Having a roommate definitely helps save money, but it might cost you your sanity in the long run. These folks expose their crazy roommate experiences.
“Finding A Good Roommate Is As Tough As Finding A Soulmate.”
“I’ve had a ton of bad roommate experiences but this guy tops my list.
One of my roommates moved from our house to an apartment closer to the beach and he subleased his room for the last month of the lease period. Since it was just for a month the rest of us roommates didn’t care who replaced him. And trust me, that was a big mistake!
It all started on the very first day. The new guy moves in and I was the only guy at home. I help him unload his stuff from his car and we start talking. He had the perfect dumb gangster kind of attitude but I didn’t care. He starts unpacking and what do I see?
Me: ‘Umm, is that a GLOCK?’
He: ‘Ya bruh, I got it back home in Florida.’
Me: ‘Oh, do you have to get it registered again here in California?’
He: ‘Na bruh it’s not registered’
At this moment, I decided not to ask him why he had a weapon. I felt I would sound judgmental like I’m against carrying. I mean I don’t see why a college kid would need an unregistered weapon but who am I to judge?
The next morning, my roommates and I woke up to a bathtub floor covered with sand. So was our washer and dryer. Turns out he’s a surfer who doesn’t clean up his mess. We figured well not everybody is clean and a little mess is something we could live with for a month.
But he took it to the next level when it came to cooking. Everyone in the house was working full time during the summer and we barely stepped into the kitchen on the weekdays. That weekend my roommate X decided to cook some rice and opened the rice cooker. Let’s just say we never used the rice cooker again. The new guy had cooked rice in it four days ago and there were maggots in it. He had never used a rice cooker before and believed that the rice cooker preserves the rice for weeks.
We had tolerated him for a week and just when we thought we had seen everything he gave us the biggest surprise. X stepped into the kitchen one morning to cook breakfast and saw a guy eating bread slices in the kitchen. He walks into my room.
X: ‘Who’s that guy in the kitchen?’
I go to the kitchen and look at him. His body odor made it obvious that he hadn’t showered in days.
Me: ‘No clue. Let’s ask Z.’
We go to Z’s room.
X: ‘Hey Z, you know that guy in the kitchen?’
Z: ‘No I thought he was friends with one of you.’
Me: ‘Na we’ve never seen him before.’
Z: ‘Did W bring home a guy last night?’
Me: ‘Na she’s at her mom’s. Moreover, she would never sleep with a guy who stinks like that.’
So, who was that guy? He was a kid who ran away from home and had been living on the streets for about a week. The new guy got acquainted to him near a taco stand when he saw the kid shaking his head to the music on the new guy’s stereo. The new guy made a deal with him that he would let the kid sleep on the carpet of his room for $200 for 20 days. He was literally expecting $200 from a kid just out of high school who ran away from home with no job. Fortunately, he convinced the kid to go back home after 20 days. Not because he cared for him, but because he wanted the kid to pay him the money.
I am not sure what is the right word to describe him. But one thing my experiences have taught me is that finding a good roommate is just as tough as finding a soulmate.”
Well, That Stinks. Literally.
“This is actually about my friend’s roommate, but that’s hardly important. My friend’s roommate comes stumbling into their dorm room (freshman year). It’s blatantly obvious that she is inebriated beyond reason. She starts shouting ‘I NEED TO GO TO THE BATHROOM’, which wakes up my friend. She sees her roommate just staggering back and forth through the doorway. She stayed in bed because she really didn’t know how to react.
Her roommate returns through the door once more and reiterates that she needs to go to the bathroom. Before her roommate had left to go to a party, she had placed her white Mac laptop on her chair by her desk. The rationale here is that we believe the white from the laptop on the seat made the chair look like a porcelain load-throne in the mind of her wasted roommate.
So she approaches the chair, pulls down her pants, and sits on her laptop. My friend braces herself because this situation can only go one way. As she braced for impact, her roommate releases a sigh of relief that unfortunately is synchronized with the release of her bladder and bowels. Despite her laptop being covered in feces, her roommate denies that this ever happened.”
