Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Question of Housesharing Ethics

When sharing a house and you got there first, would you just automatically take the room with the king size bed? That was the choice of one of the couples we are living with in Chautauqua.

We knew up front that this magnificent house had a room with a king, one with a double, and two with two twins each. Nice choices for an extended family with 4 grandchildren. But for 3 couples all in their 50s?

It’s even more interesting because the couple who are now occupying the room with the king urged us to take this house because they didn’t mind sleeping in separate beds. Go figure! Their excuse for their choice last night (they must have known that we were all wondering even though no one had asked), was that they were going on to Vermont from here and had a lot of luggage.

When the other 4 of us arrived around the same time, Deborah suggested that we choose from the remaining rooms since I had found the house. That was even more generous than just drawing straws as I would have proposed. She was already planning how she and her husband could just put 2 twins together and make a big bed. But I could tell she really preferred the double bed room.

We opted for the penthouse of twin beds instead. It’s really pretty cool up here. We have two dormer rooms and a window that overlooks the “Carey Cottage.” I can’t tell you who the Careys are, but I can tell you that they are providing us with free Internet service. We have 4 beds or any combination of them to choose from.

I can’t wait to jump on the shiny red bicycle that came with the house and go exploring around the grounds of this fairyland. I’m looking out my window at a whole neighborhood of gingerbread houses with their porches and wicker furniture.

It’s great to be in Chautauqua!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

May your week at camp be all you have anticipated. The house looks lovely. FL

2:58 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

If I were first, I'm sure I would have taken one of the rooms with the twin beds. I would have felt guilty all week if I took the best room.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

FL -- The pic is of the house across the street. But it looks much like our house. All were built in the late 1800s. I'm sure it will be fun, but all I can think of right now is cooling off! It's in the 90s here.

Kristin -- I might have done what you suggested, but probably would have just waited until everyone was here and then done something totally fair so that no one presumed anything. Chance is the best arbitrar in situations like this!

6:17 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

People have different ways of approaching life. Some believe that if they are first, they have first right of choice. Others (like me) are more cooperative and look towards building consensus – "How are we going to allocate the resources?"

The question of whether it is fair or not depends on how you view life: if you want something do you take it or do you ask permission?

I remember a piece of advice given to me, "Never ask for permission, if necessary, ask for forgiveness."

This is hard for me to live because I believe that all affected parties should be informed and involved.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

You did the right thing....I would have felt guilty otherwise. Your idea of drawing numbers or straws would have been my first approach though.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Dsquared said...

umm...if the penthouse had 2 bedrooms, wouldn't that have provided even more storage space for the Vermont bound couple?

9:53 PM  

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