We are all Goldilocks now.
I am and you are, well most of the people I’ve ever known have been.
In fact, if you have ever rented a room in a shared house, you are Goldilocks. And if you have ever offered a room to rent, you are neither Goldilocks or nor one the bears. I don’t know what you are. In a bind like us I’d guess.
What brings me to this realization is that at the time of writing this, we are currently searching for a new housemate. Despite repeated newspaper articles claiming that finding accommodation in London is increasingly difficult, our lack of applicants hasn’t borne this out. Those that do attach profile photographs look like they’re posing for a Gap catalogue, or thinking that pouting and looking provocative is an somehow an inducement. Some of them have photos that are so artfully posed one thinks ‘too much free time on their hands’. And some of them contain photos of them undertaking a bewildering array of adventurous activities. Which are both alarming and unsettling. And that’s before you even read the profile. I say ‘read’, because it’s more like correcting basic grammatical errors. Capitalization is a major mistake, or rather a lack thereof. There is also a sense of over familiarity that borders on an emotional abnormality. And it’s from this selection of candidates that one is supposed to choose a candidate to interview.
Now my remembrance of the Goldilocks story is a bit hazy but from what I can recall, Goldilocks somehow gained entry into the bears’ house and, finding it empty, investigates. She finds three porridge bowls and proceeds to tastes each of them, finding that whilst one is too hot and one is too cold, the third one is just right. After this she feels a bit tired and finds their beds. One is too lumpy, one is too soft too soft, but one is just right. It is the same with these candidates. They all present the best possible version of themselves. They are tidy, but not obsessively so. Whilst their room might be a bombsite, they are respectful of communal areas. They like a drink, but only to be sociable. They are respectful of personal space and to all intents and purposes are both affable and considerate in the extreme. Apart, that is, from candidates who confuse an interview for the room with a therapy session.
There was one lady who had the biological clock ringing loudly in her ear so not unreasonably told her husband that she wanted a baby. His immediate response was that he wanted a divorce. Quite how I managed not to burst out laughing at that is a cause of wonderment. I mean, no doubt it was unbearably tragic to be in that situation, but she recounted it with all the aplomb and timing of a stand-up comic. But at least she was funnier than the chap who told us he’d tried stand up amongst other things, but wasn’t any good at it, so we Googled his name afterwards and saw You Tube clips proving it. Then there was the guy that had two teenage daughters who he wanted occasionally to sleepover. This wouldn’t be a problem were it not for the fact that he continually repeated throughout the interview. What finally did it for me was when he said that he wouldn’t want to live with anyone who voted for Brexit, and I thought ‘I wouldn’t to want to live with anyone who thinks that way’. I regret not calling him out on that.
But what all of these interviews have bough home – no pun intended – is that all of the prospective housemates have got hopes and dreams for their futures. Indeed, our fourth housemate never stays for more than a year and at least four have moved abroad to pursue their ambitions. One moved abroad to help care for sick parent. The original fourth housemate stuck it out for as long as she could before eventually buying her own flat. And I can’t help contrast their hopes and dreams with my own lack of them. And, to be honest, I haven’t exactly put down any binding ties to my neighbourhood, I haven’t gone out of my way to cultivate any friendships outside of my existing circle of two friends, and if I’m being generous to myself, possibly my support workers. My other two housemates have a daughter at a local school and which has created links to the area and by dint of that, plugged into a social network of other parents. ts. They have also benefited massively from not having a brain injury which has resulted in my past, well, becoming my past, which in turn leads onto some thoughts which would be depressing if it weren’t for the fact that I’m already depressed.
Anyway that’s as maybe.
We are all Goldilocks now.