Re: Mainstream "Weirdos"
From: RowenaHC (
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 07:20:05 -0700 (MST)
In a message dated 2/16/00 3:06:13 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
matt [at] writes:

<< ctually, I've been thinking about this from the other side.  Most of the
 cohousing groups I've corresponded with here in North America seem to have
 many of the stereotypical middle class, white collar predjudices and
 intolerance.  Since I'm a bit non-traditional, this worries me.

Gosh, where do you live.  You would be pretty mainstream in Cambridge MA!
 1) I'm a computer geek.  I have a routed DSL connection at home with a
 5-bit subnet.  I think discussions of the Sapir-Worf hypothesis and how
 it applies to computer languages are absolutely facinating.  I have a copy
 of the O'Reilly book on Lego Mindstorms on my bookshelf.

We have several computer geeks in CambridgeCoho and that doesn't even count 
the people who earn their living making web-pages or hanging out at MIT Media 
 2) I want to build airplanes.  I've found that a number of white-collar
 types don't want to work with their hands.  For me, a top-notch workshop
 is a requirement and I would love to share it with others who restore
 antique cars, build furniture, etc.

Our workshop is usually busy with two or three projects going on.  Some of us 
prefer to dig the dirt in the garden.
 3) I ride a motorcycle and have been mistaken for a bad-ass biker.
I don't think anyone here has a motorcycle but a couple of folk look like 
bad-assed bicycle messengers as they zoom around town.

 4) I do amateur radio, so an absolute prohibition on external antennas
 would be a problem for me.  I'm probably better socialized than many ham
 radio operators, but that's not saying much.

No prohibitions here, but you would have to ask the members to approve.
 5) I'm Pagan.  Groups (not just cohousing groups) that open their meetings
 with a very Christian prayer make me uncomfortable.  I don't mind a group
 celebrating various religious holidays, I just don't want to have problems
 observing my holidays.  I've also run into the problem of people assuming
 I'm Christian and getting upset when they discover my beliefs.  I don't
 proseletyze and I'm very low-key about it, but I'm probably more religious
 than the average American.
 We celebrate anything that anyone wants to go to the trouble of celebrating. 
 Our membership includes most of the usual - Catholics, Jews, Quakers, 
Buddhists, agnostics - and most of us enjoy being asked to participate in the 
others' holidays.    We do have a few minutes of silence at the beginning of 
our General Meetings, which is hold over from the early days when most of the 
members were Friends - but there is no suggestion what you should think 

 6) I'm middle-aged, heterosexual and single with no children.  I'm not
 quite sure how I managed to never get married, but it puts me in a very
 small class of men and, again, it makes some people uncomfortable when
 they try to catagorize me.

We've got some of them too!   But we try not to categorize people.

 7) I serious dislike the current American model of "you live in the
 suburbs and drive into the factory in the city to work".  I'm very
 interested in a mixed residential/commercial development.  This has rather
 horrified some of the cohousing folks I've spoken with.
We are urban, five minutes from the subway and grocery store.  Quite a few of 
our members work at home and we have included a few "home" offices in our 
common spaces.   There is a body-shop down the street and a metal shop.  
However, "commercial" around here usually means computers!

So all you need is to find the right group and you would be "typical" not 
"out there"


 Well, there are some of my concerns.  They don't apply to all cohousing
 groups, but I've run into these problems at least once.
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