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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » roommate issues

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Author Topic: roommate issues
brdwychic00
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Grrr! I'm getting so irritated with my roommate. Here's the problem: she's self-centered, annoying, clingy, and shallow. That's only the beginning. But the problem I'm having with her is over pans. You're thinking, What? Pans? Yes. Pans. When we moved into our apartment, I brought everything we needed. I'm a Martha Stewart - I can't help it. This includes all pans, dishes, whatever. I made it clear that I wanted her to be careful with them and rinse them out well after she used them, but so far she has failed. My problem is that I can't figure out how to get it across to her without coming off like a total bitch. I have problems with confrontation, and she doesn't help - she gets this haughty attitude, like, how dare I have something to gripe about to her. Really, what I would prefer is that she gets her own pans and such, but the only way I can think to make her do that is to hide mine in my room so she can't use them. I think this is totally bitchy. Help me think of something please!!!
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Lady Moonlight
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How about buying her a really cheap set of pans (you could tell her it's a Columbus Day present or something) for her very own, and THEN hiding yours? That way, you're not leaving her without pans, but she's not ruining your good ones either.
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BruinDan
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Aahhh yes, roommie troubles. They're lovely, aren't they? The fun really starts when your roomie thinks it would be cute to have a ninja-star throwing competition and ends up tearing up the entire wall. Yup, I'm glad not to be living with him anymore...the same art student who made a mummy and propped it on our toilet, promptly scaring the hell out of all of us.

But yes, I know how things that seem like small deals can actually loom large with roommate relationships. If your pans are special to you and you do not want to have them get wrecked, then your options would be to either hide them in your room, or send them home. Hiding them in your room would be problematic because eventually you would have to bring them out, or she would find them in there...and you'd have the confrontation that you are so dreading. Sending them home would rid you of the problem of your roomie trashing your pans...but then you'd have nothing to cook with. To solve that problem, why not tell your roomie that your parents have recalled the pans since they do not want them to be trashed (tell her that they belong to your parents and are not yours), and that you think the two of you should pitch in for some cheap new ones. Explain to her that she would have to pitch in though, that you're not made of money and can't afford to be buying home furnishings for the both of you.

Hopefully that will work...college is wonderful for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is your ability to learn to cope with real-life issues like screwed-up roommates. I must admit I learned a lot from my mummy-making, ninja-star-throwing, drunken roommate from sophomore year...and now that three years have passed since then, I say hi to the guy every time I see him on campus. Best of luck to you, and let us know how it works out.

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DarlingBri
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Buy her her own set of pans for the holidays?

Seriously, though, this is something you are going to have to deal with your whole life. I have a very nice set of expensive pots and pans, and my partners approach to washing dishes is a disaster. I care. He doesn't. I wash them myself.

Problem solved.

However, you need to recognise that there is normal wear and tear in life. Kids spill soda on carpets. People break dishes. People put metal spoons in coated pans. Bad things happen to good cookwear.

You need to sort the really important stuff and pick your battles

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Hope this helps,
--Bri


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broken_wishbone
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I, too, am having roommate troubles. Nothing like disrespect of personal items (although her boyfriend often messes with my guitar), but more of a privacy/space issue. It's not even with her. It's her boyfriend. He's always around. He's even here right now, even though she isn't. He only lives two floors up, but for some reason he has opted to take a nap in her bed while she takes a test. He is honestly here from about noon until 2 am everyday. I wouldn't mind if it were once or twice a week, but it really is everyday. We'll both be in bed, but he'll still be here watching tv until the wee hours of the morning. I can't change in my own room, because he's always here. I've walked in several times with only him in the room, sometimes he'll be on my computer, sometimes he'll be playing my guitar (both of which without asking), sometimes he'll just be sitting there waiitng for her to come back. It gets really annoying. I've thought about talking to her about it, but she always talks about her roommate last year who didn't like him. So she opted to just live with him, rarely coming to her room so she could be with him. I don't want her to feel like she can't come to her own room. Like I said, my problem isn't with her, so I don't want to hurt her over this. Anybody have any suggestions? Until then, I'll just go consult a pint of Ben and Jerry's...

