Not sure whether I've mentioned this on here before--probably, as problematic as it's been, and hopefully not too much because I don't want to just complain. But this morning I'm not writing this out of frustration but because I read a blog that finally made all the trouble I'm having make sense.
So first, my room is the living room. Meaning any time there's anyone here, my room is a thoroughfare. If there's company, my room is often, but not always, the place where people hang out (regardless of whether I'm home). And you never really know when someone's going to pass through (why would you knock to come into your living room on the way to the kitchen?). It's not an issue of hiding anything. It's just space. Thankfully I can say the room and pull-out couch/bench thing are no longer shared with a sixteen year old girl.
With my first roommate in Bucuresti, I had my own room and was able to close the door and kind of get away, but sometimes I'd come home and see her mom had been in and had cleaned things or something like that. Not a big deal--kind, if I remember to look at it like a Romanian. But it makes me realize that this is in part a cultural thing. It's just not as big deal, things and space seem much more shared here. In several different ways it's probably good practice for the future.
And then I read this:
The well-intentioned social terrorist does not alert you before they invade your safety bubble. It's always a surprise. You'll come home, exhausted and eager to finally feel safe from unwanted interaction. But then... You're cornered like an animal. There's nowhere to go. You'd always assumed that your own home was a safe place--a place where you were not in danger of sudden, undesired social interaction. But your pathetic delusions of safety implode into the realization taht nowhere is safe anymore. You could try to lie and say that you're just coming home to drop some stuff off before you have to go somewhere. But if you do that, you'll have to spend the rest of the night in total darkness, because if your friend walks by and notices that your lights are on, they're going to know you were lying.
But if you allow this person into your house, you are no longer in control of when the interaction ends. This is not as simple as finding the right opportunity to walk away. No. This is some next-level shit. You can't just walk out of your own house and leave the person there. Where would you go? If you want to be left alone, you're going to have to wait it out until you can convince the person to leave. But even then, it isn't over.
Now that you are aware that your home is not the impenetrable fortress of protection you once thought it was, you are forced to live in a constant state of slight uneasiness. Someone could surprise you at any time. What if your friend decides to surprise you with a visit every day? Now you have to worry about keeping your place picked up, "just in case." You're scared to play music or watch movies because then you can't pretend not to be home if someone knocks on your door. You are no longer in control of your life.
It's funny--the pictures that come with it are hysterical so you should click on it ("I'd love to hang out but I have to go sit in my house by myself"--yes yes yes). But holy crap I read that and thought yes! I'm not being crappy and horrible. All those times I hid in under the covers on my couch when my friend Scott would knock on the door, and I'd not move so he wouldn't see me when he looked through the window--sorry Scott--and the lack of urge to do anything social at all outside of work here. It's because I'm under constant siege!!!! It's so dramatic, but for real y'all. And I'm not the only one.
What this means for the rest of life and sharing a room with a husband and having kids to whom these rules are definitely not gonna apply and maybe evening living in community, I have no idea. Honestly it sounds kind of horrifying, mixed in with all the good stuff. But there's a small glimmer of hope! It might sound ridiculous, but I'm totally praying that when I'm back in Wilmington, however long or short it ends up being, I'll be able to have my own room. With a door. That closes. And people who leave me alone. And then like half an hour later I'll actually want to hang out with them and do things! Crazy! We'll see, since I'll likely be bumming for a little while for various reasons. But in the words of that cute little kid JP from Angels in the Outfield, it could happen.
(To be fair, it's probably a good idea to mention that I did make the deliberate decision to stay in this apartment. I had a chance to move out, but it's cheaper here than anywhere else. Plus I really like my roommate. So here I am.)