How To Be a Good Roommate

From the girl on the other side of that door.

So I’ve been at base for about a month now, settled in, I have a routine, I have my schedule, I have my day-today living. My side of the fridge is normally empty, but I keep stock a ridiculous amount of coffee and granola bars. 

I don’t see my roommate often, it was about 4 days after I moved in that I even saw her for the first time. But I do my part. I throw my trash in my own room trashcan, not the kitchen one, I empty the dishwasher, I wipe the counters, I put my dishes away, I take out the trash, I pick up my hair from the shower drain.

Pretty fair, yeah? I even share my groceries, and just recently bought toilet paper because I’d been using what was already in our bathroom- which had been bought before I moved in.

Alright this is where it gets annoying. When I first moved in, I found hair balls the size of mice and some pretty intense dust bunnies. Alright, I thought. She hasn’t had a roommate so that’s fair enough- it was her space, so let her live in it how she pleased. I figured now that I’d move in she’d clean up her mess.

Move on to the kitchen, the counter was stained with I don’t know what, and had dried up I don’t know what, stuck to it. Trash? Overflowing. Sink? Stuff stuck to it. I mean come on.

So last week I finally got sick on it and picked up her hair, wiped down the counters, took out ALL the trash, swept the floors, sprayed the air, cleaned the sink, did the dishes, and neatened everything up. I thought my point had been made- I cleaned, now it’s your turn. 

But alas. This is the third time I’ve put a new roll of TP on after she left the old one just chilling there, second time I’ve taken our her garbage, fourth time I’ve put her dishes in the dishwasher and put the clean ones away. Are we seeing a trend? Yes? Okay good.

So here we are- to my main point. Do you have a roommate? Are you going to move in with someone? Don’t be that roommate. Here’s some shit you can do so living with you isn’t a chore. This goes for both sides of the door.

1. Let’s be adults and clean up after ourselves. The dishwasher is 2 feet from the sink, just put the dishes in there. You spill something on the counter- clean it up. Drop shit on the floor? Clean it up. It isn’t that difficult.

2. If your trash is overflowing and somehow a new empty bag has replaced it, chances are your roommate took it out for you. Repay the favor. Take out the trash next time, before it gets full.  Then everyone is doing their part

3. You notice the kitchen and bathroom and clean? Hey! Maybe your roommate cleaned them instead of the cleaning fairies that have been skipping your door the past month. Make sure you make it even and clean up next time. Before it gets bad.

4. Okay you used the last sheet on the TP roll. Come on, no one wants to walk in to that brown roll. Just toss it and replace it when you walk out. Easy peasy.

5. Your roommate leaves their door open: This isn’t an invitation to just stroll on in and start talking to their fish. A knock, or a verbal greeting would be kosher before you walked into their space. Especially if they’ve never just walked into your space before.

6. You share a fridge, then unless there’s a community item like a gallon of milk that one person wont finish, chances are you’ll put your stuff on one side, they’ll put theirs on another. Just because it’s separated by an invisible line doesn’t mean your side should have open food just laying on the shelves. Ew, that’s gross, and probably unsanitary. 

7. You were there first? It’s probably a good idea to establish some ground rules. Hey, you take garbage out this day I’ll do it next. Could you clean the bathroom, I cleaned it last time? We can take turns – you know – easy shit like that. But if you don’t set some sort of rules, don’t expect the other person to just do it all.

8. Be mindful. Hey, if I’m working a swing shift, I don’t want to hear your ass stomping around at 5am. I just got home a few hours ago.

9. Don’t assume. Don’t assume I’ll get that, don’t assume I know something, don’t assume I’ll leave it for you for when you feel like it.

10. Have common sense and you’ll be good. 

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Oh, New York

Oh, New York. You have been so good to me, so beautiful, so welcoming, and so intoxicating.

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But my trip has come to an end- which is difficult to accept.  How am I supposed to get onto a plane with all my things and go back to a place that I know isn’t right for me? How do I leave my new found community, home, and friends? How do I take the leap back to my small town- knowing that within 2 weeks of returning I will be shipping off for the Air Force?

I don’t know. But I do know that I have to. So as I sit here on a few hours of sleep, mainly functioning on the high of last nights amazing night, I’m somehow smiling.

The stories I have to bring back with me are unreal. In this past week, I feel like I’ve lived a year. I’ve learn so much, seen so much, done so much, and felt so much. Every emotion on that spectrum- I’ve felt this week. And it’s been worth it.

Seeing my friends and making new ones? Check.

Volunteering with little kids, and to help save Coney Island? Check.

Giant makeout orgies? Check.

Burlesque shows? Check.

Spinning fire? Check.

Navigating the subways on my own? Check.

Drawing in a little cafe with a friend? Check.

Walking miles and miles of Manhattan alone? Check.

The list could go on, but I would definitely make it a mile long. This trip has taught me to laugh and cry for all the same reasons, to really live. Live in the moment, don’t worry about your future or tomorrow, or even an hour from now. Or you’re going to miss what’s happening right in front of your eyes. 

So thank you, New York, for being everything I wanted and more. I will return to you, and you will always captivate my heart in ways no person ever could. 

Until we meet again,

    Iiae