WHAT IS THE KEY TO FINDING GOOD HOUSEMATES? First is the golden rule: do unto others . . . If you want your beer to be in the fridge when you get home, don't drink other people's beer. Second: do it while it's easy. If you have an itch or if something doesn't feel right, speak up about it before it becomes a big deal to you. Three, your room is your own. Nobody should have any reason to be in your room ever except by your own personal invitation. And then the last one is what I call the incest taboo. You've got to treat your housemates as if they were your siblings. Because otherwise you're going to have big trouble. Or somebody is going to end up moving out. Unless they actually fall in love and get married. I've heard a few of those. But those are far fewer than the others.

Annamarie Pluhar speaks at Porter Square Books on August 23.

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