1. Did you ever return from class to curl up unknowingly in another person’s urine?
“Ever roomed with a bed-wetter? Who pees on her own stuff, then when you’re gone she swaps her pissy linens with your clean, dry, high-thread-count stuff? Did you ever return from class to curl up unknowingly in another person’s urine?”
2. She wore a puppet on her shoulder and if you asked her a question she would answer with the puppet.
“My roommate in the dorms wore a puppet on her shoulder and if you asked her a question she would answer with the puppet. It was a puppet of a griffin, which is a mythological creature that’s a combination of lion and eagle. It sucked. We also had all the same classes together and I woke up late more than once to that damn puppet in my face telling me the time.”
3. She killed my rabbit and used his bones to form some sort of makeshift Satanic summoning ritual thing on her bed.
“Killed my rabbit and used his bones to form some sort of makeshift Satanic summoning ritual thing on her bed. I wish I was making this up. I didn’t even confront her, the next night when I knew she was working late at McDonald’s I got a friend with a truck and got all of my shit out of there. Probably the most stressful time of my college years….My parents come from a very spiritual background so I’ve been raised not to fuck with stuff of this nature, I’m not even going to look into whether or not this crazy thing even worked and I never want to see her again. Although if I did see her again she’s getting a roundhouse to the face because my rabbit was awesome. Moral of the story: Don’t use Craigslist for roommates.”
4. They locked me out while I had mono, and I had to sleep in the hall, shivering in a corner.
“My freshman roommate had a really serious boyfriend from back home and this was their first time apart. His school was only a few hours away, so he made pretty regular weekend-long visits, which were always surprises to me (thanks for the heads up, roomie!). Whenever he showed up, they um…went at it a lot. Which, fine, I get it—you’re in love and need some time alone, etc. etc. But I came down with a pretty serious case of mono halfway through the semester and felt like I was on my deathbed. I made the mistake of leaving my room for a minute to go to the bathroom and when I came back, they’d locked the door on me…and I had to sleep in the hall. With mono. Shivering in a corner.”
5. She got pet rats that stank, and they escaped and ate/pooped on a bunch of my stuff.
“I had a horrible, nightmare roommate who had no sense of smell. Her boyfriend was a creep who lived with us without my permission and they each paid one-quarter of the rent while I paid half (he also loved to leave hair in the bathroom sink!) She got pet rats that stank, and they escaped and ate/pooped on a bunch of my stuff when I was out of the apartment on winter break.”
6. I pop my head in to discover a large group of people SHOOTING UP.
“So I made the decision to live with an old high school friend when I moved to NYC just out of college. The high school version of this girl was a dream roommate—never smoked/ drank or used drugs, insane IQ/ great student and no interest in boys or dating—I don’t think she had ever even kissed a guy. She found us a great place that I fully furnished with really nice castoffs from my parents. She never cleaned a thing, ever.
One day I came home to discover that she’s met a guy—I’m thrilled for her, she’s a great person and I know she was ‘ready’ for that (whatever that means). I soon discover that this boy, and he is just that a boy, is a runaway teenager, who is one of those awful people that bark at you about going to comedy clubs on the street corner.
This pimply teen is soon living in our apartment and watching fishing shows all day. Piece by piece furniture gets soiled, broken, a glass table is shattered. Then one day I come home unexpectedly and hear crazy shit in her room—I pop my head in to discover a large group of people SHOOTING UP. I flip out, tell her it’s got to stop or he’s at least got to pay rent; I’m ignored.
Finally, my parents come to visit and they know everything, my father lies in wait for them one night—they come in and my dad totally flips out on them—screaming, pointing, berating. She proceeds to lock herself in the room and I don’t see her for weeks. Yeah, she moved out pretty soon after that. Go Dad!”
7. She’d buy gigantic tubs of parmesan cheese from Costco and eat directly out of them, shoving handfuls into her mouth.
“My last roommate was a drunk eater. Like, she’d get blackout drunk and engage in dangerous cooking and eat everything in sight. She had a particular penchant for cheese. One night she ate like 12 slices of my cheese…and a whole pizza…and my mozzarella sticks, no joke. She’d also buy gigantic tubs of parmesan cheese from Costco and eat directly out of them, like shoving handfuls into her mouth and getting crumbs all over the couch and floor. If she was really desperate, she’d find all the cheese she could, melt it in a bowl in the microwave, and then eat it with a spoon. It was gross.”
