Delayed Rant

It’s been a while since I’ve done this, and I may be a little rusty, so bear with me, please. But I gotta get it off my chest.

I have had many roommates in the five and a half years I’ve been living in my current place. As I may have mentioned before, the house is huge, and there is usually enough room for everyone to have their own space and to do their own things.

I have had a lot of weird or rude or crazy roommates; some roommates liked to throw in a bit of everything. There was the woman who was having a long, drawn-out nervous breakdown the entire time she was there, and the guy who was a hoarder, and who went through our garbage on a regular basis to make sure that the rest of us weren’t throwing out anything “useful” (in some ways admirable, but one time he pulled out a very cheap candle with a bad wick that I had discarded and said that he could save the wick and burn the rest of the candle – seriously?). Oh, and the man who was a sex addict – TONS of stories about him.

Lately, though, the house has been blissfully quiet. The roomies have been, like me, into their alone time. While we say “hi” while we pass in the hallways or in the kitchen, we don’t feel the need to be best friends, or to talk just to fill the silence. It was so nice.

But now I have a roommate who won’t leave me alone, who comes bounding out of his room to talk if he hears me in the kitchen. And I have a roommate who thought it was OK to leave the front door unlocked, day after day after day, because his girlfriend couldn’t manage to get up before he left, and she didn’t have a key. And I have a roommate who asks really stupid questions (“Yeah, so those garbage bins out back, with our address spray-painted on them – are those the ones we’re supposed to use?”) just to try and engage me in some sort of “roomie relationship,” and possibly because he really might be that stupid. And I have a roommate who thinks that my movie time is the perfect time to seek me out and start talking about everything but the movie I’m trying to fucking watch. And I have a roommate who seems to think it’s perfectly acceptable to leave the sink full of dirty dishes, for days on end. And I have a roommate who slams doors as loudly as possible, especially if other people in the house are trying to sleep.

Yes, I have one roommate who does all of these annoying things. And it is driving me fucking nuts. He’s like a dumb little kid… I think I’ll call him The Kid from now on. He is completely devoid of any understanding of social cues, like the facial tick I get when I want someone to leave me alone. Or the “Oh, shit” I mutter whenever he manages to corner me to ask a bunch of really stupid questions. Or the fact that I disappear into my room every night, as soon as he comes out of his room.

The door thing and the dishes thing – well, those are universally recognized “Bad Roommate” things. I mean, it takes just one person to come up on our porch and check the door handle… best-case scenario is a drunk person passed out on our floor and discovered unexpectedly. Worst-case scenario? We’re all fucking dead! Thanks a lot, roommate prick! And dirty dishes lead to bad smells and fruit flies and other levels of grossness.

But I think that there are other facets of being a good or bad roommate that rarely get examined, like how to deal with different dispositions within a household. My philosophy? If someone doesn’t want to spend time with you, leave them alone! If you are the type who cannot be quiet and cannot be by yourself, don’t foist yourself on roommates who obviously aren’t into it. Go out and get some goddamned friends! It’s not your roommates’ job to entertain you!

And let me be clear – I know that I’m antisocial. I am downright misanthropic at times; this is well-known among friends and former roommates. I am able to be friendly to the point of initial politeness, but if I make it clear that I’d like to be alone, then you’d better leave me alone. AND I AM DEFINITELY CLEAR ABOUT WHEN I’D LIKE TO BE ALONE.

The family room, where I used to enjoy many nights of movies and reading, is now underused, because if The Kid hears a movie up there, he runs right up to join me. Which would be fine if he would shut up and watch the movie instead of going on and on about his career aspirations and what the people downstairs are doing and whether the landlord will care that he turned on the heat that one weekend when it was snowing. I bought a new DVD player for my room, and if I have to go to the kitchen or the bathroom, it’s like a covert op. And let me tell you – it is super-uncomfortable when you’re waiting for your waffles to pop up, and someone is just standing there, staring at you, hoping you’ll talk to him.

I brought up the unlocked door thing, because that is just unacceptable – he was all, “Yeah, I know, but…”. I’ll bring up the dishes thing eventually, but I think that The Kid needs time to wrap his mind around the door thing first. I know that Shon has told The Kid that I need my alone time, so obviously The Kid has decided to ignore that advice and force me to be his friend. I’m pretty sure that The Kid’s approach is going to end in my roaring at him to fuck off and leave me alone, which will probably cause him to cry.

It should be interesting.

For now, I get through my annoyance by ranting and by cataloging everything for the book I’m going to write about all of the roommates I’ve had.


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