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Imagine what my body would sound like, slamming against those rocks. When it lands will my eyes be closed or open?


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Gumdrop Girl
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maybe i'm really difficult to live with, hence i share my apartment with no one at the moment...

but if my roommie was messing with my stuff, i'd say, "hey, don't mess up my stuff. really. i mean it." get mad. it'd your right. it's your stuff.

i had the great fortune of having great roommates who never messed with my stuff. my fridge stayed clean. my computer stayed happy. my cds went unscratched.

but that was luck. when it comes down to it, i am *extremely* particular about how well my things are kept and i'm not afraid to raise hell to keep everything neat and proper.

you could do what my boyfriend does when his roommies mess up his pans (he's a martha stewart, too ). bitch and whine endlessly about how your roommates mess up your kitchenware and never clean up and cook illegal narcotics on the stove, etc. etc. etc... and then do nothing about it. yeah, you could do that. but it'll only annoy your sig other. it doesn't score results. (he didn't score results until roommates in question simply moved out)

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A waist is a terrible thing to mind.


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Lady Moonlight
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Broken_wishbone, I had to laugh at the irony of your statement, "she always talks about her roommate last year who didn't like him." Gee, I wonder why? Her boyfriend shows no consideration for your right to privacy and no respect for your private belongings. I don't think I'd much like somebody like that either! Sheesh, doesn't this guy have his own home?

Unfortunately, your roommate and her boyfriend are both clueless, and folks like that rarely achieve Clue without help. If you want things to get better, you're going to have to talk with her about it.

It seems like you laid out your case pretty well in your message above. I'd suggest saying pretty much the same things to her. You can even tell her that you don't hate her boyfriend personally, but you do hate the way his constant presence in a small room is an invasion of your privacy. Maybe you could set "visiting hours," say, two or three nights a week during which he would be allowed to stay late. Also, there's no point in him being there when she's not, unless it's just for a couple of minutes waiting for her to get home, and he definitely should not be messing with your stuff. (These last two points you may have to bring up with him as well, for him to get the point.)

If you decide to go for it, be strong. You pay half the rent on that room, and you have the right to be a roommate, not a doormat. If things don't improve, take it to an authority figure of some sort, like a floor supervisor (I'm assuming you're in a dorm) or whatever you have that's equivalent.

Does this guy have a key to your room? (Sheesh, I hope not!) If not, start locking your room. A friend of mine solved a very similar problem in college by doing just that. It won't stop Boyfriend from hanging out when your roommate's there, but it might stop him coming in when nobody's home.

Good luck.

[This message has been edited by Lady Moonlight (edited 10-02-2001).]


Posts: 943 | From: Missouri, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Milke
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Pots and pans, even cheap ones, are expensive to buy new. Tell your roommate how much you love your pans, how serious culinary types are known to get rather sensitive about that sort of thing, and that you'd love to help her find some of her own at Goodwill, or suggest features she look for if she wants to buy some new. If she uses them again, repeat this, and then hide them. I've had a cake pan (one of a matching set!) wrecked by my partner's roommate, I feel your pain.

Computers can be password protected in Bios, which is to say, computer boots up, asks for a password, and won't go any farther until you give it one. You have to know a bit about computers to do this, though.

I've successfully gotten unwanted guests out of my house by playing the Mini Pops loudly. I guess developing an eccentric and disturbing habit isn't for everyone, but it might have its uses.


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broken_wishbone
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Thanks guys. I've been giving this a lot of thought, and I know I need to talk to her. He doesn't come in when nobody's here, only stays when we leave. I'm planning on talking to her very, very soon, but I decided to step away from it for a night so I don't explode and do it totally wrong. I'm about to, so tonight I think I'm going to sleep at my sister's house so I can come up with what I should say exactly. It's very hard to come up with a plan while they're here since there's always something new to make me mad. Example: He comes in at 10:15 this morning. She leaves. He stays to jerk around. He thinks I'm sleeping. He, for the lack of a better word, "let's one rip." Jerks around a few minutes more. Walks out, slamming the door. Oh man. And, yes, he does have his own room. A room that is merely two floors up from ours. Anyway, I should head to class. Thanks again, kiddies.

