Roommate From Hell Hates Me. A Lot.

I have this really fun text box at the bottom of the site where I ask you what the best part of your day has been so far. Normally it’s a hoot. The other day someone shared:

“My fresh peach and pineapple smoothie . . . made by me!”

Peach and pineapple! I need that recipe.

Normally, I get a lot of this:

“Finding your great website!”

Which is probably my mom or aunts visiting my website over and over, but each and every time it makes my day.

The other day, though, I got this:

“Seeing you still are a sad sack of crap.”

Now, that wasn’t a very nice thing to say, was it? I was kinda down in the dumps about it for a day or two. And, to be sure, when I remember someone took the time to make my day worse, I can be sad.

The thing is, that I am 99% sure it’s that Roommate From Hell that Will and I had last winter. See, he was never a very happy person, and it would make sense if he got his rocks off by cyber bullying me.

Is my cyber bully our old Roommate From Hell?

I know that he’s not the only person in this world to dislike me. But the tone and timber of the comment scream him. Most of the other people (that I know of) that don’t like me are more poetic and dainty in their language. Or so I’d like to think.

Regardless, of who it was — though I’m sure it was that old Roommate From Hell — I’m taking a page from one indigenous culture in my attitude towards this.

Important People Have Nemeses

I know very little about this particular indigenous culture. I know they are indigenous to North America and some part of California and that Heyday Books may or may not be covering their culture in an upcoming publication.

But the part that’s relevant here is that in this indigenous culture, everyone that’s anyone has a nemesis.

Imagine that! There goes the grocer grinding his teeth about his nemesis the postal worker. Oh poor Dennis the dentist will never get over how his nemesis Frank the obstetrician stole his woman back in 98. I love it.

Like a Quinceañera or a Bat Mitzvah, as you age, you earn a nemesis. I don’t know much about how or why that happens–maybe by speaking your mind in the face of adversity, blogging about horrible roommates or instigating bar fights–but it’s so important that everyone gets a nemesis that if you don’t have one, people don’t think you’re important.

“Oh there’s Mick. Did you hear, he doesn’t have a nemesis??! What a loser!!”

So, let it be known. I am important enough to have a nemesis!

And that nemesis is my old Roommate From Hell. But he’s not my nemesis. No, I’m saving that for someone far more important than he.

Though I do appreciate how good he is at providing fodder for this here blog. Thanks for that Roommate from Hell! And thanks to Albrecht Durer for the post photo, an engraving titled “Nemesis.” I guess nemeses were big back in the 16th century too.

What about you? Who is your nemesis?

Who’s the Awful Roommate? Smitty Flies Off the Handle

Poor Smitty is a clean guy, like me. He likes his house clean and his sink empty of dirty dishes.

Back when he was just discovering that about himself, he lived with a number of men who didn’t feel the same way.

No, they liked to leave food all over the place to rot and piled the sink to high heaven with dishes.

Smitty tried to get them to clean up after themselves. Or so he said, anyway.

And then one day, he wanted to make an egg. Such a simple desire! But there was not a clean plate or pan to be found.

He flew off the handle. He grabbed a few dirty dishes from the sink and started pelting their doors with them. It felt pretty good, so he continued until there was not a whole plate to be found.

Though he didn’t ever get his egg, he made sure that those roommates wouldn’t be leaving any more dirty dishes around the house. Continue Reading

Lauren’s Awful Roommate

Friend of the blog Lauren recounts her worst roommate situation.

A Cat with 50% Accuracy Meets His Match

“I had to move out of the house I loved because my roommate decided to move in his girlfriend and her cat. The problem was we already had a cat with 50% litterbox accuracy.

“My roommate who owned the cat (the same one who decided to move in his gf) decided that instead of cleaning litter boxes more frequently he would just buy more litter boxes. When he did get around to cleaning these boxes he would often leave bags of cat shit sitting in the house. During the summer things really reeked. The thought of having another cat was too much to handle.

“When I raised my concerns, he pointed it out he was the primary lease holder. Dick. Then the girlfriend moves in, she puts all her shit in the living room, not just suit cases but mannequins and sewing machines. It was particularly creepy when I would go downstairs half asleep to see a bunch of mannequins in the living room.

“The first few days I didn’t say anything about the piles of shit in the living room. When I finally moved all her shit to one spot in the living room she said “thank you”. Not “thank you I’ll really need to clean this up right?”.

“After a week I wrote a nice email saying we needed to find a place to store all her shit, offering suggestions and how to get rid of stuff in the common downstairs closet. Her boyfriend and I spent about two hours putting her shit away as she sat there.

“Then the unholy messes left in the kitchen began. The cats were constantly fighting and hair rolled through the house like so many tumbleweeds.


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Confession: I am an awful roommate too

We’ve been sharing awful roommate stories here on jenniferheller.com as I recover from my last living situation in which Will and I inadvertantly offered a bedroom in our apartment to who was to become known as our Roommate From Hell.

The truth is that he and I were each other’s Roommates From Hell.

You see, I like a clean house. I like clean dishes. I like people who clean up after themselves, and who replace the toilet paper roll when it runs out.

I would have thought that that sort of behavior would be generally expected, but it was foreign to my Roommate From Hell.

After he had neglected to replace the toilet paper multiple times, I texted him thusly…

“Please change the toilet paper for gods sake! From now on my charge is $25 to pick up your slack. Understand?”

