It was when I squished up next to my boyfriend in his single bed last night that I realised that I am much like a sardine in a sardine can. It’s not as crammed full, mind you, but the idea is still in motion. All my life I’ve been a sardine huddling and squeezing into spaces to help accommodate other people. When I was little I shared a single bed with my sister Vie, we had a bunk bed but chose to be in the same (I think this stems from sharing a cot as a baby). We’d argue over who got to sleep where and most of the time my twin ended up falling into the gap between the mattress and the wall and waking up in the morning to find a metal bar prodding her back. We have moved rooms and changed beds since so it’s less of a squash and we might have been tempted to cuddle up when a spider is loose in our room but it was a lot more worse. It also used to be better too.
Originally there were four of us. Me, Vie, mum and Grandy shared a nice Victorian townhouse with each other and it was quiet and spacious. We even had rooms to spare in our house, it’s now a rare sight to see a room in our house without a person in it. When I was seven mums boyfriend moved in from Watford and they got married, and then they had kids. When I was twelve Mellie came to world and our playroom was used as her bedroom, and to escape the noise me and evie moved ourselves into the upstairs bedroom. A few years later Lixie was here and so Mellie moved from the playroom to our old bedroom and Lixie moved into the nursery. It was fine, we fit cozily enough not to complain…just. Vie, being a whole nine minutes older than me took control of our room and decided upon every matter, sometimes it broke out into fights. Soon four became fie, then six, then seven…then there were nine. More people kept filling up beds (doesn’t the rhyme state that people get OUT of the bed?!) when my sister fell pregnant and her boyfriend moved in a few months back.
“Hello Jonda” I could hear all the way upstairs.
“Hello.” I heard Jonda say. I assume at this point mum saw the ginormous suitcase in tow and asked about it to which Jonda asnwered “I’m staying here for a while” i.e. moving in. Originally he and my sister shared a single bed, but with three people in one room I couldn’t take it, and let Jonathan and Evie take over, Especially when Boscy arrived and they needed the space.
Luckily at that point I had moved out and gone to university near(ish) to London, so what happened to my room didn’t matter so much as before but life hasn’t stopped being a sardine can. I currently share a flat with eleven other people. While we do have our own bedrooms and bathrooms- sorry, I did say flat and not hotel, didn’t I?- meaning it’s more space than I’ve ever had, all twelve of us have to share a living room which at most fits nine. It’s made even worse when the boys take over and lie one to a couch and splay their stuff everywhere. I haven’t had my choice of TV since I watched a Derren Brown show in October, and that was only when no one else was in the room. It was 11pm. All the more the kitchen only has one sink, and two ovens. I have had to cook at 1am because that was the only time when the stoves weren’t being used by someone, and the single sink makes it difficult for us all to get a drink, drain our pasta, or wash our plates. Even the fridge is sardine like having to squash all our things onto one small shelf each.
Luckily when I come home for the holidays I don’t have to stay at home, which is made all the worse when my aunt stays over and is put on a futon in Mellies’ room. I get the luxury of staying in a different house, just across the park, with my boyfriend and his family. I am here right now for the Easter holidays. There are normally only four of them usually and the house is much smaller than the one I lived in before, so while there’s less people the concentration is just the same. There’s the same share of people using the same bathrrom and the same average amount of people per room. I currently sleep with my 6’2″ boyfriend in his single bed from his childhood so I am squashed most nights. Luckily we get a double bed on Thursday and I have the joy of having the bed to myself tonight as he stays at a friends, but I can’t help but wish I was back in my bed at university.
If only the new bed had memory foam, then I would be in bliss.