4 Women’s Stories: When You Hate Your Roommate

By Megan Broussard
December 13, 2012 • comment(s)
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As craigslist commentary and estranged best friends can attest to, making nice with a roommate you initially liked before they ruined your life can be an agonizing stress on top of an already tough, never-ending workweek. Home should be your sanctuary – your escape from the cube farm, a place to decompress where the only drama is on this week’s mindless episode of Pretty Little Liars.

But, that’s hard to do when you’re finding passive aggressive notes in the fridge (actually happened to me) from the girl-next-door ,and the friends she invites over constantly hog your tiny, one-bathroom-NYC apartment to primp while pre-gaming in the p.m. and paying for the night’s festivities in the a.m.

Here are stories from four women, myself included, who have gone through it all to let you know – we feel your pain.

The Lady and the Tramp

As a friend of a friend, this Jane Doe felt comfortable moving in with a veteran Dallasite. She had been looking for a roommate for months, and in a stroke of luck over brunch, a friend recalled another friend of hers in a similar situation – a match made in heaven. When they first met, they seemed to be a good enough pair. Though, a little more church-going and conservative than herself, Jane Doe made herself comfortable in her new roommate’s digs, which looked more like a dining room trimmed with floral your mom never uses, but never mind that. She never asks about what happened to the last roommate, but soon enough, she finds out.

A few months later, Jane Doe had grown accustomed to her roommate’s judgment of clothes that weren’t Lilly Pulitzer, her 7 p.m. bed time and her hatred for Bravo’s Real Houswives franchise and obsession with The Golden Girls and The Brady Bunch. But, there was one thing she couldn’t tolerate, and that was last night’s little episode.

She had no idea that her roommate was still a virgin, which was fine with her, it’s just that she didn’t appreciate having her roommate barge in on her while with her boyfriend in her own bedroom, screaming that what they were doing was wrong and that she can’t have sin like this in her house. The reason for the vacant room had become quite clear.

The She Woman Man Haters Club

A girl I worked with in NYC told me this story. Poor thing was living in Manhattan and thought she was following the rules on pairing up with the perfect roommate. They say not to room with a best friend for the sake of your relationship, so when she reconnected with an old middle school friend she hadn’t seen in years, but knew her family, she was incredibly relieved to luck out with a nice apartment filled with a nice, trusting acquaintance.

But, one day, about a month into their living arrangement, my friend was completely blindsided when her roommate came into the living room where my friend was sitting on the couch with her longtime boyfriend. The roommate was sniffling, fighting back tears.

She said, voice cracking, “I need to talk to you. It’s very important.”

 So my friend stepped into the hall to talk to her privately. “Oh my gosh, what’s wrong? Are you Ok?” she asked. The roommate replied, so upset that she could barely look her in the eye, and said “My boyfriend just broke up with me.”

My friend: “What? Just now? I am so sorry to hear that. Look, um, join us in the living room. We’ll have a triple-date movie night. What do you say?”

The roommate: “Well, that’s just it. That’s why I called you out here. Your boyfriend can’t come over anymore. I’m sorry, but I’m just too heartbroken and fragile right now to see you two together cuddling up. I’m going to have to ask that you hang out at his house if you want to see him. It’s just too harsh of a reminder right now that I’m single.”

End scene.

The best part about this is that her roommate wasn’t joking, but she surely was a hypocrite. My friend, once she figured out that her roommate was being serious, had been hanging out with her boyfriend at his place for about five months per her roommate’s request. It was around that time that her roommate got a new boyfriend, and get this: he was sleeping over at their shared apartment.

When my friend, who is the most non-confrontational person, realized that he had been sleeping over consistently, she was shocked to find out from her roommate that it was because she asked him to move in. You heard that right. They haven’t spoken again since the lease is up to know one’s surprise.

The Craigslist Corporal

One of my French clients I worked with in New York had just moved to the city from Paris. Needing to find an apartment quickly, she hopped on Craigslist and found a place that was a convenient commute to work within her price range, a new New-Yorker’s main goal.

It’s quite common for people to find roommates on Craigslist in New York. My boyfriend did it when he lived there and roomed with a girl working for the United Nations. He was lucky enough to be paired with someone normal. My French friend’s roommate was anything but.

As she explained it to me over a bowl of Halloween candy in my cube, with her sultry French accent, inserting the F-word into weird parts of sentences, her roommate was a 40-year-old woman who decided to be Nanny McPhee when came to managing her household.

She treated my sweet little French friend like a child, giving her a curfew, ordering her to clean her room and having outbursts if she didn’t stay to eat her dinner.  Since she owned the apartment, my friend had to tip-toe around her to keep the peace so that she wouldn’t be kicked out. The woman clearly has a serious case of empty nest syndrome , or as my French client put it, “She is hag, big hag, b***h, a psychic!” Pretty sure she meant psycho, and she’s right.

 

Third Wheel

Remember in middle school when one of your friends could only have one friend at a time, meaning, she would shun one while gluing herself to the hip of the other? We now know that this is due to insecurity, but when you’re living with an adult acting this way, it’s mind-blowing, and frankly intolerable.

I lived with one of my best friend’s little sisters, who was a joy to live with. Her friend from college however, well, I didn’t have a single friend who wasn’t offended by her. I made excuses for her rudeness constantly and even thought I was just being too sensitive. But, here’s a little taste of what I had to put up with.

Once she threw a party in our apartment and didn’t invite me. Yes, that’s right, I was holed up in my room while speakers were booming through my walls.

Later, there we are, the three of us sitting in the living room, and I join in on the conversation, asking the rude roommate about her day, trying to be nice and establish a friendship, even though I felt she always ignored me. She literally stopped talking to my friend’s little sister, turned to me without looking at me in the eye, and turned back to our other roommate, saying, “So, anyway…”

Oh, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She would also blame us for eating her food when she was the one who ate it and forgot. True story.

The fact of the matter is that she has some really great qualities, and it’s a shame that a living situation brought the worst, I guess.

 

No matter how many of the roommate-rules you follow – openly discussing pet peeves on day one and divvying up chores – sometimes, these things just happen. Boys enter the situation and the dynamic changes, jealousy ensues over one’s more successful career, the hogging of the TV to watch the same cheesy sitcom over and over again despite the fact that she has her own TV in her room (obviously I’m still bitter over this). Whatever the case, it’s important to remind yourself the reason for the lease. The beauty of it is that it will all come to an end soon enough.

In the meantime, remember that you’re not alone, avoid any excessive arguments (it’s not worth it since it’s only a temporary situation), get to know your city a little bit better to make time spent away from your least-favorite person fun and start looking for a new roommate – f or saving up to afford a one-bedroom apartment for the next time.

 

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