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Monday, June 24

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Andrew / October 22, 2008 12:26 AM

Thanks to Mary for the question. Got a good one for Fuel? Email it to

Jill / October 22, 2008 12:49 AM

I had a roommate who was not the cleanest of people (the friend who recommended her later admitted she was afraid to eat at this girl's house because she was so dirty). One evening I was trying to figure out what this awful smell in our pantry was and managed to trace it to a bag of potatoes she had let rot until the rotten potato juice escaped from the bag and ran down the pantry wall. I gingerly brought her the bag of rotten potatoes and asked if she wanted to keep them. She replied, "I wondered what that smell was." Guess you didn't wonder too hard now, right?

On the flip side, my second college roommate was AWESOME. Brilliant, fun, classy and extremely patient with my many moods. I recently went on a weekend getaway with her and was once again reminded at how lucky I am to have friend like her.

Pedro / October 22, 2008 8:37 AM

I've got one that probably works both ways.

During a snowy Chicago winter, one of my roomates, a guy I was friends with since high school, was throwing snow balls at me while we walked down the sidewalk. I told him to stop, but he kept it up. I wheeled around and punched him in the face.

It was decided that he would move out, but it didn't ruin a friendship. We laugh about it now.

R / October 22, 2008 8:44 AM

In college I lived with a few fellow students (all women who had a reputation for being snotty, but I thought that was cool) for a semester off-campus. My boyfriend at the time dumped me, which majorly depressed me. My roommates naturally got sick of my moping around all the time over it, and I noticed that I was no longer being invited to hang out with them--because my ex-boyfriend suddenly became their best friend. I found out shortly thereafter that he was sleeping with one of my roommates, which made me abruptly move out as they all sat on the porch, giggling. Brita, you were the best roomie ever.

mike / October 22, 2008 8:56 AM

I went to college in Baltimore. Freshman year, my roomate (a "townie" from Baltimore County) and a degenerate buddy of his bought a thousand dollars worth of cocaine with the intention of selling it to the rich kids from NJ that made up the bulk of the student body. They ended up snorting all of it in about a week instead. One morning after a long previous day of class and work study, I woke up at 3:00 a.m. to "Space Oddity" by David Bowie cranked on the stereo. My roomate was singing along, eyes wide, pupils pinpoints, wired out of his mind -- and numb to the fact that the song was cranked up to ten. I had to talk him down, literally, at the same time Bowie was counting down in the song.

He got stoned every night before going to sleep and he would eat acid and quickly fall asleep before it took hold so that he could "wake up totally full-on tripping." He'd bake up while studying and then bake up again before the exam because he swore the "osmosis" of being stoned brought everything back. It worked -- he was a straight A student. Our dorm room hallway frequently smelled strongly of Bounce -- which just about everyone knew was masking the weed smoke. He had pot and shrooms in his dresser, acid in the freezer, pills I didn't recognize in the bathroom, and the coke was hidden somewhere extra-secret. He was kicked out of school by November. He was replaced by a lacrosse player who was even worse. Good times.

K / October 22, 2008 8:57 AM

I had an ill-advised roomie who let her ferrets run around in her room uncaged. She moved out in a huff without telling me and left me cleaning the bedroom corners, floors, and walls of pee and poop for days.

Gaigen / October 22, 2008 9:14 AM

Never really got into the roommate thing. Always been a big fan of privacy. But did have a roommate briefly my first year away at college. The stranger they paired me up with at first left after about two months. Me, like an idiot, was oblivious to the fact I had the whole place to myself and told a guy I went to high school with (who I had planned to room with originally anyway) that he could move in. For the rest of the year he would break into my desk drawer to steal my weed, leave used condoms hanging on the edge of the bunk bed, fell off the top bunk one time while I was sitting on the bottom bunk and nearly broke my shoulder, ruined my Parliment/Funkadelic album while spraying some homemade air freshner his mother made around the room (who the hell makes their own air freshner?) and wore several items of my clothing and stretched them beyond wearability.

