HOUSEMATE: A Practical Guide to Living with Other People by Teona & Deanna Sclar Tone

HOUSEMATE: A Practical Guide to Living with Other People

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Not sitcom situations but ""creative alternatives to living alone"" in an era of nontraditional households and punitive housing costs. Tone and Sclar, veterans of group living, don't gush: if such arrangements solve problems, and offer pluses (companionship, expanding interests), they also create problems--which, however, can be anticipated and avoided, minimized, or resolved. To illustrate the possibilities of teaming-up (and dispel readers' fears), the authors describe how ""overworked,"" ""overwrought,"" overextended San Franciscans Nancy and Garland took in student boarder-helpers; how conventional, middle-class, abandoned mother-of-two Mary eased into house-sharing with widow Hilda and her daughter; how the Millers and the Jasons, professional couples and old friends, became the proud owners of a Victorian relic (and squabbled over renovations). Then it's time for the actualities: visualizing the ideal housemate (including money/service tradeoffs), and locating and selecting the right person (with smart tips on telephone and face-to-face interviews); arranging finances (why not to include utilities, how to tabulate expenses), sharing property (space, furnishings, appliances), and splitting up housework (complete to care of pets and plants). Kitchen arrangements--cooking, cleaning-up, ""pilfering"" food--come in for special attention. Also such touchy questions as overnight guests, unruly kids, and divergent tastes in music. The authors are firm on rules, and flexible about remedies; in conclusion, they discuss weekly household meetings, keeping within the law, and painless parting. Congenial guidance, geared to ordinary humans.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1985
Publisher: Ballantine