By Anna Meurer
When I was in England, I had a hard time explaining the concept of a roommate to other students. The Oxfordians, who live almost exclusively in independent apartments or “single-study” bedrooms, couldn’t quite understand why American institutions insisted on putting students together and, more importantly, why some of us actually enjoyed having a roommate.
Admittedly, it’s not always easy having (or being) a roommate. Beyond the usual balancing act of schedules, music preferences, who gets the TV, etc., there’s just the general challenge of learning to constantly share your living space with another person. Even in the best roommate circumstances there are just a few cringe-worthy moments that inevitably pop up over the years, and I am better at provoking them than most.
Here’s a list of my top 5:
5. One of the greatest appeals of a roommate is having someone who always (theoretically) has your back, whether it’s providing a spare key after you’ve locked yourself out or bringing you food. What you are not supposed to do is forget to wake your roommate up for her 8:00 class until 7:50, even though you knew she had class and were in the room the whole time. Defense? None.
4. My roommate freshman year had a massive poster of her horse that she hung on the wall above her bed. One night, it fell on top of her. Concerned, I got out of bed and wandered across the room to pull it off so she didn’t suffocate. Even though she didn’t wake up when the massive poster landed on her, somehow I woke her up. Cue “Roommate” scenario. Still in shock, the best explanation I could offer was, “I was trying to save you from Remi.”
3. My roommate likes to sleep in, and I need to get up early. That’s not a problem – provided we don’t wake each other up. Now, I’m not the quietest or most coordinated person, but I can generally get out of the house without attracting too much notice. A few weeks ago, I had almost made it out of the room when I brushed against the lamp, which hit the Kleenex, which hit the spoon from my cereal bowl…which knocked over two stands of jewelry and brought half of the contents of a desk crashing to the floor. A bit of a rude awakening for her, to be sure. Whoops?
2. I work at a barn on the weekends, which means I’m out the door pretty early. One morning, my phone alarm froze in the “on” position…at top volume…at 5:30 a.m.
1. I broke my roommate’s finger. I did punch her, but it wasn’t really my fault because we were practicing Krav Maga. Granted, we were technically supposed to be practicing punches, and the whole point of the class was to teach us how to disable an opponent but still…it’s hard to live that one down. On the plus side, at least, I broke her left hand (she was right-handed), and it was just a little break.
So, the next time your roomie accidentally eats the last of your Ramen or wakes you up in the middle night of the night, just remember: it could be so much worse.