What I get for the money…

On Sunday, I wrote a post whining about one of my housemates. While I am going to leave that post up because it reflected the small annoyances inconveniences grievances frustrations of shared living, and led me to disclose a goal I hadn’t yet shared with you all, I wanted to take a moment to express appreciation for what I do have…

For $550.00/month, including utilities, I have an excellent deal living in one of the nicest areas of a large southern city. When I first moved in, my room and bathroom were a mess. The carpeting was deeply stained, the walls were greasy, and the bathroom was disgusting. It made sense. The house is more than 15 years old, has been rented the entire time, and there have been no landlord-initiated cleaning or repairs. However, after some deep cleaning, paint, and flood-necessitated new carpeting, my living space is actually pretty cute.

When I look at these photos, I feel a bit guilty for wanting to move out before all of my student loan debt is paid off, and think I should suck it up and stick it out*…

An alternative is to temporarily, move back east to live with my best friend. It is something she has proposed several times as we miss each other greatly. She lives in a similar tri-level, style home and I would essentially live on a floor by myself with my own bathroom. While she has tried to tempt me with free rent, handouts make me uncomfortable and I would minimally pay her what I am paying now. Moving is a pain-in-the-arse but it is tempting. We have lived together before, in much closer confines, and survived happily without growing sick of one another. The more I think about it, the more I like it, however, I know that it would not please my parents…or Gentleman Avery.

We shall see…

*Note: Since Mahira is moving out in May, my landlord posted her room for rent on University B’s off-campus housing board. She posted the rent at the same level my housemate is currently paying which suggests she probably isn’t planning to raise rent this year…yay…yea. I don’t know why but this somehow makes me feel even more stuck.

14 thoughts on “What I get for the money…

  1. I’m not opposed to moving to live with your BFF. Living with genuine friends is a great joy! You’re doing remote work now, you could come stay with your parents occasionally and work from their house for a while. And if the guy is upset about it…what’s he going to do to improve your living situation in your city??????????

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    • Yea…all of this. I am going to be traveling to NYC for a reunion this weekend and will head down the coast to hang out with her. We’ll talk about it a bit more concretely about it then.

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  2. Off topic but I cannot focus on anything else other than how cute your place looks! You have a great eye for design!

    Alright, back to topic. I agree with C! While you have nothing tying you down, why not enjoy the opportunity to live with your best friend? It may not always be an option in the future.

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  3. So when I had a roomate issue- this was many many years ago and I’ve lived alone or with a boyfriend ever since- I handled it by making it so I barelyl had to leave my room. Murphy bed that gave me room for a sofa, hotplate, minit fridge and microwave. Somehow coming home on those days when someone was driving me nuts and knowing I didn’t have to leave helped. Also, since you can’t change your roomie, I also recommend that you get an airfilter. You can cook in your room and he’d not have anything to say about it. That being said…if he still says something when you are in your room, I’d get a bit worried. Control issues like that are no joke.

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    • Hey Paula. I’m so sorry you had that living experience. So…this was my initial response. The next day I bought a salad kit so that I didn’t have to use the kitchen at all. And I genuinely understand why decreasing interaction is the right choice in a lot of situations.

      However, this is not one of those situations, I am my mother’s daughter, and what we’re not going to do is privilege the wants of someone else, over my own, where I also pay rent. Not only is this not good for me in the moment, I think it is also poor precedent-setting and emboldens this behavior. Last night I cooked a stir-fry dinner and in addition to using the window exhaust and the hood exhaust, I also opened the door. When I left the kitchen, all I could smell was the bread Mahira baked before me. While this may not always be possible as the weather gets warmer, it was the most I am prepared to do to recognize is concerns but not impact my ability to use the space.

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      • Or…. you could just start cooking REALLY smelly stuff constantly and see if he just moves…:-)

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      • Ha! His financial circumstances are challenging given his variable income and I think he plans to stay here until our landlord kicks him out.

        I think what is frustrating is that he doesn’t really appreciate how his food smells (he cooks pork which is heavy and lingers) may not be pleasing to others but feels confident complaining about my seasoned broccoli or Mahira’s seasoned chicken. He behaves in the sort of culturally self-centered way that people always accuse Americans of behaving in that bothers me.

        In any instance, thanks for engaging me and sharing your story.

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  4. Totally get that. And I’m pretty feisty too. Just some days, I’d had enough at a really confrontational job, and enough nuttiness that I liked being able to pretend I didn’t have roommates. And also… was just concerned with how “off” this person may be. I’ve had a complete whack job and it started with little stuff like that, so it was a means to survive until I could move. Standing up for oneself is great, but when people have serious control issues, it sometimes just escalates and escalates.. and I was mentally exhausted. It’s a long, unbelievable story, but man number 82 (yes, we were all counting) was her reaction to us confronting her about it.And when told we were tired of answering the door to strange men? She gave them keys.

    Also had no transition options as I was in a city where I didn’t really know anyone, so a sudden move would have been seriously expensive.

    Luckily, the wait was worth it. I got a very cute place for the same money! However, that being said, I think that situation could have escalated in to danger pretty rapidly, so I might have been taking too big of a risk staying as long as I did for the monetary reasons.

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    • Yea, I figured there was a bigger story behind your comment which is why I tried to hold space for approaching situations like this as you suggested. I am glad it all worked out but I can’t imagine how anxiety-producing that was for you. “She gave them the keys.” No ma’am.

      Oh wow…so you felt stuck…

      Again, I am glad that it worked out for you and I appreciate you sharing. I am definitely trying to stay focused on my goal while also keeping my ear to the ground.

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  5. Oh yeah… I’ve moved a lot. I’ve had everything from a lease that mentioned God three times to a lease where they insisted on putting the cat on the lease as if he was a roomate. Weird things happen when you start living alone at 19 lol.

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  6. I’m late to this party, but I wanted to say, your room is so restful and uncluttered without looking stark! Nice job. The option of moving east to live with your friend sounds good, although you’d have to figure things out with Gentleman Avery. Who knows, it could be the impetus for a decision that would move your relationship forward.

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    • Awe, thank you so much, Ellen. “Who knows, it could be the impetus for a decision that would move your relationship forward.”…forward…or maybe it transitions to something platonic…which will take time. In either instance, yes, I think this is one of those moments…

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