Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 1205 - The Group House

How the hell did Snow White survive living in a group house with all those blokes?

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I lived in a few group house situations in early adulthood but nothing clued me into communal living quite like living in a house full of men.

Unlike Snow White I only had to live with three of them, but I tell you, that was enough. I knew then and there that if I was ever to get married my husband had to be fully self sufficient and would need to pass a fairly extensive audition process.  He would need to cook, wash, iron and preferably pee sitting down.

I lived in a few group houses.  The first and biggest shock to the system of an only-child was living at Uni residences.  Ressies was the ultimate group house and closely resembled Big Brother.  The reason I don't watch Big Brother (and absolutely refuse to) is because I bloody well lived it for two years and I thank the Lord most days that mobile cameras and You Tube didn't exist back then.  My university skeletons, while not necessarily in the closet, are best not remembered in video form.

My second group house was in a damp and very beige block of flats in my final year of uni.  I lived with a group of girlfriends which gave me an insight as to what it might be like to have sisters. Complete with sharing of clothes, food, gossip, hugs, midnight chats, fights, shoe throwing and door slamming.  

My third and final group house was when I returned from my six month "backpacking" trip to the USA.*  I had been going out with my (then) boyfriend for around six months before I left on the trip and miraculously he was waiting for me when I returned.  The easiest (and cheapest) thing for me to do was to move in with him so that I could get a job in city. It just so happened that he lived with another two boys which is how I got my own Snow White style situation going on.

There is no way she should be smiling so much as she skips around that house with all those men.  I guess that's why they call it a fairy tale.  Only in a land of unicorns pooping sparkles would a woman be that happy living in a house with a bunch of blokes who were not of her own flesh and blood.  Or gay. I wonder if she ever came home to find them walking around the house naked, or had to step over empty beer bottles as she walked through the front door, or stepped in pee puddles (in her socks) as she walked bleary eyed to the toilet in the middle of the night? I did. I wonder if she found burnt saucepans in the sink, or found pizza crumbs in her yogurt, or had to constantly throw big chunks of crusty uncovered cheese in the bin? I did. I wonder if she ruined her white shirt with a damaged iron, or found long curly male pubic hair in her milk, or had to harvest actual mushrooms as they grew through the tiles in the shower? I did.

I managed to live in that house for a year before I finally snapped one night and punched one of the seven three dwarfs in the eye in absolute disgust and frustration. It was quite a dramatic end to my group house experience, and not one of my finest moments.  But it did confirm that I wasn't really fond of communal living.  It also confirmed I had some built up tension that required some cleansing and thus began a journey of self awareness.  Plus it gave me some pretty good insight as to what my handsome prince would look like when he finally came along two years later. At six foot five, he is no dwarf ...

How the hell did Snow White survive living in a group house with all those blokes?

Have you ever lived in a group house? 

Have you ever had a mushroom grow in your shower?

*I use the term "back-packing" very loosely given I didn't own a back-pack and instead lugged a heavy suitcase up and down the east coast of the USA.  


  1. I personally disliked group living. I was hopeless at it. Way too much emotion confined on four walls. It did my head in. But I was at boarding school for 5 years so maybe I'd had my fill. I think to do it there have to be some good ground rules.

  2. The only way Snow White survived was by singing in the birds - you know the ones that came in and helped with the housework - I do have the correct fairtale don't I.

    Group housing - yes. 5 years in a large dorm room with 12 other girls. First rental was with 2 men and 1 other woman.

    No mushrooms in the shower, but made sure I had my own soap. I still have nightmares about long black hairs on bars of soap. Makes you wonder what was the last area they washed before leaving the shower. YES have your own bar of soap in a group home is my recommendation

  3. My group house it was the moody other female that caused a lot of problems...brought home strange men, stange cats, and all sorts of other issues cropped up. Would decide she wasn't talking to one of the other house members, for no reason that any of us could work out...give me the pigsty anyday!

  4. I love this Leanne! Great post and so well written! Though I may have gagged a little at the whole pube in the milk bit. *barf* I only did the communal living thing once, and that was with 2 other people, a male and a female. We fancied ourselves a bit of Three's Company. It wasn't terrible, but it was also less than a year. they wanted to add a 4th (to our 3 bedroom unit) and I said no, so we were all on the outs after that! I found I much preferred living on my own!

  5. Oh my gosh! Seriously.. a pubic hair? That would have snapped me!

    I'm living with 5 males, but 4 of them are under 10.


  6. Wow that sounds very similar to the shared living situation I was in for a few years at Uni, it's so horrible isn't it really but when you're shit broke and living on potatoes and two minute noodles, in my case, there isn't much choice! I've got 3 males in my house and I'm dreading the bathroom mess, and am going to direct them to sit!!! Emily @ Have a laugh on me

  7. I have never lived in a group house situation. And after reading your post I am very glad I didn't!!

    The closest I came was when I met my now husband, he was living with a mate, and I would often stay there a couple of nights a week. That was bad enough! His "mate" was very hairy, and there was hair in every drain, all through the shower and the bath, and on the toilet seat. Some of the girls he brought home after a night out were often old enough to be his mum...sometimes grandmother, and they would use my makeup, hair brushes or other bits n pieces to freshen up in the morning....!!

    I will stop there! :)

    Great read!

  8. I've lived in loads of house shares, all through my twenties in fact. I only ever had one male flatmate and he was a lot better at cleaning than me! xx

  9. there were so many vomit moments in this post - mushrooms in the shower really????

    i never lived in a group house, but not live as the only female in a house with three other males - and i hear you - the pee puddles are terrible

    great post xx

  10. Indeed I have. One. With 2 men, a female friend and one small toddler.
    Only both my friend and I were pregnant... and due within weeks of each other! It was probably worse for the men than it ever was for us. ;)

  11. Snow White had an evil queen after her. I guess you can put up with anything when the alternative is certain death.

    Although, after a year in the situation you described, I might have prepared my own poisoned apple! YUCK.

  12. I missed the whole share house thing, thank goodness! I'm with Emily though, you would probably put up with anything if your life depended on it!

  13. I couldn't do it. I live with my husband and his brother for a little while. Snow White must have been smoking the mushrooms she harvested to stay that perky. Rachel x

  14. I shared with two boys for a while, maybe even three for a while, there were always four of five of them hanging around at any one time so it was hard to know who was actually living there some days. It wasn't quite as bad as what you described but I did end up running out of there screaming. After over two years it was time for a change!

  15. Oh Lordy, I lived in a horror house, complete with a ghost, when I was 17, and I never shared with more than one person again!

    When I lived on my own for the first time it was like heaven.....and now I have a messy husband and two stinky children.
    Damn ;-)

  16. Oh god - I lived in a few grotty group houses but nothing with indoor mushrooms thankfully. A friend is still getting over finding out his flatmate cleaned their toilet with the kitchen sponge - and then continued to use it to clean the dishes. After washing it out of course.... but still... he crossed the line with that one.

  17. When I met my wife, she was practically an only child with doting parents who made her home life very comfortable.

    After we got married we moved to the uk and lived in a share house where she got to experience pubes in soap, mouldy bathrooms and noisy late night conquests. It was great for her because it made her a little more flexible but also made it clear that we could never live with others again.


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