Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: Roommate Nightmares

Tell me your worst stories.

It’s been a couple of months since I panic-moved from the apartment I’d been in for a month because my roommate was completely ridiculous and unreasonable. It’s starting to be hilarious instead of traumatizing. I mean, she basically kicked me out for forgetting to bring in a package from the hallway, shortly after she had flipped out because I slid the couch over six inches.

So I want to hear your awful roommate tales. Come on, hit me with your best shot.

By [E] Liza

PhD student. Knitter. Brooklynite. Long-distance dog mom. Reluctant cat lady. Majestic unicorn whose hair changes color with the wind.

15 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: Roommate Nightmares”

One of my military roommates was completely self-centered. We had more strict rules in the dorm (like “the room has to be spotless if you’re not there), and she’d do things like keep her sink clean iby using mine after I left for breakfast (she’d put on her makeup, do her hair, etc — and leave the mess). And talk loudly on her phone after lights-out (until 2 or 3 am some nights) and with speakerphone in the mornings, and give me shit if I made ANY noise while she was on the phone. And she would go through my desk and steal any food. And she used two of the three closets (the building was full of *technically* three-person rooms, but they were only full when one person was arriving just before another left) and both dressers for her clothes and shoes and things.

When I moved to Raleigh, I rented a room from a military family (he was deployed, she didn’t want to be the only adult in the house while he was gone). It was a mess. They have a five-year-old who is very sweet, and she’s homeschooling him and doing freelance writing work, which means they’re home all day — and I was job-hunting and also home most of the time. Well, the “house rules” went from “respect common areas” to “don’t keep anything in the kitchen unless it’s in the fridge, spend as little time in the common areas as possible, don’t try to talk to me ever, leave the kid and my cat alone, I don’t want to hear music/movies from your computer ever, get your mail as soon as I put it out or I’ll throw it out, I have every right to judge your activities and any purchases you make, and why the hell don’t you have a job within a month of moving in when you got here just before Christmas”.Didn’t help that any conversation we had was like my debates with that hateful voice in my head that I try to ignore because it’s a judgmental, mean asshole. I was only there a month. I got out as soon as I found an apartment sublease with sweet college girls (who were worlds better, even if getting people to wash their own dishes was like trying to walk a cat).

I had signed a lease with a roommate and went home for a couple weeks over summer. She calls me and tells me a week after I left and says “I forgot I joined the Navy and ship out tomorrow.” She had also gotten married during that short time. Never saw her again. But I got a great piece of furniture because she up and left.

I have been lucky–I think when I had random roommates usually I was the bad one. I had an ongoing house-wide conflict one year in college when three of us thought the house was unlive-ably freezing and the two less shy/more confrontational roommates felt like it was worth it to save money on heat. That was awkward and unpleasant, but not out of the range of normal I think. I had a roommate who was literally never here, which could be ideal depending on your life and preferences, but I was pretty lonely without anyone around in the evenings, so I didn’t care for that at the time. Plus having a roommate who is rarely home is lonely AND you can’t really sit around naked because they COULD come back at any time, so it was doubly annoying.

My cats are probably the worst roommates I’ve ever had though. They eat all the food, they’re ungrateful, they sleep on top of me, they chew through electrical cords, they occasional poop and vomit on the carpet, and they destroy the furniture. I mean, seriously?! They don’t even help with the dishes.

I’ve had lots of people roommates–four years of boarding school, four years of college, two years of other single roommates, two and a half years of a husband–but mostly, that’s been ok.

There was the guy who slept in his jeans and then wore them to work – for two straight weeks in the Australian summer. The smell is… not worth attempting to describe. Then he brought his friend to one of our parties and let me get off with him knowing said friend had a girlfriend… who I met the following week at another party.

He was probably the worst, which really means I’ve been pretty lucky, I suppose…

Oh wait, no, I had blocked it out! There was the people who would have sex in the (empty) bath and leave their condom wrappers there for the rest of us to find in the morning; the guy who would bring girls home, forget their names, and beg us to get rid of them for him the next day; and the guy who would get off his head on god-knows-what then bounce on my bed wearing nothing but a sombrero and a flag.

Ah, memories.

Great poll topic…but I believe I have blocked out “The Horrors The Horrors!” I have vague memories of filth, disorder, and late rent…mixed in with cat poop in unpleasant places and coming out of bedroom into the living room on numerous occasions and thinking I was in Jonestown!!! Sleeping bodies everywhere, empty bottles, TV and stereo blaring…sometime way back in the early 70’s. Gone…and thankfully…almost forgotten!
Dr. Deah

There are currently six days (and counting) worth of dirty dishes which cover the countertop, fill the sink, and have even crept over to being piled on top of half the stove. It is not. my. turn. Too bad I’m in a relationship with my “roommate” or I’d totally be going ape-shit on him for this mess right now…

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