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Roommates

Mari' EmeraudeIf you are a roommate, you just gotta read this. Being a loner has its perks, especially when I hear all the horror stories from friends with roommates.  I suppose being married is the ultimate roommate situation. Here you have two people from two totally different households and backgrounds, with different beliefs, lifestyles, etc., and you throw them together and make them try and live as one. Not an easy task.

It’s funny how little ‘quirks’ can be the driving force in creating a wedge between two friends, even married couples. Whenever I go to others’ homes and observe the problems that arise in the roommate scenario, I think to myself – if I had to make a list, I guess the top three things would be:

#1: The roommate won’t pay his/her share of expenses;

#2: The roommate is a slob;

#3: The roommate has a pet.

Now if I didn’t touch a nerve with one of these, you’re probably in denial. To break this down, I will take apart one problem at a time:

#1:  How many times has a person agreed to move in with their roommate, only to find that the roommate loses his job after only one month in the apartment? Now roommate #1 is stuck paying all of the expenses while roommate #2 sits in the house watching television, eating all the food and reaping the benefits that both are supposed to enjoy. This roommate has also become somewhat of a ‘mooch.’ “Hey man, ya got a cigarette?”, “Toss me over one of those beers,” or “Hey man lemme hit that.” (sound familiar?)

#2: It seems one roommate is always the picker upper. Their room is spotless – bed made daily, room is dusted, clothes all neatly put away, while roommate #2’s room looks like something straight out of “Hoarders”. Unfortunately, the roommate’s sloppiness isn’t confined to their room. They leave the bathroom in disarray – wet towels on the floor, smeared toothpaste on the counter, pieces of plastic from their new bottle of contact lens solution, wads of hair from their brushes, etc…(you get the picture). The kitchen is the hardest hit. Dirty dishes everywhere, beer bottles from last night’s party (that YOU paid for, he drank), ashtrays overflowing with cigarette butts (that YOU bought, he smoked) – again you get the picture.

#3: The new four letter word in a roommate’s vocabulary may be PETS! What one person calls cute, furry, playful and fun, the other person finds noisy, smelly, obnoxious and annoying. (and no I am not talking about a husband and wife)!  I am describing roommate #2’s doggy or kitty. The same bundle of playful fur to roommate #2 may be a yappy, snippy, shedding shoe-eating ‘demon’ to roommate #1.

I say to me it’s just not worth the bother. I don’t like confrontation, and I will go to great lengths to avoid it. I lived by myself before I was married and have no regrets. When I finally did get married, we were able to accept the differences between us. Sometimes he was roommate #1 and sometimes I was. We learned to compromise on the financial, housekeeping, even pet problems that arose. I think the only one that stumped us was when I wanted a kitten, and he wanted a girlfriend.

— Mari’ Emeraude

Mari’ Emeraude is a writer and poet from Denver, Colorado. This essay is an excerpt from her book, “Your Face Will Freeze Like That” and other stuff mom told us’.

Reflections of Erma