It’s been over a year since I brought my big head from the Gold Coast of Chicago to the West Coast of America. There was a definitive period of adjustment that first summer in the Bay, learning to navigate a new city, becoming absorbed in a different culture, and, oh yeah, finding a way to get along with my four female roommates.
“Roommates?!” you don’t exclaim out loud because this isn’t a serialized TV show you’re paying close attention to.
“But JR, I thought you only had one Capital R Roommate who you lived with! What do you mean by roommates, plural?”
Pull it together, imaginary reader, and let me explain.
Rent in SF is the highest in the country — it was recently named one of the worst cities to rent in by Forbes. So when I got the job offer to come to the Bay, I had no choice but to move in with my girlfriend and her three female roommates on a temporary basis. A few weeks at the most until we could find a place.
It lasted the entire fucking summer. Before you start throwing around outrage and judgement at me complaining about the hospitality of others, keep in mind that each roommate was getting paid by me, making their monthly rent payments much more manageable.
Here was a snapshot of what I was dealing with:
The Girlfriend– Not yet the Capital R Roommate. She was not difficult to live with whatsoever. In fact, she was practically perfect in every way. Her words, not mine. Also, they’re fucking Mary Poppin’s words. She’s so unoriginal.
The Child– 24 years old, with the body of a kindergartner and a voice register reserved for Axl Rose and Mariah Carey. To say she had a little person’s complex was a severe understatement. She paraded around like she owned the place when in reality if we were at an amusement park she’d be left on a bench crying into her Snow Cone while the adults rode all the fun rides.
The Shut In– This chick liked to hoard every single cup and dish in her room until there was nothing left for anybody to eat with but spatulas and pot lids. She’d only emerge to take the occasional 57 minute steam shower with the windows closed and exhaust off, ruining everything that you may have left in the bathroom. Oh, did I mention there was only one bathroom? At first, I was nervous to drop heat in there, but after a few weeks, I would camp out with a reading light and a Kindle and make the girls go in the yard.
The Future Doc – Older than the rest of the group, she spent all her time studying for her doctorate and had been in the house the longest. This should have made her the de facto leader and somewhat in charge, right? Unfortunately for everyone (everyone=me), she was about as spineless as a sea anemone and let the Child walk all over her. She also refused to upgrade the internet. So, for three months, I missed out on all the goings-ons in the world of pornography.
The Asshole – If you couldn’t tell by now, that’s me.
Freshman year you lived in a dorm room with a random the university assigned you, and you had to make due with that person for an entire year. You either bonded or clashed fast because you were both in the throes of puberty and had been given freedom for the first time ever. Well, fast forward nine years (fuck I’m getting old) and drop an entire girl’s dorm WING into my personal space and that’s what I had on my hands.
We were subjected to endless passive aggressive B.S. at the hands of the wicked bitches of the west. Instead of confronting me or airing any grievances they had, they took it out on The Girlfriend. The biggest incident that occurred was when she was in the shower and The Child was banging on the door instead of waiting like an adult. When The Girlfriend left the bathroom, she brushed past The Child without acknowledging her. The Child, having been marginalized her whole life due to her diminutive size and general lack of importance, started screaming at The Girlfriend at the top of her underdeveloped lungs. At seven-o-clock in the morning. Picture JR sitting four feet away in the kitchen with headphones on, staring into his bowl of oatmeal and contemplating if he could survive a jump off the Golden Gate.
Long story short, I moved out in October, with the Capital R Roommate in tow. We found a small but cool one bedroom in a great neighborhood and now just have to deal with the crippling debt that comes with renting a small but cool one bedroom in San Francisco. We haven’t seen or spoken to any of the former roomies. I certainly hope they don’t see this article, but then again I’m not going to do anything to hide it from them. I’ll probably end up talking about this onstage at some point — and they’re definitely getting Facebook invites..
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