8. She kept changing my alarm clock from AM to PM at night.
“I had a roommate who thought it was funny to change my alarm clock setting from AM to PM at night. Then she’d gaslight me and tell me I must have set it wrong. Every time I would reset it and it would be fine the rest of the week and come Monday it would be switched again. I finally caught her when I woke up one night while she was changing it.”
9. He drank a whole bottle of my contact lens solution because he thought it was drugs.
“He drank my contact lens solution because he thought it was drugs. The whole bottle. A big bottle. Not only did he not figure it out while not being remotely high halfway through a fucking pint of lens solution, if it had been drugs, he would’ve died a lot. Bonus idiocy: Also claimed he invented lettuce wraps.”
10. She didn’t even clean up her period blood that was running down the toilet.
“Oh so many things. When I still liked her, I invited some friends over and told her to do the same for dinner. I spent like $60 on the food for everyone, and made it myself. The next day I got left a nasty text saying I need to do all the dishes and I was gross. Then she made me get rid of my cat, and as soon as I did, she went out and bought two. I had mentioned before how I wanted a to eventually get a German Shepherd. Well one day she pops in and lo and behold there is a giant German Shepherd in our tiny little apartment. She didn’t even bother to ask, and when I said something she told me I couldn’t complain since I had said I wanted one. She also refused to clean up after him. She had a pet rabbit in her room that smelled godawful. She ruined my vacuum by sucking up all the hay it spread everywhere and let it chew on my TV cords. She invited strange men she didn’t know over and have sex with them, like the cashier at the gas station. She had sex with my friends multiple times, and when they started to like her, she avoided them and never spoke to them again. She never cleaned, ever. She didn’t even clean up her period blood that was running down the toilet. When I was about to move out, I told her the person who actually owned the couches was going to come get them in a few weeks. She was still going to live there, so I was nice enough to tell her about some cheap ones I saw. She went that day and bought them, then bitched about there not being any room. I had no control of when the person was getting the couch and told her it would be a while. She also still owes me $300 but I know I am never getting that money from her. Wow, sorry for the novel. I just really hate her. Fuck you, Sam.”
11. If he saw alcohol he would go to the floor manager and demand a room check since it was not allowed on campus.
“My roommate was a born-again Christian who did not allow alcohol or women in the room. If he saw alcohol he would go to the floor manager and demand a room check since it was not allowed on campus. The floor manager would come in and ask ‘do you have alcohol’ and I would reply ‘no.’ The floor manager would try to leave and the roommate would burst in from the hallway and say ‘yes, he does!!!’ but would not find it. I hid it in his closet every time. He never figured that part out. Literally the same process would happen with women in the dorm after 11pm. Same two-act play, same hiding place. He would always scream about the women when they came in. ‘My momma didn’t raise me to shack up with no woman’ was his favorite phrase. I asked more and more women to come in and stay until exactly 10:59:59pm every night. Eventually he dropped out of college from the stress. I guess I am the monster.”
12. She smelled so bad that other students in our hall started making complaints about the stench coming from our room.
“Oh boy, where do I even start? I’ll just make a list. I shared a 12×12 dorm room with her, for reference. She would free-bleed and leave trails of her period blood from our room to the bathroom and not clean it up. She would leave crusty underwear on the floor on my side of the room, next to my bed, while at the same time she insisted we divide the room with tape, and freaked out if anything of mine crossed that border for 2 seconds. She was 18 and had a creepy 31-year-old fiancé she had been with for six years (you can do the math) that stayed over every weekend, and watched her asleep over Skype every week night, with me in view of the camera. She smelled so bad that other students in our hall started making complaints about the stench coming from our room. The first thing she said to me when I met her was, ‘I’m bi, but you need to know that I don’t find you attractive.’ As if I was going to be disappointed by that news. She had a bunch of plants in the room that I was allergic to that were making me miserable, and she refused to get rid of them.”
13. He never wore a shirt and was covered with hair and was always sweaty and lounging around, stinky and hairy, on my furniture.
