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Buffy's Commentary

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Was this totally an invention of sitcoms?

HerNameIsBuffy

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I blame most of my unrealistic expectations on sitcoms.  You know people in houses they could never afford with their jobs, homes that were spotless despite multiple children with dual career parents, all problems can be solved in 30 min less commercials, except the really bad problems that were to be continued for another 30 min.

But what about the platonic roommates who live like family?

  • Kate and Allie
  • Hot in Cleveland
  • The Golden Girls
  • The Odd Couple

I'm leaving out the shows where the characters were living in a world of extended adolescence like Friends.

The people in the shows above were all fully grown adults with careers, marriages, divorces, families, etc.  With the exception of the Golden Girls they were all financially able to live alone.  Oscar and Felix both did well for themselves and didn't need to split the rent...like the rest they lived together to form some sort of quasi-family.

So, was/is this a thing in life that is just outside of my world?  Do adults choose to live with friends into middle age and beyond because they just want to?

Sometimes I think that could be a kinda cool way to live, or a recipe for disaster, depending on my mood.  

Unrelated thought but I hate that THAT GIRL gets credit for being so forward thinking on the feminist front from when to me it's a multi-season ad for purity culture.  

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Kailash

Posted

This is interesting to think about. I can only think of one person my age who owns a home by herself but has a roommate. I don’t think it’s for financial reasons necessarily, although it’s probably helpful for both occupants. Personally, I have had a couple very good friends who I lived with for 6 weeks and felt completely comfortable with. (One was an out of state job, sharing an extended stay hotel room, and we worked together.) That was years ago though. I tend to think it would be amazing to live alone but that’s probably because I haven’t had the house to myself since at least March. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 

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Cartmann99

Posted

Quote

Do adults choose to live with friends into middle age and beyond because they just want to?

If you dislike living alone, and have no interest in a romantic relationship, having a friend with similar views could work out well for both parties. :pb_smile:

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

34 minutes ago, Cartmann99 said:

If you dislike living alone, and have no interest in a romantic relationship, having a friend with similar views could work out well for both parties. :pb_smile:

I've never lived alone.  Home > boarding school > college > marriage > kiddos.  I imagine it sometimes in a cabin.  In Greenland (sometimes Lapland).  100s of miles from any other people.  

Obviously that scenario will never happen, but I do wonder if I'd like it if I find myself living alone.

 

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Someone Out There

Posted

From my point of view living along has its pros and cons, and yes not everyone can handle living alone.  Even for me (an introvert) it was an adjustment living alone again after a period of about 3 years living with my parents and then sharing with a friend.

Personally I've done Parents -> Sharing -> Living alone -> Sharing -> Parents -> Sharing -> Living alone.

Sharing with people is nice as you likely have people to talk to a home.  If I were to move cities again it is also something I would think about as a way to make friends.  Living alone is also good as you have the space to yourself and you your mess is your own.

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louisa05

Posted (edited)

I remember having the Golden Girls on in the background while grading papers on Sundays when I was single and in my early 30s. I always wondered how it was that four senior citizens had such active dating lives. They found single men their age every time they turned around. In my early 30s, I couldn't find any. They practically didn't exist where I lived. 

And, yeah, Friends. Who has that much leisure time at that age? How were their jobs not all consuming like they were for most of us in our 20s? How were they not working extra ones on the side to pay off student loans (yes, Gen X had student loans, they weren't invented for Millennials--don't tell my nephew!)? And why weren't Monica and Ross invited to Rachel's wedding? They ask. No one answers. 

Edited by louisa05

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Maggie Mae

Posted

I lived along for all of 3 months and I LOVED it. I went parents -> Dorm (with strangers)  - > apartment with friend --> different school, new strangers - > apartment with friend --> apartment alone after she moved out --> parents --> super downgrade to apartment with strangers in bad neighborhood --> house with strangers from craigslist --> buy house but need roommates --> rent house to strangers, move into BF's house. 

I do not recommend the revolving door of "rent space to craigslist weirdos." 

On 7/9/2020 at 10:08 AM, louisa05 said:

I remember having the Golden Girls on in the background while grading papers on Sundays when I was single and in my early 30s. I always wondered how it was that four senior citizens had such active dating lives. They found single men their age every time they turned around. In my early 30s, I couldn't find any. They practically didn't exist where I lived. 

 

My mom is 70 and told me that guys have been hitting on her since about a month after my dad died. My former boss dated a TON in her late 50s and got remarried and still found time to flirt with every guy over 55 who was around. I think there's just a lull for women between like 30 and 50. (And I also warned my mom that the rate of new HIV infections is growing the fastest in the 65+ age bracket, so to be careful, and she was horrified that I suggested that.) 

On 7/9/2020 at 10:08 AM, louisa05 said:

And, yeah, Friends. Who has that much leisure time at that age? How were their jobs not all consuming like they were for most of us in our 20s? How were they not working extra ones on the side to pay off student loans (yes, Gen X had student loans, they weren't invented for Millennials--don't tell my nephew!)? And why weren't Monica and Ross invited to Rachel's wedding? They ask. No one answers. 

