Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bianca Knows Best ... And Helps a Cranky Roommate

Posted By on Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Dear Bianca,

I've been sharing a very tiny apartment with the same roommate for several years. We get along fine, and since we work different shifts, we don't see one another often enough to tire of each other.

But a couple months ago, my roommate started dating a very annoying, very young woman (she's 19, he's 27). After only a few weeks, she started spending night after night at the house. And since she doesn't have a job, she stays there all day while my roommate goes to the office. I work at night, so I'm stuck in the apartment with her all day.

She never cleans up after herself (my roommate does that for her when he comes home), she eats my food, and she's started referring to my neighbors as "our" neighbors. I've told the roommate that I'd like her to leave when he leaves in the morning, but he doesn't want to hurt her feelings by asking. How can I get rid of this annoying woman?

-- The Cranky Roommate

Dear Cranky,

For someone who relishes living alone, this sounds like my worst nightmare. I can’t handle roommates, much less roommate's girlfriends.

You really need to explain the importance of personal space to your roommate and hope he can be convinced to relay the message to the intruding girlfriend. If he refuses, you might try threatening to move out. Surely, his guarantee of half the rent will kick his butt into gear (and hers out the door).

But if that doesn't work, try asserting yourself when you're alone with his girlfriend. Label your food with your name and instructions of "Do Not Eat." You might want to hint about your need for personal space. You could ask her to leave sometimes so you can have some privacy.

If these methods don't work, try giving the roommate a taste of his own medicine. Find a friend who's willing to pose as your new partner for a few days. Have that person stay over and allow them to hang out at the house while you're at work at night. Perhaps the roommate won't be so accepting when his space is invaded.

Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at bphillips@memphisflyer.com.

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