“I used to have this roommate who was essentially Chicago’s Russian answer to Jersey Shore. She was a club promoter and had this Russian boyfriend named Herman who drove a Mercedes and still lived with his parents. Herman stayed over at least five nights a week and never wore a shirt and was covered with hair and was always sweaty and lounging around, stinky and hairy, on my furniture. Herman and my roommate would spend much of their days loudly fucking, and at least one of every three times I’d come home to her yelling ‘oh Herman! Herman!’ and then a bunch of stuff in Russian. I finally had enough and one day sat her down and told her that according to the lease, we were supposed to be the only occupants and that if Herman wanted to stay more than 3 nights per week, he would have to start paying me rent. She moved out a few weeks later and before she left she asked if she could buy my cat from me. She also stole like half of my pots and pans.”
14. My pee-, blood-, and vomit-covered roomie tried to jump off the balcony.
“A girl I lived with in Athens drank 3/4th a bottle of vodka, vomited all over the floor, fell flat on her face in the vomit and split her lip, bleeding then all over the floor and her bed, and sitting in a chair and peeing on it (and the floor)—not sure if the pee happened before the bleeding. It’s all a blur.
Nobody in my study abroad program’s offices would answer the phone/come help me for HOURS and only one other student was around to help.
My pee-, blood-, and vomit-covered roomie tried to jump off the balcony.
We finally get administrative assistance. We take her to (the crowded, disorganized) Greek hospital in a bizarre tiny ambulance.
A nice old Greek lady there with her very infirm, elderly husband, thinks my roomie is having a breakdown (which in retrospect she likely was) and doesn’t realize she’s drunk and proceeds to pray over her, and encourage other nice old Greek ladies to pray over her too.
It’s 2 AM.
Nobody can bring themselves to tell the yiayias it’s Absolut inflicted.
THEY LET HER GO HOME.
She makes a run for it. Tries the balcony again. She’s also been mad violent and bitey and broke half our dishes in her pee rage.
I let her go.
Someone finds her and brings her home the next day.
She left the pee towels, broken mugs, and bloody sheets in a heap on the floor of our foyer for a week and slept on her bare mattress under her coat.
I moved in with/started dating a boy in our program (half to get out of there) days later.”
15. She would routinely wear my underwear, pick her nose and wipe it places and leave her obnoxious Pomeranian alone all day to piss all over the apartment.
“I gave up on roommates 6 yrs ago. Why you ask? Well, my last one would routinely wear my underwear, pick her nose and wipe it places, and leave her obnoxious Pomeranian alone all day to piss all over the apartment. The pièce de résistance was when I found my brand-new white overly expensive Abercrombie sweatpants (it was 6 yrs ago so no judging) on the floor of her room…pooped in. Yes, she pooped in my pants. When I told her to pay me for them she said, ‘why?’ Well, you poo’d in them. Her response—‘yea ….I poo’d.’ And scene. I never did get any $$ from her.”
16. He left a raw turkey to rot for a month.
“Not a roommate, but a dormmate, on a dare from the frat he was rushing, left a 15 lb. RAW TURKEY in his dorm-room mini-fridge over Christmas break.
That’s December 15-January 15, folks. Do you know what a month does to an unrefrigerated raw turkey?
I will spare y’all the gory details, but everything in the room had to be thrown out—clothes, books, mattresses, wooden desks, etc. Then the biohazard team showed up in space suits with a power-washer loaded with disinfectant. I lived one floor below where this happened, and even there, the smell did not go away until March, and then only because it was warm enough for us to have the windows open full-time.”
17. She was a complete slob and would leave food, clothes, CDs, you name it, all over the floor.
“My roommate first year of college had atrocious personal hygiene. She picked her split ends constantly and she never brushed her teeth once the entire year. She brought a toothbrush and a thing of Mentadent to college with her—for show, I guess—but neither was ever used as far as I could tell. I thought she might be using my toothpaste, so I hid it, and the Mentadent still never got opened. Then I decided to see if she was water-brushing, which wouldn’t be so terribly gross. After she got out of the shower in the morning (after which she didn’t go back into the bathroom), I would use a clean Q-Tip to see if the bristles were wet. They never were. I also checked at night—same.
She was also a complete slob and would leave food, clothes, CDs, you name it, all over the floor. We finally got a mouse, and she cleaned up for a hot second.
