The Halifax newspaper, The Coast, has a piece on roommate drama. (Of course I read the Halifax Coast. Doesn't everyone? No, for reals, I found the link at the wonderful Passive Aggressive Notes.com)
And while I am presently enjoying my status as Head of Household where "Household" = me + one large dog, that wasn't always the case.
From 1983 to 2001, I shared a variety of apartments and houses with a variety of people. To be more precise, 2 apartments and 4 houses with 29 other human beings, only 2 of whom I was having an intimate relationship with. (Or not-so-intimate, depending on how much we could stand each other at the time.)
In all that time, I only had 3 roommates that really sucked. One couldn't help it - she was manic-depressive and didn't have her meds worked out yet. It stunk to live with her, but I am sure it was worse to BE her.
Another was a pathological liar. Let's call her PL for short.
I should have known something was up when she told me she was studying to be a dancer, and she was 33 at the time. 33 in dancer years is like 150 in human years - if you aren't already a dancer (instead of in the "studying to be" phase, you ain't never gonna be anything more than a second-string instructor at Arthur Murray).
But it was summer in a college town, and we were desperate for a renter. So we (me and Miss Bamboo Lemur Boys) took her.
I have blocked out most of those memories, but I have this to say about PL - she had mad lying skillz. I am a pretty good liar, but PL had me beat all to hell. She was an International Grand Master of Lying, because she could think of your response, her response to your question, your response to THAT and her comeback, all before you could start to think "Huh, wait, this story doesn't add up somehow."
She was like the Bobby Fisher of lies or something. I wish I could be more specific, but it all happened so head-spinningly fast that I could never quite get a grip on "Wha' happened?"
My worst roomie by far was the first stranger I ever took on. During and after college, there were people I knew and lived with, but eventually they all moved on and out, and I was left searching for someone to rent the room upstairs.
She was seemingly glamorous. A child of diplomats, she was from another country and had lived all over the world. She had an exotic, practically unpronounceable name, which she had actually changed her name TO (from another exotic, practically unpronounceable name that was practically the same, but she insisted all the people that knew her learn her new name, a process that took much tedious explanation and correction ("No, not 'Bashjeeya', it is now 'Barshguiya'" "Barshjeeya?" "No, Barshguiya," and so on. That is not the real name but close enough.)
Because of her status, she had grown up with servants, who apparently did everything, because she did not do housework. Ever. At all.
I called her room "Lockerbie" because it had exactly the same level of organization and cleanliness you see after a mid-air explosion: none. This is not an exaggeration.
I don't really care how my roomies keep their quarters. What did bug me about Princess (which is what her parents called her) was that she ate my food. All my food. All the time.
I had mentioned that my old housemates and I had had congenial grocery-sharing agreements - we picked things up for each other, offered each other food when we had purchased too much, and it all worked out pretty even.
She took this to mean that "All your food is belong to us" and proceeded to 1. Never buy groceries and 2. Eat all my food, even after I told her not to.
At first I thought it would be limited to my leftovers or prepared foods (frozen pizzas, for instance) but no. If there was one lonely can of corn left in the cabinet, she would open that and have 15 oz. of corn niblets for dinner. I would know because she would leave the can and fork sitting out on the coffee table for days until I cleaned it up.
I'll never forget the first time I invited this guy over for dinner. We were talking and he was following me around and I went in my room, opened my dresser drawer, and began taking out the ingredients I needed.
Yes indeed. I had had to turn my bedroom into a pantry because she would not venture in there. You forget how nutty you have to act when you live with a lunatic, because it becomes everyday routine, but the look on his face was priceless.
In addition to not cleaning up after herself and not buying food, she eventually quit working and quit paying rent. She would get "bad cramps" and lay around menstruating in a white robe that became all smeared with blood because she had something against pads or tampons. Yeah, nice.
I kicked her out, not according to the laws of the State of California, which mandate a lengthy process that may take over 90 days. I kicked her out according to the Laws of Suebob, which meant that when she was 5 days past due on the rent, I put her stuff out on the lawn and bolted the doors.
Illegal? Yes. Effective? I have never seen Barshguiya again, which is all I really wanted.
Ok, tell me your roommate horrors. I am dying to know. Do it on your own blog if you want. I will love reading them.