Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A Book to Read When You're Flathunting

Posted By Daisy
MY CURRENT flatmate isn’t really working out. I haven’t know her for very long but she shares a place in Baron’s Court with three others, and they have a small spare room where I’ve been staying. But after a few weeks of putting up with her annoying habits, I’m tempted to start leaving yellow Post-It’s around the house, in the manner of a true psycho flatmate.

Her issues are many and varied:

·         She often drinks all the milk in the fridge and never replaces it.

·         She gets all the attention when we hit the town together.

·         I’m (admittedly) a bit jealous of her good looks – as my mum said admiringly when she met her: ‘She hasn’t a line or a wrinkle’.

·         She often passes out on her bed after drinking. And not just at weekends, either.

·         Sometimes I hear her vomiting in her en-suite after dinner.

·         She never cleans up after herself – when she’s finished eating, she just leaves the food lying around.

·         Some nights I hear her crying herself to sleep.

·         She starts making a racket every morning at 6:30 a.m.

·         She always has a piece of dried green snot stuck somewhere on her face.

Yup, my baby niece, L, has a lot to answer for. She celebrated her first birthday last week by vomiting up a warm river of chicken and carrot all over my new cream shirt and crying late into the night, before finally falling asleep beside me in my bed. However, when I felt a dimpled baby hand being flung across my face at 4 a.m.,  I had to squash my face into the pillow to stifle my laughter at the damn cuteness of it all.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent every evening trudging around London flatshares with my sister (in whose house I'm currently staying). She has a well-tuned weirdo-radar, which I lack.

Some flats were lovely, others less so. There was the fantastic shared 2-bed in Earl’s Court for £1300 per month. For that price, I’d have to sit in for the rest of the year. And the huge bedroom in a grand 3-bedroom house on Gloucester Road– the only problem was that there was no sitting room and just a microwave in the tiny, smaller-than-a-galley kitchen. The young live-in landlady told me ‘We don’t really see each other at all, but if you want to organise some sort of social get togethers, you could try it'– I pictured myself crying into my solitary macaroni and cheese every night, perched on the edge of my bed, trying not to drip melted cheese on the duvet.
There was a gorgeous en-suite double room at a great price in Earl’s Court, except it was located over a pungent recycling facility. I don’t think I wowed the two girls there anyway, as I got a case of verbal diarrhoea. As we walked back down the stairs to the exit, my sister asked me if I was feeling a bit nervous because I had told them my life story. Drop the Irish gombeen act, she advised, they don’t understand it here. After that, I kept my mouth shut.

Other places were itch-inducing – a filthy top floor flat with falling down wallpaper, a bare duvet flung over the back of the couch, and (incongruously) a pristine Ralph Lauren wearing flatmate.

But the worst was this ad:

‘Looking for someone to share a double bed with me in a one-bed flat in Putney. I could ask for twin beds but it’s doubtful I’ll get them. I have three rats and I also work late. Rent: $650 per month.’

Luckily, I had a second interview with the two (seemingly normal) tenants of a lovely apartment earlier tonight. I wore my heart on my sleeve, made my intentions clear, and asked them were they seeing anyone else. They simply sat on the corduroy couch, smiled non-committedly and told me they’d be in touch. Am I in or out? Fingers crossed – I’m jaded.
Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
My brother-in-law loves non-fiction and so I’ve been reading lots of his books lately.

Elevator Pitch: This is a read-in-one-afternoon book based on the Twitter account of the same name, started by 28-year-old Halpern when he moved back in with his parents after breaking up with his girlfriend. His fathers' welcoming words are: 'All I ask is that you pick up your shit so you don't leave your bedroom looking like it was used for a gang bang. Also, sorry that your girlfriend dumped you.'
It’s Tuesday’s with Morrie meets South Park.

I love the shouty father, Sam, in the book – he’s so strict with his sons, yet is always trying to make them feel good about themselves.
'THERE’S NO ONE OUT OF YOUR LEAGUE’, he thunders, after one of his sons (who lives at home while working as a dish washer at Hooters) arrives home from a date with former model-turned-doctor, and announces that he thinks she’s too good for him.




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