Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Dishwasher Standoff

2 posts in one day. Aren't YOU the lucky ones?!?!? Well, this one ain't going to be pretty. Buckle up, bitches.

For anyone that knows me, you know that I don't have the most ideal living situation. My roommate and I don't have a lot in common. For the most part, our situation works because we don't cross paths, and I otherwise hang in my room. It's not unlivable, it could be much worse, but I hate it sometimes. And tonight is one of these nights that I hate it. I should be going to bed...I have to be up early. But I have to get this out. I'm mad. So this may not be a particularly witty or edgy blog, but dear God, it will be a rant.

What does the 'dishwasher' title of this blog mean? For AT LEAST the last week, the clean dishes have been sitting in the dishwasher waiting to be emptied. I was starting to realize I was the only one ever emptying it, so for once, I wasn't going to do it this time. Not a dish will be moved into the cupboards by my hands. And I might note that approximately 4 dishes in there are ones I'd used...the rest are hers and her boyfriend's. This dishwasher thing will come into play later...but let's back up a bit, for the sake of those that aren't familiar with my apartment setup.

I'm a good roommate. Maybe too good. Seriously. I keep a low profile, I don't get in people's way, I do my dishes, and I keep my crap out of the common living areas. I'm clean, but not anal. I respect the apartment knowing that it's someone else's living space, too. Tonight, I realized that I'm TOO respectful, to the point of being a pussy. Too accommodating. A pushover. When I moved in, she had already been living there, so I was coming in to an established household. I tried to respect that she was here first, so I made sure I was considerate of her and her habits. But I forgot that it was now just as much my place as it was hers. However, a precedent was being set from day one. I made her the alpha. Whether she ever realized it or not, I bent to accommodate her. Bad move...because I now know that I live with someone completely incapable of looking outside of herself.

My roommate and her boyfriend live together. In mine and her apartment. This was not the original living arrangement when I moved in. He spent the night at our place a few nights a week, then they went to his parent's house the other nights. Slowly, the nights at our place began to increase, and the nights at his parents' began to dwindle. Now I've been here almost a year and a half, and I'd say for the last year, he's been here every night of the week (with the exception of the nights that they have a fight). And when they fight, it's epic. WOW. She screams and cries...it's apparently the end of the world. Any other couple would break up after some of these fights. Not these two. They're both incredibly insecure, convinced one is cheating on the other...and I just hang in my room, because I can't take the annoying bickering, her incessant high pitched cackling, or bad choice in TV. There's a limit to the amount of Spike TV, Rock of Love, and I Love New York that a normal person can watch. There's no point in going out there to be social, because one's on the couch and the other one is in the armchair. There would be no where for me to sit but on the floor. Me. The one who pays half the rent. And IF I'm lucky enough to get home first to get a few precious minutes in front of the boob tube, they'll come home, plop down, and talk loudly over whatever show I happen to be watching. Not worth it.

Two weeks ago, I'd had it. I sat her down and told her that her boyfriend needed to start chipping in for our rent if he's going to be essentially living here. If I could go back in time, I would add that he needs to take care of his dishes too, and pick up the stuff they leave in the common living areas, because it's my house too. But I didn't...it took EVERYTHING I had to mention the rent. And she was cool about it, she really was. Her boyfriend is now paying me 100 bucks a month, and while I think it should be more, it's a start. Of course, if he was any kind of man, he would help out with her rent too, seeing as she works multiple jobs while he works a fraction of that amount, and has a setup here AND at Mommy and Daddy's. Now, I feel like if I bring up more things that bother me, then I'm just the whiny, complaining roommate. I'm the first one to tell people to stand up for themselves, and I wish I'd take my own advice. But whatever I say, I have to be firm and stand my ground. And still face them the next day. That's what sucks...as much as I hate it, I don't want to make it more unbearable for me by adding conflict and tension.

Tonight, I went out to the kitchen to look for a martini shaker a friend thought she'd left in our kitchen, and I realized my hesitation as I went out there...I was afraid I might disturb them as I search through MY kitchen for MY friend's belongings. I thought, "Hey, this is my house too. What law says I can't go out there?" So I did.

That's when I saw the dishwasher. STILL, not a dish has been moved. It's been over a week, and now it's become a complete and total mexican standoff. (Ro, don't get mad...I heard the term at a party...apparently it's legit...I hope!) It's to the point that if either person gives in, it's essentially conceding to the other. But luckily, I only have to deal with it for 48 hours, as I'm leaving for Spain! But so help me God, if that dishwasher is STILL full when I get home... there will be hell to pay. (I know I sound like my mother right now, but I don't care)

Now I'm officially sick of this set up. It goes beyond the stupid dishwasher. I live in my bedroom and my bathroom. If they're home, the living room is automatically theirs. They've staked out their places in front of the TV, and I'm left with nothing but the option to go to my room. Because that's the habit that's been established. They're out there every night of the week, and I'm the anti-social one in my room.

And the worst part about it is...I'm the most mad at MYSELF. I've created this living situation. I've allowed for these habits to be established. I've allowed myself to be the person who just 'rents a room', rather than being an equal resident. What I want to do is start getting home before they do a couple nights a week, and camp out in the living room with a friend, occupying the common seating areas. So, if anyone feels like standing their ground with me in my living room, let me know. We can treat it like a sit-in for Greenpeace, only we won't be chaining ourselves to oil tankers, it'll be lounging on our nice, cushy couches.

I do have perspective on this. I realize they're not smoking crack, selling cocaine off our balcony, or having loud parties until 3am. I'm just at a place where I'm almost 30, and I'm DONE with dealing with this shit...all the little insignificant things that alone aren't that bad, but together add up to pure annoyance, and every day I wish I could afford my own place.


Brian said...

Since the dishwasher if full of clean dishes, where are the dirty ones going?

I had a similar experience...except it was with dirty dishes. My roommate refused to do the dishes. I got tired of doing all the dishes so I let the dirty ones sit in the sink. It was bad. He was SO lazy that he was using ANYTHING clean. Simply put, he was the MacGuyver of clean dishes. He was THAT lazy. Once ALL the clean dishes were used up he ate fast food! Lazy bastard. This went of for WEEKS!!

Cindy & Brian said...

blah blah blah...all I care about it MEXICAN STANDOFF. TOO freaking funny!!!
But serously, your roomate sucks. I'd park it on the couch with you every night, JK, but realistically it wont work with three babies. But maybe their screaming would drive your roomate away! hmmmmm...something to consider.