House and home

In general, I’m not much of a people person. This isn’t to say I don’t like other humans—I do (well, most of them, anyway).

Rather, it means that I'm pretty fond of alone time. And personal space. Especially personal space.

That's just one reason why, up until this point, I've only had one roommate in my life who wasn't also a family member or significant other.

And so I read, with great curiosity, SN&R staff writer Janelle Bitker's inside look on what it's like to live as part of a cohousing community (see “You have how many f@#king roommates?!,” SN&R Feature Story, page 19).

Cohousing, as in multiple roommates. Eleven in Bitker's case, to be exact. Sharing four bathrooms. Whoa. That's a lot of togetherness. Initially the thought of such an arrangement gave me a shudder. So much human interaction, so little space!

But as I kept reading, I also recognized the inherent value in sharing one's living quarters with a large group.

For one, as Bitker points out, we're increasingly isolated as a society—this despite (or perhaps because of) our ability to stay constantly and relentlessly in touch via technology.

And there's the money issue, too. A house shared 12 ways is pretty damn cost-efficient.

Cohousing is a growing trend for seniors, and although I'd like to think I'm decades away from needing such a thing, it's never too soon to think about smart, viable options. After all, my husband and I don't have children, and as amazing as my four cats are, I don't really expect them to offer any kind of practical (or monetary) support.

I've come to realize there may eventually come a time to redefine that personal space.