Monday, June 15, 2009

The joy of roommates

For me, picking a roommate is almost as important as picking a spouse or a pet. Why? Because you are inviting someone into your home and living with them in a casual, personal setting. This isn't like work where you can retreat to a cube or "punch out" at 5 p.m., oh no, this person is with you at night and first-thing in the morning. Oh and weekends!

I've only had a few roommates because I learned very early on that I do better living alone. I have a tendency to be territorial and like 15 minutes of quiet when I get home, where my Blackberry isn't buzzing, phone isn't ringing or people aren't saying my name. Having a roommate who is okay with "quiet time" and no talking right away is tough.

I bring this up because today, one of my co-workers was telling me about looking for a new apartment/roommates and hearing her talk about it, reminds me of an episode of the Bachelor.

First, how awesome would it be to have a roommate rose ceremony full of tears, self-doubt and drama?

In the city, having roommate is a common thing, but the process of picking one, from interviews, to applications to credit checks to waiting by the phone to hear if you're in, it's very reality show-inspired.

I guess we can say that the group dates and making out with multiple people are optional.

And along with hearing about the interview process, it made me really feel fortunate that my roommate experiences to date haven't been life-scarring awful. Sure, they haven't been great but not unmanageable.

I've had a roommate that told me to "burn in hell," on a regular basis, one that didn't like walking in on my boyfriend and me making out all the time so she would passive aggressively slam doors early in the morning and one that would chastise my cleaning skills verbally to anyone that would listen. So not awful but not fun either. That is exactly why I live alone.

What is your worst/best roommate experience?

35 comments:

Blaez said...

you had to ask!!

most recent experience would be Crystal. I moved into her house. They have 2 dogs and never cleaned up after themselves. She had 2 fridges and i paid rent on the downstairs fridge to keep my stuff and she'd say it was her stuff even though i'd show a receipt that i bought it and she'd take it anyways... it was super nasty. we're no longer friends.

ChicagoSane said...

I've been blessed with NEVER having a roommate but once: I lived with two lesbians. They were PERFECT.

I have, though, intervened on behalf of friends and lovers with bad roommates. I am the best friend to have when you have roommate issues.

I have absolutely no problem walking into their room in the middle of the night, pulling them off their bed by their legs so their head hits the floor, and stepping on their throat and reminding them that if they ever steal even ONE fucking pickle from the fridge, I'll press down until we hear cracking noises.

Note, I've done it to women, too. Bitches and nags aren't human, they're animals.

Never be afraid to take a friend by the feet and dump them on the floor and threaten to crush their larynx. It gets the job done.

chickbug said...

Wow. This post reminded me how lucky I've been. I've only had friends as roommates (except for my freshmen year of college, but she was nice enough). And the best part is, living together didn't end any friendships. In fact, it brought us even closer together. That being said...I LOVE living alone. =)

Erin said...

My first roommate in college accused me of having sex with my boyfriend in her bunk while she was sitting at her desk. Never happened. She would hide my food and lock the phone in her closet when she wasn't home. It was awful.

The only roommate I've ever gotten along with is my husband.

Jess said...

I had an absolutely awesome roommate my freshman year of college. We became BFFs. I really lucked out. Roommates are definitely tricky territory.

barbetti said...

I definitely have a roommate from hell story. You might remember my tweets from six months ago...the roommate that lived in my home for FOUR MONTHS, paid rent for ONE WEEK (albeit, it was his father's money). Roommate who ordered EIGHT ALBUMS on my iTunes account, $560 worth of porn on our DirectTV account, ate all our food and the breaking point was the night he got in a fight downtown with a bunch of guys, they chased him back to our house WITH GUNS and threated to burn our home down.

I'm no pushover, so this whole situation still shocks me. Three months later, I hear that he got his ass whooped by a bunch of TWELVE YEAR OLDS and is in jail for statutory rape. Yeah.

StartingOver@28 said...

Sadly MS2BX was the easiest roommate transition I ever made. But girlwise; 2 friends both named Jen for two totally different reasons. We lived together perfectly. It just worked. Right now...I miss those days.

A Super Girl said...

Best roommate is a toss-up between three. 1 -- a girl I sort of knew in college but wasn't best friends with. 2 -- a random girl I found on Craigslist who needed roommates. 3 -- one of my best friends

Worst roommate would be when I went in blind my sophomore year. She went to class in python print leather pants and stilettos, used an entire bottle of aerosol hairspray every day, and was just generally a bit annoying. But she did leave every weekend, so that was a plus!

All in all, I suppose I've been lucky. But now that I live alone, I don't think I'll be getting another roommate unless it's a husband!

