The politics of roommates

Dabbler until recently… I never really had the love hate relationship non relationship that I seem to be having now. Coming home to seas of beer bottles on the counter and a cloud of smoke “Happy 420 mannnn!” Turning things off that were left on for unknown reasons. Getting more OCD than a person on meth, simply because you can’t stand living like a slob…

Except this time, this person does only not put out, but in reality, this is closer to marriage than I thought… no, scratch that- in my marriage I at least got to take his paycheck.

I kid. Ok, so maybe not completely… but hell, there weren’t many great things with married life.. that was definatly one of them.

However, though that horse is of a similiar color, it’s not what I’m getting at. Ah yes, I have joined the ranks of the roommate population.

Politics abound, we come full circle to yet another day in the ring. Or as I call it, the guilt trip tango.

I have never had a roommate before really. Once upon a time years ago when I lived back home in IL, I did have a minor touch and go roommate. It was a nightmare as well.

Here’s basically the summation with that one:

I was intending to move out, so I moved to this apartment with a girl from work. I brought some things over, and left them there a couple of weeks since I was moving in. Deanna decided that she wanted to try and charge me for half the rent when basically her sister never completely moved out of the room, so it was essentially shared. No, I’ll pass on that. When I came to there, the apartment was a mess. I cleaned everything until it shined (I did this with my current roommate as well, but we will get to that in a bit). She had a dog (I’m learning a pattern never to live with people with animals) who was not fixed and a suede couch… disgusting. In the middle of trying to be civil and just working it out, I got into a car accident and nearly broke both of my legs (funny story actually). The apt was on the 3rd floor, and my grandparents said they wanted me back home anyway because I lived too far away. I gave her the notice I was going to leave.. at which point, she took my things I had there- a laptop, a keyboard, some vintage clothes and furniture from the 50s, denied me access to them and sold or kept them. Coming to work and seeing her in my grandmothers vintage leopard peacoat pissed me off to no end. End roommate drama 1.

Then after that, I bounced around some more.. but never had the “pleasure” of a single or multiple roommates. About 5 years ago, another touch and go episode of roommate shannigans- my fiance and I moved in with a friend of mine before moving into a place of our own to start the picket fence life. He worked and insisted that I didn’t. She went to school and sat at home. It wasn’t bad at first.. but then again, it never is. Months later is when the real person comes around.

I wasn’t the housewife type. I’m an artist first and foremost. My grandmother is as well. Her house is a mess. However it’s amazing that when someone else is a slob in your enviornment, you suddenly become this superpower. Their mess is mess. Your mess is “organized clutter.” And it’s true… everytime my husband would move something in our apartments, I would freak. Because if it was in my space, even though it was messy, being put away, well.. that just didn’t do.

When I initially moved into the place I’m at now, I had simple yet difficult criteria to meet. I was looking for a female roommate with no drama and no drugs… in southern California. And preferrably, as I do not have the most conventional of lifestyles, they’d be a bit alternative, or at least understanding of an artist, appearing scatterbrained, not high maintenence but some maintence frequent dater. At first, everything appeared not only alright, but great. She cooked dinner, cleaned up after herself.. hell we even hung out and chatted all sex in the city like. That was short lived of course however.

Current affair: month 2. It was an important week for me last week, and my new roommate knew that. I asked if she could please make sure this place was perfection. I was to have 2 very important guests for the week. My kids- 2 and 3, were going to visit. I had not been able to see them for a year prior to this. (My ex is a douchebag) Granted, my roommate is in her 20s and our apt is not completely childproofed… but a little common sense really does go a long way.

Weeks go by. I gave her plenty of notice this was going to happen. She operated as normal- not seeming to give a shit about anything. I have been cleaning up after her since I’ve been here. It started off small.. the fridge, doing dishes here and there.. the trash being taken out.. but it never seemed to end. I washed dishes a few times and use the dishwasher basically for airdrying. She puts her dirty dishes over my clean ones; thereby making me have to wash them again as well as hers. I took meat out this week to thaw, so I could cook when the kids napped.. go to cook and she had thrown it away.

