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Co-op Housing

June 26, 2016

There’s a woman I know from a weekly dance.  She’s told me before that she needs to be with people.  I did notice that, even though she comes there to dance, she spends much of the time talking with other people.  She’s also told me that she lives in a trailer, all by herself.  The other day, I overheard her telling somebody else that she wanted to sell her trailer and move into an appartment.  I didn’t think of it then, but I wondered later if co-op housing might suit her.  I’ll mention it the next time I see her.

I first thought about co-op housing a few years ago, when a fellow I worked with recommended it to me.  He knew that I lived alone.  He knew that I was not a very sociable person.  I’m sure that he believed that I would benefit from living with other people.  Of course, I scoffed at the idea.  I wasn’t going to change the way I lived.  I liked being alone.  Co-op housing was the furthest thing from my mind.

This fellow had lived in co-op housing when he was a student at University.  He told us about the experience many times.  Each person had a separate room, but they ate all their meals together.  They took turns doing the cooking, and other chores like shopping and cleaning.  Usually, several people worked together at any of these tasks.  Certainly they saved money by doing those things together.  That’s something that would be important to students.  I’m sure they also acquired valuable skills as well, along with an appreciation of other people.

My parents are living in a senior’s home now, but in some respects, it’s like co-op housing.  The residents eat all their meals together in the dining room.  Eating together is how they get to know other people in the senior’s home.  To some extent, these meals are highlights of their day.  In between meals, people there return to their rooms.  They don’t often co-operate in other tasks, though: all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry are done by staff members.  People do get together at various activities organized by the senior’s home.  I suppose it’s as close as you can get to co-op housing for people who don’t want to work anymore.

I can certainly see some advantages for a person like me in co-op housing.  I’d learn to be friendly to other people at their convenience, not just at mine.  I’d learn how to cooperate with others.  I’d learn to appreciate other people.  I’d be appreciated by others for what I could contribute to the group.  I’m also reluctant to even take the first step in that direction.  I’m not motivated by the need to save money.  I like to be in full control of my life.  What if they didn’t like me?  What if they didn’t want me?  What if they asked too much of me?  I need some time to myself.  I like my life the way it is.


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