Things I learned as a poor millennial renting a room in a half-refurbished 1950s house
- Yes, it is possible for two cats and a human to live in a bedroom that is fifteen feet by ten feet. Unfortunately, the cats will use your bed as a wrestling mat while you are sleeping in it.
- Taking a shower in a fifty-degree house, with the window open on the five-degree outdoors to offset the lack of a bathroom ventilation system, is much less uncomfortable than it sounds as long as the water is warm. Turning off the water is quite an exercise of willpower, though…
- Kitchen counters are optional. So are drywall, flooring, doorknobs, and the occasional non-load-bearing wall.
- You will grow used to looking at your new fenced-in backyard, wishing you could adopt a puppy to romp around said backyard, and knowing you cannot afford to care for a puppy. You will then go online and drool over puppy photos while petting your cats, whom you didn’t mean to adopt (but who had no one else), and who are two years overdue for their rabies boosters.
- It is possible to make baked potatoes in a microwave, as long as they are thoroughly stabbed with a fork before cooking.
- Six-foot-tall-plus men with active jobs can and do eat four times as much as short, round female-ish people with slow metabolisms. Bananas bought in such an environment have a tendency to evaporate and must be constantly re-acquired.
- Internet access is a utility nearly as important as water and power, and more important than phone service.
- Yes, it is possible for a town to be this white. Living in a multicultural city is something you won’t appreciate until you’ve moved out and you miss it. Luckily, there’s always the Internet, where you can talk to people from around the world.
- When doing dishes in the bathroom sink, the missing plug can be replaced with a crumpled paper towel covered in plastic wrap.
- The tools to repair the used lawnmower can and will cost more than the lawnmower did.
- If you cannot cook and your housemate can, you are in luck if they are willing to make enough for you. If they also do their own dishes, you have truly won the housemate lottery.
- The utility of duct tape and WD-40 cannot be overstated. A shortage of either one must be remedied immediately.
- It is possible–just barely–to get used to having bright aqua paint on your bedroom walls. This will not keep you from questioning the taste and/or color-perception ability of the house’s previous owners.
- Finding a new church after moving is a problem comparable in complexity to tensor calculus, even if your only requirements are “must be within walking distance or offer carpool arrangements” and “must not confuse bigotry with religion”.
- When you want to salt the icy walkways with the congealed solid chunk of driveway salt that the previous owners left behind, breaking up the salt with one of the four crowbars they also left behind is a workable solution.
- In the 1950s, houses were often built with a slot in the bathroom vanity through which used razor blades could be discarded to fall into the hollow part of the bathroom wall. Your housemate will discover this while doing electrical work, and need a tetanus shot.
- Provided you are willing to take your time and be careful, caulking the bathtub is much easier than it sounds. However, getting the caulk off your hands afterward is much harder than it sounds.
- Learning the ins and outs of living in a house that’s just barely livable will, ironically, offer bonding opportunities for you and your housemate, and your friendship will strengthen. This is a good thing, since working together on renovations is best done with someone you do not hate.
You might have noticed that I’ve been posting a lot of links to Quora lately. That’s where I’ve been doing most of my writing for the past couple of years. I even made the top writers list in 2017, which is pretty nifty.
I know that when people come to my blog, they want to read my writing. I’ve been neglecting the blog lately because I can’t really think of much to write; so I thought to myself, why not link to the stuff I write on Quora?
Quora is unusually autistic-friendly, with its question-and-answer format that helps prompt me to write. Think ‘like Yahoo answers, but for people who like to learn’. Sure, there are stupid troll questions, but you can just report them and make them vanish. And yeah, there are questions that get asked over and over, but there’s a merge function so they don’t clutter things up. I think many of you would enjoy reading and writing there as well.
You can probably expect to see more Quora links from me in the future. Unless otherwise noted, they’ll all link to articles I’ve written myself.