At the end of last year I found myself looking for a temporary living situation in my college town while I was in between travels and figuring out what city I wanted to move to next. I wanted something cheap and without the commitment of a year long lease. While browsing Craigslist I found the perfect temporary digs: $260/mo, month-to-month lease, for a large room in a 4 bedroom house shared with “easy going and friendly people,” and a block away from a wine store, breakfast café, indie book store, and Indian take out. Could I find anything more perfect in a small town in Michigan? Pretty much, no.
After checking the place out and meeting the other roommates I decided it seemed like a good fit for me, and so I moved in. Although all of the roomies were perfectly nice, one seemed a bit odd.
Maureen was different than the rest of us 20-somethings. She was a 45-year-old single mom with OCD who had a 14-year-old daughter that visited every weekend. Before I moved in I wasn’t told about the daughter visiting. I also wasn’t told she was 45. I was told she was “probably late 20s, possibly early 30s,” to which I was like, “okay, cool!!” because at the age of 28 I’m at that old phase of being young, and sometimes it’s nice to make friends with people who spend their Friday nights doing nothing else but eating tacos and binge watching Sons of Anarchy (why I watch this show, I have no idea. I hate everyone ever in it and I want to seriously deep condition all the dudes’ gross, greasy hair).
But no, she was definitely 45, something that wasn’t a big deal. I just found it odd our landlord had initially acted like she was much younger. I’m pretty laidback and can get along with almost anyone, so at first I didn’t think Maureen’s lifestyle differences would be an issue until I was reprimanded for drinking wine in the living room while on my computer one weekend.
She told me she was trying to raise her daughter as a “good, Christian girl” and my behavior was a bad influence. I was confused. It’s not like I was drunkenly staggering around the house in a wine induced Real Housewives of NYC style black out, talking about blowjobs, and cursing loudly. I was having a glass of wine while watching Gilmore Girls and Facebook chatting my bff in Seattle. Like…I could’ve been doing way, way worse things. I could’ve been shooting up! I could’ve been having loud, angry biker sex in my bedroom! JK, both of those things sound like the worst time ever. Point being, I’m pretty lame and my entertainment usually involves talking to my bestie from across the country, getting buzzed off of gas station wine, laughing at all the things on the internet, and ordering a pizza – ALL AT THE SAME TIME. The other roomies were doing way more scandalous things than I ever was but Maureen always seemed to fixate on me.
We would have our disagreements about things but mostly we got along. She had taken a recent interest in my dating life and experiences with OK Cupid but kept trying to steer me towards Christian Mingle. “That’s where I met my married boyfriend,” she told me one night. “I saw his profile picture on there and he just looked so sad so I said to myself, ‘Imma make him happy!’ and now we’re together.”
Her boyfriend Brian, a pastor at a local Christian youth group, was indeed still married with two kids and living with his parents after being kicked out of his wife’s house for cheating on her. “He doesn’t want a serious relationship with me and that’s okay,” she said. “I’m in love with him and someday, he’ll love me too. I just know it. We have an amazing sex life. Like really, really amazing. Omg, you have no idea, girl.”
After meeting Brian in the living room one night and being generally unimpressed with the supposed sex god that stood in front of me, I almost immediately received a friend request on Facebook from him after he had ventured upstairs to Maureen’s room while waiting for her to finish showering.
“i seen u looking at me,” he messaged.
“i seen u…on the couch. i seen u looking at me.”
Was this guy remedial orrr? I didn’t respond. He continued with another message, telling me he should probably be around the house more often because he didn’t trust our landlord.
“that landlord is bald and goth and he has too many vhs tapes. u girls need protectin and i can protect u” he explained.
I mean, to be honest, our landlord did have a lot of VHS tapes in an extra bedroom in the basement and sometimes when he would stop over he would make 10 slices of buttered toast at a time, but I didn’t think his love for excess carbs and nostalgia made him the next Ted Bundy or anything.