Oh, and Mike, great story, but you should have ended it with: "...and that guy went on to become...Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz (he's from Baltimore)." Either him or Earl Simmons, aka DMX.

carrie / October 22, 2008 9:27 AM

I had one roommate and that was enough. She was my best friend at the time and while she wasn't as bad as others, by the end of the year I was done. She'd do the little things like... not do dishes b/c only 3 of the 5 dishes in the sink were hers, so since more were mine, I should do them. Or not clean- ever. Or have her creepy sometimes boyfriend over all the time. It was the little things that got to me. I think the best was at the end when we were both looking for our own places, she got mad b/c I went out on my own and found a place and how dare I not invite her with when we both need apartments. Um, really? She ended up finding a place in my building, which I think was good for us, despite her getting mad at me for finding a place first. Our friendship wasn't over at that point and it was a good way to transition into living alone.

robert g / October 22, 2008 9:49 AM

I let a friend who was a recovering alcoholic stay in my extra room as a roomate. I thought it was the nice thing to do at the time, but he was not as recovered as I had assumed.

caitlin / October 22, 2008 10:41 AM

Wow, there's been a lot of bad and ugly so far, so I guess I'll add a little good:

After becoming best friends with a guy friend in the first two years of college, we decided to live together (and with one other girl and guy) when we moved off campus our junior year. Within the first few months of moving in, our friendship soured and we fought regularly. The situation got so tense that I began looking at studios to move out.

During winter break that year, we had both celebrated our 21st birthdays and having had some three weeks apart to cool off, we decided we’d start fresh by going out for our first debaucherous, legal celebration together the first weekend back at school.

Not surprisingly, the night got pretty sloppy and ended with us kissing at the corner of Addison and Clark. Now it’s three years later, and we haven’t stopped kissing yet. Best roommate I've ever had.

Gaigen / October 22, 2008 10:57 AM

... we decided we’d start fresh by going out for our first debaucherous, legal celebration together the first weekend back at school.

Ah, alcohol. Is there NO problem you can't solve?...

Irisheyes1212 / October 22, 2008 11:19 AM

For one sememster I went to this horrible baptist college. It was depressing and I found it hard to get along with anyone (Why the F I was there to begin with I will never know...Oh right, discounted tution.)
Anyway I had these 3 fear of God type roommates. They hated me and my sinful ways. There was no drinking on campus (heck there was no dancing) and I was a bit of a drinker. So I would go out, or have a few when the roommates weren't home.
They ratted me out and told the RA I had alcohol on campus. Funny thing was, the booze the RA found in my drawer wasn't mine...those nice girls planted it.
I hope they rot in hell. Never had a roommate after that except for an attempt to live with a boyfriend, and my cats =^..^=

Spook / October 22, 2008 11:52 AM

In order to have my own dorm room. I drove out my roommates for two years straight. It took about two weeks.
To this day, I still feel bad about it because they were nice guys. Afterwards when I saw them around campus, I was always nice to them.
One, named Joe, I actually became friends with, but not close.

I’m sure they knew what I was doing. Certainly my best friend did, (who hailed from B’more!) who always lived in the room next door to me. I never asked him to room with me because I knew I needed to live alone.

In my defense, I needed a lot that I didn’t get back then, but I did go out of my way to make sure I had my own space. Yea life is strange.

Mucky Fingers / October 22, 2008 12:17 PM

I have an overall fond memory. Three best friends in a three bedroom apartment. My roommates would have inhaled any home cooking I did, so I never bothered cooking. I lived on frozen pizzas, Ramen noodles and chunky soups. We smoked weed and watched JFK every single day.

I was a neat freak, the other two were classic slobs. I can't recall all the sweeping and dishwashing I did. I didn't care though. There were weekends where we never left the house, stoned all day & all night. Constantly awakening to the thud of someone tapping on my shoulder and shoving a joint in my face. How could I have smoked so much weed? It looks like another life now.

