If you follow me on Twitter (which if you don’t, then you totally should be), you’d have already guessed from the title of this post that it’s about the charming young man I like to refer to as MDR, also known as “My Delightful Roommate” (or another “D” word if you prefer). If not, this should explain it and get you up to speed.
As you might have guessed from my tweets and a previous blog post, my roommate is pretty much awesome and has phenomenal taste in the men that he brings home from the bar. Especially on random Tuesday nights. He’s probably the best roommate I’ve ever had.
Oh who am I kidding? Other than my Roomdog, I tend to have a great track record with choosing only the cream of the crap to live with. Crap. I meant crop. Same thing. Don’t get me wrong…I love the kid to death, but living with him is a real treat. Where do I even begin?
Once upon a time when I was serving in a restaurant (yes, the one where my paychecks didn’t cash), I became friends with the guy who’d go on to become my roommate. After working together for about two months, I learned his roommate was going to be moving out about the same time that my lease was due to end. With the convenience of a 30-second commute (literally diagonal across the street from work about 6 buildings down) and a savings of about $400/month, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. After work one evening, I stopped over to check out the digs.
Walking in, I should’ve known I was setting myself up for failure. The place was an absolute mess. Dirty dishes in the sink. A layer of dust/dirty/filth everywhere. Clutter. My OCD-self was screaming in agony. Besides, the place was old. Outdated. “Vintage” is the term management companies use to mask what would be more appropriately described as an “absolute shit hole” of an apartment.
“Oh wow, is it always like this?” I asked my soon-to-be roommate.
“Sorry, my roommate is a mess. He doesn’t do anything – the dishes, clean – ever. But he’s moving out so it won’t be like this for much longer,” he said.
Right off the bat I was hesitant. Birds of a feather usually flock together. The minute I saw his bedroom, I should have reconsidered. Piles of clothes on the floor. Unopened mail. Trash. Everything under the sun could be found – or, more appropriately, lost forever – on his bedroom floor.
But no, I allowed myself to be blinded by the fact that it was so close to work and so much less expensive than my previous place.
So I moved in…and signed a one-year lease in hell.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the kid to death, but that’s the thing: he’s a kid trapped in a 27-year-old’s body. Here’s why:
EXHIBIT A: He’s nearly caught the kitchen on fire twice. The one time, I got home from work and found the gas stove going. No pot on top of the burner. Just an open flame…with the window open and a stack of papers on top of the microwave next to the stove. Real safe. The second time, he didn’t realize there was a difference between parchment paper and wax paper and caught the Nestle Toll House Break-and-Bake cookies on fire in the oven after using wax paper. When I asked him what happened he was dumbfounded that there was a difference — even though he used to work in a bakery. ‘Merica.
EXHIBIT B: He’s 27 years old and doesn’t know how to fold laundry. Maybe I’m crazy and my countless years of working retail jobs have just rubbed off on me, but I have a pretty hardcore case of OCD when it comes to hanging/folding/putting away laundry. For a while it was understandable because he didn’t own a dresser (don’t ask me how, but he just didn’t). His closet is also about 30″W by 30″D so it’s not even like he has a massive California Closets walk-in dream closet either. However after his dad bought, refinished, and delivered (from downstate Illinois nonetheless) not one, but TWO dressers? Everything is still all over the floor! I asked him as we were doing laundry the one day when he was going to start using them at which point he confessed he has no idea how to fold clothes. #FacePalm.
EXHIBIT C: Dirty dishes. Dirty kitchen. Dirty bathroom. Dirty everything! I feel like Mommie Dearest half the time. What’s worse is that it sits…and sits…and sits. Until I clean it. “Leave the dishes. I’ll wash them when I get home from work.” HA! If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this line. Same with taking out the trash. I just don’t get it. How can one live in such filth? Yet I let it continue because at the end of the day I am not a maid. Oh, and when he DOES wash dishes? Let’s just say I have to re-wash them because they aren’t clean. Behold. A prime example of “clean” dishes. This is what I came home to last night in the drying rack. Not only that, but not a single one of MY dishes that I had used had been washed. Seriously. After I scout out every missing plate/glass/fork that you leave scattered around the house with food crusted onto it then scour them clean every time I wash the dishes? In the words of Edgar Allen Poe: “This is it and nothing more.”
EXHIBIT D: The mid-week revolving door of drunk Grindr tricks. Need I say more?
EXHIBIT E: He has a dog. Don’t get me wrong. I love dogs. However when all their owners do is scream at them to “Shut the $*%& up!” and “Go to your bed!” because they don’t want to take the time to play with them then leaving said pooch locked in her cage for 12-24 hours at a time because you’re working, hungover, sleeping, or just too lazy to care about taking her out, feeding her, etc.? No. Just no. On that note, it’s also inhumane to not have your dog spayed then keep her locked in her cage every time she’s on the rag so she doesn’t bleed all over the house. While I appreciate you making sure your dog isn’t…yeah…it’s not fair to her to be locked in her cage because you don’t feel like dropping some cash and getting her nipped and tucked.
EXHIBIT F: I get that he works a service industry job, but really…is it necessary to stay up until 5am playing shoot-em-up video games then sleep until 3pm every day? Don’t get me wrong, I love to sleep in on my occasional day off, but when you wake up and your first words are “Oh shit! I have to be at work in 30 minutes – can you take my dog out for me?” Sorry, but no. Your dog is not my responsibility. It’s not my fault you’re irresponsible. Take your dog out. Be late. Suffer the consequences. Not my problem.
Case in point: I feel like a nanny. Except I’m not getting paid for it. Needless to say, it’s a challenge. I got myself into it by signing a year-long lease with someone who was basically a stranger. Have I learned my lesson? Probably not. I’m sure I’ll do it again in the future. I’ll tell myself “Oh you guys will be fine living together” and overestimate a friendship and essentially ruin it by allowing myself to be driven nuts to the point that I eventually break.
But until I reach that point? You’ll more than likely find me slaving away in the kitchen cleaning up his messes, washing the dishes, running the vacuum, cleaning up after his dog, and maybe – just maybe – attempting to teach him how to fold his clothes. That’ll be a veritable scaling of Mount Everest in itself though I’m sure…