They’re in your home, they get into your shit, they leave a mess, and they bring you shame.
Ah yes, roommates.
At one point or another, most of us have found ourselves living in close quarters with a stranger, acquaintance, close friend and/or significant other. For the sake of this post, I’m going to skip over ‘significant others’ all together, because that’s a totally different category of ‘communal living’ and I don’t have the time or energy to delve into that shitstorm of emotional carnage.
(Dear current roomie, I’d like to assure you that this post is not even at all about you. For those of you unfamiliar with her, you can read this, this or this. Huzzah.)
Where were we? Oh right, the phenomenon of cohabitation.
Over the years, I’ve had my share of roommates, which inevitably means I’ve had my fair share of ‘interesting’ living conditions. Why yes, that does mean I spent the better part of 6 months locked in my room, praying not to get stabbed in the face. How did you know?
As much fun as that was, let’s move right along…
I’ve noticed that living with roommates as a ‘young professional’ is quite different than it was when I was a student. As a student, I was constantly seeking distractions, eating my weight in late-night snacks and guzzling energy drinks like I imagine Paula Deen guzzles butter. As a young professional, I drink a lot fewer energy drinks.
I don’t mean to brag about all of my personal growth.
Despite the leaps and bounds I’ve clearly made towards growing into a fully functioning adult, it’s important to note that I still have some pretty big set backs. Needless to say, living in an enclosed environment with another individual will inevitably bring out some of your pre-existing personal ‘issues’, but it will also help develop some new ones! For example, you may not know it yet, but you might really hate the smell of garlic in your bathroom the morning after your roommate decided to try a new ‘acne fighting remedy’ she learned about at the bar the night before. Or perhaps you will learn that there is no fouler smell in the world than rotting ‘mixed bean’ salad. The exciting options are endless, really.
While they say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, I assure you that you can teach people new pet peeves until the day they die. Keeping with this ‘old dog’ idea, let’s talk about how roommates are sort of like pets.
1) They shed.
I am hugely guilty of this, in case you failed to pay attention, I’ve got a shit-ton of curly hair and it makes a habit of forming little spider-like balls that nestle in a corner until they have decided you’re bored and want to scare the fuck out of you. You’re welcome, roomies! But I’m not alone. You wouldn’t believe how much foreign, long hair I find on my clothes on the regular. It’s alarming at times, but mostly I’ve been trying to figure out a way to capitalize on it. Human hair scarves, anyone?
2) If you leave food out, they’ll eat it.
This may not apply to every roommate, but it definitely applies if your roommate is a stoner and/or alcoholic. Personally, when I’m wasted, I feel like I could eat the world, and on some occasions I think I’ve come pretty fucking close…
You may also wake up in the morning to find food all over the kitchen floor, in a puddle, with the fridge door wide open. But guess what? They also left the front door wide open, so in comparison, what’s a little rotting food?
3) You might find them sleeping in your bed.
Again, this probably only applies if your roommate has a heavy drinking problem, but who doesn’t these days? Additionally, you may be fortunate enough to come home to them passed out topless, wrapped up in your sheets like a skanky burrito. Keep your fingers crossed you came home before it turned into a Urine Fiesta on your new duvet.
If you’re really lucky, you may also have to:
- Clean up their puke.
- Stop them from humping guests.
- Strip them down, stand them in the shower and hose them down with hot water to keep them from getting hypothermia after faceplanting in the snow.
I guess I’m just a pretty fucking lucky person.
When it comes down to it, roommates can be a fucking blast, or a motherfucking nightmare, and it’s impossible to know how the cookie will crumble until you’re in the throes of a hot oil fight, holding scissors to their face and threatening to call their parents to rat them out for their growing drug dependency.
Either way, cheaper rent!