Well, At Least That Was The Last Time.
“The worst story I have is just really creepy. She was a great roommate but I couldn’t sleep right for a month after.
So it’s literally the first night we are sleeping in the same room, so things are already a little awkward since we only know each other’s names. But night falls and we go to sleep. I wake up to the sound of her yelling ‘NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOO’ and then she flings all of her blankets off of her bed and onto the floor. At this point, I’m freaked out so I ask if she’s okay and she doesn’t reply. Instead, she sits up and looks around, sees the window, and kind of whispers, ‘Not the window…’ then she stands up and walks to the window. At this point, I realize she must be sleepwalking, or crazy.
She gets to the window grabs the lock with both hands and is locking and unlocking the window over and over again while whispering to herself. She never opened it, but after about 3 minutes of that she let go and says ‘That’ll do.’ And then starts walking back to her bed, but when she was passing by my bed she stopped and turned to face me.
Then she just stood there sleeping (I hope) staring at me for a good 2 minutes. Then she started whispering to herself again walked passed her bed to the door, dragged her hand down the middle of it, turned around and walked to her bed, and went back to sleep.
I was terrified, but I never told her about it. She never did it again.”
“Both of the roommates I’ve had were each a different kind of awful. Both were found on Craigslist, because if it didn’t work the first time, let’s have another go, right?
The first roommate was in Harlem. My fiance and I had to move very suddenly and he found a listing on Craigslist, for a young woman looking for a roommate (couples were welcome). We responded to the ad and were invited to look at the room in question. She was nice, but a little off. For one thing, she had a ‘DO NOT ENTER’ sign on her bedroom door and made it very, very clear that we were to never enter her room. She said she kicked her previous roommate out for not adhering to this rule. We were not allowed to bring friends over unless we cleared it with her first; she didn’t want to be caught off-guard in her own home, which is a very valid point. Additionally, we were not allowed to bring adult beverages into the apartment, which was fine with us because neither of us drink anyway.
Valid, understandable house rules. She was only 20-years-old, so her first two rules were her simply trying to protect herself and the last was simply because she couldn’t legally buy spirits, so us drinking in her apartment wouldn’t be fair to her. We moved in quickly.
And quickly found that she was an odd duck.
She never came out of her bedroom except to use the kitchen or the bathroom. There was a literal layer of dust coating the entire living room because she hadn’t used the room in months. She spent her days playing music loudly or singing loudly or using her sewing machine (I have no idea what she spent so much time making). When she used the kitchen, she’d sing at the top of her lungs, no matter the hour, but the moment our bedroom door knob turned, she’d abandon whatever she was doing and scurry back to her bedroom, actively avoiding human contact. Also, she was a terrible cook and would destroy pots and pans as she used them. She once tried to make fish in a skillet and burned an inch of crud onto the skillet, so she threw the whole thing out.
Once she turned 21, she kind of threw her no-drinking rule right out the window. She always had a six-pack in the fridge.
Also, her no-friends-over policy? Yeah. About that.
One night I came home after work. There was a man in the hallway, moving from the bathroom to the kitchen in his boxer shorts. The only light was from the kitchen, so I couldn’t clearly see who it was.
‘Fiance, what’re you-‘ I started to call out, but then the guy turned around, and it was not my fiance. It was some random dude in his underwear, in our apartment. He grinned at me and greeted me, but I just pushed past him and into my bedroom and barricaded the door.
‘You met Roommate’s boyfriend, I see?’ my fiance asked in amusement.
‘Who is he?? He’s in his boxers!!’ I hissed at him. He laughed.
Finally, one day, she suddenly decided she wanted to move to Texas and gave us two weeks’ warning, which everybody knows is not enough time to find a new apartment and move out. We convinced her to stay a few more months until we could figure something out, but these were strained months.
