After living on my own for over 3 years I’m soon to get a house guest. It’s not a lodger. I’m not moving in with my long-suffering girlfriend (I can hear her sighs of relief). I’m not opening up my house to squatters. No, it’s far more strange than that. I’ve managed to persuade my brother to quit his job in Scotland and move down to Yorkshire and stay with me until he can find himself a job down here (more specifically in Leeds).
He’s been a bit miserable doing the job he’s been doing and there isn’t a lot of work in his sector in Scotland. But there are a lot more opportunities down here so he’s finally decided to take the plunge. He’s got another couple of weeks to work before he’s served his notice so we’ve got that long to get used to the idea of living together again. And he’s worried.
When I left my parent’s home it was because it was really time to leave. I was causing quite a lot of friction and I needed my independence. I needed to strike out on my own and live on my own. When I did leave the atmosphere greatly improved (apparently) and it was more of a treat when I went to visit, so my relationship with my parents was far better. We all got on great and everything was rosy.
I’ve chilled out a lot over the years and I hope I’m not as boorish to live with as I used to be. The trouble is that my brother remembers what I used to be like and isn’t convinced that I’ve changed. He’s a smart lad and shouldn’t have any problem getting work and then moving into a place of his own so we shouldn’t have to live together for too long. But that still leaves a couple of months or so…
I think it’ll be fun actually. We’re best friends, have the same sense of humour, listen to the same music (in fact he recommends most of the albums I buy) and have significantly different interests to not be competitive any more (as brothers tend to be when they’re younger). I was always the boring, geeky one and he was always the popular rebel with a devil-may-care attitude. And we’ve always made a pretty good team.
I’m going to do my best to give him space and time to himself without nagging him about “keeping the house the way I like it” and putting his shoes and clothes in the right place. I’m also going to refrain from using the sort of lines my father used to use on us like “in my house you play by my rules”. It’s a temporary measure and as the elder brother, offering him sanctuary while he sorts himself out is the least I can do (I’m supposed to look out for him after all). Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to reorganise and tidy my house up to maximise the amount of space we’ll have. I’ll also make space for his superb stereo system as it blows mine out of the water. I’m also going to dust until I can dust no more!
At least we’ll have one consolation. We won’t be sharing the same room as we did for the first few years of our lives. All that served to do was allow us time to concoct schemes to drive our parents up the wall or bicker and fight, depending on our mood. I guess it will be a test to see how “grown up” and “adult” I’ve become. Or not as the case may be.