What probably makes my memories so fond is that these two guys are still my best friends, more brothers to me now than ever. I still see them at least once a week (although our habits have changed).

mike / October 22, 2008 12:19 PM

One more:

During my senior year, my roomates were into stealing things (while drunk) to decorate the room. They stole predictable things like street signs and municipal stuff ("Baltimore: the City that Reads") and promotional bar signs ("Coors Light Karaoke Night!"). But one night they stepped up their efforts and stole one of those McDonald's drive-thru signs -- the ones shaped like the big 'M' that light up and say "Welcome." They literally tore the thing out of the ground. It was so valuable that the crime ended up being reported in a local Baltimore paper's 'crime blotter' as grand theft. Paranoid, they disassembled the sign and hid various pieces of it under beds and in closets throughout the apartment. Their plan to go to Radio Shack and get parts to "convert" it to be wall socket-compliant were never realized. My roomate Jim and his brother stole a large, beautiful persian rug from an apartment building lobby. They just rolled it up, walked out the door with it, and relocated it to our living room. The Jesuit priest who lived across the hall from us joked more than once that it must have been stolen. My favorite though was the 15-foot long "IT'S GIRL SCOUT COOKIE TIME!" banner draped across our living room wall. Yep, they stole from the Girl Scouts.

kate / October 22, 2008 12:22 PM

Freshman year of college I had the girl who had her boyfriend (and his kitten) stay with us for about a week, until I told him to get the F out. He wound up sleeping in the car until they went home for semester break. She never came back.

Sophomore year was the girl who never cleaned up after herself. I'd find half-full pop cans and when I'd dump them out, chunks of mold and grape soda went down the drain.

Junior year was a sorta-friend who freaked out when I asked him to buy a new jar of jelly since he'd eaten the one I'd bought. He freaked out, called me all kinds of nasty names and put a bunch of single serving jam packets in the fridge... before moving out in a huff.

Senior year I lived alone.

I've had a couple roommates since college. I can't do it anymore. The next time I live with someone it will be because we sleep in the same bed.

David / October 22, 2008 1:36 PM

I have had some terrible roommates (note: if you're not a smoker, DON'T live with two smokers), but my freshman year college roommate was by far the worst.

Me: slim Michigan liberal. Him: big self-professed "redneck" from Georgia. He loved country music, beer and (ahem) a slang term for female anatomy. I also later found out he also loved...well, me. But that's another story.

But every so often, his girlfriend would come up from Georgia, and I'd get sexiled for the weekend.

Which wouldn't have been so bad, except for one time when I had a calculus exam on Monday, and I'd forgotten my calculus book in the room. So early Saturday morning, I quietly opened the door and snuck in, trying not to look at the mass of hair and arms in the bed. I spied my calculus book, and bent down to pick it up, only to recoil in horror at the used condom sitting on top of it.

The worst part was that I needed to study so bad, I just picked it up and moved it and wiped off my book. Ugh.

annie / October 22, 2008 2:22 PM

I realize this is corny but if you can consider your boyfriend (husband now) a roommate, then I have the best roommate, to date. My college roomies were slobs and lazy..I did everything, in fact, they called me Mom. Then I lived with my ex-husband before we were married and then (obviously) when we were married. He was a lazy slob too...then he invited 2 of his even lazier friends to move in with us b/c we had a big house and they couldn't afford their own places (yet, one drove a lexus and the other a BMW). I felt like I lived in a frat house, that was the straw... and while they were off partying in Miami one weekend, I packed up and never returned. Then a while later I met my man and he is great to live with, never leaves the bathroom yucky, doesn't leave his clothes all over for me to wash, he is a hell of a cook and likes doing it, he takes out the garbage b/c I hate doing it and I'm positive he's not inviting any of his friends to move in with us.

