Ee ee ooh ah!

“I think I like your ex-girlfriends more than I like you sometimes.”

“Well, feel free to date them.” Pause. “Everyone else has.”

The above exchange, between myself and the Texas Twister, occurred just a few minutes ago. It reminded me that I’ve always thought that, ideally, living together would be like a sitcom: snappy dialogue, bizarre situations, pet monkeys.

There’s really nothing sitcom-ish about living alone. Believe me, except for that time the monkey escaped, there wasn’t much funny about it.

My first roommate experience (family doesn’t count) was a blast, at least in memory. I was living with my best friend at the time, Dennis, and this crazy zaftig redhead, Michelle. One night Dennis and I came home from work and walked into the kitchen, where Michelle had been cooking.  “What is that,” he asked, peering into the fry pan. “Veal cordoned off?”

“Haha,” you might say. But the timing was impeccable.

After Dennis and I moved into another suite, we found a new roommate for our three-bedroom. Freckly, curly-haired girl Hali was smoking and trying to quit, attending university but not really, and a heckuva card player. Life really did start to resemble an episode of Friends as the three of us started palling around with others living in the building. All you’d have to do is substitute a little Mexican joint called Carlos & Murphy’s for Central Perk. We even had a token gay friend.

My most sitcom-ish experience vis-a-vis living with other people had to have been in the house on the Eastside. The three-bedroom + basement bungalow was dilapidated and rundown, on a busy street in East Vancouver. Life was a frat-house cliche: beer empties stacked up in the kitchen, a naked lightbulb hanging from the ceiling of the unfinished basement (where our band practiced, no less), parties with joke-y themes, a roommate who lived in the basement and peed in a giant apple juice jar, and emptied it once a week in the main-floor bathroom. You know the type.

But your thirties have to end sometime. Haha, kidding. I was still in my 20s when I got out of the grunge house and moved into a three-bedroom with Abi and Karen. After living with three guys, I had decided I was  ready to live with people for whom hygiene wasn’t just a rumour. Abi and Karen were a delight to live with; it ended when Abi moved out. Karen and I tried to find a replacement but nothing ever quite clicked, and that’s when I ended up moving out on my own. If it wasn’t for the medication, it would’ve ended a lot sooner; I call it my “failure-to-launch” decade.

But that was three years ago, and here I am, happily cohabitating with someone who gets my sense of humour, and vice versa. All we need is the pet monkey.

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October 2008
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