Roommates From Hell: You Don’t Even Live Here!

I think I’ve mentioned before that our bedroom is just off the kitchen in this house. That means that if you’re standing in the kitchen and talking loudly to be heard over the running water in the sink, I can hear what you’re saying too. If you are yelling over the sound of running water, then yes I can hear you only a few feet away in my bedroom. This is not a hard concept to understand.

Or is it?

So Guy Upstairs has his girlfriend over, pretty much constantly. She seems like a nice enough girl the odd time I see her. They mostly stay in his room, hiding out and watching movies and Netflix. He’s pretty great, for a random roommate, and I’ve never really had a problem with her.

Now, our kitchen is a bit of a clustered disaster at the moment. We’ve had people moving out, and new people moving in, and the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend and I have a lot of stuff. I try to keep a rather large area of counter clean for cooking, but have the  bad habit of not putting away our Tupperware. It will pile up for a few weeks, and then I’ll do a massive overhaul of the Tupperware shelf and put it all away. The stuff piled up on the counter is clean, and out of the way. It’s just sort of…… piled.

Now, Guy Upstairs doesn’t have a hell  of a lot of stuff in the common areas. He has food in the fridge, and in his cupboard, and a bit of cookware. That’s pretty much it. He makes his dinners, feeds her when she’s here, and keeps his things in his cupboard and in a pile on the counter (right by  Mount Tupperware). We have never had a problem with each other, not even when it comes to cleaning and sharing the kitchen. He is nice and kind and respectful, and we both understand that this kitchen will never be something out of a Martha Stewart Living article. There’s far too many people, all with their own stuff, who come and go here for that to ever happen.

Guy’s Girlfriend seriously needs to realize that though!

Now I won’t complain about her being here all the time. AAB was here constantly before he moved in. And for the most part, as I said, we don’t see much of her. This is not her house, though. She rents a room in a house a few blocks from here: she just doesn’t like her roommates. They’re loud and dirty, and have no respect for anyone else living there. I totally get that. I’ve been in similar situations before. And my heart really went out to her when she was complaining about her roommates loudly partying when they knew she had to be up early the next morning.

Still, she doesn’t live here.

That didn’t stop her today from standing at the sink beside Guy Upstairs while he did his dishes. Over the sound of the running hot water, she was LOUDLY complaining about Mount Tupperware and how NO ONE in this house ever does any cleaning. She made it sound like they were surrounded by filth, like this house should be condemned for the state it’s in.

And while she was loudly complaining, she knew I was sitting in my bedroom, eating a sandwich while I watched an old Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares episode while I took a break from my day.

Now I have been cooking, cleaning, and dealing with the student loans folks all day. It’s my day off from work, and I’ve been going since 9am (forced myself to stay in bed late today and relax). I threw some stew in the crockpot, cleaned up my mess in the kitchen, did all our dishes, swept and mopped, took down all the Christmas decorations,  cleaned out the front hallway (the floors get nasty pretty fast this time of year in there), cleaned out our fridge, sorted through a pile of things I wanted to donate. This was on top of dealing with student loan people for almost 3 hours. Oh, and I finally tackled Mount Tupperware, too. I’ve done a hell of a lot around here today, even if it isn’t noticeable right away.

The nerve of that precious little turd to complain! If she was running around cleaning up after people here, that would be one thing. But I’ve never seen her do more than rinse out her tea mug before though! I mean, I’ve had to scrub skid marks out of the toilet before that are NOT mine or AAB’s! I have cleaned up her poop, dammit! She doesn’t clean up after herself, lets Guy Upstairs basically wait on her hand and foot, doesn’t help him clean up after them. Hell, when I even just tried to say hello to her today, she just turned her back on me and pretended she didn’t hear me! She is becoming intolerable in those rare moments that I have to interact with her (or hear her complaining outside our room).

It’s days like this that push us forward though, Sunshine. While I was talking to AAB about this, and talking about the other Incredibly Grown-Up Things I did this week to try and get us out of here (more on that later), he realized that we DO need to leave this place. This house has served me well for almost 4 whole years now. Since high school, this is the longest I’ve ever lived in one house. But it’s just not practical for us to live with all of these roommates, especially when their precious little turd girlfriends do things like this that set me off.

So Sunshine, what should I do while we get all our ducks in a row? Should I talk to Guy Upstairs about his girlfriend’s attitude? Should I ignore this? Should I talk to her?

A Little Bit o’the Purge

Well a belated Happy New Year to you all out there, Sunshine!