Rachel had her life paid for by her dad until she became a waitress and moved in with Monica. I'm pretty sure Ross had student loans or his education was paid for by their father. Monica was a chef, i'm not sure if she went to school for that or not. Regardless, I get the impression that Monica/Rachel/Ross all grew up together in an upper class neighborhood. 

Chandler went to school with Ross, so maybe he had loans and that's why he had to live with Joey the unemployed actor? Really my only question would be "why is Ross, who has a doctorate and a decent job, hanging around with these people who make fun of him for having a job?" And why did Ross abandon his son? Okay, that's two questions. 

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K'Z'K

Posted

It's not entirely fiction. One of my housemates could easily afford to live alone (he owns the house), but chooses to live with friends. The other housemate and I cannot afford to live alone, I lived alone for 15 years and loved it, but finances just don't allow it anymore. The 4.5 years with the parents after that just about killed me, so when someone moved out of this house, I happily took his place. The house is a two-family, and I have one apartment to myself while the guys share the other (ooh, a woman sharing a house with two men--scandal!), but my doors are always open so the cats can roam and the guys' door is currently in the basement o' doom, so it's kinda open. It's a little unconventional, but it works for us.

We don't live as a family, but we do sometimes have "family" dinners. We're all over 30 (some of us well over 30) and single, no kids. At least one guy has zero interest in dating, and I want to but can't at the moment because I have a camera phobia (panic attacks at even the thought of it) and meatspace is closed. The married/kids/house in the 'burbs thing is what seems like a TV invention to me, as it's just not something that's ever been a possibility, not that I wanted the kids part anyway.

 

"Friends" was one of many pop-culture things I was expected to like but just didn't. See also: grunge music. I can appreciate the talent of some of the bands, but I just never got into them as I "should" have.

 

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PennySycamore

Posted

Like @Maggie Mae said, Monica, Ross, and Rachel all grew up together and maybe Chandler, too, with Monica and Ross being sister and brother.  Phoebe was a waitress in Central Perk and I don't know about Joey.  They did live in Manhattan and most likely needed to share a place to afford the rents.  Expense sharing seemed to be a factor in a lot of these roomie situations with the exception of the Odd Couple.  Felix had just been kicked out by his wife and he turned to Oscar who gave him a temporary place to live and a shoulder to cry on.

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clueliss

Posted

I thought Chandler came along when they were in college.  And Monica’s apartment was inherited (of sorts) from a grandmother or something and my sense was  was therefore rent controlled.

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Maggie Mae

Posted

I wish I had spent at least some of these memory brain cells on literally anything else, but yes, @clueliss. Ross and Chandler were roommates in college. Prior to this, Chandler attended an all boys school.

During college, both Ross and Chandler spent Thanksgiving at the Geller household, and  Rachael, being Monica's high school friend, was also invited but I don't remember why. Ross married Susan, Chandler moved in with Joey to save rent. At some point, Monica's grandmother sublet the apartment to Monica, possibly (probably?) illegally as it was rent controlled. Phoebe worked several different jobs, and tried renting Monica's spare room. She was trying to move out in secret when Rachael showed up. (Monica was hard to live with, I guess) I believe Phoebe then went to live with her grandmother again. After Ross and Susan divorced, Ross found his own place, but spent most of his free time moping around his sister/grandmother's apartment whining and drooling over Rachael. Eventually Joey gets a great job on DOOL, and moves out. Chandler can't afford the rent without him (and their apartment was much smaller than the one next door) so he has at least one weird roommate, until Joey is fired and moves back in. 

Anyone need me for Friends triva night? That show really didn't age well, but somehow I seem to have watched every episode at least twice. 

 

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PennySycamore

Posted

@Maggie Mae,  I love how Joey and Chandler had the chick and the duck and their message board was the kind of thing my grandkids have.  

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Maggie Mae

Posted

@PennySycamore I always liked how the "girls" apartment (for the most part - there was that horrible story arc where they had to trade apartments after Monica couldn't guess what Chandler's job was) had a frame around the peep hole. If I had a peep hole today, I would frame it with a cool frame like that. Alas, no peep hole. We did have a magnetic calendar, but we tossed that and didn't get a new one this year. All of our plans were cancelled anyway. 

Friends didn't age well - there is some really offensive stuff in there that doesn't really work today - but I still do like most of the characters and especially the friendships. The chicken & duck as Joey & Chandler's pets always struck me as creative. It was a good way to show C&J's friendship. Likewise, I also like how, for the most part, it had actual continuity. There were so many sitcoms where the writers didn't care about previous storylines. In one episode, the main character is an only child, only to find out that she has a sister when the plot requires it. Or they rapid-age babies that are born. For the most part, Friends didn't do this. Sure, it was unrealistic. Rachel went from a coffee shop waitress to a buyer for Louis Vuitton, but everyone else had fairly normal career progressions. Not so normal if you consider how much they sit around Central Perk, but I just kind of imagined that it's always the weekend or right after work when they do that. 

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