Our second (and last) roommate was also found on Craigslist. The guy was cool, but he had a habit of not wanting to do work, both at home and at his job as a floor manager. He’d boast about scheduling his breaks to happen at the end of his shift so he could effectively leave an hour early, and he’d laugh as he would recount his employees begging him to stop that and to stay late because they were bogged down, and he’d just say, ‘Seeya!’ and leave.
At home, he’d do his own dishes, but that was about it. He’d leave his food in the fridge to rot and he never took out the trash or vacuumed or cleaned the kitchen or bathroom. I took on household duties. And yet he’d complain when something like our dishes wasn’t done.
One day, he texted us and said we had a new roommate and could we come open the door for him because his hands were full. We went out to help him, and he was carrying a huge rabbit cage, with a huge gray rabbit inside. He bought a bunny without consulting us. If he had talked to us, he would have found out that not only are bunnies actually extremely high-maintenance pets, but I’m also terrified of them.
And then he never took care of the thing! I, with my phobia of bunny rabbits, was the one who cleaned the cage and kept it fed and trained it to use a litter box, and gave it treats and attention. The year he had the bunny, he cleaned the cage twice, maybe three times. Have you ever smelled a rabbit cage that hasn’t been cleaned in three weeks? That stench is in my nightmares. I felt so bad for the pathetic little bun-bun.
Thank God he was accepted by a college on the other side of the state and moved out, leaving us with the apartment. He took the rabbit with him in a drink cooler. A drink cooler. When I saw this was his method of moving the creature, I told him I’d go get one of those cardboard carriers from the pet store, but he was like, ‘No, it’s not a long ride, this will work.’
I wonder what ever happened to the bunny.”
Creepy, Crazy Slobs.
“In my freshman year of college, my roommate started cutting pictures of eyes out of magazines and pasting them on her wall. By the end of about a week, she’d filled up her side of the wall with a bunch of eyes…all of them staring creepily at me. I never took a picture of it, since this was back when smartphones were nonexistent, but it looked something like this.
She also erected a tent in her bed which she went to bed in. No, not a sleeping bag, but a full-blown tent. Like the kind, you take on camping trips. I’m not sure what her reasoning was but if I had to guess, it would be to avoid ever having to look at me (or her lovely little wall of eyes, for that matter).
This was actually an improvement over what she was doing prior to that which was to open up a bunch of umbrellas on her bed to act as a sort of barricade between the two of us. In order to keep the umbrellas from toppling over, she had to sleep on the farthest corner of the bed, right by her wall of eyes. Every so often though, she’d turn around a little too aggressively and the umbrellas would all come toppling down to the ground. I would’ve found it hilarious had it not been so hurtful. Of course, about two weeks in, she went and got herself a tent, which she spent the rest of the semester sleeping in.
It was a really difficult time for me because I was an international student who barely knew anyone at that point. What’s more, we’d gotten along pretty well the first week and I had considered her a friend, imagining all the fun we’d have like all those sitcoms you see on TV. To this day, I still don’t know what caused her to go nuts on me like that. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t just having some kind of psychotic episode since she seemed absolutely fine around her friends, and sane enough to get into a relationship with a guy she (thankfully!) ended up spending most of her time with.
I also had a housemate who had an inordinate amount of pubes. He would stay in his room for what seemed like a week, playing video games, emerging only to take a shower every now and again. And, without fail, the shower would be clogged with pubes when he was done.
Every. Single. Time.
I eventually moved out of that place… there are only so many pubes one can take and I met my lifetime limit about eight times over living there.
I still wonder whatever happened to him though. Did he somehow manage to find a living involving playing video games while supplying bald men with some testicular hair implants?”
Sweltering For Savings
“I twitch whenever I think about this brief phase of my university life …
The summer after my sophomore year, a friend from the music school bought her own house (yes, her parents were rich, why do you ask—?).
