Things have gotten farcically bad between me and my roommate. I knew, from the beginning, that we didn’t have anything in common–maybe it was the copy of Showgirls on DVD, or maybe it was that he was a Dodger fan–but there was at least a honeymoon period, when he and his girlfriend seemed to be fascinated to be living with a grad student and TA. But the longer we’ve lived together–and, significantly I think, the more we’ve had to talk to each other–the more it’s become clear that he views me as an irritating guest who won’t take the hint and leave.
This has been clearly visible in how he reacts when I have guests over. The proximity to campus is the entire reason I’m paying so much for a single room–not just because I can’t drive, but so I can have some kind of social life. But given that it’s not hard to see that he really resents it when I have people over; it’s at the point that I look back with longing to the days when he just stone-facedly walked by us without saying hi. Outrages these days include asking us how long we’re going to be; telling me that he was going to trip over my Gamecube if I didn’t get it out of his way (this is while Joe and I were playing Gamecube); and interrupting Gamecube play to pull out the TV and disconnect his XBox, all without an “excuse me.”
It’s true that I have people over all the time. I would love for him to confront me about that, because I have what Joe called a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card: his girlfriend LIVES WITH HIM off the lease. Essentially, he has a guest at the apartment every hour of every day, most likely watching decorating shows at TLC. Now, she’s okay, and I don’t mind her being around. But as with all things between roomie and me, there is something of a double standard.
Another example: the question of mess. I am not that clean a person, I think many people will attest. I try to overcome this, but I’m not always successful. So when he asked me to be more thorough when washing dishes, I was chagrined and apologetic, and I tried to improve. That wasn’t enough; nor was getting my own dishes and cookware, apparently, because a number of kitchen components have simply disappeared. First it was the cutting board, then the baking sheet, then the strainer. Most recently, he put the blender back in its box and sealed it with duct tape. I feel like a child who got his kitchen privileges taken away.
Look, it’s his shit, and if he wants to carry it out from his room every time he cooks, that’s up to him. But this would be less ludicrous if he were actually a neat person. He puts bags of trash on the counter rather than taking them out, there’s a plate of chicken that’s been sitting in the fridge (not his fridge) for at least a month. He cooks with a Foreman grill and has been known to leave the excess fat in the dribble tray on the kitchen counter for days on end. We’re two college guys sharing an apartment, why does he find the idea that I’m not immaculate to be totally unacceptable?
Like I say, I think it gets worse the more we have to talk to each other. This has especially been the case as we’ve had to sublet the apartment; he seemed to be irritated when I tried to convince him that taking all of the furniture out of the living room would make it harder to sublet the apartment. (We finally agreed that he would leave the couch, but that’s it.) Now, we just spend the time silently moving past each other in the apartment. I am hoping for one big blowup at some point, though–preferably the day before I move out.