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Life with Roommates Is Worth the Hassle in NYC

by Michelle Carol

The Upper East Side of Manhattan--by Angela N. via Flickr

I woke up this past Saturday to an empty apartment. When I'm not visiting my boyfriend in Connecticut and when he's not visiting me in New York, I love nothing more than a lazy morning to myself at home. A few hours earlier, I was abruptly awakened by the bickering between my two roommates.

“Did you eat my last banana?”


“You’re a bitch.”

I pulled my duvet over my head and fell back asleep. 

Around noon, I reluctantly opened my eyes with the anticipation that I would have to make conversation or entertain drama from what may have escalated since the banana incident. Never a dull moment exists in my apartment.

I've been living with my two roommates, Sarah and Jamie, for about six months on the Upper East Side. Naturally, there have been a few ups and downs, some of which are no one's fault.  With any three people trying to live in a New York apartment successfully, differences will arise, and habits will be revealed. For instance, I have a serious addiction to coffee.

I don't want to socialize or look at anyone until I've had my morning cup. My roommates think it’s funny that I have a self-described “biological need” for peace and quiet to start my day. The introvert in me needs to charge before a long day at work. If I had to engage in chitchat at the crack of dawn, I feel I would exhaust all of my social capabilities for the remainder of the day. My 'me time' with coffee in the morning is crucial to my bright-eyed and bushy-tailed demeanor required for the following eight hours at my job.

I have a serious addiction to coffee--by Joe Pastorella via Flickr

Similarly, the only thing I want to do for thirty minutes after I walk in the door from work is to lay on my bed and unwind in silence. When I'm confronted with “check out my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s Instagram,” or "listen to what my boss did today,” before I have a chance to hang up my coat, my impulse reaction is to immediately take a long shower or turn around and walk to Barnes and Noble. If I sit inside a cafe, I will be alone in the most New York way I know. I need these moments.

On the other hand, if I lived alone, I don't know who I would watch Girls with, who would help me eat some of the dozens of cake pops I bake out of boredom, or who would put my hair into a sock bun at night. 

If I didn't have roommates, I'd be watching Girls alone.-by Wally G via Flickr

After I publically vomited on the 86th Street steps from food poisoning in January, my roommates were there to help clean my shoes, write an honest and professional call-out-of-work email, and make sure I had saltines and Ginger ale the next day. Living with like-minded girls in the city is a life experience that I feel is necessary to my overall New York experience. Plus, it's the only way I can afford to live in Manhattan.

Everyone I know in NYC makes some sacrifice to live where they live. I'm thrilled to live in the neighborhood I have always dreamed of calling my own, and to have a painless and practically stress-free subway ride to work, especially after commuting for what seemed like forever on Metro North.

Sure, I may be woken up  two or sometimes three times per week by the sounds of loud sex. 

I may have to bite my tongue when someone eats my leftovers, or when the dishwasher is not efficiently organized.  

Insomnia Cookies get delivered at 2am--only in NYC!--by roboppy via Flickr

I jump out of bed when the Insomnia Cookies delivery man is buzzing in at 2am on a Tuesday. 

But I've also learned to take these instances with a grain of salt.  Because when it comes down to it, living in New York City --- with or without sharing a small space with two girls ---  is totally worth it to me.

Sharing a small apartment with two girls is totally worth it to live in New York City--by Matt Mawson via Flickr

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