There’s a bit of a backstory here: I had been sharing an apartment with a roommate who was terrible about paying her share of the bills. The electricity was always getting shut off, and every time, I had to pony up a hefty fee to get it turned back on. I would have no more of that. This new girl seemed more responsible.
There was one problem with my new roommate: she was mingy when it came to the air conditioning. She came from Southern California and thought that it was ‘healthier’ to have the windows open so we could get ‘fresh air’. She owned the place, so I didn’t have a say in the matter. I got tired of her freakouts whenever I turned on the A/C; just wasn’t worth it.
So I suffered in silence.
Now, mind you, it gets up to 100 degrees+ in the summer here. Poor people actually die from heat stroke because they can’t afford to pay their electricity bill. I spent a hellish, sweaty summer that lingers on in my memory even today. I was unhappily engaged at the time. I sometimes think that I held onto that relationship because my then-significant other had a nice, cool house that I could stay at overnight.
It got even worse: I broke out into heat-induced hives. All over my body, with the exception of my face. During that summer, I cannot tell you how many E.R. visits I made and how many steroid injections I received. Heat hives are a real thing.
After seven months, I moved out and into a house with my first dorm mate. The bills got paid on time and we made ample use of the A/C whenever it got hot. I was so relieved!”
“When this guy first showed up he seemed mostly normal. The last time I saw him, he was on coke in the courtroom with me.
In the time in between, he made our shared apartment into a trash hole.
This guy cooked all his meals at home, and would never do the dishes, nor clean up the kitchen whatsoever. After the Nth time that I did the dishes for him, I ended up just ordering out instead of keeping the kitchen clean, and started squirreling some glasses and dishware to my room so I at least had clean ones for myself. My other roommates did the same.
The crazy guy was the only person using anything in the kitchen other than the fridge. We kind of figured that eventually, he’d have to clean it up at least a little bit. (And yes, we did try asking him to do the dishes, talking things through, etc., before it reached the level of passive-aggressive shenanigans I just described.)
Nope. The entire kitchen started to smell pretty bad too.
I was barely home at all except for the few hours I was sleeping and showering for about two weeks, so I didn’t have time to do much about it or see how bad it had gotten.
The door to my room was right next to the kitchen on one side, and right next to the front door to our apartment on the other – when I was leaving my room or coming home, I had to hold my breath going from one door to the other.
One day, I stopped to take a closer look. Of course, the trash can was overflowing. There were dirty dishes, pans, rags, etc. on every surface. There was even rice spilled all over the floor.
I looked closer. It wasn’t rice. It was…moving?
It was maggots. There were live maggots – tons of them – crawling about in the open, happy as could be, all over our kitchen.
There were other pests, too. For one, the flies that some of the maggots grew up into. In the winter, for reasons I can only guess at, he kept leaving windows open without mesh screens – between that and the food he always left rotting around, flies would constantly hang around our apartment.
Some mornings I was literally woken up by the buzzing of flies.
Eventually, I got on goggles and a filter mask, and a bunch of pesticides, and went through the house literally chasing down all the flies I could find and spraying them directly with the stuff. That’s how I finally got rid of them.
The food left all over the place also invited mice – lots of them. I came to appreciate mice tremendously from this experience, actually. They are intelligent, resourceful, and dedicated (I could tell stories about some of these mice – maybe in another answer). I could never keep the common areas of the apartment clean for long enough that the mice left, so we ended up having to buy traps to kill as many as we could. It had gotten to the point where you would see at least one mouse every single day.
When he wasn’t trashing the kitchen, though, he was mostly in his room.
He was a DJ by night, and kept his equipment in his room – and used it, often. Our neighbors often complained about the noise. We couldn’t watch movies in the apartment while his music was playing. When asked, he would lower the volume…for a moment, at least.
We’ll get back to his room in a bit.
Despite the condition, he kept the apartment in, he invited people over constantly. And I don’t mean people he slept with – he did that, of course, but I’m not complaining about it.
