Sharing the Microwave

We are having the wood floors in our dining room and the cork floors in the corridors connecting the rooms on the first floor refinished. When the workers arrived yesterday morning, I showed them where the restrooms were and took them to the kitchen to locate the microwave and refrigerator. They looked at me quizzically.

I said, “I realize you probably want to go out for lunch but you’re welcome to use them anyway.”

“Us?” If they have been smoking, their cigars would have been on the floor.

We have a resident with parents in Florida who send him a case every year. He can’t possibly eat all of them so he puts them on the counter for the taking. I offered both workers oranges. They looked at me like, “What are you up to?”

Living in cohousing creates a kind of blinders to the way the rest of the residential building world works. Then a little thing like this reminds me. We offer the same amenities to our mail and package delivery people. They have few places where a restroom is available—a clean one—and they sometimes stop in just to pee. A former postal worker used to have her lunch here everyday. She read her newspaper and listened to music. One used to watch TV on his break.

One brought us a stack of puzzles his family had finished because we always have a puzzle table out next to the window in the sunroom.

We put out cookies during the holidays, too, but lots of people do that. One year we put out a big bag of popcorn and it was rejected.

By Sharon Villines

Artist and Writer with too many interests living in Washington DC.