I had a busy few weeks leading up to this. Volunteered for the 6am shift at work for the holidays. That meant 3 weeks of getting up at 4am, then walking to work in the snow at 5:30am. But I was done by 2:30pm every day, so it was worth it for me. If I could get a Monday to Friday job like that, I would take it in a heartbeat. It meant a lot more time with my Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend, and being able to cook dinners again. For the first time ever, I cooked a whole chicken! Did a lot of baking, decorating, had a slight existential crisis, multiple panic attacks, and drank a lot of Starbucks (thank you gift cards!).

But now I’m back to my normal life for now. Working closing shifts again, hours are getting cut drastically. I’ve picked up a few shifts from co-workers this week already, so I’m getting around 25 hours this week (compared to the 40 I was getting before the holidays). Next week I’m down to 8 hours, and the following week I have ZERO hours on the schedule. This means I’ll have to go back to waking up early, getting myself all ready in case there’s a chance I could get called in and pick up some hours, and keeping myself busy around the house. I’ve done a few very grown-up things so far, and have a few more on the list (appointments with my bank, my doctor, and finding a new eye doctor). But the big thing right now that AAB and I are focusing on is a good clean and purge of our stuff.

Last night, AAB started cleaning out his dresser. Because of his job, he has a tonne of clothes that wind up too ripped and stained to donate. So he turned what he could into rags, threw away a whole bunch, and then gathered up ALL the laundry (somehow there’s 4 baskets sitting here. How the hell did that happen?).

I started with my jewellery. My baby Bowser kitten went through a phase a few months ago where he kept jumping up on my dresser and knocking over my earing boxes and necklace stand. After a few weeks of half-assed organizing his post-leap messes, I just gave up. I dumped most of the stuff into a giant bowl, and kept tossing random things on top of it: socks, scarves, empty plastic bags, lotion bottles.

So last night, I spent a good hour and a half untangling necklaces, pairing up earrings, grouping bangles, and hiding away the few things I got from grandma. While going through all of this, thoughts kept popping into my head as I handled certain pieces: do I really need this? Will I ever wear this? Is this something I really want? So I started seriously thinking as I untangled and matched up pieces.

And you know what? It turns out I didn’t need half of this stuff. I had a necklace tucked away in a small baggie that had a few broken links. I swore for more than two years that I would fix it and wear it again someday. Two years! And you know what? There was never a time where I said to myself, “Gee, I wish I had that old tarnished faux-gold and faux-pearl necklace on right now. It would totally complete this look.” It was a great necklace, and I wore it once to a fraternity formal to jazz up an old LBD. I hadn’t worn it since, and didn’t really have anything else to wear it with. It wasn’t expensive (just one more piece from my lovely Ardene collection). It held no sentimental value. It wasn’t some rare irreplaceable piece. Every season there was something similar at Ardene that I could get for a very reasonable price if I was ever desperate for a piece like this. But right now, it was just this tangled mass of chains with a string of faux-pearls slowing falling apart. It was taking up space, and that’s all it was doing. So, I tossed it.

So for the next few weeks, especially on days when I do not have a shift and I don’t get called in, this is what I’ll be doing to stay busy. On top of my usual job hunting and cleaning around the house, I’ll be purging and organizing our stuff all over the house. Today, I went through a basket of lotions and hair products. While I did jump between curling and straightening my hair when it was longer, and needed some heavy duty moisturizers and split end menders for the ends at that time, I haven’t touched any of that stuff in months. I chopped my hair in a pixie, and just use a little putty and texturing spray in now. So why keep all of these almost empty bottles of hair products sitting around the house taking up space? Especially when recycling goes out tonight? Later today before I leave for work, I’ll be gathering up some odd random holiday stuff (Halloween costume ears, swords, Christmas sweaters and socks, etc.) and storing that stuff away.

So Sunshine, do the objects you surround yourself with bring you joy? Are they things that you can say definitely add value to your life? Or do you have piles of “maybe someday I’ll use it” crap all around you? Maybe this year could be your year to finally go through some of this stuff and say, “If I don’t need you, I’m not keeping you.” And this goes for anything you have that is just a drain on your time and space: books, beauty products, friends, volunteering opportunities, partners, socks……….. Take your time, go at your own pace, and get rid of the junk that’s just taking up precious space in your life.

