I can only qualify this by saying that I have had some of the best roommates ever as well. I've had roommates that I woke up at three o' clock in the morning to tell them about my night, housemates that threw a birthday party for me after I had moved out, harmoniously shared a townhouse with a girl that helped teach me to climb, and lived with sweethearts that drove me places or shared stories and food.
Details about people's living situations are always given out enthusiastically in September. However, close to Christmas, the fun begins ;) No matter how well people get along, in the close days of winter, there isn't a person I know that lives with others that doesn't have a storehouse of annoying behaviours to relate.
It has gotten particularly interesting this year. One of my friends can't handle how territorial her roommate is being. "I thought we had a lot in common because we had really similar life experiences, but we're very different people," she lamented a couple of days ago. "A. seems to think that she is just a better person than me," she continued. "I borrowed a cup of milk from her, told her about it and replaced it with the entire container. When I got back, she had already bought milk and said she didn't want it. She told me that she didn't use my stuff, so she expected that I wouldn't use any of her stuff again. I mean, I replaced it almost right away with almost three times as much. What kind of person is that?"
I went straight from that conversation to another girlfriend's house. "What's that smell?" I asked cautiously upon walking in. There was a musty scent to the place.
"It smells like-" our other friend wrinkled her nose.
"It smells like boy" the girl who lived there interrupted accusingly. "See? You guys smell it, too! My whole house smells like boys," she said, gesturing and shaking her head.
"Actually it smells like stale pee," said our other friend. The moment she said it, the smell made sense.
"Oh my god. I don't even know where it is coming from. The place is supposed to be clean," said the resident girl, shaking her head. It did look clean. We cased out the house, sniffing. The smell was coming from one of the boys' rooms, we realized after half an hour. The room was full of gear for sports which obviously was, well, stinking.
The other day someone had spilt something in the fridge and the roommates had to have an immediate meeting to deal with the chaos. Unfortunately one of them was holed up in a room with his girlfriend and wasn't too happy about having to march down the stairs to cries of: "Will you please deal with this?" Two of them ganged up on him to drag him to the fridge cleaning session.
"Honestly, its such a gong show," the girl roommate sighed. And one of the guys kept eating her food. It was really disrespectful. But the other guy wasn't perfect either: "X ate my organic salsa," she said. "I mean, he has crappy no name salsa from Safeway. How do you confuse that will six dollar a bottle salsa? Ugh. And he told me that I could have his cheap stuff instead."
This is all predictable, but really amusing if you're not living with these people. Keep in mind that all of these people have gotten along fairly well most of the time, and were very into each other in September.
I've been there. I've had good roommates and bad, and basically nothing about a person actually prepares you to live with them. Some of my best roommates have been people that I would never have met in so-called "real life".
Anyway, none of these minor dramas top what happened last year, when my friend Ryan had this roommate that he had a "neutral at best" relationship with. Things were going along all right, when he arrived home to find an eviction notice on his door. He had three days to pack up and leave. What was going on? He lay in wait for his roommate only to find out that he had apparently stolen the roomie's very distinctive socks. "But these are my socks," Ryan protested. "My mom gave them to me for Christmas."
The socks were very expensive and only one store in Victoria carried them. It wasn't possible, apparently, for Ryan to have the same pair.
This debacle resulted in Ryan actually having to phone his mother up-island so that she could confirm to his roommate that she had indeed purchased this exact pair of socks for Ryan. Only then was the eviction rescinded. The frazzled roommate had been so angry that his face had turned red and now he had apparently somehow lost his supersocks into the bargain. The entire event resulted in my christening him "Sockzilla" and this has become the primary mode of reference when anyone in our circle occasionally remembers him.
He and Ryan continued with fairly tenuous relations for the rest of the year until they both moved, but not without some final accusatory debates over people's damage deposits.. just to sum the whole mess up :)
I don't want to exempt myself from roommate messes either, because that just wouldn't be fair, so here's the dish:) When I was in second year of university, one of my climbing partners decided that he liked me. Rather than address it directly, this guy for some odd reason got one of his women friends to actually move in with me (since he knew that we were both looking for roommates) and then proceeded to come over all the time. What ended up happening but that the girl, who had a long distance boyfriend, fell for him and then invented a boyfriend that I didn't tell people about. She asked me to put a picture of myself in the main room that had me chatting away with a guy (a foreign student from Germany), and this guy became the secret boyfriend. So secret that even I didn't know about him ;)
I didn't figure out what had happened until I heard about my so-called boyfriend from someone a couple of months later: "..but wasn't he that guy in that picture with you in your living room? X. told us all that you guys were dating but keeping it private..." and by then this enterprising chick had already moved out with some of my stuff.
Ahhh.. Roommates. Can't live with them.. but wait.. you are...