live in the flat I have come to see as a hidey hole from the rest of the world. It seems I fear change (and I know you are all having visions of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory – I’m not that bad).

There were tears (“but I don’t WANT to live with anyone!!”) there were calculations (“but I can’t afford NOT to live with anyone!”) and there were viewings. Or as I like to call them, interviews.


I put a chatty ad on a local room wanted site, stating that I wanted someone who was likely to not go all Single White Female on my ass, but at the same time not likely to be sitting in their room all night playing SimCity (or whatever the kids are playing these days) and speaking in only grunts. I thought this would weed the nutjobs from the normals and hoped that if you were too young to get the SWF reference, you may not apply.

Didn’t quite work. The first god knows how many viewings that I did I ensured the boy was present as I am an appalling judge of character. With hindsight, this was an utterly pointless endeavour, as his opinion, in all cases, was “seems alright.”


I was desperate. I didn’t want to live with a crazy person or someone who might murder me in my sleep. I didn’t think that was too much to ask for, but the chances of me living with someone who wasn’t a serial killer were lessening.

And then I got an email from a girl. She is a student (didn’t want a student) she is a young person (didn’t want a young person) and she is a girl (wanted a boy). Despite this, she is super fun, likes all the same things as me, and doesn’t talk about young things that I don’t understand. She has rescued me from spiders, and drinks tea in the same quantities.

The moral of this story?

A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet (harrumph).

Have you got any funny / horrible housemate stories?

2 Responses to “Don’t Talk To Strangers! Unless You Happen To Live With Them”

  1. 1stpeaksteve October 17, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Your tales are spot on! My “great friends” whom I lived with for many years were like half people. One would clean the hell out of the bathroom and fill the sink with piles of his dishes. The other would gladly remove the dusting of fossil bread crumbs and sugar from the counters yet his bathtub had a black stripe running down it.

    They also had wonderful ideas. Some that made my ex-girlfriends and myself cringe. Like when my other friend was dating a girl whose sister made a living out of entertaining men in clubs. They thought it would be wise to have our male employees (we were in management) pay to come to our house to watch her do her routine.

    Now I am in a 4 bedroom house alone and happy for it although I occasionally think about renting out a room.

    Btw, my friendship with my buddies ended not long after I moved out. Probably around the time they figured out that 88% of everything in the house belonged to me and they wanted me to move in the smallest room.

    Well, glad you found someone who is not going to take on your appearance and try to steal your life and your man!

  2. prenin October 17, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    I tended to rescue the unwanted and had several short-term housemates who began as friends.

    Oh the stories I could tell!!! LoL!!! 🙂

    The one that killed any idea of letting anyone into my life ever again was Darren who proved to be an expert at everything until he actually tried to do them – and gave up as soon as he realised he wasn’t just going to snap his fingers and get me to do it for him.

    He’s now an ex-friend because he’s now a gangster and dealer in stolen goods… 😦

    Did I mention he was a fantasist? 😦

    Apparently he wanted people to ‘respect’ him…

    As for Steph?

    I knew her from the age of seven and was the only person to show her any love and affection with no strings attached as her parents were both dysfunctional and should never have had kids.

    When she went into care she was groomed by a woman for use in brothels and eventually got too old for them so at the age of sixteen she offered me sex for £60 and broke my heart.

    She’s now a mum to three kids and no longer is a part of my life, but she still loves me to death for always being there for her through thick and thin… 🙂

    There are other stories, too many to mention, but you get the idea! 🙂

    Love and hugs!


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