I knew having a roommate was going to be an adjustment. I’m an only child. You don’t go from being master of your domain, taking up the whole castle, to suddenly sharing all your space with someone and not expect some growing pains. It wasn’t all bad. I roomed with my best friend a couple of times and turned a few randos into good friends. I even had a few that were so scant the only visible traces of their existence in the house was the presence of food in the fridge that didn’t belong to me. But as surprisingly pleasant as this adventure has been, I’m happy to report that I’m back on my own. My eight year run of having to listen for other humans before walking naked into the living room is finally over. While I might miss some of the people and the benefits of roommates, there are undoubtedly aspects of roommate life I’m so glad to be rid of.
Indecision: With all the projecting and insistence of some in my generation that the stereotype of a “real man” is less of a caricature and more of one of their self-portraits, you’d think a house full of us could make up our damn minds. Whether it was finding our house to live in, deciding which lawn service to go with, or whether we needed a cleaning crew to help us move out, every decision greater than “where should we eat” was met with the gravity and timeliness of a UN Security Council resolution.
Multiple Standards of Cleanliness: I understand everyone’s gross in one form or another. Some of us take the expiration date of our food a little longer than others, some of us eat boogers. People are nasty like that. When it gets frustrating is when one person in the house insists the state of cleanliness is well within the accepted definition, and another thinks the place looks like the morning after the first tailgate of the season. I’m pretty good about tolerating some clutter here and there, maybe a little more dust than what others like to see, but I can’t stand a dirty kitchen. I don’t even use a dishwasher. Just clean and put away the dishes as soon as I use them. My roommates, however, see nothing wrong with stacking the dishes so high it looks our cutlery just hit the high note in their Beauty & The Beast performance.
Inefficiency: This probably falls under the larger umbrella of indecision, but inefficiency ran so rampant throughout my house it needed its own category. It doesn’t matter what it was, everyone had their idea of how situation X should be resolved. They committed to it regardless of how much time, effort, or visible contradictory evidence. Food in the fridge was scattered across the shelves with no structure. Utility payments were sent across four different mediums throughout the entire month rather than on a set day. The aesthetic of the processes in the house resembled a traffic circle in Delhi.
Passive Aggression: I’ve never been one to avoid confrontation. If there’s a problem, let’s acknowledge it so we can fix it and move on. If I’m doing something you think is shitty, tell me and I’ll stop. But for some of my roommates, the prospect of having to have that talk was just too much. Instead, they expressed their displeasure through subtle door slams, insisting on only tying the trash bag in a knot so that someone else could take it out and put it in the can, or waiting until my door was closed to turn the thermostat back down after I just turned it up. I’d rather you just walk right up to me and yell at me for what I’m doing wrong than slowly vent it through little tantrums over the next 12 months.
Opposite Schedules: This is in no way my roommate’s fault. My schedule has always been earlier than most. I get up early, I go to bed early. It’s just a product of conditioning from the places I’ve worked. That being said, I hated how long I would have to lie there trying to convince myself my roommates’ rustlings were ambient noise so I could fall asleep.
Living With People Who Aren’t Into the Same Shit I Am: I’m pretty much dead middle along the spectrum of shit that mid-20s white males are into. If you’re about it, I can probably at least try and relate on enough of a level that it’s something we can talk about. But if you’re into shit like vaping, EDM remixes of Big Willie Style, or anime that’s not Dragon Ball Z, I’m not going to have much to say to you. You can try to explain your weekend spent with the club tractor pull team, but just know that it’s going in one ear and out the other..
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