It’s a constant stream of annoyances and complete lack of understanding for another person. I’m not saying that I expect it to be clean all the time… but for chrissakes, you are an adult, clean up after yourself in a timely manner.. and by timely I don’t mean.. weeks.

When my ex came by I had been cleaning up after the roommate and scrubbing floors all night. I looked like Cinderhella. I’m sure it made him smile to an extent.. though I never did that when I was married to him… not motivational at all. In any event, the house sparkled, and though I was exhausted, I was ready for my visit.

There have been many quirks throughout the entire process of this roommate situation. I have my own personal ones, but since this is my blog, I get to describe hers in great detail, and leave mine to the vague abyss. Neener neener neener nana nana boo boo. Seriously though, to be fair, my quirks have nothing to do with being disrespectful to her in any way.

She has cats- whom she is allergic. My bathroom is off the hallway, and is a shared one. It is bigger, and therefore, the litterbox ends up in there. Fine. But of course, it’s not properly cleaned up… and since my bathroom only has a tub, I frequently use hers between that and the cat smell.

She has other animals in her bedroom though. She lets them out of their cages and.. well.. it’s not clean in there. It’s not my space, and it doesn’t bother me entirely… with exception to when I need to use the shower. These animals also need the apt to be a certain temperature… so the a/c is frequently on like an icebox. I turn on the heat to compensate.. you get the idea. I’ve been sick, and I honestly think her pets are a major contribution to it.

Wow this has sounded like a bitch post.. I haven’t told all of it, but let’s get closer to the point. The night before the visit, I texted her to ask her if she was going to do her dishes and she (a not religious person at all) sent me a response that she was going to an annointing of the sick…

great guilt trip line. true? untrue… doesn’t matter. Because if I don’t accept it, I’m an asshole. I don’t want drama at all. I just want people to take care of their own messes. She doesn’t pay me to be her maid, and quite frankly, I had to clean up after her more than my kids.

The last 2 days before they left, I admittedly slacked. I left a few dishes on the counter and the garbage could have been taken out. I had a personal fiasco I had to deal with, so I figured I would take care of it on Monday or Tuesday when things were back to normal.

I’m not anti-social, but for those people that I really don’t have much of an interest in knowing more, I go in hermit mode. I keep to myself and do my own thing. I don’t like to talk about much because when you open your mouth, it leaves it open to drama- and I wanted this new place to be as drama free as possible. I wasn’t expecting perfection, but I was expecting a bit more here… or well.. hoping that is.

Today she texts me that I need to do the dishes and take out the garbage. This is someone that never does these things… and immediately, snap your fingers because she does her dishes once… or so she acted like. (Her dirty dishes were in the diswasher-I still had to clean them because they were in my way of course).

I wanted her to leave during the day.. I’d felt sick earlier so I wanted the extra day to recover from the week and recoop, and to clean the house. Then lectures?

I wanted to tell her it was bs. I wanted to note the irony. Instead, I wrote drafts and bit my lip… yet again, the control war… I could pull the card and wait till she does it… try subtle hints. But like the broken glass she left on the counter for days when the kids were here, I will end up cleaning it up everytime…

because I don’t want the drama.

Aka: I am a sucker.

I have a conscious for sale. Anyone want it? For some reason, though I know she deserves it, I can’t seem to bring myself to be a bitch. How do I get her to do her own shit? This is out of line. I think I’ll make a seesmic… but likely I’ll just force myself to pass out and prepare for the next daily grind.. damn insomnia. Bah.

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One thought on “The politics of roommates

  1. That sounds terrible, but I’ve been there too. Never Again.

    So much for asking you if I could pay rent at your place for a week or so. 😉 just kidding, but I will actually be in L.A. soon. It would be fun to meet you. Also, I’m freelancing for a Web startup and there’s a very part-time internship available for someone who can promote at UCLA. We are Twitter buds. jg_howard

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