I’ve recently moved into a house with three incredible girls, (girls is a disservice but I’m not sure we’re women? No fuck it, we’re definitely women). Three incredible women!
On paper, we probably don’t match up. Randomly selected from a spread sheet and thrown together. It was all decided over a glass of red wine (like many of my good decisions) with my friend Ali D, who I’ve known for years. We met when we were 14, at Netball training and have been friends ever since we learnt that we could both eat half of a New York cheesecake without even blinking. I never dreamt that we could be doing that every night if we wanted to.
We decided to both rope in a friend and create a four-piece band (like little mix but less tight/perky). I wasn’t sure how it would go down, two of the girls had never met and the other two had said hello briefly over that same glass of red wine which had helped us make this decision.
The search was painful, all done over Facebook messenger from all over the world. No two people ever really seeing the same house. A lot of videos and a lot of trust went in to picking 30 Knoyle Street. This house was actually the one video that none of us could really say we had seen, as Ali was so excited that she spent most of the time chatting to the landlord and filming the floor. That’s trust.
But the red wine and the dodgy video tours worked, and this living situation is turning out to be one of the best I’ve ever had.
You always imagine girls living together to be an environment where you’d feel unbelievably supported in every aspect of life. or maybe you imagine the opposite, a nightmare space where someones either singing, crying or throwing up. I however, always imagined that from clothing to cooking, tampons to RED WINE, you’d have it all at your finger tips.
But I never truly believed that it could feel this good.
Lu moved into a flat last year with two of her girlfriends and every time I visit I feel like I’m in a sorority, but the good kind, not the bitchy back stabby kind. Just a place where everyone is 100% supported and loved and laughed at.
I get home and if they’re not in the kitchen dancing then they’re snuggled in bed. We stay up late and watch artisan films, smoking and drinking glass after glass of dodgy Lidl wine on our decking or just lie in bed reading porn magazines until we’re crying with laughter. (The porn thing actually only happened once, but honestly, I’ve never cried so much in my life. I mean really have you ever read a back-shelf porn magazine from a corner shop? I highly recommend it, 10 out of 10).
I feel so full of love for them that I tell them all every 5 seconds how excited I am that we live together and how much I love them.
Ellis and I share the top floor and she’s the first one I run to if I wake up with a boy in my bed or more recently without one. (A little feel sorry for myself there but keep reading and you’ll see why). On a night out recently I had some bad juju (Ali’s favourite word to describe ‘bad vibes’) from a boy that I fancied. It triggered all sorts of insecurities in me but by the time I had had my head stroked by Ali all the way home and went to bed the following day with a note from Libbo telling me how great I was, I didn’t give a shit about him or his juju. Why would I when I’ve got people around me 24/7 that just want to lift me up and bring the best out in me? Even more recently I learnt that theres another girl and that’s why he’s gone quiet. I let it get to me, moped in my own rejection and moaned about it constantly. Until last week when Ellis just looked at me and said “I don’t really know this girl, letting a boy make you feel like this, you need to get a grip and bring the old G back”. Now that’s a good friend.
We’ve not only created a home but a hub for appreciation and good times.
Ellis is the kindest most caring person I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting, she’s so attentive and she’ll always listen before she speaks. She’s never afraid to speak her mind and she constantly brings me back to reality when I am complaining about anything trivial or superficial (like stupid bloody ‘I found another girl’ boy).
***I’ve spoken far too much about ‘found another girl’ boy and have realised it probably needs its own post. Stay tuned x
She’s spontaneous and provides us with endless entertainment when swapping between the boy that she happens to be in love with that day or the antics of her spontaneous late night ubers and early morning KFC deliveries. She controls her feelings like she’s in charge of heavy machinery and is rarely irrational, I think thats why we compliment each other so well.