Jenn said...

i consider my husband a roommate and i can barely live with him :) living alone is nice, but boring. if you're going to live with someone they have to be willing to leave you alone sometimes. as long as that can happen - it's usually fine.

Hi! I'm Erin said...

My first two college roommates were bad but in totally different ways.

The first one stopped speaking to me and when I asked her why she said she just didn't think we had to be friends. No reason. Just she didn't want to be friends with me. I never said we had to be friends, but being civil might be nice. I moved out.

The girl I moved in with was very sweet but was in a strange co-dependent relationship with her boyfriend. She wouldn't leave the room if she thought he was going to call (this was pre-everyone having a cellphone) and spent HOURS on the phone with him each night saying "I love you, Scott*. Hugs and kisses. Love you too. Hugs and kisses. I love you, Scott. Hugs and kisses." Seriously. Hours. And in a small dorm room you can see how irritating this could be.

Thankfully all my other roommates have been drama-free (all two of them) and I'm still good friends with them.

*Name has been changed

Tipp said...

My freshman year in college I had two; one Fall semester and one Spring.

The Fall roomate took and WORE my underwear and socks and put them back in my drawer dirty. I saw it with my OWN eyes!

The Spring semester roomate stole my boyfriend and got pregnant with his child.

I win.

Mandy said...

I was lucky enough to make it through 4 years of college without having any roommates. The only time I had a roommate was when I did an internship in DC for three months and we got along great.

nicoleantoinette said...

I lived with the same girl all throughout college and we no longer communicate at all. Clearly, that ended well.

Now, I'm living alone for the first time ever and while I mostly love it, sometimes it surprises me how lonely I get.

Pam said...

Oh, this is a good one!

My worst roommate was the girl I lived with when I first moved to Chicago. We were friends in college, but not that close. A month before move-in day, her boyfriend broke up with her. She was devastated, but fine for a few months. And then all hell broke lose. I found out was secretly threatening suicide, crying all the time and calling/harassing her ex hundreds of times a day. When I tried to help, she turned it all on me, sent me nasty emails at work bitching me out, told me that all our friends hated me and then just decided to up and move out mid-lease. It was an absolute nightmare...and now I live alone. Thank God.

SA said...

I had one roommate during my freshmen year of college. We spoke 10 words to each other the entire year. Literally. We never talked or communicated with each other in any way, shape, or form.

It was then I knew that living alone was probably for the best.

Heidi Renée said...

I went in blind my first year of college. My roommate was a sophomore. She showed up the day after I moved in. Her belongings were in trash bags. She unrolled a smelly-ass sleeping bag on her bed and used the sheets as towels because she never went and got the dorm-issued towel set. She wore her bathing suit instead of a bra and underwear and she never. did. laundry. She left random food sitting out in the room. It got infested with fruit flies and ants. She was obsessed with Sonic Youth. She didn't have a computer so was constantly using my laptop and printer. She got a job at the sub shop across the street from our dorm, so routinely came home at 4 am after working the night shift.

I got mono and moved home (luckily, just down the street) at Thanksgiving. Best choice I ever made.

Amanda said...

Aw, I lived at home throughout college, so my first roommate experience was when I moved for grad school. I lived with a girl that I had met at a party through mutual friends. While we formed a semi-friendship, she still managed to routinely steal my clothing items, slept with the guy I was talking to, and later befriended the girl that "the love of my life (at the time)" broke up with me for.

Now, I'm living with two girls that I found through Craigslist, and while we have our differences, it's a great living situation and couldn't ask for better friends.

liferehab said...

I'm terrified to have a roomate, so I refuse to live with anyone. Ever. Well, until I'm like married-ish. Of course, it makes affording a place practically impossible.

Jessica said...

The best would be when I moved in with my husband. The worst would be when I was in college and my best friend all of a sudden went crazy and started trashing our room. It really sucked - our friendship was over because of it!

Cass said...

I had a friend who lived in my closet (it was a huge closet) for a month after she found out that her boyfriend of 7 years was cheating on her. she was awesome, I didn't make her pay rent so she cooked for me all the time...

Cass said...

I had a friend who lived in my closet (it was a huge closet) for a month after she found out that her boyfriend of 7 years was cheating on her. she was awesome, I didn't make her pay rent so she cooked for me all the time...

Katie cat said...

Interesting topic - I'm currently looking for a roommate now! My current one is moving out because she is getting married. She was great because she basically lives with her fiance and was never arounmd.

I am afraid of ending up with someone I'll have trouble with... and yet I'd feel guilty if I did a lot of screening or too much interviewing!

Katie cat said...

Interesting topic - I'm currently looking for a roommate now! My current one is moving out because she is getting married. She was great because she basically lives with her fiance and was never arounmd.

