I had a roommate once.
Okay, here’s the thing. I think I’m pretty easy to get along with in a living situation. There are only really a couple things that I sort of “demand” out of a roommate:
- Keep shared spaces clean
- Respect personal space (physically and emotionally)
My roommate* did both of these things for approximately 48 hours.
Contrary to how I may seem, I’m not a hugely social person.** If I’m around people I love, I can talk and talk and talk, but I also have a CRAZY PASSIONATE love affair with silence. I think I can attribute this almost entirely to the fact that I’m a writer. It’s a pretty solitary job, and I’ve gotten very used to it. I am a focused person, and I dig alone time where I can just sit and think and write.
I also have a CRAZY PASSIONATE hatred of small talk. I would rather just enjoy some silence with someone than make awkward, pointless small talk. In fact, maybe I’m “that person” who other people think is awkward and silent, because I’m too comfortable with silence. (Note to self: think about this.)
My roommate liked to chat. A lot. He was very much a “how was your day?” person, even if it was the fifth time he was asking me and I was trying to do homework. After “how was your day?” came this:
RM: …..Whatcha doing?
ME: Just doing some reading for school. I have to finish this novel by tomorrow.
Five minutes elapse.
RM: …….Whatcha doing now?
ME: …Still reading.
RM: Yeah…pay attention to me. (Pretends to act like a cat.)
ME: (Deadpan stare.)
SIDENOTE: While I was living with my roommate, I was also working full-time, writing, directing, and producing a Fringe play with my indie theatre company, and taking two 400-level (see: final year of university) English courses during the summer term, which meant that they were full-semester courses condensed into 6 weeks. I was STRESSED. Always. Every second of every day. And I also didn’t sleep for about two months, so I only vaguely remember a lot of that summer.
So that was challenging. Because not only did I not want to chat all day, but I also had very little time to actually do so.
Also, my roommate took to calling us “a family” very soon after I moved in, and it made my commitment phobia kick into HIGH GEAR. Basically, he’d be like, “We’re a family! Let’s do everything together!” and my insides would be like:
(Yeah, I know I’ve used that .gif already and I don’t care because this is my blog. And also, I feel like this at least once a day, so deal with it.)
And then there was this weird thing he did. He left food everywhere.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Andrea, how many places are there that one could possibly leave food?”
Well let me tell you.
He’d leave bowls of half eaten cereal on the kitchen counters.
One day I got home and there was a spread of half eaten and empty McDonald’s food all over the living room. The paper bag was on the floor, along with an empty fry package. The cup was next to the TV. The empty burger package was on the couch.
I’d say the straw that broke the camel’s back was when I got home from work and found a half eaten BOWL OF SOUP balanced precariously on the couch. Yes, a bowl teetering with liquid balanced on a soft surface. And who knows how long it had been there.
SIDENOTE: It just occurred to me that what I should have done on that day is throw myself onto the couch, pretending I didn’t notice the soup, causing it to splash everywhere. It wasn’t my couch, after all. (What I actually did was put the damn bowl in the damn sink and build up a crazy Portuguese grudge that hasn’t gone entirely away, even five years later.)
And that isn’t even the half of it.
So, where did that all lead us?
It led us down a crazy spiral of passive aggression and strained silence, until I’m sure we were both trying to figure out if we could slowly and subtly poison one another to death, à la This is 40.
Then one day I snapped (not at him, but just in life, in general, I snapped, I broke, I cried, etc., etc.) and the next day I moved out. We never spoke again.
And that’s when I learned that I probably should never have a roommate again, unless it’s one of my BFFs, all of whom I would marry and/or live with in a heartbeat.
P.S. I’m going to be single for the rest of time.
Ooh, déjà vu.
Wait, oh no! : (
*DISCLAIMER: My roommate was/is a lovely person. We just should have never lived together. I know you know what I mean.
**I say how I may seem, because for all I know, I may seem like the least social person in the world, which is closer to the truth a lot of the time.
***That photo is so oddly Photoshopped. Probably because McDonald’s food isn’t real.