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#0013

Is your life boring and bland? Do you wish your daily routine was full of intrigue and surprise? Try living with roommates!

Your first contact is, of course, in response to a Craigslist ad. The initial “would we work together?” interview is the first step to this adventurous relationship. You and your potential housemates will gather to discuss class schedules, boyfriend policies, rental agreements and utilities costs. You’ll make each other laugh, and you’ll smile a lot. It’s almost like a first date.*

(*What sucks is that after one date, you’ll be living with these people.)

You move in, and your housemate’s boyfriend may help you carry several heavy boxes. He’ll smile and you’ll fantasize about him falling for you sometime in the near future, when you happen to wander upstairs in your panties while he’s over. Your roommate is ugly anyways. Ahem.

You paint your room. You arrange the furniture. You have your own space, and you’re so excited about your new abode. Little do you know of the joy that awaits you as time goes on!

For the first few weeks, everyone wants you to be excited to live there, so your housemates keep the kitchen clean, come in quietly, don’t have many friends over, and behave courteously. “Do you need anything?” they ask you about five times a day, each. Don’t worry, this stage of predictable behavior will wear off.

Soon your roommates will start leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight. When this does not evoke a temper tantrum from you, they’ll leave dirty dishes on the table, and then go out of town for a week. When you don’t implode even at this, they’ll spread crumbs from their 2 a.m. dinner feast all over the stove, and leave them for you to discover in the morning. If you’re lucky, they’ll fry bacon, splatter it everywhere, pour the leftover grease into your favorite coffee cup and leave it on the counter for several weeks, until they decide to dump it on the back patio.

Why limit the fun to the kitchen? As your roommates become more creative, they’ll think of fabulous ways to brighten your day.

When you’re planning on having some people over to socialize, one roommate will suddenly decide that removing the seats from the back of her minivan makes her vehicle more gas efficient, and that the best place to store these cumbersome objects is in key walkways throughout the house.

Your roommates will make a rule that no one is to wear shoes in the house. They will use this rule as an excuse to dump all their shoes at the front door in a frighteningly smelly pile.

Your musical roommate will be required by her opera classes to practice scales at 4 a.m., and your nursing student roommate will purposely sign up for late shifts so that her only time to cook will be at 3 a.m. every night. And of course, the kitchen is directly above your room. She will probably wear high-heeled boots as she cooks at this ungodly hour. Ear plugs will not help.

So as you realize that this arrangement is a little too adventurous, even for you, and you wait for the end of the month so you can move to a new place, you are on edge and ready to pick a fight. Therefore, when you come home from work at 2 a.m., because you had to work the late shift again, and the inconsiderate opera roommate’s minivan is double parked, you do not drive down to the overflow lot.

You would have to walk back alone in the sketchiest part of town. You would likely be raped, mugged, and killed. The overflow lot is not an option. So you stop your car, go inside and upstairs, and directly knock on your roommate’s door.

“Who is it?” she beckons groggily.

“It’s me,” you reply sweetly.

“What is it?” She feigns non-anger. Don’t forget, it’s two in the morning.

“Would you move your car? You’re double parked and I don’t want to walk back in the dark from the overflow lot.”

“Are you serious?” This is not a rhetorical question. Your roommate wants to know if you’re really going to drag her out of bed to move her car. What she’s really saying is, I don’t care if you get raped.

“Yes please.”

She turns on her light. “I have to work at nine.”

“I have to work at eight,” you retaliate — again, very sweetly — as you watch her gather her keys.

She moves her car, and you park yours, saying thank you and bidding her a goodnight. She asks when you’re moving out again? You smile and tell her happily — three weeks!

And then the adventure will begin again with someone* new. Yay!

(*Note: Emily, I am very excited to move in with you, actually, since I already know and love you and you have never in your life posted an ad on Craigslist. Did I mention I love you?)

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