I am afraid of ending up with someone I'll have trouble with... and yet I'd feel guilty if I did a lot of screening or too much interviewing!

Jenn said...

I don't think I've had a truly spectacular roommate experience. My roommate in SLC was pretty awesome for the first year or so. She was extraordinarily creative and passionate about her art. I felt inspired just by living with her.

wekeepsaying said...

freshman year of college i was in the dorms at the university of wisconsin in madison. my roommate was my best friend's ex-gf (they had been dating when we decided to live together, we weren't really friends other than through him, so automatically a bad idea). i ended up being way more social than her, bringing guys up to the room to make out and watch adult swim at all hours of the night. finally she had her parents take out her futon (which was more like an extravagant beanbag/half futon seeing as it sat right on the ground and was only half the length), so we had no seating area. i convinced my parents to buy me a futon and told her she wasn't allowed on it under any circumstances. also, my tv meant no watching it and my stereo meant no music for her. it was good times, but she ended up giving me the silent treatment for almost 3 months and at the end of the first semester, she complained about me to our RA, meaning she had to move out because they couldn't kick me out for doing nothing. my next roommate was balls to the wall awesome, so i got lucky.

word on the street now is that my old roomie has become a promiscuous alcoholic around campus...i kinda wish i had stuck around just so i could bump into her and laugh. i'm mean.

Kyla Roma said...

I'm boring, the first person I moved in with is the person I'm now married to. Very lucky on that one!

A number of my friends have had outlandishly bad luck with roommates. One took her money for bills and spent it, getting their phone, heat, TV & internet disconnected and almost getting them evicted. He started stealing so badly that she had to install a new doorknob on her bedroom door so he couldn't break in- and then he started breaking in through the window! People are ridiculous.

Joy @ BigTimeFancy said...

I adore the crap out of Miss Roommate, and loved living with her. And I ALSO love living with my current roommate.

But in college, I lived with this girl from Bucktown who got mad at me for..I don't know why, and locked me out of our dorm room while I was taking a shower.

Nothing says fantastic like going down to the front desk in a towel to ask for someone to unlock your shit.

Ali said...

My former roommate (and former best friend) thought it'd be a good idea to date the guy I dated only a month ago after I told her I wouldn't be okay with it. It was a good time...

Moonjava said...

I'm actually debating about moving into a new place since I didn't resign my current lease. Going from living by myself to a place with roommates will be interesting.

I'm just hoping it's the case in which there won't be all night visitors, etc.

elle michelle said...

Best: College roommate I was randomly paired with, after we both lied on our roommate matching forms. (She called herself a nonsmoker, I called myself a neat/clean person.) LOVE.

Worst: A passive-aggressive friend who was unbelievably uptight, a really gross slob and hated when I had other friends over.

Ironic that my random pairing was so awesome and my "moving in with a friend" idea was such crap, huh?

EP said...

I have found that with roommates, things are either awesome or awful. There is no in between.

I had a roommate with a drug problem. I'm allergic to smoke, and he was constantly smoking in our home. (I knew this and thought I could deal. I was wrong.) I moved out at the end of the semester, and this roommate turned quite a few of my friends against me because apparently, I was a treacherous bitch? It was a learning experience. And I'm really happy that I never have to see that guy again.

My best roommate experience was with my BFF after the drug addict. We had a fabulous time together, and we encouraged each other to take care of things we knew we should. It was a good, good situation, and I was sad when I moved out.

reinventingamy said...

Im right there with ya- I love living alone! I've had some bad experiences... mostly just us not getting along, but the worst was living with a girl who was literally crazy. Thankfully she dropped out of school, saw a psychologist, got some meds and I didn't really hear from her much after that. She came to get her stuff and I saw her maybe twice after that.

Katelin said...

oh man i am so glad i've never had a a bad roommate experience. seriously i lucked out every year in college. i think my cousin had one of the worst though, he shared a dorm suite with three other guys and he slept in a bottom bunk and his roommate who slept on top would do his "man business" while my cousin was in bed below and not even asleep!!! so eck ugh, gross!

TKTC said...

My BEST roommate experience was Peter. My first roommate after college and both freshly out of relationships with boys (not men), we just had a blast. I could count on him to eat whatever I was cooking and he could count on me to close down a dance party (was it so long ago? Yes, yes it was). We were the consummate twosome and even two years after he moved to Columbus (working at male-mecca Abercrombie) and two years of glorious living on my own, I still miss him. And the skyline chili dip he made at 4am on Thursdays.

Vanessa said...

I'm definitely better off living alone. I've often said if I ever get married, my husband and I will just have houses next door to each other and that way we can have together time, and alone time, each in our own space. Neurotic? Yes. Likely to work? Probably.