August 26, 2004

Roommate Roulette

After reading Joe Bob Briggs' essay on interesting roommate combinations, I was inspired to catalogue my own list of my various and sundry roommates.

Justin (Fall '92-Spring '93)

Justin was my buddy from High School. He was a year head of me, so he had already carved himself a niche on the first floor of Lipscomb Hall at UGA. We inherited a 3rd-hand platform loft and held it up mostly with Gumby's Pizza boxes. I also fell right into line with Justin's friends, the remainder of the first floor.

Positives: Already a friend, just as easy-going as I was, liked the same computer games (no choice really, it was just his computer then), kept the same hours, had roughly the same (lack of) success with women as I did. He also taught me how to do laundry and cook Top Ramen.
Negatives: He was a hairy Swede who slept in nothing but Umbro shorts, often with no sheets. He left beard clippings in the sink and tobacco spit in many Dr Pepper bottles around the room. Plus he stole my bottle of Gem Clear from the freezer when I needed it.
Verdict: Good roommate, but he needs to find a nice domesticated woman. Absent-minded professor types like him have been quite successful in finding wives that are happy to be needed, and amused by his chaotic life and non-linear thinking.

Monik (Fall '93-Winter '93)

It was pronounced Moe-NEEK, like a French maid, but he was a 6'1" Indian computer science major.
Positives: Nice guy, we got along well, both interested in Computers. Had roughly the same (lack of) success with women as I did. Quiet and easy-going.
Negatives: Not quite as good a fit with the other guys, who were now infamous as "The Gem Clear Warriors of Lipscomb Hall".
Verdict: Good roommate. No tension or fighting, no hygiene issues. He moved out amicably when we both had good friends that needed a roommate.

Steven (Spring '94)

Another friend from high school, this time a year behind me.
Positive: We got along well, and he fit into our group of misfits quite nicely. He had one girl, and she was no trouble.
Negative: A bit reclusive, and was even more clueless than I was (imagine that) about living on your own.
Verdict: Started to get the idea that friends sometimes don't make the best roommates. Steven was ruled by his stepmother, whom we affectionately called "Hitler", during high school. This rendered him unable to make decisions for himself when he got to college.

Steven, Karen & Leigh (Fall '94-Summer '95)

This was a reality show in the making. Steven and I decided to break out of the dorms and get ourselves an apartment, but in order to afford it, we needed more people. So we decided to move in with Karen, my girlfriend and former Calculus tutor, and Leigh, Steven's pseudo-girlfriend that he stole from fellow Gem Clear Warrior Jacob. Steven and I would be in one room, and Leigh & Karen would be in the other. We all signed the lease for fall in June, (despite Leigh's premonition that it would cause "bad things" to happen), and all went home to work for the summer. (Leigh and I in Georgia, Steven with his mother in Delaware and Karen in New Jersey.)
When we moved in that fall, we found that Steven was dead broke, Leigh had gotten back with Jacob, and Karen had gotten back together with her hometown boyfriend over the summer, and neglected to inform me of it. Raise the curtain and awaaaaaaaay we go!
Positive: We were out of the dorms. Leigh was nice, if a bit weird.
Negative: (1) Steven was a dead-beat roommate who mooched everything, including an attempt at my girlfriend. He stopped going to classes, deciding that he would learn just as much by staying in his pajamas all day and watching The Discovery Channel. He owed us thousands of dollars by the time we kicked him out.
(2) Karen didn't want to date me because it wouldn't be fair to her Jersey Boy, but she started dating a Marine from Watkinsville that she met at a club. She had this need to be "Alpha Bitch", so she teamed up with "Steven of the Herd Mentality" to force Leigh to move out. She demanded that my girlfriend (Melissa) start paying utilities since she spent the night on the weekends.
(3) The place was haunted, so damp that it ruined all our furniture, and full of Camel Crickets that liked to perch on us while we slept.
Verdict: The worst roommate experience of my life. When I met Melissa on a choir trip, and asked if I could spend the night at her place, I wasn't being sleazy, it was mostly because I didn't want to go back to my apartment. The only time Karen was agreeable is when we kicked Steven out, and he was taken in by my ex-girlfriend, Laurie "Needy" Handler.

Mike T. (Fall '95-Winter '96)

Melissa recommended College Park Apartments, which was furnished and clean. I got in with Mike, whom Mel found nice enough before. He made out like he had this important computer job, but I found out he just worked for Radio Shack.
Positives: He was quiet and kept to himself. With the exception of his computer being sprawled across the kitchen table, he kept the place tidy.
Negatives: Mike was a introverted type-A control freak with mother issues that surpassed Norman Bates. He smashed our laundry room door because his mommy wouldn't let him trade in his car for "something sporty." He also played Sega all night with the volume up. I'd frequently be woken up at 2 AM with "Day-Tona!" or "Next up to bat... Javy Lopez..." When I beat his high score on "Daytona USA," he made his girlfriend and two others wait while he attempted to reclaim the record. He was always on the phone on "business" and would disconnect me when I was on the modem to make his own calls.
Verdict: This guy had more deep-seated issues than Steven, and that's saying a lot.

Dave (Spring '96-Summer '97)

I deserved a roomie like Dave after the last couple of years. Dave was the most upbeat, energetic and friendly guy I've ever met. He played guitar in a band and had a striking resemblance to his idol, Kevin Kinney of "Drivin N Cryin".
Positive: His dad was loaded, so he always paid the bills on time. He was fun to hang out with and was absolutely zero stress. We even collaborated on a few songs for his band. He didn't give me any grief for having Melissa over a lot, and he only freaked out once, when Melissa brought home a baby deer that had been injured.
Negative: Can't think of any.
Verdict: Best...Roommate...Ever. (GUY roommate, anyways.)

After that, I started rooming with Melissa, and we all know how THAT ended up. The only difficulty came about when we decided to add another roommate a couple of years ago. It was this young, whiny little guy named Matthew. He was always needing stuff from us, always hungry. We were always cleaning up after him. And lazy too! He mostly just sat around for the first year, not doing much of anything. And if that wasn't bad enough, he didn't even speak English! It's taken him over two years just to speak in basic sentences. And he's more of a mooch than Steven! He's yet to offer to pay for a meal or pitch in for rent & utilities. He can't be trusted, either, so we can't leave him alone for any length of time. It's such a hassle, I swear, but he's such an amicable guy, it's all worth it in the end.

1 comment:

  1. hmmm, beard clippings in the sink - I knew Justin had to have a flaw somewhere - glad you listed some negatives so that I could find it! I was afraid he was a Norse god in disguise...