My best friend asked me to live with her when I told her that I was going to be without a home for about three months. I sold my house after 25 years and needed to get out. The problem was that the new townhouse I bought wasn’t exactly built yet. I was planning on renting a temporary apartment but it’s hard to find a place that will do a short-term lease.
My BFF and I met when we were seven years old. We were roommates in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in our twenties. I was living there when I met my husband, and he then introduced my bestie to the guy she married.
We eventually all moved to the same town in suburban New Jersey, where we, believe it or not, each had two daughters. The four girls are almost exactly one year apart from each other.
My friend got divorced and I was widowed
Unfortunately, neither of our lives turned out to be all sunshine and roses. My best friend and her husband divorced when their kids were young. A couple of years later, my husband died suddenly after suffering a heart attack.
Thankfully, we have been there for each other.
While complaining to her that I was having trouble finding a place to live for the interim time, she offered to have me live with her. My immediate response was a definite “no.” We are in our fifties! It would never work!
After some prodding, especially from all four of our girls, I decided to give it a shot.
The difference between being roommates years ago and now
Now, 35 years after our first apartment in NYC, we are roommates once more. There are some major differences between the first and the second time around.
- Instead of late-night partying and drinking, we sip a glass of wine while watching Bravo.
- In our twenties, we would wait for the cute guy to call. We are now bombarded with FaceTime calls from our daughters.
- Our 3:00 AM weekend bedtime has been replaced by a reasonable 10:30-11:00 PM.
- There is no more silly bickering. We are both in a place in our lives where we let the small stuff go.
- Our cabinets were once full of Oreos and barbecue potato chips. We now have a fridge full of fruits and veggies (well maybe a fun snack or two hidden away).
- We thankfully each have our own bathrooms this time around. Two fifty-something women should not be sharing a bathroom.
- The apartment is a million times cleaner. Now we care; then we didn’t.
- This time we have a pet. Actually, I do. My little dog is living with us. He and my roommate are growing on each other.
- We have toilet paper! I cannot tell you how many times we ran out 30 years ago. That no longer happens.
- We live in suburban NJ, not NYC. It is much quieter, and no midnight take-out, which is probably a good thing.
- For anyone who remembers, we think we are a modern-day Kate and Allie.
- Nobody sleeps on our couch. Back in the day we constantly had friends crash in our apartment.
- We now have plenty of pots and pans, dishes, and a microwave. Those things were lacking in our twenties.
- We are no longer carefree. We now have financial, parental, and many other responsibilities.
- We also think we are a much trendier and younger-looking Golden Girls.
The most important difference is that this living arrangement is temporary. We are about halfway through and it is going better than I thought. In another month I should be settled in my new home.
I surprise myself when I say that I am happy to have had this experience the second time around.
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Dear Teens, Your Friends Are More Important Than Your Romantic Relationships