Monday, December 9, 2013

Living Situations

Back in the early 2000's, Heather Hamilton was fired from her job because she wrote about her boss on her blog. Now, for someone to get "dooced", means to get fired because of their blog. is now her job. Lucky her. Her writing, however, much better than mine - this isn't a comparison, but rather a prediction, or assumption of some sort of self-sabotaging predication. But, alas, despite whatever hot water I might put myself in, I just can't help myself - I gotta get some things out sometimes. Writing is a comfort; a really cheap therapist; my best friend who just keeps the wine glass at her face, allowing me to go on talking unabridged forever, never bothering to put down the glass and interject with her own stories.

I love you, Writing, you alcoholic bore.

But anyway, Heather assumed, incorrectly, that no one at work would ever see her blog. She assumed no more than a few dozen people would read it. And then that backfired. I'm going to go into a short narrative about my current disposition regarding living in a house with three dudes. I assume that none of them read this, but watch me get fired from my own home. Is that a thing? I guess we'll see.

But first, a short foray into my living arrangements.

As a child I shared a room with my middle sister for a while, until at 8, we moved. I got my own digs: A 12 by 9 room that was all mine. In that room was a ladder to a loft I was never allowed up in, until I was about 12, my step-father who forbid me up there wasn't in charge any more, I promised my mother that I wouldn't fall out of it and while up there I would totally be reading. Pre-pubescent kids are such liars...but at least I always had a book to keep up the rouse.

We moved and I got a slightly larger room; no loft. Then off to college after another four years at home. I was paired with a girl who had no qualms about nudity and tanned more than anyone I ever knew. Meanwhile, I was becoming ever fat, chubby and unattractive. This prompted me to move out of Ohio and back to Pennsylvania.

Now, when you transfer schools, you have no say where you will live or who you will live with. I ended up in a nursing home turned dorm with a slightly crazy, cute blonde and a completely out of her mind, tiny, red-head, majoring in Japanese (because Anime wasn't a degree option). We once had a post-it fight when she stayed in the dorm over Thanksgiving break and subsequently took that time to spray hair glitter all over the bathroom. Since she wasn't home, I wrote a note to please clean up the glitter when I stopped by mid-break and found the communal toilet shimmering like a group of fairies suffered a bout of dysentery all over our loo.

Well, she didn't like that, especially considering a few weeks earlier I had walked in on her giving some uber-nerd a BJ on my futon. (Seriously, her bed was the bottom bunk and it was literally 3 feet away. Go there!) Walking into this disaster they both looked at me, un-phased and un-moving. I had shit to do, and while I was irritated and grossed out, I generously said, "I'll give you 10 minutes".

With a penis still five inches from her mouth; ass still in the air, the tiny ginger replied, "Make it 30".

Appalled that she had just turned this into a penis-out debate, I responded, quite sternly, "I'LL BE BACK IN TEN MINUTES" and shut the door.

Upon retrospect, it would have been far more amusing had I taken that moment to walk into the room, sit down at the end of the futon, click on the television and just request that they 'keep it down'. So when it came time for the post-it note clean up request, she was still quite salty (puns!) from our last unsavory exchange. Besides, I really quite disliked this girl - she fucking drove me nuts: Imagine the most annoying archetype character, then times it by ten and make it talk in a broken Japanese and put Anime shit everywhere. There, you're getting closer.

So I wrote this note; short and sweet: Please clean up the glitter in the bathroom. If anything from my college years, I wish I had kept, it would  have been the written exchange that ensued, because when I returned, a second post it was left that read: Why should I? No one cleans up the toothpaste in the sink, etc. etc.? And so, like any normal 20 old, I grabbed the girl from the other side of the loo (five in total shared the toilet, three in my room, two from the adjoining) and we penned a list of 15 reasons why she should clean up the glitter. We laughed the entire time we wrote it. (Man, I wish I had kept this gem.) When I got back from class the following day, there were retorts to most of the items on my list and all of crazy ginger's stuff was gone.

After this incident, the blonde I lived with got it in her head that "she was next" stemming from a joke the girl on the other side of the toilet had made after the little cray moved out. Months later, she was gone too. When all was said and done, at the end of the year, only two people shared that loo.

The following year, I moved out of the dorms and into and apartment with two girls I hardly knew. They were friends of a friend. The first year we got along swimmingly. The second year started to go downhill fast. It ended when I got in a very vocal confrontation with the smaller of the two and asked if she wanted to take it outside and, presumably, I would have mentioned something about kicking her ass. But when someone takes to getting their own fridge to hide the cheese and getting a lock on her bedroom door so that she can lock all of the communal dishes in there - while you are still asking about you mother's Pyrex baking dish she insists she doesn't have - shit is going to hit the fan.

HOW CAN I COOK MY RAMEN NOODLES WHEN YOU HIDE ALL THE DISHES UNDER YOUR BED AND LOCK THE DOOR?! Not cool, man. Hungry chicks are mean (and will threaten bodily harm).

Apparently, she didn't appreciate how lackadaisical the other roommate and I were about doing the dishes, not that she ever told us. And, I guess, thought we were going to eat her lunch meat and poison her cheese. After offering her an ass-kicking, she began to move out the following day. A few weeks later, my mother's Pyrex dish showed up again - go figure. The other girl and I got along just fine - and began to do our dishes - for the remainder of our lease.

After that, I moved to DC with The Ex. He was pretty lazy about cleaning, which caused enough of a riff. But aside from that, as time went on, the relationship sort of self-destructed. So after 2.5 years of living with him while together and six months of living together in the hell that is living with someone you just broke up with because both refuse to move, I ended up living with a guy I found by posting a Craig's List ad for a roommate who "won't judge me when I come home drunk". (You know, I've met two really great people from these ads I post. I'm going to post "Need New Friends" when I move with a similarly worded ad.) Aside from the fact that we lived in Maryland, just outside of DC, this was probably my favorite living situation/person to live with. He was really fun; lots of friend; newly single and in the same 26-and-wee! mindset at me. Plus, I was broke and he had some cash, so in exchange for the bigger/better room and my playing maid to the community elements of the apartment, he paid more rent. I was still used to cleaning a two-story row house, so cleaning an apartment wasn't a big deal and it was always as clean as I wanted it without the aggravation of my roommate not contributing to the upkeep. It was perfect...except that he ate all my Cheez-its when he got drunk.

After him I moved to where I am now: A duplex on the edge of DC, on block from the metro. But here's the thing: I have three roommates. When I first got there it was the guy in the basement, who was my age, an Indian girl (who quickly sublet it to an Indian guy) and (what turned out to be) an alcoholic chick around the age of 24. We didn't know she was an alcoholic, but about eight months in it became pretty obvious, especially after she drank two bottles of my vodka - replaced them...and then drank those too. She also stole my baby spoon I had schlepped around for 27 years to eat my ice cream with, which is probably why I didn't feel as bad for her as I should have when I learned they found 36 handles of Bacardi in her room when they cleaned it out after her parents saved her and took her to rehab. Who replaced her, is the guy that lives there now. We'll call him P.

Who replaced the Indian was a nanny from Texas, 10 years my senior. We'll call her D. Now, if you looked at D and I, you would never put us together as friends. In fact, we're both well aware that if we hadn't lived together we'd probably never even have spoken. But she moved out over a year ago and we still telephone and visit when she's in town. I'm glad we're friends. But when she moved out, K replaced her, and then the original guy in the basement, J, moved out earlier this year, so K moved to the basement and another guy moved into his old room. We'll call him M. He's 22. K is 23. P is 25. Which makes me, by their standards, effectively old. And by any standards, the only chick.

To be continued...