Meems / October 22, 2008 3:41 PM

It started off OK, I had just moved back from San Diego this year and had one weekend to find a place. Lived with 2 girls who were never there, awesome! The last month the one girl asked if her boyfriend could stay for 2 weeks. Have to paint a picture of this guy: alcoholic chiropracter, going through a divorce and custody battle, with a dying mother, not working because he couldn't afford to renew his license. And he brought his untrained puppy who scared the bejeezus out of my cats.

Came to realize he was not leaving, like ever. After confronting them I just moved out.

Now I live with an unemployed lesbian couple who always have random people over and cook weed vodka.

I guess I'll never learn.

kate / October 22, 2008 3:52 PM

Cook weed vodka? I have no idea what that means... do tell!

Cypress / October 22, 2008 4:25 PM

In college, I had no money, no medical insurance and no place to live. A friend let me stay in his back room so I could finish up my last semester before transferring. Well it all went south when I came down with pneumonia from walking to and from college that winter. When not in class I stay unconscious in that unheated backroom. After missing class for two days and not seeing me exit that room. My friend decided to check on me. I was days past the need for a dr. I had a high fever and was to sick to move. My friend stood over me smoking a cigarette trying to decide what to do. When one of the ashes from his cigarette fell landed on my blanket. Which caught on fire. With me under it. Needless to say the smell of my blanket, my clothes and arm hair burning roused me. I kicked and flailed and jumped to a leaning crouch/standing position. Finding my room mate standing beside me staring at the flames saying "Whoah"

Really can't say / October 22, 2008 5:22 PM

I was once so desparate time-wise to find a place that I accepted a friend's offer to room with him. Why was he needing a roommate? Because his live-in boyfriend was going to be committing suicide in a few weeks.

This is was in the darkest days of the AIDS crisis, but to be planning for a roommate to move in right after the deed? That's colder than cold. And I was (obviously) a horrific moron to have been part of that.

While the actual roommate issues were just run-of-the-mill crap (typical money, cleaning, noise, etc. stuff), the lead-in should have told me that it wouldn't have worked out.

The further I get away from it, the more ashamed of my younger self I am.

Kevin / October 23, 2008 9:51 AM

In the early days of the internets, when people still went to chat rooms: I had a roomate who met a girl online. Had her visit. Dumped his fiance. New girl basically moved in permanently. New girl got knocked up. He had his older brother/high powered attorney threaten her with godknowswhatlegalBS to try to get her to have an abortion. She wouldn't do it, so he bought her a one way ticket back to California. Reconciled with his fiance. Presumably told her that I got the "new girl" knocked up, since fiance's best friend was a good friend of mine, and one day inexblicably called me up to tell me that I was the scum of the earth, and should never call her again.

My roomates these days are my righteously awesome wife, two nerdy dogs, and two lazy house rabbits. It is great.

Karen / October 23, 2008 10:00 AM

When my first postcollege roommate moved out to go back to Iowa to be with her fiance, she got one of our coworkers nether of us liked to take over the lease. The new roommate would stay up all night with the TV blaring drinking Pepsi and smoking and would go out drinking, which was really annoying.

After a while, I started to suspect that she might be pregnant, but naively thought no way. She would have said something and wouldn't be smoking, drinking an drinking Pepsi all the time.

After a few months, she told me she was going on vacation for a week. While she was gone, we got a message for her on our answering machine from the local hospital asking for the mother's immunization records for the baby. I tracked her down and told her the hospital called, nothing else. When she came home a few days later (sans infant) she told me that she had had the flu and lost 18 pounds in week. Never mentioned the baby she gave up. But she soon started going out again and picking up random guys and bringing them home for a few hours.

After the lease was up, we went our separate ways, and I haven't had a roommate since then.