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Imagine what my body would sound like, slamming against those rocks. When it lands will my eyes be closed or open?


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Lady Moonlight
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Ugh, what a dweeb. Wishbone, my thoughts are with you. Good luck!
Posts: 943 | From: Missouri, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
brdwychic00
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Ahhh, it's so nice to know I'm not alone in the tortures of living with a roommate! Wishbone, man I feel your pain. At least I have my own bedroom. Of course....the walls are kinda thin...and my roomie likes to have lots of, um, well...company....Anyway, maybe you should just say something like "Roomie, it's not that I have anything against you or your man, but it really bothers me that he feels the freedom to be here when your not. It makes me feel uncomfortable that I can't trust my stuff to be left alone, and I can't have the freedom to do what I want when I'm here. I'd really appreciate it if you guys could hang out upstairs half of the time." See how that goes.
As far as my deal, I talked to her. I basically said that it really irritated me that she couldn't bother to clean up after herself when she was using my stuff, after I specified how I wanted my stuff taken care of. I'm giving it a month. If it hasn't improved by then, I will take action!!
But she's totally psychotic and I don't know why I'm living with her. I can't trust her - she lies to me all the time, or at least stretches the truth. Sad thing is I used to be dumb enought to believe it.
This is a fun topic - let's keep posting our gripes, k? ByeBye!

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lg_82
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I have roomate issues too. My roomate is really sloppy I try not to mind her mess, as long as it stays in HER areas and doesn't invade mine, she's actually gotten a little better over the weeks though. What gets me is her inablity to do anything on her own. She's always asking how to do something, she didn't even know how to save her paper on to a disk, seriously I have to help her w/ EVERYTHING. She even asked me this morning if I thought she should take a shower? I was like, "I don't know, do you FEEL dirty?" I mean, hello, can you not figure that one out on your own. Seems to me she came from a family where Mommy did everything for her, and my homelife was completley opposite, so I'll give her a few more months to adjust and seize her independence or else, she's an idiot and she'll drive me crazy eventually.
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broken_wishbone
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Alrighty, time to bring this back up. I had a talk with my roommate the same day as the last time I posted to this thread, and things went mostly okay, but she told me she was actually being rude to me to "put me in her shoes" because the guy I'm seeing can be loud when she's trying to study... So to deal with her frustration, she kept me up at night. My guy and I have now made ourselves more aware of her study habits and try not to interrupt her. She did get her boyfriend to be a little less of a jerk and I can now take showers when I want to, he *usually* doesn't come in when she's not here (it still happens on occassion), and he doesn't touch my things. But now they've actually gotten worse. They're both becoming very rude and I've started to feel like an unwanted guest in my own home. I constantly walk on eggshells to make her comfortable, but still never feel it reciprocated. They both only concentrate on making eachother comfortable, and seem to forget that I live here too.

I would really like to talk to her, but I don't think it would do any good. The last time she turned my legitimate grievances around on me, and only a few things got better.

I was wondering if any of you had any ideas of what I could do to make things a little more easy-going in here. I've tried avoiding the room a little, just dealing with it, and many other things, but they all end in me sacrificing my own comfort to make the room more comfortable. So, any other ideas? I'm really trying to stay away from talking to her about it, because it seems so futile, and I don't want to get even more frustrated because of it... Any ideas would be beneficial. Thanks.

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Imagine what my body would sound like, slamming against those rocks. When it lands will my eyes be closed or open?


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ErinK
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Well, if this is a dormitory situation (I'm not sure), often times your floor counselor can help mediate conflicts and help come to an agreement. If not, your university might have some mediation services available to help you work out these kinds of conflicts. That might be a good place to start for advice or help.

My roommates and I ended up drawing up a (college approved) roommate agreement, where we discussed and spelled out how it was going to work, and we did our best to stick to it.

And now I live alone. Ah, luxury...

Erin


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