If you’re an introvert, I don’t need to tell you about the hell that living with multiple people can be. I definitely don’t need to remind you of the mystery of the disappearing bar of facial soap. You know, the one that seemed to get very small very quickly. I don’t need to remind you of the stomach-turning feeling you got when you realised your housemate had been using it to wash.their.entire.body.
I also don’t need to remind you of the time your housemate left their substantial collection of pornographic DVDs in a box in the communal lounge room. Just before your parents were due to arrive for dinner. And the time it was revealed your new housemate enjoyed experimental cooking and had recently discovered hot spices and sauces. Even though you didn’t have asthma, you were able to involuntarily replicate an asthma attack immediately upon entering the house.
Of course, no one needs reminding of the weekly crash parties (that you were never invited to, thank god, but still had to listen to), or the incessant sounds of doors opening/closing at every hour of the day and night, or (and this is my personal favourite) the knock on the door at 5.30am asking you to move your car so your housemate can go the airport to pick up their…whatever. As if they couldn’t have asked you to do that, oh I don’t know, last night?!
Sorry, just one other thing I don’t need to remind you about. Remember that time you put your light-coloured delicates in the washing machine only to discover when the cycle was done that your housemate had also thrown in their soil and blood-stained sports gear? I do.
You know how it is. Whether it’s out of sheer necessity, an attempt to save money for a place of your own or simply out of geographical convenience, many of us have had to share accommodations at some point in our lives.
Perhaps it was when we were students and we were thrown together with a complete stranger in a tiny dorm room. Or perhaps we shared a house/flat off campus. As adults in the workforce, we also find ourselves in need of housemates to share rent while we diligently save for our own place.
For introverts, the constant noise, unpredictability, and invasions of privacy that come with shared living can take their toll physically and mentally. With central nervous systems on high alert, we often find ourselves cranky, tired, and emotional.
How heavenly would it be to come home to someone who’s idea of a great night in is a glass of wine in front of a gently blazing fire and the latest episode of the Great British Bake Off? Better yet, they’ve placed your slippers in front of said fire so that they’re lovely and toasty for you. There’s also your half of a beautifully made casserole warming in the oven. Of course, out of gratitude and respect, you happily return the gestures by vacuuming only when your housemate is out so as not to destroy their peace and quiet. You also silently leave their mail on the dining room table instead of banging on their door to tell them they have mail.
How wonderful would it be to have housemates who hold civilised pre-arranged book club meetings once a month instead of keggers where everyone is inexplicably dressed in unitards and mankinis?
Something has to be done to assist introverts who have no choice but to house-share! I am proposing that the government set up a database of introvert-approved housemates. These housemates will have been rigorously assessed and classified according to their quietness, consideration for others, their penchant for deep and meaningful conversations, and how well they treat kittens, puppies and the elderly.
Introverts need some peace of mind dammit! When we are well-rested, well-nourished, and have our intellectual curiosities satisfied we become productive, well-adjusted lovely citizens.
Give us our database!