Real Life: Unprepared

Recently, I have come face to face with a few things I am not prepared to deal with; situations that have left me agog and without any sort of real response. Completely nonplussed.

1.) My Roommate, asking for advice on how to deal with getting arrested.Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 6.17.47 PM

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What was she arrested for, might you ask? Oh, you know, just having a fist fight out front in the middle of the night. A drunken fist fight that resulted in all sorts of broken mess. So, who did she ask for advice regarding how to proceed? Oh, you know, just me. Sorry, but I don’t have any experience in this field.

2.) My Roommate’s gentleman caller (and I use the term gentleman loosely) and his choice of apparel.

Molly? Really?

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What exactly should my response BE, when someone walks into my house wearing this t-shirt?

3.) Waking up to cop cars outside my home TWICE in one month.

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That’s right, TWICE. Not only did that first incident occur, but I got a nice little phone call at 6:30am this weekend after Molly’s BFF broke into my neighbor’s house by accident (?!)/ whilst high as a kite. Is this something I should’ve been prepared for? Something normal I should be equipped to deal with? Because I am woefully unprepared.

Does this mean I need to develop a whole new skill set? 

My Real Life: Living With Roommates

roommatesI have lived with 17 different people since leaving for college back in 2004. 17 is a large number. In my years as what-feels-like a professional roommate, I have learned a lot. I have met some lovely people and some not-so-lovely people. I’ve had some wonderful experiences and some unexpected experiences. I’ve done some growing up. . . some. I might even have begun to understood what is important when living with people. But if nothing else, having roommates cycle through my life has provided me with moments of sheer ridiculousness. I have decided to share them, in all their limited artistic glory, just because they happened. To me. Which is pretty darn wild. SO, with a complete lack of chronological order, it begins.

married bf killer

 

Housing Adventures: A Look Back

This was written one day in 2008-2009, while living at my first ever post-college apartment – 22 Prospect St, Beverly, MA. 

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The neighbors are hammering. This is not to be confused with the ever-popular activity of getting hammered. Oh no. Those are the next-door neighbors. Their drunk quote of the week, as heard on Sunday at 1am while I was trying to sleep: “You CAN’T vote for McCain. OH my gosh I won’t even talk to you again. You don’t even get it. Obama is so much better. I mean, a vote for McCain is a vote against Obama.” Brilliant. I wonder who explained that one to her. (And people say I’m never mean.) But at least I never wonder what craftiness they’re up to. Loud drunk girls are nothing if not straightforward and can be eliminated by the one-time purchase of a white noise machine. Hammering on the other hand. . .

The sky-bors in the second floor apartment are, evidently, of the artsy persuasion. All I know is that they are girls who are students at Montserrat, the local art college. I can only imagine they are majoring in carpentry, as I have now heard a hammer, drill, and saw on a regular basis. I can’t quite understand why they aren’t out on the Beverly Common smoking a joint with the rest of the freshmen, but maybe my imagination is inhibited due to sleep deprivation. I can feel the pounding of the hammer in my chest as I try to fall asleep. No, we’re not talking that pound-pound-okay-the-nail-is-in-so-hang-up-the-damn-picture kind of pounding. This is hammering with a vengeance; hammering with intent.

I almost wonder (as I hear the loud clatter of a hammer being dropped and the rhythmic friction of a saw) if this is my own personal set-up for a scary movie. Saw 6: Murder on Prospect Hill or something. How cliché. The recent college graduate in her first apartment, eking out a living to the odd surround sounds of the upstairs-dwellers until one fateful day . . .

And if I am to escape the saga unscathed, my curiosity may not survive it. What they could possibly be building? It’s not as if they can remodel. Yet the wall next to my bed is actually shaking with the increasing rhythmic pumping of the saw and the windows vibrate with each piece of wood that hits their floor (my ceiling). Maybe I will never find out. Maybe it will become my very own Pandora’s Box. Or maybe. . . as it has been suggested. . . nothing is being built and the upstairs-ers are just into kinky carpentry sex.

Ah situational humour. My life is rife with it. I could be my very own sitcom. In fact, I’m flashing back to the Friends episode with old man with the broom. Those of you that care know which one I mean. I’d probably make a killing and the real clincher of the series popularity would be the neighbor issues. Like Desperate Housewives. Only instead it’s more like Degenerate Housemates. Or maybe just Poor Desperate Inconsiderate Young Adults. But maybe not. I wouldn’t watch that one.

