Thursday, October 6, 2011

My (Mildly) Roaring 20s: Living with Boys

(img via TBI vision)

Remember last week when I said I wanted to start writing more? Well, I've been thinking about it, and I would love to write something like Joanna Goddard's weekly blog series on motherhood. She has a 1.5 year old and always has funny and touching insights to share on her experiences as a new mom. I thought about what I could write about that I'm an "expert" on. After many conversations with myself in the shower, I decided that being in my eighth year of my 20s, I am sort of an expert on things that can happen to you during this exciting decade of life. (Okay, that is kind of a vast overstatement if I ever heard one, so let's just say that at the very least, I have lots of stories to tell from this span of my life.)

Now that I had the topic squared away, I needed a title for the series. Something catchy (Joanna's series is aptly titled "Motherhood Mondays"). "My Roaring 20s" sounded fun but also made it sound like I live a life like Beyonce's — all glamorous and private planes and mini bar indulgences — so I toned it down a little to make it more accurate. And there you have it: the whole story on how this little series came to be. For my first post, I'd like to talk about living with boys and having a platonic boy roommate, which I did my senior year of college.



In my senior year of college, for a few reasons that left me without a place to live a few weeks before school began, I found myself living with three boys named John, Lawrence, and Keith in a spacious (relatively speaking) 2-bedroom apartment. Keith and I shared a room and Lawrence and John shared the other. If you were to ask me today if I could share a room with a boy with whom I had a non-romantic relationship, I'd probably say I couldn't. That I liked to be in my underwear too much and all that kind of stuff. But back then, it didn't feel weird at all to be sharing a room with a guy I barely knew. This could have either been because they were all in the engineering department (Keith was even in a fraternity named Triangle) or because they were just really nice guys. It was probably a little bit of both.

Keith and I arranged our beds along opposite sides of the room and placed our desks so that they faced each other. We often did our work there in the evenings and would take breaks to share a story from our days. As we became more comfortable with each other, it also became okay to put on headphones to indicate to the other person when we wanted to be alone, even when we were just a few feet apart. In a shared living space where you are almost never alone, this was greatly appreciated.

Our schedules were such that we often made dinner together. Keith would make one of the four things within his repertoire — bean and cheese burritos, pasta, a bowl of cereal, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — while I would make one of the three things within my repertoire — frozen pad thai from Trader Joe's, soy tacos, or a bowl of cereal — and then we'd sit down to eat while discussing all of life's greatest matters. He would tell me about how much he liked his girlfriend, and I would tell him about the incredible nap I took in the library between classes. Sometimes I'd ask his opinion on the current boy I was dating, and he'd always tell me honestly if he thought they were duds (most of them were).

I wasn't as close to the other boys in the apartment, but we still got along well. Sometimes we'd all go to Triangle's frat parties as a sort of roommate bonding event where we would drink keg beer and solve differential equations. (Just kidding. About the beer.)

It was a different dynamic than when I'd lived with girls, and each situation had its own pros and cons. In some ways, living with the boys felt like less of a competitive environment, and I never heard any of them calling any of the other guys fat (which, sadly, I witnessed one of my previous girl roommates do), but I still missed having women around and getting their perspective on my thoughts and ideas. I wonder if I didn't live with Alan now if I'd choose to live with boys, girls, or a mix? Or maybe alone?

Who do you live with and do you have a preference? 

18 comments:

Rachel said...

Who's that girl.......who's that girl.......it's Sobrina!

priscilla said...

Before I got married, I lived with 2 boys as well! I had my own room but had to share 1 bathroom with them (eek). I've lived with girls and gays before but definitely living with the boys was the most drama free! In a weird way, kinda prepared me for the first year living with my husband. Definitely fun living with the guys!

Sobrina Tung said...

LOL Rachel.

Thanks for sharing, Priscilla!

T said...

omg that reference about Triangle just brought me back to college...great post, sob!

Bronwyn said...

I live in a dorm with both (and I'm eighteen, so not in my twenties yet) and I LOVE my dormies! The girls are excellent to hang out with and chat with and study with - as are the boys! I kind of lucked out....

windeater.blogspot.com

Sobrina Tung said...

the dorms! good times.

Han said...

Love the idea for the new weekly series! I also regularly enjoy A Cup of Jo. Can't wait to here more of your stories! ^_^

Sobrina Tung said...

I love hearing that — thanks, Han! :)

Stacy said...

I live with males, a female, and my significant, and I have to say I love it! It's the perfect balance between the sexes and I always have someone to talk to. I've loved the experience.

~Rachael~ said...

I moved directly from my parents' house into an apartment with my then boyfriend (now hubby) when I was 22. I honestly wouldn't trade living with him for anybody else on the planet; not because we're married and I love him, but because I absolutely LOVE being able to walk in the door and immediately remove my bra without having to worry about embarrassing myself. Sadly, my father is now living with us temporarily, so I no longer have that luxury, but THE GIRLS ARE GETTING SET FREE the instant he moves out.

My husband and I are making a list of the dumb things we miss about living alone. Thus far, they include: sitting on the couch (bra-less) watching things like 'Californication' and 'Hung' with the volume up, splitting a blender of margaritas between the two of us, and walking down the hallway in our underwear to use the bathroom. It's the little things...

With that said, I have always wondered what it would be like to live with a couple of my girlfriends. Would we grow to loathe and resent one another? Or, as I suspect, would we end up spending a lot of time sitting around, drinking, eating food that's bad for us, and watching Gray's Anatomy on Netflix? *sigh*

Great post, Sobrina!

Rachael
www.damnitwoman.blogspot.com

Kero Hazel said...

Just so you know, I always thought John was a tub of lard, I just never said it. Hahaha!

In all seriousness, great post. Those were really good times. I hope the other guys read this too. I can't believe you remember what I used to cook!

Sobrina Tung said...

I have a really great memory for inconsequential details. Like the fact that when you had cereal, it was always Honey Nut Cheerios. (Why do I remember that??)

Sobrina Tung said...

Rachael, I'm right there with you on the awesomeness of being home sans bra :)

Natalie said...

love this! not planning to leave home yet, but when I do I wouldn't mind living with my mates, a mixture, got to finish school first, then uni before I do!
Can't wait for more posts like this! ;)

katie said...

I think it totally depends on the people. I've lived with girls the last 3 1/2 years at college (on campus even, so it's not like I could really escape from them!) My 1st year was tolerable, the 2nd was unbearable, the 3rd was at times uncomfortable, and this semester I can confidently say I love the girls I'm living with. I can see what you mean about living with boys and it being a less competitive environment, but after some time I'd miss having female company, especially impromptu girl talks.

Sobrina Tung said...

katie, that's so true. that year, i did miss having late night sex and the city marathons!

Han said...

Reason why one should completely read a sentence before beginning to process it: I just spent a couple minutes wondering why you just shared with everyone that you missed late night sex and what city marathon you had run... ^_^

Sobrina Tung said...

haha, Han, for a second I panicked and was like "whoa, DID I say that?!"

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