I love my house. But you have to understand why. After moving to Bloomington-Normal three years ago so my husband could finish his degree (one more class to go!) we moved into an apartment complex that seemed wonderful. Attentive staff, reasonable prices, and well, sure it was subsidized housing, but there didn’t seem to be any problems with people. And a grocery store was being built right next door.
But as the economy took its turn, the complex went down as well. Cigarette butts everywhere, hoards of children roaming all night, fights in the parking lot. What used to be a quiet complex suddenly became very loud and not conducieve to our well-being.
Enter our first roommate. His parents bought a nice house as a retirement home because their housing has been free (his dad is a Methodist minister). W lives in the basement and kept the house in order. But he needed company badly, and asked us to live with him. Last year, we said no. We couldn’t afford the increase in rent or to break our lease. But this year, with the increase that we were going to get at the complex, it was worth the security of one rent and utility payment.
So we moved. Slowly. Books first, then everything else. We cut a deal with W that we’d encourage him to cook and clean more, we didn’t pay for cable/internet and got a little extra to grocery shop for him. It’s been working out really well.
W is a self-professed libertarian gun nut, in college and just totally killed on his LSATS. He’s my opposite, really. We get along really well.
Our new roommate is another friend from college, A, who just got a job teaching Special Ed. She got the job a week before the school year started, moved in the next day. She was lucky that we hadn’t filled that last room in yet! She became one of my dearest friends in the past couple of years and we work well together, particularly in organizing events.
And recently, W’s girlfriend, J moved in. Her conservative christian college and her were not getting along, so she decided to move back here and finish up at home. She’s quiet, has almost no stuff and is stuck in a room with all of W’s childhood playthings.
We have about a million cups, because no one remembers to bring them back to wash. I end up doing most of the cooking, a revolving cast of friends on Friday for a bad movie night. We’re going to have reorganize how we do things when my new shift starts in a week, and I judge my energy levels.
But I love this house — I love that if I want to be with people, I only have to go to one of the living rooms. And if I want privacy …well, I have my own jacuzzi tub.