I actually feel terrible about how uncharitable I was to her about all this, because I see in hindsight she had some serious mental health issues. But at the time, I didn’t know and I was annoyed by how bad my room smelled. She was also really mean to me and talked shit about me all the time.”
18. Her first words to me: ‘You know, I really don’t like white people.’
“My first year of college, I had a randomly assigned roommate. I knew nothing about her, except her name and that she was coming here from Singapore, and I was excited to bond with her.
I got into our two-room double to find my roommate and her mom. Her first words to me: ‘You know, I really don’t like white people.’ I went to DC public schools, and so am programmed to at least try to be color-blind. Clearly, she was not. The kicker: She was biracial, and her mom, to whom she was really, creepily (she slept over on our floor for months on end) close, was white. And this was just the beginning of the weirdness.
After her somewhat racist declaration of preemptive hate for me, my roommate began to sleep around. All with older, trashier white guys, oddly enough. Mostly gas station attendants and other servicepeople I recognized from around town, but eventually she started sleeping with my Archaeology TA, while I was still taking his class.
This really wigged me out, and I stayed away from our room to avoid them. One day, however, I couldn’t, and was working (on Archaeology, coincidentally) in my room when I heard the disgustingly loud and familiar sounds of my roommate having sex. I, grossed out, turned my headphones up higher.
Through my now-deafening music (and supposedly noise-canceling headphones) I heard shouts of ‘would you f*ck a white girl like this?!’ repeated, and (much to my dismay) the timid little voice of my TA answer: ‘no, ma’am.’ I got fed up and turned my headphones up as loud as they would go, but sadly they weren’t loud enough to block my roommate’s orgasmic shout of ‘My name is Shaniquah and I like to play basketball!’
Her name was not Shaniquah.
I was disgusted and had to leave through my suitemate’s bathroom to get away.
The next week, she stole my hair dryer and left it in a pile of her dirty thongs, which I refused to go near. I had to buy a new one, since she held mine hostage for so long.
The next year, I moved in with a beautifully normal Political Thought/East Asian Studies major, and have loved every minute of it.
My former roommate (who was overheard yelling the same mid-sex bile by our more talkative neighbors some weeks later) wondered why she was suddenly known as ‘Baller’ in our dorm and why all the boys she’d enthralled earlier were now avoiding her. The kicker: For all her screwing my TA, I never did get any help with Archaeology.”
19. Her shoes smelled. They smelled so, so, so bad. I can’t even describe it.
“My freshman roommate was pretty awful.
First, her feet smelled. Her shoes smelled. They smelled so, so, so bad. I can’t even describe it. Hesitantly, I asked her if there was a way she could keep her shoes outside to air out or in the closet with some baking soda. She spritzed them with some air freshener, and when I said I didn’t think that air freshener would last, got really offended. ‘Well, it’s all I have,’ she snapped at me.
I came back from class one day and found everything in the room rearranged, with her dragging my desk from one side of the room to the other. ‘I decided to move some stuff around, you know, and I didn’t think you’d mind.’ Move YOUR half, bitch, not mine.
She became super, super clingy. If I didn’t sit with her for dinner EVERY NIGHT, she would sulk and say that she couldn’t possibly go to dinner if she didn’t KNOW somebody to sit with. I went to the cafeteria one night with friends and didn’t let her know, and when I came back to the room, I found her waiting. ‘Why didn’t you text me for dinner?’ she whined. ‘I didn’t even get to eat tonight because NOBODY bothered to call me!’ I wanted to tell her that she was a big girl and could go to dinner all by herself, but didn’t.
Later, a friend of mine stuck her head in to let me know we were going out later. This enraged my roommate. ‘I thought we were FRIENDS,’ she hissed. ‘What? What does that have to do with anything?’ I asked.
‘A REAL friend would tell me what she was doing later!’ she yelled, then got up and slammed the door. I didn’t even know what to say, this was so fucking crazy.
Finally, in the middle of the night she would steal my fan that I kept on because the room was so hot and take it to her side of the room. I told her to stop, and she pouted and gave me a lecture about sharing and being a good roommate.
Also, she made fun of my ‘Jew Nose’ and told me I wouldn’t get a man because of it.”
20. Human feces had trickled down the backs of her legs and onto the bottoms of her feet.
“I lived with a random roommate my freshman year of college. We weren’t great friends, but she was nice, and the first few months of our living situation were pretty civil.
