14 Kalimat 166 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)
Drumbeat in my head: The White Stripes, “I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother’s Heart”
This weekend we held a potluck dinner to celebrate the July birthdays in my co-op house—of which there are three. Mine was the 7th, another person’s was the 19th and the baby in our house turned one on the 16th.
One big difference between this co-op and the more student-oriented downtown co-ops is that we have potlucks, not parties. With some of the downtown co-ops, the parties don’t even begin until 11 p.m. But half our house doesn’t even drink and we also have a child’s bedtime to deal with. (Not to mention my own, which lately has been 9:30 p.m. during the week and 10:30 during the weekends.)
A wide variety of friends came to our potluck. Some have been here a number of times, but others have never seen a co-op before, and it’s always interesting when someone sees a house like ours for the first time. I like to make it an educational experience, with a purpose–i.e. ”The Museum of Cooperative Living.”
I always give a tour, showing the common areas, the kitchen, the porches, the garden in the back, and my bedroom and the upstairs area. I like how we’re able to debunk common myths about co-op houses—showing that we’re not just for students or “hippies,” that we have wide age range (mid-20’s to late 40’s, plus a child), and showing how nicely we keep up the place. I always get comments about the beautiful woodwork in our house, and visitors are often surprised at the number and variety of people that live here.
I know that by and large most people who visit here would not imagine themselves living the way I do. That’s fine–I’m more interested in giving people more of an idea of exactly how I live and how I manage to pull off this lifestyle. Maybe for a fleeting moment they might try putting themselves in my shoes and imagine what it must be like. At the very least, people will come away with a more concrete idea about cooperative living.