When I was younger, I loved sleepovers, slumber parties - sleeping bags lined up next to each other, eating and talking and laughing until we drifted off to sleep. When I was a young adult, I crashed, cat-napped, and passed out on cigarette burned couches, beer soaked floors, hotel room bathtubs - and once, the back of a boat parked in a friend's garage. In my early twenties, I traveled abroad and stayed in youth hostels - a mat on the floor right next to a fellow traveller curled up on her mat two feet from mine. When I was younger - communal living was fun and adventurous and a little bit dangerous.
As a 48 year old woman, I am less interested in communal sleeping and yet - strangely enough, the opportunity has come up more than I am comfortable with. I recently chaperoned a weekend event for my high schooler's Speech & Debate team. My room and board was paid for with the caveat that I share a room with another same gendered parent. One room, two beds, two strangers. My roommate was lovely. Her pajamas were way prettier than mine. A beautifully embroidered gown with teeny-tiny bells. "Are you going to sleep in that?" I asked, as I shamefully pulled the covers up over my sweatshirt. She jingled and snored all night long. I know, because I didn't sleep a wink.
In May, the 100% remote company I work for will meet in Boston for a three day meeting. Most of us have never met in person - although we talk every day. We will be staying in one big house - together - more communal living. Co-workers, sleeping together. What is this - the 70's?
Look, I'm all for being young and hip and edgy. But I don't want to know my co-workers hygiene habits or if they are mouth-breathers or if they make bodily noises while sleeping. Awkward! If I refuse and book a hotel room up the road, I am the old lady who isn't one of the gang - and if I stay in the house, I won't sleep for 3 days. Either way - I'm pissed that this is even a thing. I mean - do I have to sleep wearing my bra - just in case I run into my boss on the way to the communal bathroom in the middle of the night? Oh man, I'm going to have to hold it for 3 days.
Lori Ann Dinkins
One blog at a time, I write the truth about my life as it is, as I hope it will be, as I wish it would have been. Business insights and personal triumphs. Thank you for joining me.