Roommates from Hell: Updates from This Semester

Well it’s the end of the semester, which means the students are all on the move. It’s been a wild semester, with the five of us sharing the house. Just to re-cap some of the strangest drama and experiences from the last few months:

  • I walked into the kitchen multiple times to find AC sitting on the floor with a giant knife that looked more like a small machette, chopping ridiculously large amounts of cabbage.
  • UG used a frying pan! We finally got him to stop just reheating leftovers in the fridge, and he started making his own food to go with the giant pots of rice he was always burning on the stove. Unfortunately, he never cleaned the damn frying pan, instead letting it sit there with leftover fat and oil in it for days at a time. I watched him try to clean it the other day: he put it under running (cold) water, pushed old food bits out with his fingers, and then put it back on the stove.
  • I randonly came home a few times to find my livingroom packed full of people, all guests of DG. I never really minded that he always had people coming over, but our neighbour (who is like the badass granny everyone needs in their life) got pretty damn pissed. His friends were throwing all their food wrappers and garbage on her lawn. She damn near charged into the house once to scream at all the roommates.
  • We finally got a second fridge!
  • The second fridge broke. No one bothered to clear out their rotting food from it. Jeff had to put on his Army-issued gas mask in order to clean it out without puking. After that, I went from getting half a shelf in the fridge (plus sharing the top shelf for large items, the door for all the condiments, and the vegetable crisper) to getting one third of a shelf if I was lucky, and barely enough room on the top shelf to put a carton of milk and bottle of wine.
  • Jeff and I got through out break-up ok. He’s dating a really sweet young girl who goes to the university here. She’s messaged me on Facebook a bunch of times, and we talk whenever she’s over (we actually have a lot of common interests). And I found the most amazingly wonderful man I could ever hope to meet, who I am ridiculously crazy about in a way I’ve never felt about anyone else before.
  • No one besides me mopped. Ever.
  • No one but me vacuumed the common areas. Ever.
  • No one but me cleaned the bathrooms. Ever.
  • No one but me cleaned the laundry room. Ever.
  • My new amazing boyfriend helped me clean up our kitchen quite a bit, since no one else ever helped. He was the only person to do any real deep cleaning around here besides me. And he doesn’t even live here.

So it’s been an interesting semester here. AC finished her in-class work last week, and went home to be with her husband and son while she finished her final papers. She’s set to come back here in the fall though, and left her treadmill behind to claim her space.

UG just left this house for the last time a few minutes ago. He came to my room to say goodbye (and to see the cat, of course). He had a friend helping him move (a friend who would not stop singing loudly all afternoon while I tried to work), and somehow wound up with multiple bags of garbage needing to be taken out. I think that, of all the randoms we’ve had come through this house in the years I’ve been here, he’s been my favourite. He was mostly respectful, kept to himself, and never bothered me. True, he never did clean anything, and he left boogers on the shower walls. But he was a hell of a lot better than some of the trash I’ve seen come through here.

DG is leaving here by the end of this month. He’s already packed up his BBQ and moved it to a friend’s place.He has so much stuff, though, it’s been spilling out into the common areas since the day he moved in. I have no clue how he’s going to pack it all and move it out of here!

And then there’s Jeff. He’s agreed to become the house manager for a friend who had to move away for work, but didn’t want to sell his income property. So, at the end of this month, he’s moving out too. We made a run to the liquor store to pick up some boxes (I work there, so I know where all the best ones are hidden for moving), and he’s going to start packing up his stuff. Soon. He swears it. Problem is, between all his clothes, his books, his army gear, and the random stuff he’s collected over the years living here…….. well, he has a lot of freakin stuff!  It’s going to take some supreme organizational skills to pull this off…….. thankfully, he still has me here.

Yeppers Sunshine, it looks like I’m not going anywhere just yet. They’ve cut my hours quite a bit at work the last few months, so I’ve eaten through most of my savings just to keep a roof over my head (and those savings were meant for 1st and last on a new roof over my head). I’m trying to find a second job, and have had no luck there. So once again, everyone is moving on with their lives but me. While everyone moves forward, I’m stuck in limbo for god knows how long.  And it’s really starting to get to me.

I think the worst part of all this is, Jeff has been managing this house for years. The cable and internet are in his name, he’s always handled the lawn maintenance (I’m allergic to freshly cut grass and break out in hives), and he’s been in charge of getting new stuff when things break (like right now, we have to get new recycling bins). There are 8 days left in this month, and I have no clue what is happening with any of that.  I don’t know if I have to get internet for the entire house, or if I’m responsible for going out and buying things like recycling bins and garbage cans for the house. Luckily, my amazingly awesome boyfriend has offered to come over and cut the lawn for me. But the rest is just…… in limbo.

I hope none of you are in a state of limbo right now, Sunshine. If you are, drop me a line or leave a comment. We can be miserable together.

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Roommates From Hell: Cleaning the damn fridge

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Remember how I told you one of our fridges broke here? Well we have one roommate who still INSISTED on putting her food in there…… and then forgetting about it. The smell was so bad, I could barely use the working fridge next to it. And the mold was horrible!

And this is what it came to. This us the ex-boyfriend/roommate I’ve told you about, cleaning up this mess. And yes, that is a gas mask. The smell from the rotting Tupperware (the mild was eating through the plastic!) was so bad, by the time he finished he could smell it even with that contraption on!

