In Defense of Group Houses by Robyn

group house living, originally uploaded by emilygoodstein.

Group houses come in 3 different categories. There’s the group of bestest friends who’ve moved here from college and assumed they’ll be bestest roommates (OMG! We can have wine and cheese parties and iron together and have Top Chef marathons YAY!) only to have it turn into Catfight 2009 because someone keeps LEAVING THEIR F*$#@#G COFFEE CUPS IN THE DINING ROOM. There’s also the random Craigslist house, where everyone keeps to themselves and has a mutual hatred for the one gaseous housemate that has a blatant disregard for wearing anything besides boxers and hogs the TV with endless hours of Family Guy. Until they all decide to throw a house party in which they are best friends for the night, and back to double checking their bedroom door locks the next. The third type of group house is the one where everyone is actually friends (however randomly they met) and generally enjoy living together under one roof. And if someone forgot leaves their clothes in the dryer for a bit too long…it’s ok, man, just get ‘em out when you can and we’ll go for pizza.

Thankfully my group house experiences have fallen into the last category. But I know people who consider group housing just another version of frat house living, sans the Delta Chi chants. Maybe I’ve just been blessed to have good experiences…except my old roommate while living in Germany – Helga (actually Sasha, but she looked so hefty-operatic it was my code name for her while bitching about her over the phone). Helga the Horrible who considered the apartment her own private nudist colony, screamed at me auf Deutsch for changing the channel away from Celebrity Big Brother, and who played into every typical German stereotype right down to blasting David Hasselhoff in the shower (resulting in me unwillingly memorizing two of his albums) while getting every single lyric wrong with her glass-breaking singing. Helga, and subsequently Baywatch, still makes me shudder to this day.

What are your best/worst group living experiences? At what age are you too old to live in a group housing environment? What is the best male/female ratio for a group home? And most importantly are there any closeted David Hasselhoff fans out there?

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