Gaigen / October 23, 2008 10:14 AM

Has anybody ever BEEN the bad roommate? C'mon, fess up....

spence / October 23, 2008 10:37 AM

I'm not a terrific roomate to certain types of people. Not because I'm mean, or don't pay rent on time, or anything of that nature. I'm messy. I don't leave food out, but I leave clothes, shoes, books, cds, dvds, papers, receipts, bags, cups, etc laying all over. It has driven more than past roommates to get upset with me. I room with my brothers now, they are similar in there pack-rattedness. We live in complete, messy harmony.

Gaigen / October 23, 2008 10:53 AM

Yeah, I can be a slob at times too, which is probably why I lean toward living alone. I do clean up my apartment, but only when it offends even me (ok, not that bad) or when someone comes over. And I have been known to leave dishes in the sink for a day or two (not gross and covered with food, but regular). But the freedom to throw socks and underwear on the living room floor if yo so desire? Priceless...

Yup... / October 23, 2008 11:01 AM

I lived in a nice apartment with two other people a while back. One of those people was awesome. One of those people was not. The short story is that we had different views of clean and dirty. She cleaned every Sunday- moving furniture, laundry, bathroom, scrubbing on her hands and knees- EVERY WEEK! I had better things to do than spend hours cleaning every Sunday, and I felt it was unnecessary! Things never got dirty enough to be cleaned- she wouldn't let them! As for day to day, I was spending half my time at my boyfriends so I wasn't home to contribute to the dishes/garbage/dirt anyway.

Things went downhill after a few months. She took away her pots and pans because she said they were dirty and put them in her room so no one else could use them. Her cats climbed everywhere, including our kitchen counter space- getting their fur on/in everything and their litter box was kept in our kitchen, which made food smell "great". (she also did nothing to prevent her cats from climbing all over my friend who visited and was allergic. No offer to put them in her room, no common courtesy at all!) She once password protected the tv because I made her mad once while watching tv when I didn't pay for cable- a decision agreed to when we first moved in with the contingency that we could discuss this at any time should it prove to be a problem. No conversation took place, and yet I was locked out. She never left the house, so there was no chance of privacy in our common spaces. She blamed two stains on the couch on me and somewhat on our other roommate, (one stain couldn't have been us because we were both out of town when it happened). As for the other, all I can say is I didn't do it and I don't know how it got there. I was so terrified of her that I would have cleaned it up immediately, and I was only watching tv with my boyfriend when this happened- no drinking, no nothing. She told me that if my guests and I couldn't respect her property we couldn't sit on her couch any more. I didn't sit on that couch for the remaining months of her lease. She also took down all of my artwork, and replace my things in the apartment with mass produced crap that she bought from ikea. It wouldn't have been an issue except she didn't tell me about it. She just removed my things and put them against the wall...

I really should have just said something, but I let it get out of hand. I was so scared that I would do something wrong while living with her that I was insanely careful and extremely anxious all the time. I couldn't talk to her about it because I was a chicken and she was terrifying- though I did defend myself when she would make attacks. Even our other roommate, who was really good friends with her for most of the time agreed that I got blamed for everything. She eventually moved out a month early after ruining her relationship with the other roommate. She had the same issues with the last set of girls she lived with, so it shouldn't have been a surprise. Good things came from it- my boyfriend and I moved in together and I appreciate it so much, and the other roommate and I are very, very close. Otherwise, it was easily the worst living situation I've ever had (the girl who moved in after her puked in our shower and didn't clean it up! I prefer the puker!!)

Whew! That's a lot to get off my chest. Here's hoping she doesn't read this because I'm still a chicken, and she still terrifies me.

M / October 23, 2008 12:02 PM

My ex-roommate was just arrested for murder.

Spook / October 23, 2008 2:04 PM


I guess you missed my confessional post

M who is your roommate? Unless you are Fluffy's cat then we already know.

Gaigen / October 23, 2008 3:06 PM


Yeah, I read it but I forgot about it. Damn, you're devious! you should write a book on that. From the sounds of things here, you could make some bucks.

