In San Francisco if you have rent control, leaving that situation to play house with your partner actually causes your rent to go up. (Courtesy photo)

In San Francisco if you have rent control, leaving that situation to play house with your partner actually causes your rent to go up. (Courtesy photo)

‘Til death do us part: When rent control is a bigger commitment than marriage

http://sfexaminer.com/category/the-city/sf-news-columns/broke-ass-city/

We’d had a pretty incredible San Francisco night. It started at one of The City’s last underground art spaces for an event called Puppet Death Match.

It’s exactly what it sounds like: a series of funny vignettes in which a bunch weird puppets battle to the death…obviously.

Afterwards we popped by the White Horse Tavern for a couple drinks before heading to the Body Taboo Midnight Cabaret at the Shelton Theater.

This installment of Body Taboo was a tribute to the band Queen, so there were drag queens, burlesque dancers, and sword swallowers, all doing their thing to the music of Freddie Mercury and the gang. Like I said, an incredible San Francisco night.

After popping by the White Horse for a couple more rounds, Kayla and I found ourselves at Café Mason for some late night sustenance. Sitting beneath the fluorescent lights, among the tourists and the drunks, and the drunk tourists, dunking my grilled cheese into tomato soup, we came to the conclusion that if we ever got married, we’d both be perfectly fine not moving in with each other. Upon sober reflection the next day, it still made sense.

What’s interesting about this idea is that it represents both the best and the worst things about the modern day Bay Area. On the one hand, it’s a reflection of the way our culture has shrugged off traditional values, especially surrounding things like courtship, marriage, and love. On the other, it’s directly influenced by the harrowing economic situation so many of us are in.

If Kayla and I were to live together it would be important that we each have our own separate spaces. Cramming two fiercely independent people into a studio apartment is a surefire way to destroy a relationship, no matter how much they love each other. But since we both currently have well priced rent and our own spaces, we can still spend every night together if we want, and still have whatever time to ourselves we want as well.

I actually think we’re onto something here. Granted neither of us really wants kids, so that makes things easier, but even if we did, would that really be so bad? There are millions of kids in America who shuttle between two or more homes because their parents aren’t together. So how would that be any different if their parents were together?

Who knows, it might just keep their parents together longer.

The crux of the damn thing is that, in most places people move in together because it cuts down on expenses. But in San Francisco if you’ve got a non greedy landlord or you have rent control, leaving that situation to play house with your partner actually causes your rent to go up.

The absolute worst scenario, and one that far too many of us have experienced, is breaking up with your live in significant other, and not being able to afford to move out. I can feel how many of you just shuddered at that sentence. Last time I lived with a partner and we broke up was 2012, and I was lucky enough to be able to get into the place I’m at now before the entire rental market went looney tunes. But if that happened in this rental market, there’s a good chance I’d have to leave San Francisco forever, and hell, I can’t even afford Oakland anymore.

Now we’re not getting married anytime soon, but given the state of things, I think being married and living in separate places would be perfectly fine by me. Because significant others come and go, but rent control is forever…if you’re lucky.

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at BrokeAssStuart.com and join his mailing list to stay up on the work he’s doing: http://bit.ly/BrokeAssList. His guest column, Broke-Ass City, runs Thursdays in the Examiner. Bay Area NewsPlanning

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

Music producer Phil Spector looks up during his murder trial in Superior Court July 10, 2007 in Los Angeles. (Gabriel Bouys-Pool/Getty Images/TNS)
Phil Spector, visionary music producer convicted in notorious murder, dies at 81

Phil Spector, the visionary record producer who revolutionized pop music in the… Continue reading

Toni Isabella, a counselor at Ohlhoff Recovery Programs, finds helpful assistance from service dog Barker Posey.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Toni Isabella: Helping people indoors and out recover from addiction’s dark side

Counselor supports holistic, progressive approach to healing

In recognition of recent news surrounding Donald Trump, here are two peach drinks: Frozy Navel, left, and Peach Gin Fizz. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Impeached twice? Try these two peach cocktails

Mix these up and toast in hopes of more laughs, lighter times in 2021

Most Read