I remember when I was still living at home and about 18. I had an older boyfriend Dan who lived with his student friends, which seemed ever so exciting and glamorous until I realised staying over meant getting into a grimy damp-spotted shower in the morning and fighting my way through the pizza boxes to try and find some milk for my tea before leaving for work. And then there was the moaning. I swore to myself I would never rant boringly like him on the topic of whose turn it was to buy the toilet roll (don't moan at me, moan at THEM I wanted to shout but obviously, being British, he couldn't).
Ok, I accept that that particular house offered an authentic student house experience, and I happily spent three studenty years afterwards wallowing in a similar kind of grotty pigsty with likeminded people. Of course there were moans about things, there were always the moans, but there was a kind of unspoken pact that we would live in a godforsaken mess and no-one would care. It seemed almost expected of us.
The real problems started afterwards when the houseshares with 'real' people started. I didn't particularly want to share a house, and neither, I imagine, did they. There were no pally 'house dinners', no boozing the night away then bonding in the kitchen over burnt toast at 2am. 'Grown up' housemates weren't particularly looking for friends, they would have much preferred having their own place, thank you very much. They were also too used to sharing houses and weren't shy about telling you what they expected as good 'housemate behaviour'.
Maybe I've just had some bad experiences in the last few years,, but I really hope my time in houseshares is almost over. Friends my age have reported similar yearnings; one, after discovering that there were mice scratching away behind her bedroom wall sighed "aren't I too old for this now?". Another lives with a married couple who can't afford their own place, and frequently feels like a third wheel in his own home.
Sorry if this itself feels like a big old moan. Maybe I have finally ended up like poor old Dan. I've just moved house, so here's hoping the new year (September is like new year in Italy with everyone back from their month-long break) brings tolerable housemates and a non hair-clogged plughole...oh and plenty of riches so I can start saving for that deposit on a hosue!
On a side note, the last I heard from Dan he was an extremely successful management consultant being flown around the world to do management consultant-y type things. I imagine he doesn't have reason to moan about the loo roll any more.
Above: Past housesharing memories.