It’s roommate season, Everyone!
If you are college-age or college-age-ish or just graduated-age or didn’t-go-to-college-and-just-started-my-career-age, or even if you are only 13 and have more siblings than available rooms, if you are going to be sharing your space soon or already do, this post is for you.
I have recently acquired a TEMPORARY housemate.
Her name is Sissy, and she happens to be my sissy (“sister” for all you non-Southern-US-English natives). Every once and a while, Sissy stops in at Homestead Station for half a second before her Life-train Choo-Choo-Cachoos on ahead to her next endeavor.
This means I have to share the bathroom…and the kitchen…and the living room (read: TV remote)…and all my fancy exercise equipment. Luckily we have our own rooms, leftover from our younger days (In her case, at least. Nic Disclosure: I have yet to move out of our family home. It has 98% to do with that teensy detail that I have a Chronic-Illness that severely impacts my everyday life…). I’ve heard a nasty rumor that in residential colleges they sometimes make you share that too. *Shudder* Good luck, Chronics-in-that-situation. My fingers are crossed for you.
I am not good at sharing (Physical things, that is. Clearly, as I have no problem “sharing” on the Internet). In fact, if Sissy were writing this blog post, she would write that I am downright territorial.
Listen, I like my stuff the way I like my stuff.
I have a routine and it is essential to my everyday Chronic Wellness that it not get overly interrupted.
Plus, I bought that fancy Clinique face scrub, darn it, don’t touch it!
(Insert older sister holding finger 2 inches away from <item> and giggling while insisting, “I’m NOT touching it!”)
So, ok, maybe, just a teensy-weensy bit on the territorial side.
But in true little sister fashion, I will now whine and complain that she does the same thing JUST AS MUCH as I doooooooooo…
At least we have not had to break out the duct tape and separate every space in the house into two equal halves. We haven’t done that in like, 2 whole years.
In all seriousness, though, we are both adults now.
And it would be super cool for us to act like that, right?
Yep. I thought you’d agree.
My game plan (because I can only speak for myself here):
Learn to be flexible: Sometimes Sissy is going to want to use the recumbent bike when I was planning on it. Instead, I’ll use the rowing machine first. Easy. Sometimes Sissy is going to leave her dishes in the sink as she is running out the door to go <wherever>. As long as she puts them in the dishwasher later, no problemo. I can get over that. She wants to go to <OneMorePlace> when we are running errands? If I’m feeling ok, sure, I will go with the flow. Not feeling ok? It’s her turn to be flexible.
Choose my battles: Ok, so she flushed the downstairs toilet when I was in the shower yesterday. It only scalded my tender skin for about a minute and then it was back to normal. Pre-adult Nic would have jumped out of the shower <RightThatMinuteSoapAndAll> grabbed a towel and yelled at her with <OverZealous> vigor about how it’s not like she has been gone that long that she can’t remember that flushing while someone is showering is a no-no. I mean that’s like a no-no everywhere right?! (Nic Note: Even right this moment as she reads this, Sissy insists she had No Idea…which I find hard to believe, but whatever. Let it go! Let it go!) Adult Nic calmly finishes her business, and level-headedly calls down the stairs to politely remind Sissy that <ForSweetGoodnessSakes> if there is <OnlyOneRule> to remember, pretty please, with cherries on top, remember NOT to flush the toilet while I’m in the shower, mmmkay? Bonus points for Adult Nic in that I did not retaliate.
I thought about it though, for just a tiny second. I might be an adult, but I will always be someone’s little sister.
Sharing really is Caring: Go ahead, use the fancy Clinique face scrub. Just ask first. (Nic Note: Sissy just read this part and says to me indignantly, “I don’t use your face scrub!” So I said, OK, what do you use? To which she replied, “…your shampoo.” #Sisters) And if you really want to borrow that sweater, sure you can. Just don’t get anything on it! <I’mTryingOK?> And by the way, Sissy, is it ok if I eat your yummy can-only-find-it-at-that-one-expensive-place Gluten-free cereal? Sure I’ll bring you a bowl, too. Thank you!
I am all for taking care of yourself, Chronic, but also remember that it’s not so hard to be a good roommate/housemate/sisterfriend! You do your best, and *hopefully* the other person(s) will do theirs in return. Civility, my friends. It’s a beautiful thing.
One last thing, just because: