Back when I moved into my first post-dorm house with a couple of friends, I remember the only thing I concerned myself with was how to decorate. Should the couch go on this wall, or that wall? Should we put our cordless phone (hey, this was several years ago) on the end table, or on the credenza in the kitchen? I felt so grown-up and happy about my new life as a house dweller, and it hadn’t occurred to me that maybe my roommates and I wouldn’t see eye-to-eye on something. Especially something like smoking inside. More
Author Archives: Blair Koenig
A while back I wrote about how to put up with your roommate’s boyfriend. In that column I focused on how annoying it is when a roommate’s boyfriend is always around, especially if he doesn’t chip in on the cable bill or buy beer for the house and maybe has a tendency to trim his pubes in your bathroom. But what that article didn’t acknowledge was what to do when your boyfriend and roommate(s) totally hate each other’s guts.
I bring this up because the other day a friend relayed a story to me that was a little crazy. Apparently when he was in college, he and his girlfriend’s roommate didn’t get along to the point that the cops had to get involved. More
One thing that can be hard about living with roommates is that change is inevitable. People change, jobs change, friendships change, and anything is possible when you’re young and sharing a home with other young people. Those are arguably the days and years you change the most, which can be great in terms of growth and independence but not so great in terms of how it can impact your household.
A lot of what I talk about in this column involves the way roommates interact with each other. And I think one reason it’s interesting to me is that there are tons of studies conducted about what makes or breaks romantic relationships (money, kids, work) but nobody seems to do these studies on roommates. I guess the thinking is that if one roommate is unhappy with another, someone can just move out. Simple! But as many of us know, it’s not always easy to move when we don’t like our roommates. It’s expensive, it’s difficult and in many cases your next roommate isn’t guaranteed to be any better than your current one. More
This week’s column is specifically about living with more than one roommate. Now, I understand that there are some people out there who live with multiple roommates and everyone gets along and there’s never any drama. Every day is full of laughter and borrowing each other’s clothes and paying the bills on time. I believe this to be possible. But I also believe it to be rare. More
A while back, I wrote a column about how to find a roommate on Craigslist who isn’t insane. And while the primary focus of this column is on roommate relationships, this week I wanted to take a moment to highlight something else about Craigslist – the incredibly frustrating “rooms/shared” and “sublets/temporary” sections. Living with strangers (or friends) can be hard enough, but actually finding a place to live via Craigslist can be downright infuriating. (If you’ve had to do this, you know what I mean.) More
Over the weekend, I watched MTV’s True Life: I Hate My Roommate. It was pretty tame for MTV in the sense that there weren’t any physical fights and no one vomited on anything, but that’s not to say that it wasn’t an exhibition of immaturity. Of course it was. I was particularly in awe of the relationship between Fred and Dave, childhood friends and roommates in Fred’s one-bedroom apartment. You see, Dave started crashing on Fred’s couch because he didn’t have a job and needed a place to stay….FIVE YEARS AGO. More
When I was a freshman in college, I really loved my roommate in the dorms who, as I mentioned before, was a good friend from high school and is still a good friend today. But while I’m the type who holes up in my room when I’m feeling overwhelmed by change, she’s the type who says “fuck it” and heads out to party to live it up. As much as I learned from her about how to not take every little problem so seriously, I’ll admit there were times when her late-night festivities jolted my life in an unpleasant way. Like the time I had strep throat and woke up with a fever of 102 to an impromptu party in our dorm room at 4AM. The fact that she was more laid back about certain things only worked on so many levels, and over the next 10 years I discovered that the ‘strep throat incident’ would be replicated in some way with nearly every other roommate I had. More
Pets are wonderful. They bring their owners so much joy, and for years reports have been coming out saying that having pets reduces your stress and blood pressure and generally causes you to live longer. But what those reports fail to include is the indirect result of pets on pet owners’ roommates. Sure, in many cases having a kitty or cute dog around is a welcome distraction from the fact that your roommate hasn’t done the dishes in over a month, and sometimes your roommate’s pet is the thing you actually like most about living with her. But other times, not so much. Especially when barf is involved. More
I was talking to a friend about this column recently and she asked me if I’d considered doing a column on what to do when your roommate has a serious problem, like an eating disorder. She went on to write about her roommate experience in an email, saying this:
In college, I was assigned a roommate named “Michelle.” Michelle was shy, still dating her hometown boyfriend long-distance, and didn’t go out a lot. She was also batshit crazy.
This week I’m trying something different. A reader sent an email asking for advice on a her current roommate situation, and it kinda made my jaw drop to the floor. Immediately after I was done reading I asked if I could publish her email (with the names changed), because A) this girl needs HELP, and B) I felt I had to share her story with you Crushable readers. This is a learning experience we can all benefit from. Read below to see what I mean: More
Since last week was STD week on Crushable, I thought about how STDs factor into life with roommates. Specifically, what happens when you or your roommate contracts an STD. When we’re young and in college, and (hopefully) are “exposed” (you know what I mean) to STDs for the first time, our brains reel in all directions. Suddenly all those facts and tips about sex and health that we learned from books and our parents and our educators go out the window. Kind of like the time I had shingles in the 7th grade. More
I ended a column a few weeks back by saying, “Of course, there’s other stuff that may or may not get split, too, like groceries, furniture purchases, paint, light bulbs and various household supplies — but I’ll leave that for another week. Now isn’t a good time to expound upon my feelings on 1-ply toilet paper.” Well, today, my friends, is the day that I get you regale you with all those feelings. It’s time to talk TP! I hope you’re as excited as I am. More
I mentioned before that my freshman roommate and I once won Best Smelling Room when we lived in the dorms — an honor that she and I did not take lightly. No, we didn’t receive any accolades or trophies, but we did eat a giant plate of nachos to celebrate. The only problem was, we’d entered our room in the Best Decorated contest and come out with the Best Smelling award. We couldn’t understand why our room didn’t win for best decoration. Was it the clash of the brown and yellow tapestry against the sky blue and white-patterned carpet we’d laid down? Or maybe the way we covered every inch of our lofted bed frames with pictures of previous spring break trips to Florida? For years, I was mystified by our loss, until one day it hit me: Our style was basically “more is more,” and it sucked. More