i realised the other day that i have been living with roommates for over 15 years.


i did a quick calculation of how many roommates i have lived with over the years, and it came to approximately 38.

shit peeps, no wonder i am a bitch sometimes.  i’m tired.  living with other people, regardless of how good, bad, clean, tidy, loud, quiet, funny or stupid they are is often hard.  below is something i wrote a while back that seems appropriate to remember when i’m thinking of my 15 years of roomies….


I have a new roommate and she is female. She is lovely and we get along and I like to pour us tea and have chats. This new living situation is still, however, going to be interesting, as I rarely live with other females, therefore I am used to being the only female in the house, which loosely translates as being used to being……………..the boss.

The male roommates I’ve had over the years would protest this remark. I don’t come off as being particularly bossy or alpha or demanding or leader-like but this just means that I am particularly sneaky about being the boss of the house. The house looks the way I want it to look. It is tidy and orderly because that’s how I like it. The things on the walls or on the benches or displayed or not displayed are because that is that way I want them to be. The things I allow to be left in the living room or in the bathroom or the things I silently remove and put back into the boys’ rooms are all very small, passive aggressive ways of asserting reign over my space. Males do not see this as evidence of you being the boss. They do not equate having control over what hangs on the walls with having control over the domain. So males will generally always let the female do what they like to the house, oblivious to the fact that females know that if the house looks more like you, then it is more yours.

But now there is more than one female in the house. And she wants to make her space look like her too. And I was in the kitchen today quietly seething as I put back my salt and pepper shaker that she had hidden away in the cupboard, trying to understand how on earth I came to be such an uptight asshole as to give a shit about such a small thing. I was trying very hard to listen to my inner calm saying very annoying things like ‘Chill out, brooke. Let it go’, or ‘Think of the bigger picture, this stuff doesn’t matter‘ or most patronisingly of all ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ (I often find that my inner calm is sometimes a smug little bitch). Anyway, it worked for a little while (even though I continued to rearrange what she had already rearranged) and I did start to at least pretend that I didn’t care about these very tiny displays of loss of control. After all, these are just little things, right?

But then I thought, wait!We’ve all been stooged. What about all that crap about how god is in the small things? About how it’s the little things that count. About how big things come in small packages? According to some ideologies, most of which espout the way to enlightenment, the only way we’ll ever find peace, happinness or a cure for that coke addiction is to learn to appreciate the small gifts in life. The ones that don’t cost anything, the little day to day things that may seem mundane, but that actually house god. And I realised that was why the little things bothered me so much. Because I got my little bits of joy out of my little clean house with my little pictures on the wall and my salt and pepper shakers on the bench. And when my little things got threatened, I got a little teensy bit uptight with just the littlest urge to fist fight my new roommate for rights to the cutlery drawer. And I thought, ‘Yeah! I’m right! I’m allowed to care about what I care about! Small things are where it’s at!’

And then I put all of her stuff back where she wanted it, kicked myself in the arse and said ‘Get the fuck over yourself’.



21 responses to “roommates

  1. Ha, it’s like you read my mind! The post that i have going up tomorrow is about roommates.

  2. Haha if you want to read a horror story of a roommate that is here: and I’m only including this to make you feel better. Another site I liked to visit was something like “” – with everyone’s horror stories and “” with more little female-type things.

    I can’t handle living with roommates anymore – and it’s because of those little things and being the boss, just like you say. I guess you really have to find a way to not need to be the boss. But I can’t do it 🙂 This was a wonderful post. You got exactly how difficult it is to be a roomate, when you’re a nice person and you like the other person, it is still hard because everyone wants things their way. I guess the best thing to do if other things bother you is to decorate together. Either buy new things together, or just put everything to one side and decorate together.

  3. I have *never* lived with roommates. I think I would self-destruct. I do enough re-organizing and putting away with just my husband 🙂 I think if I lived with women I’d get stabby.

  4. Ohhhh, I can so relate! Funny post that made me giggle Thanks!

  5. I’ve never had roommates. And I think I can’t live with roommates. I get bossy and fussy with cleanliness and tidiness. Either they drive me away or I’ll drive them away LOL

  6. I get this. I remember when I lived with roommates there was, inevitable, drama. The small things definitely matter. Now that I’m married, I find living with a man equally as challenging at times, but you are right, the house looks like me.

  7. I have a hard enough time living with my own kids, let alone roommates that I’m not related. Great post!

  8. stephanie

    Words to live by, Get the fuck over yourself. I love that. I lived with roommates for a long time, too but that was some years ago. Now I only have one, and he will sometimes make me feel that I need to get the fuck over myself – or maybe he does? Ok, we both do. But I remember vividly the roommate years. Nice post!

  9. stephanie

    Words to live by – get the fuck over yourself. I like it. Works in many circumstances. I only have one roommate now and he will sometimes make me think I should get the fuck over myself, or maybe he should. Ok, we both should. I so vividly remember the many roommate days, and all the negotiation that went with that. Nice post.

  10. Awesome. And oh boy have we all been there at some point. Yay you.

  11. I’ve always had female roommates, before I wised up and moved the hell out on my own. 🙂

  12. tara pohlkotte

    i lived with a roommate for like 6 months….long enough for me! now, I just have a husband and two kids. I lock myself in the bathroom some days 🙂

  13. I had to laugh at this. It’s so true that whoever the house looks more like is in charge! My husband is a designer (or at least he was before he joined the air force). I’m doomed.

  14. I only had roommates for less than one semester in college and that was all I could stand (one left her retainer on the couch. the couch!!). 38… I could never.

  15. Haha I have certainly been there! I used to get mad t my parents for being so uptight about the small stuff. Then I lived with other people.

  16. Living with other women is the worst in my opinion. Good for you for ‘getting the fuck over yourself’…I’m still struggling with that one 😛

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