In the little town where I’m from, people don’t often leave. But when they do, and they come back to visit, I remember these people having a wonderful air of mystery about them. And the women, they were always unmarried, but super-glamorous.
‘How are they not married?’, we’d marvel. And the older and wiser women would always say ‘She’s been concentrating on her career.’ As if that answered everything.
Now, I wonder if I’m like those women. I don’t think I’m in any way glamorous. But I can imagine people saying that about me, that I’m ‘concentrating on my career’. If only I was concentrating hard…
If a single girl’s life is one long quest to find the ideal husband, then my experience is that there’s always something a little more pressing.
For instance, right now, more important than a list of qualities of the perfect man, I need to come up with a description of my ideal flatmate. Because B, in her infinite wisdom, has decided she’s tired of the UK and all its bandits, and is moving to Moldova, where men are men and criminals are criminals and everyone knows where they stand.
I’ve shared with friends and strangers for more than ten years. TEN years! But coming up with the qualities that make someone good or bad to live with is really difficult.
I think most flat tension centres around three things – cleaning, bills and noise. So I’ve tried to think of questions that a potential flatmate could answer to give me an idea about their attitude to these things.
It’s the start of October, and you feel a little chilly in the flat. What do you do?
Your flatmate cooked a huge pan of spaghetti bolognese last night, and when you went into the kitchen this morning, all the pans and plates were still sitting on the side. How do you feel?
But these don’t really quantify what it’s like to live with me.
For example, I sometimes wander about in my underwear, not for a whole afternoon or anything, but when I’m getting ready for something, and I wonder if that would be off-putting to someone. I like to listen to the radio in the morning for the news, which could be annoying. I’m not very conversational first thing, I often forget to pick up basic things like milk and toilet paper, but I bake and always share what I make.
So I need some help – what do you ask to find out the important things about a potential new flatmate? And what qualities do you think the perfect flatmate should have?
Oo and do you know anyone looking for a place to live in London this Christmas?