"How to Lose Friends and Influence People to Get the Hell Out!"

mary / October 23, 2008 6:08 PM

i feel like i'm a good roommate, and have been told so, but i suppose only with certain people. certain non-crazy type people. i've had 2 separate roommates who have started off friends, shown me their crazy side, and then both have had suicide attempts (although i had left the house prior to the second girl's attempt)

both are totally unrelated cases to each other and to me, but are still somewhat jarring experiences to have. i've lived alone since graduating college and i love it.

fluffy / October 24, 2008 12:35 AM

My first college roommate was a spunky blond slut from St. Louis who wore super tight jeans, wore too much blue eyeshadow, smoked 2 packs of Virginia Slims a day, and made sure to sleep with as many RA's as possible (in one night). We were sooo different. I had purple dreads at the time and she threatened to cut them off while I slept.
After her, I shared a house with a friend I'd known since Jr High. Turns out she had slutty tendencies too, but with skankier guys. She played bass in a very loud band and they always practiced at our place. Oh, and she was a topless dancer in one of the nastiest places in Dallas. Every now and then she'd treat me to a buffet dinner and she'd pay with singles. good times.
At least these girls weren't mean. My roommate in Chicago was such a big fat bitch- she'd invite other people from the building over to watch movies (my tv) in our living room (all my furniture) but not invite me. I'd be in my room, walk out and there's a little party going on with some of my neighbor friends. She was definitely one of those chicks who love you so much they hate you. That's what I believe. In return, I was a messy and slightly weird roommate just to freak her out.
My best roomies- the guy who was never home; my ex-husband the clean freak; my cat!

carrie / October 24, 2008 9:36 AM

I'll admit to being kind of a bad neighbor... but it was to get back at my jerk neighbors... (after roommate #1, I lived alone for 7.5 years, just moved in with the bf in Sept) Anyway, I had the worst upstairs neighbors. It sounded like they were skateboarding all day and night, maybe they were dropping bowling balls from time to time. I have no idea. Once, their cat ran into my place and I was trying to shoo it out. The guy came up the stairs and was like "Oh is the cat in there?" and I was like "oh yeah, just trying to shoo him out" and he looked at me like I was the dumbest person and said all snotty "just pick it up and put it in the hallway". Right because I like picking up random cats that might claw my eyes out. Anyway! After about a year of them, I decided to start playing my music real loud at night. they didn't like that and I really didn't care. They came down and yelled at me one night and it was only the second time that it was loud. Babies. I mentioned the bowling ball dropping, etc and since they were tired they didn't argue much. My favorite part is that the day I was moving out, they were too, but we didn't know it. So they woke up at 8, started dropping stuff on the floor, again. Thankfully I was already up and didn't care. And then my moving guys came, hogged the alley with their truck. So, there I was, all happy b/c it was 10 degrees outside, I was on the first floor with movers in the alley and they were on the second floor, going through the gangway, freezing. heh.

C-Note / October 28, 2008 6:24 PM

I had a roommate named Steven M. Bruce who was a complete scumbag, and did lots of things I did not appreciate during the six or so months I let him stay at my place.

Aside from having a serious drinking problem, losing several sets of keys (which inevitably led to laying on the bell in the middle of the night), losing various jackets, sunglasses, and umbrellas that belonged to me (not that he had asked to borrow them in the first place) and having me bail him out of jail on at least one occasion, well...

I told him in November that he would have to leave. When he told me that he was planning to leave in January, like a fool, I said, well, if you can behave yourself, you can stay until then, but no longer.

In the middle of December he moved out and stole everything he could put his filthy hands on. Drank everything in the house that had alcohol in it (none of it was his), made some sandwiches, stole my pea coat, some CDs, and some other stuff I won't mention.

This is a public service announcement. Before you let a guy named Steven M. Bruce live with you, check with me first to make sure it's not the same guy.

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