A few months ago, some friends and I spent a particularly unremarkable (though perfectly pleasant) night hanging out at my friend Nina’s house. The next day, to her horror – but not really to her surprise – she received a truly remarkable e-mail from her INSANE BITCH of a Craigslist-found roommate. The e-mail went a little something (exactly) like this:
now that you’re settled into the apartment, i just wanted to go over a few apartment guidelines that we follow…
-awareness of noise level is really important. since we all have different schedules, michael & i keep our tvs, phone calls, computer, music, etc. in our room so as not to disturb anyone at any time of day.
fyi, my contractor wall is really thin and i hear everything outside in my room at the same level…this is especially crucial during the work week as i wake up and go to sleep hours before anyone.
to be honest, your tv belongs in your room. if you continue to use the common areas as an extension of your personal space, you will be paying more rent since this is not fair to everyone else.
-keeping all misc. stuff in our rooms due to the tight space (and fire hazard). since the living room and kitchen are common spaces we try to keep it free of our things. anything else not related to the living room or kitchen needs to be moved to the proper place outside common areas.
-no smoking- of any kind, under any circumstances. i have asthma and allergies. beyond that, it’s rude to smoke in an apartment that was specifically requested to be non smoking. this was one of the very first questions i asked you when we met.
-letting each other know if we’re having people overnight.
-we also try to make sure to use the vent on the stove top when cooking for courtesy (when things have a strong smell, etc.).
these guidelines have worked for us and create respect among one another.
if they don’t work for you, this living situation isn’t going to work for you.
Did you ever in your life read an e-mail like that? The following e-mail is what I proposed Nina send back to her.
Now that I know these guidelines, I’ll make sure to abide by them. FYI: I would’ve really appreciated it if you’d sent me that e-mail BEFORE I moved in, as I was under the (apparently misguided) impression that paying money to live in the apartment would guarantee me the right to, oh, I don’t know, LIVE IN THE APARTMENT. If I’d known that I would’ve been forced to pay extra to use the apartment’s LIVING ROOM, I definitely would have looked elsewhere – I didn’t realize I was signing up to live in a boarding house in 1902.
Since we’re having this ‘discussion,’ I have a few rules of my own that I must absolutely demand you follow. They are as follows:
1. Please only cook green and orange foods when I am home/going to be home/thinking of being home/saying the word ‘home’. Any other color foods greatly offend me and looking at them burns my corneas (rare birth condition) so it would be really rude for you to cook them.
2. Moving forward, please address me exclusively as “Professor A$$monster.”
3. If you plan on using the shower (an act that is inherently an infringement on my personal space, as the shower is located very close to my room, but one that I will tolerate because it is the considerate thing to do), please only take 1.25 minutes to bathe yourself and make sure the water is no hotter than 57.4 degrees, or else you will have to pay extra for utilities.
4. If you cook food in the “communal” space, you must wash your utensils WHILE you are eating, in addition to before and after, or else we might get vermin and you might have an allergy attack and croak – and we certainly wouldn’t want that, now would we?
Finally, one last thing – my tarantula, Francis, seems to have gone missing. If you find him, DO NOT pick him up – he has been genetically mutated to be poisonous (you knew I worked at a hospital). He really likes hiding under pillows/in dark nooks and crannies/dust-free spaces, so you might want to be extra careful when you’re walking around the apartment for the next few months, until he either turns up or dies somewhere/starts decomposing and we can locate him by the stench of his corpse.
Why she didn’t send this message, I’ll never know.