Collaborations! Gotta love them. They are awesome for these reasons:

  • They bring together talent and resources.
  • They give the collaborators a sense of ‘I am up-to Standard’ (what better standards than those set by friends?).
  • Science is in love with them. (and I am a scientist, Goddamnit!)
  • (I didn’t have one to put here and because of collaboration, can make my collaborator fill something in)

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to talk about living with a male flat mate and made that post. My friend Sow-Sow from school (keeper of sanity, inspirer of thought) had a similar post a few months ago. Both of us had very conveniently listed the pros and postponed the cons. And so in true scientific spirit, here is a collaborative, dialogue- style post.

So in honour of the Nish (Sow’s wonderful roommate for FOUR years in law school) and all of my comrades in arms – here is presenting our top 10 reasons why we miss female roommates: 

  1. You can only live off your own wardrobe. Now, this may seem strange to all of you out there who did not live in a hostel of sorts, and therefore are not used to community living, but wardrobe sharing is one of the great PERKS of hostel life.  Especially basic everyday things like pink hairpins, hair irons, kajal pencils, silver eye shadow and hoop earrings. And blue earrings. And pink ones. And jhumkas.  And thin brown belts. And shiny blue sequined belts. And plain black t-shirts. How I survive with only my pairs of hoop earrings these days is a mystery to me. Needless to say, I had to go  out and buy blue and pink earrings, and brown belts and gold belts (they didn’t have any blue sequined ones) when I moved to London. Not a fun thought.  (S)
  2. I must include that I also cannot borrow footwear or emergency sanitary napkins/tampons from my male flat-mate. I also miss borrowing make-up, nail paint and skirts. Also, the male flat mate NEVER wants to chill out and watch TV shows while we give ourselves pedicures, and that is just sad. Also he is worse at painting my nails for me than I am.(G)
  3. FFs will hide your phone if you are in a ‘bad place’ and are looking to binge that night. FFs will not give your phone to you, to send that ‘very important text’ no matter how much you beg. You will wake up in the morning to an awful headache and much shame spared. (S)
  4.  MF does not care about things like your emotions. He may want to go swimming once you have both drunk enough alcohol to disinfect a small third world country. (G)
  5. FFs will and can help you button up if you have a nasty cut on your finger, have a pretty dress with tiny buttons all down the back, cannot reach the zipper near the hem, need to securely fasten the backless part of your backless blouse or need someone to tie the sashes of your office dress back in a pretty bow.  Or untie them from the ‘this is a pretty bow, but I don’t know what I did to knot it up this way’ knot. You can only ask an MF to go so far, before saying “Ah great, thanks – think I can manage it from there” and spend the next twenty minutes in your room wishing you had extendable arms and hair that didn’t fall across your face and block your vision every three seconds. (S)
  6.  MF will not tell you if you have buttons open. In fact, later that night, when you notice/exclaim, he will say ‘I thought you had that on that way intentionally’. Also, MF has no idea what sashes are, and does not know how to make a bow.(G)
  7.   FFs will always, always, pick up food for you. Without being asked. Among my top ten memories from law school, is this one memory where I woke up from an afternoon nap one summer and reached for the phone, only to discover warm cookies from ‘Vac’s’ lying on the table. The Nish had been out that afternoon and bought me chocolate cookies. I was half asleep, and delirious with happiness, at the thought itself, and the cookies. I don’t think cookies have ever tasted that good since that sleepy love surging moment of unexpected chocolate goodness. (S)
  8. I miss this immensely. The number of times I have been woken up by one of these people to find tea and food on the dresser, the number of random chocolates and green teas when I suffered from terrible cramps, the number of times I’ve heard ‘I bought some spare chaat so you can eat it’ and ‘I saved a brownie for you’.  I miss you girls! (G)
  9.   FFs will always ask if you want tea when they are making some (or any other kind of maggi type food). MF on the other hand, has no idea if we have any tea at home (we do, four kinds). Or sugar (and honey). Or milk.  MF (I strongly suspect) does not know how to make tea. And does not want to learn!! (S)
  10. Male flat-mate is not into tea-drinking, or pretentious beverage rituals of any kind. This makes my roobois routines lonelier than necessary. Male flat-mate does not believe in mini-dance parties after drinking too much tea.

Ah the moons too bright
The chains too tight
The beast won’t go to sleep

– ‘I’m your Man’ as sung by Leonard Cohen

Simply because we were all so crazy about this song in college.

Update: An edited version of this was published in Talking Cranes.