Living with boys a blessing in disguise

Galen Eye Centre

Living in a mixed-gender household can present some interesting dilemmas.

While it may be 2015, people still find it shocking to hear that young women are living with guys — platonically speaking. 

Granted, in my house there are also other girls (to balance out the testosterone), but the truth about living with boys is that it’s not as complicated as people make it out to be. 

I resent the popular opinion that a house full of girls is always full of drama, that when too many girls live together they form cliques, they’re mean and there’s always some sort of fight going on.

Public Service Announcement: The amount of drama in your life depends mainly on you. 

There also seems to be an idea that a house full of boys is a filthy nightmare. Yet my house is a mess and there are at least three girls sleeping here on average.

The reason I decided to live in a multi-sex household boils down to the fact that I love these people and we cohabitate peacefully. Our house consists of three science majors, one arts and one engineering physicist, all of whom I’ve known for at least six years. 

The main thing you need to know about my household is that we have four whoopee cushions, an elaborate wall-mounted pizza ranking system and no vacuum. 

Even though I can’t even eat a salad without being critiqued for my vegetarianism, this house is my home, and these people are my best friends. Our most agreeable feature is our sense of humour, which seems to carry us through everything and provide us with all around good times.  

With that in mind, there are many pros to living with guys from a girl’s perspective. They never fail to convince me that I don’t “need to be doing work right now.” They function as a collective window into the male psyche. They can reach the pans on the top shelf. They barely use toilet paper. They also offer comic relief, usually by accident or when you least expect it. 

Our house has very thin walls, which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. My favourite part about living with boys is essentially eavesdropping on them. Some of these conversations shed light on life’s greatest mysteries. One in particular happens almost daily: The I’m-stuck-on-the-toilet-and-I-need-help conversation.

“Clayton.”

“Yeah?”

Radio Silence. 

Somehow by telepathy, Clayton just knows that Dan needs toilet paper (“You need TP, don’t you?”) and brings it to him. Don’t ask me how the hand-off works, because our door opens right up onto the toilet. 

The reality of living in a house with four other people is that not every moment we share together is joyful.

During our first week living together, there were a series of what can only be described as unfortunate events, such as the casual or not so casual walk-in. 

My housemate Heather once walked in on Clayton in the bath. I’m not actually sure who screamed louder. Another time, I walked down into the communal kitchen with a giant gaping hole in the back of my pyjamas, which was kindly pointed out to me by Dan, who barely looked up from his bowl of cereal for the rest of the morning. Once, Julie left a full load of underwear in the dryer and found it awkwardly folded in a pile outside her bedroom door. We never discovered which one of the guys this was, and we’re not sure we want to know.

Some things are better left unsaid.

I’ll leave you with a story I originally planned to take to the grave, which perfectly sums up my living situation. It was around 3 a.m. and I got up to go to the bathroom. The door was open and the light was off, so I walked into the darkness. I pulled down my pants and attempted to sit on the toilet. Instead I sat on Graeme, who was asleep on the throne. 

What felt like the worst moment of my life actually turned into a great story — and if I weren’t a sucker for that, what would I even be doing in this house?

Living with the opposite sex can be full of embarrassing moments like these. 

While I’d love to take my sweet time shaving in the bathroom without having a conversation about “why it takes girls so long to get ready”, I wouldn’t trade this experience or people for anything else. We take the bad with the good, and we’ve since learned to lock the door.

It wouldn’t be this fun living in an all-girl house. I feel like I’m kept on my toes everyday. 

For that I am eternally grateful. 

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