Ali and Libbo share the middle floor and you can always tell whose in by what type of music is playing. It’s hard to see the floor in Ali’s room but once you find your way to her bed you’re greeted by a windowsill museum of tiny sculptures accumulated from various charity shops or more recently, from behind the bar where she works. Ali is a bundle of chaotic bliss. She sways rather than walks and her energy is infectious.
She brought back a packet of fresh egg pasta from Italy recently and put it in what she thought was the freezer. I opened the veg draw later that week when I was making dinner, and was really confused as to why there were frozen peas and a big bag of pasta in there.
‘Ali do you want these to defrost?’… ‘
‘G thats a freezer draw’
‘I’m pretty sure its not, I’m pretty sure this is the freezer’.
I opened the parallel door which was of course the freezer and her slow realisation followed by a ‘for fuck sake’ sums her up completely.
As I say, I’ve know her for the longest and we’ve been with each other constantly throughout our individual journeys of self discovery. I’ve always needed her as an alternative opinion. Sometimes you just need someones perspective that doesn’t replicate the norm or the linear. Even when she doesn’t make sense, she makes perfect sense.
And then there’s Libbo, a vision of angelic blonde hair and wide dreamy eyes. She cooks like Gordon Ramsay (Ali says she’s more of a Michel Roux but I feel this isn’t such a stark contrast) but has the nature of a small woodland animal (see what I mean, Michel Roux kind of is a small woodland animal). She balances life like it’s a tightrope, waking up to do yoga and eating rocket from the bag, but she’ll also leave for a party on a Saturday and get back on Monday.
I could spend days or months staring into her eyes and there isn’t one thing that I wouldn’t want her advice on. I didn’t know that I was missing her in my life, but my god I was. She also has cracking boobs, which I would highly recommend you ask to see if you ever meet her.
Somehow, we all fit together like a perfect puzzle. I think it mainly works because we’re all patient, considerate (most of the time, unless drunk normally), loving and most importantly we care for each other. We’re also all aware that this period of time, when we’re all in our early 20’s, at university with hardly any responsibilities, isn’t going to last forever. So, let’s make the most of it.
Recently, we’ve started going to a boxing gym every Tuesday. And no, I don’t mean ‘boxercise’ I mean real hard core, smells like feet boxing gym. The coach is an absolute dictator who doesn’t take no for an answer and adds 3 minutes to the clock whenever someone finishes an exercise early. Whilst I was in a period of squat jumps, I took a moment to look for my friends in the room. Liberty, far left jabbing at the punching bag with so much grace and precision that she’d probably have mesmerised her opponent with her elegance rather than hurting them with her punches. Cut to Ali D, middle of the floor, granted the nick name ‘Scrappy Dappy Doo’. I cannot explain the speed and angles and bounce that she had in her wild punches. She looked like an 11 year old boy in the playground, grabbing jumpers and punching below the belt. And then there was Ellis, squat jumping perfectly but with a look of such disgust and a constant roll in her eye. In that moment I knew each one of them inside out and I loved them so much more for it.
So, I’ve lived alone and I’ve lived with family and I’ve lived with my parents and I’ve lived with people that I didn’t know, I had come to the conclusion that I didn’t really like living with people. I blamed it on my need for a clean space and also my dislike of small talk (in the sense of strangers not my parents or family), also just the fact that I like my own company. But in doing this I’m missing out on a whole world of solidarity, and in this case sisterhood. Maybe its because I’m an only child, and don’t get me wrong I have best friends that I would call my sisters, but I’ve never lived with them. So this is the only thing that I can equate to living with your sisters. I love them and if I hate them its for two seconds until they make me laugh or say ‘sorry for playing shit music REALLY loud last night at 4am’.
Living with these girls is the best drunken decision I’ve ever made, and I like to think I’ve made quite a few.
Thank you, ladies, for giving me a home away from home, a place to laugh, cry and dance like nobody’s watching. AND for teaching me to dance more freely when they are watching.
Love you all x
*I’ll write another piece in a few months time letting you know if I still feel this way…