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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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rom hELL
by Rachel Smith |
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Some people are picky about partners; others are picky about food. Me, I’m picky about who I live with. OK, so you can be lucky and strike gold, landing someone who pays bills on time, cooks a cannelloni to die for and is pals with the hippest folk on the block. However, should you get dished a dud, don’t despair: there are ways to handle your hellish roommates.

In London, I lived with a girl who would get a murderous look in her eye if a dirty teacup was left in the sink. We all feared the worst when she was assigned to bathroom duties as every bottle of shampoo, body wash or lotion in sight would be sent flying out of the bathroom door like a heat-seeking missile. Later, we’d go and rescue our toiletries from whence they lay – or worse, fish them out of the trash and put them back on the shelf.

Finally it was decided that the Sterile Hygienist had to be confronted. I drew the short straw. Having long worked with fear tactics, she proved impervious to my logic and reason. Left with no other choice, I told her bluntly to stop terrorizing everyone, or she’d be out. The bully backed off, and we never had to fish our toiletries out of the trash again.

How to spot them: It’s hard to miss their constant mutter about clutter, or the sudden Clean Sweep Missions on which they frequently embark.
How to fix them: Most SH’s are bullies, so standing up to them is the key. Face issues head on and don’t waver – stand your ground.

Unable to see the point of washing dishes, the Slob with whom I had the misfortune to live several years ago used paper plates instead. A sweet, sweaty smell lingered around his person, and his jeans were almost damp they were so grimy. He would shower once every two days if we were lucky, but never used soap, even when we placed enticingly new bars in the shower and near the bathtub. This meant he never quite smelled clean. He was a lovely guy, but we weren’t sad to see him go when he decided to pack his possessions in his backpack and take off to see the world. If anything, we were glad to see an end to those piles of paper plates…

How to spot them: Sadly, the Slob has yet to learn about the benefits of water and has many antisocial habits. These include disposing of the contents of his/her nose onto the sofa, turning his/her underwear inside out for a few days’ extra wear, or forgetting to flush the toilet.

more roommates from hell 

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