I mean that he invited couch surfers, often, to sleep in the common area – without letting me know in advance, or at all. Generally for a few days at a time.
More than once, I’ve gotten home late from work to find some stranger on my couch woken by my entrance, asking (understandably) fearfully, ‘Who are you?’
‘I live here. Who are you?’
I can’t blame the couch surfers themselves too much – they were nice and courteous for the most part (some of them seemed a little annoyed to find out I existed and used the common area often – I guess my ex-roommate never mentioned he wasn’t alone in that apartment). They were always much cleaner than he was.
At the same time, there was enough traffic for the one common bathroom in the apartment in the morning before work as it was, and the constant guests didn’t help – particularly when I didn’t even find out we had them until I tried to use the bathroom in the morning and heard a stranger’s voice inside.
He ‘misplaced’ some of my stuff in his room (like my DVDs, or some cookware), threw some out (like my sneakers), and ate/drank others (including a special spirit that a close friend had gotten me from overseas, for my birthday, that I was saving for a special occasion). Anything that got lost in his room was destroyed by the time I found it.
Speaking of his room – if you thought what he was doing in the common area was bad, what was going on in his room was worse.
I got to do an autopsy on this guy’s train wreck of life when I was cleaning out his room after finally kicking him out. Here are some of my findings.
He smoked a lot. No, more than that. More.
There were smears of ashen hand prints around most of the walls and all around the doorknob. Apparently, his fingers had gotten so covered in ash from his constant smoking that it just rubbed off everywhere. Just from using the doorknob alone, enough ash had rubbed off that it had actually gotten inside the door. I had to take the doorknob out and clean the inside of his door.
He also dumped ashes into everything that could be a container. And I mean ‘container’ in the loosest possible sense. He used to have an electronic toothbrush, complete with a water basin to sanitize it – we thought he’d lost it, but it turns out, he just started using that basin as an ashtray.
The light in the ceiling of his room was covered by a glass dome. He unscrewed that, ashed in it, and then put it back – still full of ash.
After I threw everything in his room out and repainted all of it, I still had to leave his room with the windows open for two full weeks before it stopped stinking of cig smoke.
He apparently tried to quit smoking at one point. I found the box of nicotine gum lying, mostly full, inside the heat radiator.
To be fair to the guy, he did use the gum – I know because I had to scrape it off the floor. That’s right: He would spit out his chewing gum right onto the hardwood floor of his own bedroom, and then walk around on it like nothing was wrong until the gum blackened and hardened and became almost a part of the floor the way it does with sidewalks in cities.
There was also broken glass. At one point, the aquarium he was keeping in his room broke – apparently he never fully cleaned it up, and didn’t think having broken glass in his own bedroom was a big issue. There were, of course, used Trojans on the floor, too – and, if memory serves, at least one pregnancy test (thankfully negative).
Pinned to the wall by his bed was the corpse of a mouse. Thankfully it hadn’t yet rotted too much.
There was garbage everywhere (including on the part of the fire escape where he would go to smoke). There were lots of beverage containers – plastic soda bottles in every size, various bottles, etc. All of them were partially full; none of them contained the liquid that was on the label of the bottle. I didn’t bother to check what they were. There was ash in most of them, too.
Oddly enough, there wasn’t that much food in his room in unsealed containers, unlike in the kitchen. (Most puzzling, there was an entire glass bottle of ranch salad dressing, unopened, its lid yellowed with – you guessed it – grime and ash. I can’t think about it without imagining him clawing at it and trying to open it, like some gigantic black version of Gollum.) This, combined with how much of a recluse he was, is part of why I never knew just how foul his living conditions actually were.
When he finally showed up in court at the end of it all, his eyes were so red he looked like he escaped from the set of a zombie movie, he was sniffling constantly, and he was physically incapable of being still for any amount of time, and he had a faint trace of white powder just past his nose that he wiped off quickly before we went into the courtroom.
I guess I know where all money he was saving by not paying the rent was going.”