One Thursday evening, we pregamed a bit in the dorm together and then went out to different parties. When I came back to our room that evening, our door was unlocked, all the lights were on, the TV was blaring, and my roommate was face-down on her bed, wearing just a T-shirt, with black vomit strewn across her pillow. She was naked from the waist down, and what could only be human feces had trickled down the backs of her legs and onto the bottoms of her feet. There was even more shit all over the carpet and in the recycling bin. (At least she tried to clean it up?) I slowly shut the door thinking, I am not prepared to deal with this.
I grabbed the RA on our floor, who called an ambulance. My roommate woke up and spent the night in the hospital. I, on the other hand, spent the rest of the night trying to clean the room with two very brave friends. Around four in the morning, while we were still gagging on the smell of human waste, a man in a HazMat suit showed up to my room with industrial strength cleaning products and told me to give him my keys for the night. I slept on a friend’s floor down the hall, woke up to go to my midterm the next day, and when I came back to my room, it was as good as new. By way of apology, my roommate left me a bag of M&Ms on my bed with a note that said, ‘Thanks for being a great roommate!’ Chocolate did not seem appetizing after what had happened.”
21. He would leave the shit-covered cardboard in the bathroom next to the toilet and USE IT AGAIN LATER.
“He would never clean the bathroom. No, in fact, he used to poop and then not flush. Now I don’t know what was more disturbing, the fact that he didn’t flush or the fact that I NEVER SAW ANY TOILET PAPER IN THERE. This gets worse. I decided to finally approach him about this one day because, quite frankly, I was tired of literally cleaning up his shit. So he awkwardly walks over to the bathroom with a piece of cardboard…and he would chop his poop into tinier pieces and then flush it. Gross. But still not the climax of this horror story. You see, he would leave the shit-covered cardboard in the bathroom next to the toilet and USE IT AGAIN LATER.”
22. I noticed a lot of fruit flies in our room.
“Toward the end of the school year, it was getting hot outside and I noticed a lot of fruit flies in our room. I clean all my stuff and asked her to clean her side, but the flies persisted for weeks. Finally I got her to clean her stuff up while I helped (because she obviously hadn’t), and I discovered that her mom had sent her a fruit basket for finals week—a fruit basket that my roommate had piled papers on top of and forgot about until it rotted under her desk for over a month. The kicker: She’d actually noticed it about a week earlier, but she was too passive to tell me about it and didn’t know how to clean it up herself.”
23. She had taken her hunting knife to my mattress, a lot of my clothes, our rug, our bean bag chair, and had killed a squirrel with it and left it in my bed.
“My potluck roommate, freshman year: Francie.
I arrived in the room with my parents, and she was already settled. She was sharpening a massive knife. My dad joked and asked if she was preparing for a really bad roommate. She informed us it was a hunting knife and that she had gutted ‘tons of deer’ with it.
Weeks passed and Francie began to skip all of her classes, leading to a lot of phone calls to the room. She ate fried chicken in her bed, leaving the greasy boxes in her bed, in a pile of dirty laundry, papers, and other random objects. She slept under this pile. It smelled. The pile was usually peaked by her television—all on her little twin bed.
She left her car in teacher’s spots and acquired so many parking tickets that she got towed. She had all-day phone arguments with her parents, who at some point acquired my phone number and started calling me to make Francie do things. In the interests of them leaving me alone, I would deliver their messages with a little bit of teenage rebel voice, so she didn’t think I was trying to be a narc, but I was fed up with her being in the room and never going anywhere also. I wanted her to go to class and leave me alone and eat fried chicken somewhere else.
One day, I finally said, ‘Look, I need your parents to stop calling me—why can’t you just do what they say or at least not be an idiot and get a million parking tickets that they have to pay for, so they don’t know you’re being ridiculous?!’ She said, ‘Fine, be a bitch.’
Later that day I came back from class or some activity and she had taken her hunting knife to my mattress, a lot of my clothes, our rug, our bean bag chair, and had killed a squirrel with it and left it in my bed. I called her parents and threatened to press charges. They wrote me a big old check and she got kicked out of school for failing everything, having that knife, smoking in the dorm room, and bringing an animal carcass inside. I didn’t even have to tattle on her.”