Yep, I’m not proud of it, and it was pretty much downhill from there. Continue Reading

One Reader’s Crazy Roommates

Thanks to friend of the blog Charlee for sending in some crazy roommate stories.  Today’s lesson, as she so eloquently stated, “Humans are a bunch of WEIRDOS!”

Fight #1

“I told a bossy college roommate that I could find the common room on my own for a meeting (she wanted me to miss the last 2 minutes of Sex & the City?! just to have her way.) and then she stopped all communication with me. This resulted in two months of absolute silence.”

Fight #2

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Insult Submission!!

I’m excited to report that my request for insults has not gone unanswered!

“Nunya Business” from San Jose, CA, writes:

I met you at a few of the parties. You’re a crazy, soul destroying, manhood leeching, empty capsule of a human being’s capacity to be rational.

Granted, this was not a comment on the blog where I asked for insults, but on the one where I discussed our previous Roommate From Hell’s propensity for peeing on stuff.

So, it might be personal.

Regardless, let’s put it to the test. As I wrote the other day, I propose that all really good insults need to be…

Terrible
Haunting
Insulting
Nefarious
Katabolic

Assuming that this insult was meant for me, we can fairly assess its effectiveness.

Was this terrible? Well, it did make me feel pretty lousy. Except I’m pretty sure it’s from my ex Roommate From Hell, so you have to consider the source. Also, you can’t make an omelet without breaking any eggs. FYI.

Was this haunting? Nah. I’ve already forgotten it.

Insulting? Vaguely. “Empty capsule of a human being’s capacity to be rational.” What does this even mean? I don’t feel very empty. On closer look, I don’t think this makes sense. That makes me laugh. FAIL!

Nefarious? Reading your ex-roommate’s blog and posting insults? Nah. That’s child’s play.

Katabolic? Not at all. Thanks for the fodder for the blog, buddy.
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THINK before you speak

My coach introduced me to this awesome acronym to help you gage whether your input is worth sharing. Ask yourself, is this sentiment…

Timely
Helpful
Important
Necessary
Kind

When all five of those are satisfied, then you can be sure that you are being the best possible person you can be at that juncture. That’s all well and good and I’m sure good advice.

But I’d like to suggest that we THINK before we insult, as well. When you take the time to be mean, ask yourself, is this feedback…

Terrible
Haunting
Insulting
Nefarious
Katabolic

Only when all five are truly delivered, do you have a scorn worthy of leaving your lips.

I think we can all agree that a jab that is merely insulting but not haunting — a waste of breath! You want that person to remember what you said for all eternity.

Further, any derision that is up to par on nefarious (EVIL for those of you who didn’t do so well on the SATs), but falls down short on katabolic doesn’t do the job when it comes to breaking down your adversary. A truly worthy slander will leave the subject torn up and silent. You don’t want to risk a comeback, after all!

Let’s see how this system works by taking as an example, the offense I delivered to Roommate from Hell the other day

“I hope your new place is as slovenly as you’d hoped this one would be.”

Was this…

Terrible? I suppose it was a little bit, but I wouldn’t say it was that bad.
Haunting? I’d like to think so, but I bet it wasn’t.
Insulting? Yes, I do think I hit this nail on the head.
Nefarious? Meh. I give me a C+ on nefarious.
Katabolic? FAIL.

Let’s consider as an alternate example, one that an associate thought up…

“Did you move back home with Mommy and Daddy so they could clean up after you?”

If this had been said, would it have been…

Terrible? YES.
Haunting? Oh the truth! Oh the childhood associations!! YES!
Insulting? Oh yes!
Nefarious? Delivered in the right tone, I’d say so!
Katabolic? This might depend on the recipient…if he had a particularly harsh childhood, this one could really, really cut to the core. Worth a try, I’d say.

Yes, I do think this system works. What do you think? Continue Reading

Why would anyone pee on their own toilet seat?

Well, after five long months, I am proud to say that I am finally free of my ROOMMATE FROM HELL (RFH).

And, wonderfully, free from all roommates. I’d like to take this opportunity to kick off a series of horrible roommate stories. Do you have one? Please share them in the comments or send to [email protected].  Bonus points if you have photos to go with!

To kick it off, here’s a good one…

Bright Idea: Let’s Pee on the Toilet Seat

I had just returned to the house to work on moving our final items.  The house, as usual, stank to high heaven of rotted food and cigarettes.  That wasn’t the worst of it…no the worst of it was the pee on the toilet seat. It was caked on there, nice and sticky and yellow.  This guy didn’t drink much water — so much was apparent.

‘Why would anyone pee on their own toilet seat??’ I wondered to myself as I shook my head in disgust.  Thank god I had peed before I left the house.  I had long before decided NOT going to clean up after this idiot any more.

And then he’s back.  Unfortunately.  I recognize that I need to say something, given that I have to return to this apartment that I once loved so much a few more times to get my remaining things.  I approached, reluctantly.

“Hey there. ”  I mustered up my best friendly voice.

The RFH grunted a greeting…if you could call it that.

My blood boiled.  I took a deep breath, and asked him, “Hey, could you refrain from peeing ON the toilet seat?  We still need to use the bathroom…”

“Oh jeez.”

This was all I could take.  “OH JEEZ???”  I wanted to scream, but I kept my voice as calm and still as I could.  “‘OH JEEZ’ is your response to my request for common courtesty?!!”

“Oh come on.  There’s only a few days left.”

Well, he was right about that.  I only had a few days to get in the hundreds of barbs I’d been working on.  I took the opportunity. “I hope your new place is as slovenly as you’d hoped this one would be.”

And turned on my heel and walked away.

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