When my lease was up at the end of my last semester in college, my boyfriend let me stay in his house with his two male roommates so I would be able to continue my job as a child-care worker. I grew up with two brothers, so I figured my transition into his apartment would be just the same as living with my brothers. This, however, was not the case. There is a difference between growing up with boys you’ve always lived with and moving in with boys you only know from your shared time at parties and social gatherings. Needless to say, I learned a lot in those few months about the habits and daily-doings of 20 something men.
1. They never, ever changed the toilet paper roll.
Seriously, never. Whenever a roll runs out, I take out a new one, put on a new one, and throw out the empty cardboard as if it never happened. In our one shared bathroom, the cardboard roll never made it to the garbage can. It sat exactly where it ended. They would take out a new roll (Thank God!), but would never take the time to put it on the roll. I really could not believe it. I hoped maybe it was just this one time. But every time the roll would dwindle down, cardboard exposed, it would remain- a new roll placed on top of the toilet.
2. Video-game playing is a vital part of the daily routine.
I always assumed that video-games were a hobby- maybe play twice a week, three times at most. Who has time for any more than that? Well, men do. They make time to play video-games. I have nothing against video-game playing, I think they look cool and sometimes they have good story lines. I can not, however, believe the need to play every, single day. While living there, my boyfriend and I went out for a nice date night that I thought ended wonderfully…three hours later while I am dreaming of our blissful night, I am awoken by far off war sounds radiating throughout the house. It was 3:30 AM and my boyfriend had ducked out of the bedroom to play video-games. I’m telling you, they make time.
3. Condiments can make any food taste better.
If you’re in your early 20s, you are most likely living on a small food budget which results in a lackluster food selection. These boys taught me that even the blandest, cheapest chicken can be spiced up with a variety of condiments. Their fridge was a haven for cheap beer and shelves of various condiment choices. I did not even know sriracha sauce existed until this point in my life and now I can not live without it. Cheap Ramen? No, not in this house. They created “Rock n’ Roll” Ramen which consisted of carefully calculated condiments to create an actual filling (even nutritious) meal!
4. They need advice.
Still waiting to get a text from the boy you met last weekend? He is still thinking of what to say, or how to say it. Or so was the case with the boys I was living with, I obviously can not be the voice for all boys. One of the roommates and I had the same schedule, so there would be points in the day where it was only the two of us. At first, I thought this constant interaction would be terribly awkward. I really did not know what, if anything, we had in common. I did not think boys wanted to talk about feelings, or girls, or anything other than video games and football; however, I was disproved very quickly. He wanted to ask me so many things about potential relationships and why some girls wouldn’t call him back, while others would not leave him alone. I could not give him definite answers, as I did not know the women, but I was able to help him understand that girls often react to how the man is acting. He was able to better understand his role in the courtship. I would like to think that my presence in the house really helped those boys better understand the feelings and emotions of women (if not, sorry women of Philadelphia!)
5. They really did not like hair in the drain.
Prior to living with the men, I had shared a bathroom with four girls. Obviously hair was always clogging the drain, and one of us would pull out the mixture of blondes, reds, and browns and toss it in the garbage. I really never thought twice about picking up other peoples’ strands and throwing them away. To men, however, these wads of hair are the most disgusting, volatile things they have ever seen. I actually caught one of them using a Q-Tip to wiggle the hair out of the drain and place in on the side of shower (not in the garbage). I had to become very conscious of their fear of hair and check the drain twice before leaving the bathroom.
Do you have a funny story about cohabitation?