Roommate Madness

by Jourdan Abel | 11/7/00 6:00am

At 2:30 a.m., one of my roommate's last muffled comments before falling asleep was "I know what you can write about! Us! Will you write about us?" And my other roommate, brushing her teeth in the bathroom, said, "Yeah, write (gurgle gurgle) about us."

This is my first roommate experience, and we are out of control. We are scandalous. In fact, I think Mid-Fayer is sorry it took us in. We've gotten blitzes about the fire hazards we create in the hall that "block the means of egress." We've wreaked havoc on the washing machines and caused them to over-sud. (Okay, that was just me.) I go downstairs and harass the all-male second floor UGA meetings on a regular basis, demanding food and respect. My roommates rummage through the trashcans in the halls looking for pizza boxes. They run into the room all excited and say things like "look at this crust I found! It's still got some cheese on it!" and "who didn't eat their garlic roll? Sheesh! I'll eat you, Mr. Garlic knot." Yes. We are the bums of the building. At least we enjoy each other's company, if the rest of the building doesn't.

We are, the three of us, an old married couple. We do the crossword puzzle together almost every night. After we get in bed, we talk about our day and our latest conquests. When grocery shopping, we all know these items must be purchased: dried apricots, raisins, strawberry fruit rollups, at least two boxes of cereal, and three types of yogurt: Dannon fat-free plain for Jess, Stonyfield fat-free French Vanilla for me, and Stonyfield fat-free Lotsa Lemon ("tastes like Pledge!") for Nira.

Jess invariably sets her alarm for 7 a.m. and tells us that she's "gonna wake up and do work, okay?" We nod. I set my alarm for eight. Nira tells me to wake her up when I get up. We go to sleep. The next morning, we all awake to Jess's three-noise alarm. The first base beat is the faint sound of 99 Rock. The next layer is loud heavy static because the radio dial isn't exactly on 99.3. The next, and best, layer is the "waaaah waaaaah waaaaah" of the beeps on her alarm. She hits the snooze button twice. It only took us a few days to adjust to her alarm, and now I sleep through it. As does she. And when I get up at eight, she is in bed.

Sometimes we play the "How annoying can we be before killing each other" game. It's fun. Jess starts to sing something along the lines of "Do do doooo de doo doo doo do Why's that song in my head? I can't tell you! Desssseeeeeerrrrrt Raaaaaaiiiiiinnnnnnn.." Nira smirks and starts talking loudly and with quite possibly the most annoying intonation in her voice that she can muster I just turn mean and make fun of them. It usually lasts seven minutes.

We do have our very own tourist attraction -- an interactive bathroom game. We hung up a big National Geographic map of the U.S. and a pen, and we demand that everyone who uses our bathroom signs by their place of origin.

Living with roommates gives you so many bonuses -- pooled electronic resources, two fridges, a futon, and because one of my roommates rushed Tri-Delt this fall, all the benefits of a sorority without having to be in one -- all of the door decorations we could want and homemade cookies and gifts from her big sister.

Our room, alas, is perpetually messy. Really, it's to be expected. There are three of us, and we each have our own messy anachronisms. Jess's desk chair is always covered in clothes -- she claims to like the "extra cushion." Nira has taken to carpeting the bedroom floor with dirty laundry, and I dry my laundry on every available surface in the room. Some days there is clothing covering every surface of every object -- desks, beds, dressers, chairs, floor, and even clothes hanging off of the beds. It's like an archaeological dig to find my roommates under our stuff sometimes.

But I find them. Or they find me. Crazy shrieks and all, there's nothing like being in a pissy mood and alone and having a roommate walk in and give you a hug and say, "Honey, it'll be okay." Because you know what? We make sure that we each go to bed in a happy mood every night. And there are no clean singles out there, no matter how big, that could replace my spastic darlings.