The 60-year-old Roommate

It’s 8:00 PM on the longest day of the year and I’m sitting alone in my inner Richmond District apartment. Sex & the City is playing on my iPad and I’m half listening to the sound of Carrie Bradshaw singing a line from The Way We Were. 

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I take a moment to look out of the bay windows of my living room, smile at the sight of the red-shingled roof across the way, before noticing that I’ve strewn the throw pillows hap-hazzardly on the adjacent sofa.

Their smashed shapes cause me to feel a slight discomfort at the edge of my mind. They’re reminding me of a thought I had the other day as I sat on another sofa in a dark loft in Potrero Hill.

In Potrero Hill, I sat on the dark gray cushions of the sectional, my feet tucked up to my right side. My best friend and I had just finished putting the two boys we babysat to sleep and were now watching a particularly exciting episode of The Real Housewives of New York.

Usually, these reality shows are a welcome distraction. I love how invested I can become in the unimportant—not to mention staged—lives of these privileged strangers. It is oh, so relaxing. But this night, as the sound of an engine pulled into the culdesac outside the apartment’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows, I felt something else.

Anxiety.

As you are probably all well aware, anxiety is a daily occurrence in my life. Of course, rather than confide in a professional, I choose to bottle everything up really neatly inside and when that doesn’t work? I self-medicate with anything from a plate full of brownies to binge-watching shows to a weekend’s worth of gimlets all in one night… all of which, of course, results in more anxiety, but that’s a whole other story.

So I was sitting there watching The Real Housewives and suddenly this sharp anxiety was brought on by the politically-obsessed, cougar, author princess Carol Radziwill.

It wasn’t anything she said. It was just the entire setting in which we found her in. She was sitting on a sofa (*I’m realizing there’s a lot of sofa sitting in this post) in her penthouse loft with leopard throw pillows and a fantastic coffee table.  To seal the deal, two tiny kittens hopped about playfully and her puppy wagged his little tail happily at home in the space.

As I stared up at the screen in the dark loft (in which I was merely a guest), my stomach suddenly sank.

You see, I had suddenly realized the one difference between Carol’s life and my own. Okay, so not the only difference, but this one seemed pretty important. As I saw how much the interiors reflected the princess’s personality, I was shocked to realize that I would never (at least not in San Francisco) have that. I would never have my own place.

At least not until I am in my late-30s, early-40s, and even then! I’m a writer. A very single writer. These two factors result in the fact that for the rest of my adult life, I will most likely live with roommates.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore having roommates now. Even as I approach my thirties, I love the fact that it’s not always my turn to buy the toilet paper and paper towels, that there’s three of us to unload the dishwasher, and that on the rare occasion that I drink too much (very, very, very rare… cough, cough), I  wake up and can confirm that everything is all good in the hood. It doesn’t get better than that.

BUT, when it comes to the next ten years of my life, I don’t exactly picture myself living in a San Francisco apartment with (at least) two other people. No. I imagine my own studio that allows for guests at any hour and screams of my personal aesthetic. Of course, it will be messy, but in my own oh, so chic way.

But, if I’m truly being realistic, this vision of my future life is inaccurate.

If my track record holds true, I will always have to seek out roomies. Can you imagine browsing Craigslist as a fifty-year-old??

It’s times like these when I start asking myself if my father was right when he told me not to major in Creative Writing. Then again, after about a week of Code Academy, I’m pretty sure that an engineering degree was not in the cards for me…

It’s been four years now since I moved to San Francisco. During this time, I’ve always felt that though I love living here, it’s a temporary place; San Francisco is a place I will live until I’ve made a name for myself career-wise. It’s a temporary place that I’ll live in my twenties until I find someone to marry.

Now that I’ve realized my disinterest in marriage or children, I’ve begun to consider at a more permanent locale.

BUT this city is also known for its high rent… highest in the nation? In the world?

I know there have been plenty of infographics on the topic, but I can tell you it’s damn expensive and writing doesn’t pay. So does that mean I’m destined to be a sixty-year-old roommate? If so, what does that look like? Will there be other sixty-year-olds to share my fate? I mean, I guess Golden Girls is one of my favorite shows. But that begs the bigger question…

Am I a Blanche, a Dorothy, or a Rose?

San Francisco Apartment
Me in Pacific Heights, standing proudly in front of a home I will never own.
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