PLEDGE NOW
The Art And Science Of Living With A Stranger

From college dorms and summer camps to RVs and retirement hotels, what it’s like to share a room. True stories of roommates.

Lara Russo, left, Cally Guasti, center, and Reese Werkhoven sit on a couch in their apartment in New Paltz, N.Y. on Thursday, May 15, 2014.  While their roommate story of $40,800 found in a couch made the news, other, weirder stories of unusual roommates are far more common. (AP)

Lara Russo, left, Cally Guasti, center, and Reese Werkhoven sit on a couch in their apartment in New Paltz, N.Y. on Thursday, May 15, 2014. While their roommate story of $40,800 found in a couch made the news, other, weirder stories of unusual roommates are far more common. (AP)

We may be living in the great age of roommates.  A bad economy, expensive housing, twenty-somethings doing what they have to, an army of older singles looking for companionship, cost-sharing.  Roommates are the answer to a lot of very contemporary challenges.  But, of course, they can be challenges in themselves.  Odd couple friends and supporters, or no-way nightmares.  When you get a roommate, you get the whole package of another human being – their ticks, their habits, their magic, their dirty dishes.  This hour On Point: our great age of roommates.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Stephanie Wu, culture, food and travel writer and editor at Town & Country. Author of the new book “The Roommates: True Tales of Friendship, Rivalry, Romance and Disturbingly Close Quarters.” (@stephwu)

Elizabeth Bernstein, ‘Bonds’ columnist and reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@EBernsteinWSJ)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: ‘The Roommates: True Tales of Disturbingly Close Quarters” – “Any day now, parents across the country will fill their minivans with hope and some stuff from Target and drive their amazing kids off to college. Some of their young men and women will study business and English, while others will simply major in beer. But every one of them will gain an appreciation for comedian Bridger Winegar’s recent tweet, ‘Roommate wanted. We would split rent 50/50, utilities 50/50, cable 50/50, groceries 50/50. Ideally, you would live somewhere else.'”

Huffington Post: The 8 Worst Types of Roommates You Could Encounter — “At 27, I’ve lived with nearly 20 different roommates, between summer camps, college, and post-grad life in New York City. Some have become my best friends; others are remembered only by their odd habits (like the one who insisted on climbing into a wardrobe whenever she was changing). Most of my roommates have impacted me in some way — for better or worse –and inspired me to spend the better part of last year researching this particularly fraught relationship. ”

New York Times: The Buddy System — “For the fresh-out-of-college transplants eager to make New York home, living in shared quarters is a rite of passage. What with the monthly tariff for a studio as high as $2,777 in Manhattan and almost $2,600 in Brooklyn, according to the real estate appraiser Miller Samuel, the young and the nestless often must resign themselves to a term of communal habitation in a cozy one-bedroom that becomes a two- or three-bedroom with the aid of a drywall partition. ”

Read An Excerpt Of “The Roommates” By Stephanie Wu

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 28, 2015
Protesters congregate in front of city hall Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Cleveland. Members of about 40 churches are protesting the acquittal of a white patrolman charged in the deaths of two unarmed black motorists with a march through downtown Cleveland. (AP)

The new Cleveland standard of American policing. Will it stop abuse? Will it get the job done?

May 28, 2015
Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands as he sits behind glass in a courtroom, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb, Egypt, Saturday, May 16, 2015. (AP)

Sentenced to death in Egypt for espionage, respected academic Emad Shahin joins us with a big take on Egypt, ISIS and America’s response.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 27, 2015
The logo from the new film, "(Dis)Honesty," which is also the logo for the Dishonesty Project. (The Dishonesty Project)

Are we natural born liars? Is it human to lie? Inside the new documentary, ” (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies.”

 
May 27, 2015
Two persons are reflected in the FIFA logo at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings into FIFA's awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, only hours after seven soccer officials were arrested Wednesday pending extradition to the U.S. in a separate probe of "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption. (AP)

Top officials at soccer’s international governing body FIFA arrested in Switzerland today on charges of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment
 
Caller: ‘It Doesn’t Always Turn Out Okay’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One caller shares her own story of an extremely premature birth. Her daughter, born at 22 1/2 weeks in 2012, was taken off life support after seven days.

More »
Comment