So, Sunshine, don’t let dumbassery do this to you. Got a broken fridge? Fix it or toss it, and for God’s sake empty the damn thing put!

The Fabled ‘Tale of the Corn’, or “How I Became Allergic to my Own Damn Kitchen”.

I think sometimes when I tell this story, people don’t believe me unless they knew this particular roommate. The state of her kitchen became a legend among frat boys in our area. It was a punishment to be forced to come over to her place and clean her kitchen for her. More than one frat pledge hurled and dry-heaved his way his way through her dishes, just to come across forgotten pots and pans from what looked to be Christmas dinner, 1976. There are some who cannot remember a time when her kitchen wasn’t covered in dishes. I am not one of those people, though. I can remember scrubbing our kitchen when we lived together, having an empty sink and a drawer full of squeaky clean cutlery. In my mind, the kitchen was just a minor problem that we could handle together.

Until the corn pot.

She had never been one to do dishes in the first place. For many years, she had a deal with her fiance where he would do dishes if she would do all their laundry. When he left, she stepped up from time to time, cleaning up after herself. This would usually only be after at least a week of dishes piling up in the sink, crusted food rotting on their pretty floral pattern. I bought myself a set of blue plastic dishes, trying to make sure I always had something to throw my pizza on while I watched tv. Over time, even those dishes somehow wound up in her growing sink mound.

Usually, I would get sick of the mess, throw a fit, and the two of us would clean it up together. If I wasn’t around, though, this didn’t get done. I could scrub the kitchen down completely on a Friday afternoon, go to my parents’ place for the weekend, and come home to a pile of dishes I would later have to help clean.

And that is how the corn incident started.

On a Thursday night, she decided to make herself a big enough meal to have leftovers for a day or two, while I decided to go stay with my parents’ and help them move furniture. Before leaving, I hugged her cats goodbye and watched her browning meat at the stove. I didn’t come home until Monday afternoon.

It seems that part of her dinner Thursday night was a rather large pot of frozen corn. I know this because on Monday night, it was still sitting half-full on the stove. The butter in it had hardened and the pot’s contents were now one giant yellow rock. I asked her if she would be getting rid of that soon, and she said she was just about to.

On Wednesday night, I tried to find a clean plate for my pizza. While moving dirty dishes away from the cupboards, I found the corn pot. It was still full, and starting to look a little fuzzy. I mentioned to her that her food was starting to grown life forms, and she laughed it off.

By Friday night, I was feeling a little off while trying to make dinner. My eyes were burning, my throat felt dry, and I was getting dizzy at the stove. I moved things aside to get to the window, and found the pot. The corn was starting resemble a small cat now, black and fuzzy. The mould on it was growing its own film of mould.

Oh, did I mention that I’m allergic to mould?

The roommate swore again and again that she would take care of it. Yet day after day, that mouldy sat on the stove. I began to have nightmares about what was going on in that pot. Were there tiny little organisms in there, slowly evolving? Were they building tiny little roads and houses? Would they stage an uprising and come to kill me in my sleep?

By the following weekend, I had had enough.  The pot was still sitting there, less corn than fuzzy cat-like blob of fuzz. I stormed into the kitchen, grabbed the pot by the handles, and decided right then and there that I was going to get rid of whatever was living in there.

And that’s when it attacked.

A black mushroom cloud of spores exploded from the pot, enveloping my entire head. I gagged and wheezed, throwing the pot back on the stove and running for the nearest bathroom. Black fuzzy chunks flowed trough my vomit, as tears tried to wash the black from my eyes. And the roommate? She sat in the living-room, watching TV and occasionally calling out, “are you alright?”

For days after, I was a mess. My eyes both watered and were painfully dry. I wheezed after walking the 9 feet to the bathroom from my bedroom. I was cranky and tired, but couldn’t fall asleep with all the itching and coughing. And that damn pot still sat there.

To be safe, I stayed out of the kitchen. When the pot exploded, it essentially made me allergic to the entire damn room. The room where my food was, where I could eat up leftover pizza, where the glasses for my beer were. Allergic! For days, I pleaded with the roommate to clean out the pot. She had midterms, and papers, and studying, and TV, and god knows what else keeping her from that kitchen, though. Unable to even enter the room, I was forced to subside on pizza and McDonald’s; not a huge change from before, but still a huge annoyance.

Finally after close to three weeks of me asking, she cleaned it. While I was on campus, she threw away the growing fuzz-ball and scrubbed out that pot. She scrubbed down the dirty dishes that had been accumulating, wiped down the counters, and even cleaned the stove-top.  For a whole 17 hours, I had a clean kitchen.

Of course, then she made food again.

It was corn.