Oh I almost did not mention our NEW housemate. It would appear that the Kafka protagonist that has taken up residence in the bathroom. Think less social commentary and more big-assed bug. The near-two-inch, chubby bugger of a bug scuttled its way into our awareness on Monday night and then, after a memorable interlude, slid out through a crack in the wall. So far, no calls, but we have a feeling that she (we call her Roxy) will be back. And when she does. . . well, we’re not sure we’re ready for it.

So now that you’ve heard a titch about al the housemates and neighbors, I hope it makes you thank your lucky stars you don’t have centipedes-on-steroids that rule the bathroom. But take everything I say with much humour, because, when all is said and done, that is definitely what I have done. This particular protagonist of Saw 6 is acting as a scary-movie protagonist should: happy where she is and blissfully unaware of anything unfortunate that might (hopefully won’t) be in the cards.

Facebook Status SHUT-Up[!]dates.

Warning: This could possibly be deemed “a rant”.

I know Mark Twain wasn’t talking about facebook per se, but he probably would vehemently apply this philosophy to social networking sites as much as other forms of communication . . . I find it highly frustrating when people air their complaints to the Facebook world via complaints in their status updates.

Of all the things to post, it is incredible to me that people take the time and the effort to post some of the crap that they share. . . .

Perhaps this comes as  no great surprise, but I also find the world of passive aggressive roommate non-dialogue highly frustrating. As a rule, I love direct communication, even when it’s awkward and uncomfortable and angsty.  I’d rather have a fight than  snide comments, cold shoulders, or a guilt trip.

Imagine my  disappointment upon encountering the combination of these two non-preferred types of communication. That’s right, folks. Unfortunately, it seems that social networking has opened up a new realm to the terminally passive aggressive and whiney, and indirect complaints about me can now be sent out into the world to garner the reactions of the general public.

Situation: I went home for two days, leaving my cat well provided for, with a friend who would be checking in on her.

Status Update in reaction to circumstances indirectly caused by myself :

This, coupled with the three text messages which (using impressively veiled and passive terminology) very-indirectly alluded to what a pain-in-the-butt my cat had been yesterday, has officially frustrated me. I’m sure it was annoying to come home to a cat that was whiney last night, but , frankly, so what?  Annoying things happen. It does not mean that you need to spit it onto Facebook to garner pity and inspire guilt-trips  over a situation that is not  in anyone’s power to change. So it was inconvenient? Welcome to communal living and shared space. There are many things we could all complain about; the daily inconveniences caused by the minutia of our idiosyncrasies. Maybe I find it annoying that cigarettes are smoked on the front porch and the smell wafts back in through the doorway so much that my eyes get all itchy and red. But I don’t post about it on Facebook, because it’s not other peoples’ business. Instead, we had a face-to-face conversation.

Lots of things are tricky in the navigationof rooming situations, and I thing the key to actually maintaining sanity and not devolving into some kind of Mean-Girls-back-stabbing-regressed-middle-school-summer-camp-crew  is to focus on the positive and try to reverse our initial frustrations.

This leads me to the most important piece of advice for the successful living of all roommates the world over: (which I might be breaking currently)

I’m trying to practice this, not just preach it. I have now purchased 8 new scented candles for the house, and am the proud owner of eye-allergy drops which help me deal with any secondhand smokiness. I’m working on it. Still not perfect, and perhaps Mark Twain (or you, dear reader who has read this far) would chastise me for the inherent hypocrisy exhibited by the very writing of this rant. My only excuse (and I’ll own that it may seem flimsy) is that , while I am venting frustration in this moment via blog, the situation would ultimately benefit very little from confrontation.

Which brings us tothe second cardinal rule of roommate-living :

This is one of  those “battles” that I need to just let pass me by.

That said, please accept my apologies for the rant. Thank you for letting me get the angst off my chest.

If you can possibly help it, do everyone (including yourself!) a favor and remember not to complain with no hope of productivity to the world of Facebook about situations that are outside of everyone’s control.

Perhaps you can benefit from this experience in some way.

Perhaps I will, too.