Today, I take the momentous step of resigning my lease. I have spent all morning cleaning the apartment, not only because it is “my week” to do so, but also because I want to make a good impression on my landlord, just in case that should have anything to do with his raising or lowering my rent (and so I have leverage in saying that I am a good, responsible tenant when I argue that our internet connection is shoddy).
However, as I clean burnt soya sauce out of the crevices of our stovetop burners, pick strands of black hair out of our front doormat, and open the box of Swiffer sheets that I bought three weeks ago (meaning they should have been opened by those whose duties it is to clean on their designated weekends by now…), I cannot help but make a resolution. At this time next year, I am determined that I will be signing a lease to an apartment for ONE. It might be the shoddiest thing you’ve ever seen, it might be the size of a closet and require performing Cirque de Soli contortions to get into the shower, but I am resolved to live by myself.
As good as these roommates have been in the series of roommates I have had in my life, they are still roommates and therefore still earn a share of my resentment for not living precisely as I do. They do not meet my cleanliness standards (I can think of few people who would), they leave their belongings in “shared” spaces in a sprawling “I own this area” fashion (unfair!), they leave all apartment handiwork to me (roach-killing included), and—most basic of all—they are inevitably using the bathroom or kitchen at the very moments when I wish to use these facilities.
What could be more luxurious than coming home and knowing you will not be observed or bothered when you shut your door to the world? To know that you have a bathroom and a stovetop all to yourself? To realize that the molding zucchini in the refrigerator can only be yours, and you therefore do not need to worry about informing anyone else that they are about to infect the rest of the food in there with dangerous illness-inducing spores? And imagine if it had a dining room! And a living room! I could invite people over and invite them to sit on furniture other than my Garfield sheet-covered bed while I finished cooking dinner….
These are the things I dream of; forget Prince Charming. Perhaps this is a true indication of the age of female autonomy. Or then again—and indeed more likely—maybe it’s just an indication of my own neuroses.