To set the scene: it's my first semester of university and I'm having a ball. Arts House agrees with me, and I'm diving into intramural sports, volunteering at CFRU, building friendships that are still there, etc. Noticing I'm doing the reverse of the "Frosh 15" as I start what would become a 90-pound drop in weight. All is good.
Except for my roommate. Be warned that these excerpts from my university journal may include descriptions of poor hygiene that will make the squeamish squirm.
Why I Hate My Roommate, Part 1 (#27, Dec 5/04)
Maybe it all begins with his personal hygiene, or lack of it. Mike (Horgan) liked my term for it: fermentation. I think I'll stop there.
A messy room wouldn't bother me, as long as it makes the room kinda homey, like the person had been working hard, has an artisitic bent and that it doesn't smell horrendous. None of the above could be applied to my roommate.
Why I Hate My Roommate, Part 2 (#30, Dec 11/04)
Then there's his routine when he goes to sleep. It takes this guy forever to get settled! First, he scatches himself all over very loudly for an eternity. I guess he has to make up for not showering.
He also tends to eat and drink, which can be very loud at four in the morning. The sound of him swirling Carnation Instant Breakfast is enough to keep anybody awake. The other night I couldn't take it anymore and yelled "could you stop eating, I'm trying to get some sleep dammmit!" He stopped crumpling the wrapper of a candy cane and was silent after that.
Another annoying night habit of his is to read his sci-fi books with a night light, snickering loudly as he reads on. If you're going to do that, have a real light on, or go out in the hall.
Why I Hate My Roommate, Part 3 (#35, Dec 13/04)
Then there's personality, if he has one. He's duller than I am, unless you're a Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast, in which case he's fascinating. I'm not, so he's a blank slate to me.
Except for being annoying. He regularly bounces into places and zaps the enjoyment out of anything, especially TV...tends to be a party pooper, such as the five minutes he wasted when he refused to guess who his secret Santa was. Of course, there's his lingering presence, about which little needs to be said.
(Need to explain this one. You could smell the guy a mile away. When he left a room, it took 10-15 minutes for his stench to fade away. He used to like going into Brad Walker and Mark Truelove's room to stare unblinking at their computer - he loved to stare. On day, Brad told him never to enter their room again unless he showered).
My dislike of my roommate began to crystallize after a water polo game, which, like other group sports, he hates. Talking to my teammates, I discovered I wasn't the only person he annoyed. He's the butt of many jokes. People show pity for me because while they only encounter him, I have to live with him.
For a few more days.
I switched rooms at the end of the semester. He couldn't figure out why I wanted to leave. It was one of the strangest, blank looks I'd ever seen when I broke the news. When I came back after Christmas to move out, Mom, Amy and I nearly passed out from the stench. I had left for the holidays before he had, and he hadn't cleaned. It was a microbiologist's amusement park.
No more watching in disbelief as he made cold Chef Boyardee sandwiches. No more hearing the grinding of a cleaning stone that had little effect. No more discovering what forms of music would keep him out of the room when I wanted to work or rest (which was anything except Chris DeBurgh - discovered Pearl Jam, Spike Jones and Frank Zappa were effective). Wizard air fresheners lost a loyal customer when I moved out.
As for my roommate? He stayed in the room, with a different roomie who lasted the semester. Despite the wishes of many, he returned to the residence the following year, paired up with another guy who was universally loathed (the dude was a homophobic art student who moaned about our house meetings because they interrupted Monday Night Football, never took part in anything and possibly moved into our res to stalk another inhabitant). Didn't see much of the ex-roomie after that, though he later gained weight and took to wearing a cape around campus. - JB