And right about that time, I unexpectedly became a roommate.
Midlife Americans – all working class Americans, I suspect – are struggling to maintain their lifestyles with stagnant wages, few union protections, higher costs, crumbling roads and transit systems that complicate daily commutes.
And that’s where I am. I am rethinking life in New York, the city of my birth. It’s a big country with prettier, more affordable places to live.
In 2013 NBC ran an interview with three women who bought a house together, and it seems to be working. They even referenced The Golden Girls, that mid-Eighties hit TV show that comically introduced the concept of cooperative living.
Last year the blog Mother Nature Network reported about Silvernest, a company that matches empty-nesters with potential roommates. Many of the renters are people living alone in houses that are much larger than they need. It’s a great idea to alleviate loneliness and create almost passive income.
It’s been widely reported that younger Americans are living with their parents for much longer than recent previous generations. They graduate from college with student debt and take starter jobs that barely pay a living wage. The alternative is to live with roommates.
In many traditional families, it’s not unusual for a few generations to share a home. Grandparents babysit so their children can work. Adults care for their aging parents. I suspect that these multigenerational households will become more common as family members join forces to remain financially stable.
My middle brother moved back to New York and is staying with me while he starts his new life. It’s been mostly fun; we respect each other’s space and privacy while enjoying the company. I’ve reconfigured and discarded a few things in the apartment to make room for his stuff. I Space Bagged my winter coats and created a makeshift changing area using a cute, but practical, room divider. The clutter police would not approve of my suitcase and wheelie cooler in the entryway but hey, that’s life. Besides, coolers and suitcases imply fun activities, like a subliminal reminder that sometimes, life can be good.