On roommates

I try not to put heaps of negative energy out into the world, but I have to vent about this situation before my inner frustration curdles.

When I began the NYC house-hunt back in August last year, I had a few requirements in mind. A bedroom window would be nice. No roaches, please. Near a train station would be preferable. I figured I was a pretty flexible person when it came to living with random people, so was not concerned about potential roommates. I had lived with 25 Australians in a single apartment and on kibbutz for a year. I could handle dirty knives on the counter and crumbs on the floor and so many unwashed dishes that we ran out of paper plates. I was chilled. I was easy-going. This was not going to be an issue.


A series of events led to new roommates replacing the old ones in our Bushwick apartment, and what follows is a list of their transgressions. (Perhaps it indicates that I’ve gotten grumpier and pickier about my space in my old age. But perhaps it indicates that my roommates are assholes.)

  • Countertops are constantly riddled with dirty cutlery/ crumbs/ streaks of spilled food.
  • Food dregs are left in the drain, clogging it and making washing the dishes turn the sink into a food jacuzzi.
  • It is impossible to walk on the floor barefoot because I step on old almonds and pieces of kale. #brooklynhipsterroommates
  • The wall behind the trash cans has streaks of food splashed across it.
  • My cutlery and crockery keeps disappearing upstairs, because they take their meals to their rooms and do not bring the dirty dishes back downstairs to wash them. They are only returned upon request.
  • In response to my message asking for a cleaning roster to deal with the grossness of the kitchen, “No, it adds extra stress, I don’t wanna feel uncomfortable in my apartment.” I was also told that I am “bringing this stuff up too much” and “need to relax.’
  • They constantly miss the bin – there is a shrine of trash littering the floor around it.
  • Lights are left on during the day. And during the night. Basically all the time. #whatelectricitybill?
  • The front door is nearly always unlocked.
  • We once got a message from the upstairs roommate, who has her own lounge space and only needs to be downstairs for the kitchen, which said, “Hope you don’t mind, I rearranged the downstairs lounge furniture. It’s something I like to do!” #donttouchourshit

A final lovely note:

Last December, when Lauren was visiting, we arrived home after a family trip. She said she thought she could hear meowing, and I told her it was probably the Cat Conference whose members have taken up residence on the roof next door. But the meowing sounded louder than if it was coming from a source outside, so we went upstairs to investigate – and found a cat! Unsure of whether or not it was meant to be there, I texted the new roommates to ask them about it. Their response was, “Yes, she belongs to us. We did not want to tell anyone about her in case you are allergic.”


Look. I am thrilled about having a pet. She is the cutest in the world, and loves attention. But the whole lack-of-communication thing has been a theme for the past few months, and I’m not about that. I don’t need to be friends with my roommates, but I would like a space that feels like a community founded on respect.

I can’t wait to move. #countdowntojune


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