Life, for all its complexities, throws a lot of things our way. The best parts are the really juicy experiences that you never expect. School, work, family, friends all weigh heavily on our minds. To add to this, some of us have the additional experience of having to deal with a roommate. Compared to some of the stuff you face everyday, dealing with a roommate is a completely different and horrid affair, especially if you are quite new to it all.
Take, for example, my case. I moved out more than a year and a half ago, and now I am at this beautiful dilemma. I came home last night at 10:00pm to find my roommate mopping the walls with a towel. I’m not sure about you, but normally this isn’t the sort of thing a semi-sane person is used in seeing. Nor had my roommate suddenly turned into a clean-freak. But I took it all in stride, feeling it before I actually saw it.
You know, it’s that shattering sensation when you finally arrive to your assumed safe and happy home after a long hard day and you discover, much to your horror, that you won’t be relaxing anytime soon. It's similar to knowing that you've walked into a minefield. You don’t know how or why, but you definitely know it's not directly your fault. Something is amiss, but you just can't put your finger on it.
Dick (I have changed his name to protect his identity) had left the shower running since the morning. Well, I thought to myself, shit happens.
Then it hit me.
He left the shower running for nearly twelve hours. Now, normally I'm a very forgiving and patient person but this is the last straw. Yes. The very last, last straw.
This “very last straw” comes after the other last straw that resulted in the destruction of my prized wok and baking pans.
The first last straw came after his fat long-haired cat projectile vomited chicken bones, and peed all over my carpet and stairs. I won't even bother mentioning the five pound bag of used cat litter that he somehow forgot to throw out, much less try to figure out how he managed to accumulate five-pounds worth. Used kitty litter has everything but a benevolent smell.
Last straw number one stems from the life lesson that you should never (EVER!) give a pet as a gift or do certain things on a whim. As a note to all, just because a person is capable of getting a credit card, pay bills, drive a car, vote and legally drink does not ensure that they can take care of a pet properly (or worse) a child of their own. The reverse is also true: just because you already have the above-mentioned things doesn't mean that you are a mature and responsible person.
Yes, I could understand and forgive issues like leaving the household heater on, which nearly set my futon on fire. Yet, this was but a prelude to the many things that would come later. Allow me to elaborate.
Last straw number two was leaving the stove and then later leaving the oven on, “cooking” everything stored inside.
Last straw number three was taking my lunch to work. If there is ever a mundane rule to know, it is one of those that everyone should come to know and understand: sandwich making is truly an art and no man or beast shall ever come between a person and their precious lunch.
Last straw number four is complimentary to last straw number three. When you have a roommate that cannot cook for himself and therefore consumes large amounts of mayonnaise, bread, peanut butter and jam, you are left with no lunch to make (which in my book is sacrilegious). Nothing shall come between a Filipino and his love for food.
Last straw number five was the roach I had found happily roaming my living room. As I happily invoked my roach-smiting vengeance upon it, I began to ponder that something was definitely wrong here. You'd think it would be common sense for most people not to leave food out. In this modern and wonderful world, one has to realize that there are exceptions to every rule.
Now it has boiled down to the very, very last straw, my beautiful sage coloured hallway is now wet as a swamp and running paint dye. My bathroom is quite literally soggy. It’s raining in my kitchen. My stairs look like a stream.
I shake my head at the possibility that all the walls may have to be replaced; not to mention the cost in damages for the repairs. Thank god we do not pay a water bill. You may ask yourself, what is this dumbass author thinking? Why is he so murderously generous to his obviously incompetent roommate?
Perhaps it is because, you could say, that I'm generous to an extreme fault. "Too generous" is too light of an expression to measure the magnitude of my mistake. Perhaps it is my human belief that eventually everyone will learn how to do things right. I believe in the good in every person and that through classical conditioning they will learn one way or the other. It would also help to explain that this fellow, Dick, just happens to be my friend. In addition, Dick is obviously a guy.
So much for "positive reinforcement", its time to bring in the "negative". If there is ever more life lessons to be learned, it's that anything can happen, and understanding and kindness should be used sparingly like horseradish on a steak. Maturity and responsibility is all in the eye of the beholder.
For all those out there who are living with a roommate, I commend you and your bravery. May you all be more fortunate in dealing with those Dicks out there.
As for Dick, sorry, but eight strikes and you're out...