Have to admit, kind of digging the idea of communal house-living with your grown-up friends or other couples who are also good friends. The more time I spent with Twig and Baby Becks (It’s his eyes! I finally figured it out; it’s his shaved head and the shape of the eyes that make you think “Beckham”!), the more I got to really like the idea of a couple living with friends or other couples. Having other people to do things with and run interference from your home-base is a really unique, grown-up way of having roommates; people could have their own floor of the house (their “apartments,” per se,) but sharing a communal kitchen (have your own shelf in the fridge, or have your own mini-fridge in your own space if like me, you have high-class food-stuff tastes on a small budget and hate sharing your artisan goat cheese,) and living area really ties you all in together nicely. Evenings spent talking, sharing dinners, smoking and listening to music, going out and doing things, or spit-balling ideas (we had a FANTASTIC conversation about building tiny houses in which a lot got accomplished and new ideas that were more creative and efficient than old ones were formed,) seems like a totally organic dynamic that goes back to our societal beginning in tribes and hunter/gatherer groups; everyone contributes something, not one man or person is relied on to provide everything. Baby Becks and I are more alike personality-wise than Twig and I— Twig is more reserved and stoic in public; I require constant, verbal reassurance, just like the kind that Baby Becks gives naturally— and having another man around to tell me “you’re fine; believe me, you just have to understand that he’s just always like this and is always busy doing something; we really like having you here,” was such a relief. Now, imagine if you, your partner, and your best friends all lived where you never needed to go elsewhere for companionship and comfort if needed. You’d all have your own space, but would have a built-in community to be able to instantly pick friends from to do things with, be it going swimming, or staying in and cooking and sharing a meal together.
Think of it this way through this simulated conversation:
You run into one of your house-mates in your communal kitchen. You are planning on going to check out a new installation at a local gallery, but your partner is busy or isn’t into it. “Hey,” you ask. “I’m going to check out that new thing at the Institute, but it’s not really ______’s thing. Do you wanna come?”
"Sure," your housemate says. "That sounds great! I’ve been meaning to check it out! I just came back from the farmer’s market; check out these tomatoes! When we get back, do you and _____ want to do dinner with me and _______?"
"Yeah," you say. "And we just got the new Netflix movie in; dinner and a movie?"
"Sounds awesome," your housemate tells you, and it really does. Just like you have special bonding time with your hubby, you get to have special bonding time with your housemates, outside (or inside) of the house, away from your respective partners. You’re able to cultivate deeper friendships and relationships, as well as get outside perspectives and advice on YOUR relationships from people who are around and can see what’s going on through different eyes and different knowledge of everyone as individuals, and also have a constant community around you to help with things— housework, the gardening, pet-sitting when you travel, utility bills and mortgages, etc. But you’re also able to keep to your own space, and only run into them in the halls or communal living spaces if you need time apart to focus on your primary romantic relationship with your partner, or are just having "off" time and want to be by yourself.
The only fly in the ointment is babies. You really don’t want your screaming, crying baby keeping all your good friends up, too. Hence, really well sound-proofed separate floors. (Or, live in a compound where you all have tiny homes in close proximity, and shared communal buildings for group activities.) And over time, maybe you’d have a multi-level, multi-family, built-in playgroup and care system.
I really dig it.