I’ve come to realize that most of my expectations for how my 20s should play out have come from TV or movies. According to these, during this decade, I should:
- Date questionable people
- Work in fashion, journalism, law or medicine
- Live with roommates
I’ve certainly done the first, the second is at this point is unlikely and the third one… has happened. For a lot of people, living with roommates is an inevitable part of being a young person who doesn’t want to live at home. TV, of course, led me to believe that living with roommates would be amazing. For example:
Meredith, George, and Izzie
The original Grey’s Anatomy roommates taught me that the best way to select roommates is to choose the ones that badger you into picking them, that living with coworkers is a great idea and will never lead to drama or awkwardness, and that using your house as the ‘party house’ is always a great plan. But seriously, when these guys weren’t making terrible choices, they were there for each other to literally peel one another off the bathroom floor when times got tough. I appreciate that.
Jess, Schmidt, Nick and Winston
These guys made me believe I could find roommates on Craigslist to have zany shenanigans with, but deep down we would all love and support each other even through all of our quirks. Random strangers from the internet can become people you look forward to coming home to! It’s so heartwarming.
Chloe and June
This is another tale of Craigslist roommates, but reminds you that the internet can be a dangerous place, full of terrible people, like the B in Apartment 23. You could get scammed out of your rent money, or have your furniture and fiane stolen from you. However, if you stick to your guns and your Midwestern wholesomeness, you can win over your bitchy roommate and she’ll introduce you to James van der Beek! Krysten Ritter, please be my roommate.
TV taught me that roommates would be awesome. In real life…they’ve had their moments, but they’ve been few and far between. I’ve met roommates in all the ways one does – from school, from the internet, I even picked one up at a shelter.* No one’s ever found me a job or a boyfriend, I’ve only ever thrown one good party in the places I had roommates. (This might be my fault; despite the fact that the men of New Girl are generally decent roommates, I am still too terrified of the idea of living with dudes I found via the interweb to attempt to replicate this living situation.) I have friends who have had generally positive experiences with Craigslist, but the good ones end up moving to India to run a family business, and the crazy ones end up moving to Atlanta to find boyfriends (true stories). My roommates stories are neither quite so interesting nor so positive. A catalog of their antics:
-Randomly unplugging the TV to “save electricity”, frequently causing me to think the TV was broken
-Refusing to flush the toilet in the guest bath because it was “greener”
-Eating a jar of my Nutella and putting it back in the cupboard, empty
-Destroying my furniture*
-Throwning up in the middle of the floor and not cleaning it up*
-Thinking 20 days notice on moving out was a thing
-Setting off a fire alarm at 6am by cooking tofu (the tofu offends me more than the fire alarm, really)
My roommates haven’t been as amazing TV promised me they would be…but they also haven’t sold my kidneys on eBay. Yet. If you’re looking to make new besties, join a running club. Or a knitting circle. If you’re looking to save a buck on rent, roommates remain preferable to living in a refrigerator box. For now, I’m willing to keep taking my chances. (Seriously, Krysten Ritter, call me. I love to bake and I promise I’ll clean the bathroom.)
*I count my cat as a roommate.
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