I had started dating someone new sans Christian Mingle and things would get sort of awkward when we would be in the heat of the moment, since my room was right next to the kitchen and living room. Things got even more awkward when we could hear someone start walking to the kitchen late at night but then stop for several minutes, right outside of my door.
“Is that Maureen? Is she listening to us?” Dude asked me. We knew it had to be her because she had a very distinctive sound when she walked throughout the house.
A few weeks later Maureen started chatting me up in the kitchen, telling me all the latest deets about her married boyfriend and the trials and tribulations that come from loving someone who doesn’t love you back. Brian had told her he wasn’t interested in hanging out with her anymore but would, of course, still have sex with her.
She said she had started doing new things to entice his sexual appetite, like taking him to a strip club, then afterwards making up stories about how she personally knew the stripper he had been eyeing all night, and telling him that the two of them had been having a super secret lesbian affair for months. “I’m not even bisexual but it gets him so hot when I tell him I am!”
Maureen then admitted her boyfriend had asked about me after I moved in.
“He asked if I thought you were hot and I said yeah. He told me he loves your long hair and wishes I’d grow mine out.” She giggled then hesitated.
“You know…sometimes I can hear you having sex.”
Slightly embarrassed, I apologized.
“No, it’s okay. Actually…I told my boyfriend over the phone that I could hear you have sex once in awhile and…well, he asked me to stand outside your room to see if I could hear anything sexy going on. I told him what I could make out. Your fan is really loud so I kinda made some stuff up. It really got him worked up and he ended up jacking off on the phone to the descriptions I was giving him about you and your boyfriend. Now we regularly talk about you when we have sex. It gets him so hot! “
WTF??? I looked at her like, okay who the hell let crazy in here? It’s not like we were two BFFs who had known each other a long time. We had been friendly enough for me to swap dating stories with her but listening outside my door while I had sex so her married boyfriend could get off? Who the fuck was this woman? It all seemed very Single White Female to me. I literally had no idea what to say so I just started laughing, awkwardly, said something like, “oh, really?” then made a beeline to my room.
While I could have and should have said something to Maureen at the time, like ‘hey girl, can you not be a creep and listen in on sexy times with my boyfriend so your man has fresh spank material?’ or ‘heyyyy, soooo I was thinking…about you talking about me when you fuck your dude? Can you like, knock that shit off, or at least not tell me about it? Btw, trash needs to go out on Sunday,” I didn’t say anything. I was taken off guard.
And here’s the thing – we’re all psychos. We all have some type of fucked up sexual fantasy and I don’t think it’s odd or unhealthy for someone to find their roommate or someone else attractive, then use that when they’re getting off or when they’re talking to their partner about their fantasies.
What I do think is unusual about my roommate’s fantasies? THE FACT THAT SHE TOLD ME ABOUT THEM. Oh, and the whole standing outside my bedroom door trying to listen to my sexcapades and complaining about my “loud fan” – that turned the creep-o-meter up quiiiiite a bit. Like, did she expect me to say something along the lines of, “oh, is my fan too loud for you to get enough content for your next phone sex date? My mistake. Let me make sure to turn it off next time.” Clearly, she was hoping I would return her feelings or show some type of flattery or appreciation, but I just…couldn’t.
About a week or so later Maureen and her boyfriend/not boyfriend/whatever were having a bit of a tiff and again, she said she was trying to allure his sexual side, so she admitted to me she told him a huge lie of a story that she had gone to the strip club with me and my boyfriend and that lots of sexy things had happened – all things in the story being completely and utterly false and delusional, considering I had never even seen her or hung outside the house with her the entire time we lived together.
After that I was thoroughly creeped out and asked her to stop making up stories about me. I started staying at Dude’s place more often because things were just getting real weird. Maureen took time off of work for a couple weeks to “deal with her mental health,” ended up getting fired, and moved out shortly after.
Tl;dr: All the weird things happen to me.