Sorry but… RANT RANT RANT; Thoughts on the etiquette of shared living.

The words “Sorry but…” should be banned from the English language. No one has ever said “Sorry but…” with a shred of remorse.

“Sorry but… RANT RANT RANT.” was the opening line of a text on a WhatsApp message from one of my new house mates with whom I have barely exchanged 30 words with since moving in last week. As far as I can tell a WhatsApp group between adults who share a house is the 2017 version of passive aggressive post it notes on milk cartons in uni halls.

You know who no one ever likes? The person who put post-its on their milk.

Unfortunately, I really thought I was past this kind of stuff. Two years ago Phil and I decided to get our own place and not to share but seeing as we want to be able to afford a mortgage before we die, we have since realised that shared accommodation while living in London actually makes a lot of sense economically.

So here’s the thing. I put stuff in the wrong bin. But in my defence, I put them in the bins as they were labelled. They were just incorrectly labelled. Also, it’s been a week, I don’t know the weird arbitrary rules a house has come to agree upon before I move in. As a first offence, I feel like the response from new house mate is quite unwarranted.

So here are my seven five rules for shared living.

Don’t be a dick

I feel like this is self-explanatory. If you are horrible to the people you live chances are home is going to feel like a pretty rotten place. The thing is this is easily avoided. Usually through the use of standard conversations through the usual social conventions.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

This on is a difficult one for me. Sweating the small stuff is a key skill of teaching year 2, but my home is not my work place and some things are worth having a go over.

Like a single prosecco wrapper being left out. That’s not passive aggressive note thing. It’s a “oh I’ll be a good person and pop that in the <del>general waste?</del> bin for you” thing.

Here’s a list of things that I didn’t write texts about today;

-someone finished the toilet paper and didn’t replace it.

-someone put all my utensils in their cupboard.

-someone left bits of food in the sink.

-someone spilt something on the floor and didn’t clean it up properly.

I didn’t write a text about any of these things. I just fixed them and didn’t feel any kind of resentment about them. Mainly because I don’t think they warrant a scolding.

Don’t exaggerate. 

So here’s a story that is kind of ridiculous. Last Thursday my best friend came to the house to celebrate her engagement. We were excited, there was prosecco. We were passed out in bed by 11.30. Wild.

Then our landlord called Phil and said “so… I heard you had a party?”. Party? On what planet is having a friend over even remotely comparable to having a party? I understand that there was probably a lot of high pitched noises and loud laughter, but 3 people do not a party make.

Don’t abuse the WhatsApp Group.

It’s not just me who found this tirade insane. Some house mates stayed out of it, as I did myself. Some told others to take it easy. Most of those forty messages came from just two individuals.  Who in the name of a Generic Messianic Figurehead had time to bitch about bins over 40 text messages?

Top hits included

  • lambasting a non-native speaker of English for her terrible English.
  • Some strange and inappropriate public flirting between two of the house mates.
  • leading me the conclusion that Phil and I should change our names to New Tenant 1 and New Tenant 2.
  • a scolding from the landlord for not being very mature with social media.

Talk about it.

It’s funny that this is a cliche at this point and yet people still need to be reminded that communication is key. If you want to tell me something, tell me. If you think I’m only worthy of texts/notes I will respond in the most unhelpful manner I can possibly dream up.


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