A Car Too Far

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 6, 2019

(I rent out a house with four other women, one of whom is my sister, who’s ended up not having the best relationship with the other two people. She’s never done anything outright horrible, but has an air of entitlement and does little things that bother us sometimes. One of the things that has bothered us the most is whenever she asks to borrow our personal cars. Hers was wrecked by her boyfriend two years ago and, since I sometimes have “no good reason” to NOT allow her to borrow the car while I’m using it, I’ve allowed her until recently. She’s never been in a wreck herself, but she always treats my car like it is her own garbage bin, always claims she needs it for an “emergency” when really she wants to go shopping, and never, never, NEVER tops up the tank. She once borrowed it for a full week without telling me until I confronted her about my almost-empty tank of gas. I always let her walk all over me until one day I put my foot down and set some rules, which doesn’t exactly work, so I take away the “deal” we never made of sharing my car, telling her to finally look for her own. What does she do? She goes and asks our roommates, of course. [Roommate #1] gives her a shot, but refuses after my sister is gone past one am and won’t answer her cell phone when our roommate calls to see if she is all right. [Roommate #2] gives her a hard no from the beginning. So, my sister has been forced to take a mix of public transportation and ride-hailing apps, despite having a valid license. I have always thought it was because she worked out it was cheaper that way, despite the passive-aggression she always throws my way whenever a bus is late during her route or the comments about how inconvenient it is to catch a [Rideshare]. That was all until [Roommate #3] moves in. Literally within the first week of settling in, while she’s playing a video game in the living room and [Roommate #2] and I are in the kitchen, my sister approaches her:)

Sister: “Hey, [Roommate #3]! Listen. Huge favor. Would it be okay to let me borrow your car?”

Me: *not thinking I heard right* “Wait, wha–”

Roommate #3: “Uh, sure? Why? When?”

Sister: “Oh, I was–“

Me: “[Roommate #3]! Seriously? You don’t have to.”

Sister: “She already said yes.”

Roommate #3: *raises an eyebrow at the both of us* “Um… Is there something I’m not getting? Do you, what, have a DUI?”

Roommate #2: *muttering low enough just for me to hear* “Nope, just her ex.”

Sister: “What? Are you f****** serious? Do I look like someone who would have a DUI?”

Roommate #3: “All right, sorry, jeez. But, yeah. Unless you have a history of f***** up cars–“

Sister: “I don’t.”

Roommate #3: “Okay, so, when do you need it?”

Sister: “I was thinking right now?”

Me: *getting up* “Okay, no. [Sister], that’s just rude to try and practically bully [Roommate #3] into giving you her car.”

Sister: “But she said yes!”

Roommate #3: *shrugs* “That I did. And sure. My key is the one with the green keychain.”

(My sister thanks her profusely and goes to get ready to leave while [Roommate #2] and I share a look, completely floored, not only over how brazen my sister was, but how careless [Roommate #3] seems to be. Ultimately, we just shake our heads and allow this incredibly poor idea pan out. My sister leaves, dressed up and ready to go… before coming back in, seeming annoyed.)

Sister: “You’re out of gas.”

(I try to stifle laughter over the irony.)

Roommate #3: “What?”

Sister: “I said, you’re out of gas.”

Roommate #3: “Did it not turn on? I put five bucks in it yesterday.”

Sister: *confused* “Er, no. I was able to turn on your car, but the gas gauge is basically sitting on the ’empty’ side.”

Roommate #3: “Ohhh. Psh. Yeah. It does that, but that baby’s got another couple miles in it. Don’t worry; it can make it to the closest gas station and you can just put in how much money you need for gas.”

(Note that this entire time, [Roommate #3] hasn’t even looked up from her video game to address my sister fully, who’s staring at her like she’s just grown another head. After a moment, my sister sneers and huffs out a “fine” before storming back out. A while later, while most of us are talking and hanging out, my sister comes in and hands [Roommate #3] a receipt.)

Sister: “Here. For the gas.”

Roommate #3: *looks at the receipt and eyes go wide* “WHOA! You filled the whole tank?!”

Sister: “Yes, and you can pay me back whenever yo–“

(She doesn’t get to finish the sentence and, thankfully, [Roommate #3] seems to never have heard it since she was too busy bolting up and almost tackling my sister to the ground with a bearhug.)

Roommate #3: “Thank you, thank you, thank you so much! You didn’t have to do that! You can borrow my car whenever you want!”

Sister: “…”

(It didn’t take long for us to learn that [Roommate #3] came from working-class parents where she picked up a lot of penny-pinching techniques and habits, one of them being to only pay for only the amount of gas necessary to get from point A to point B. She legitimately thought that’s how most people did it, and her mind was blown when she found out none of us made the “common, new-driver mistake” of running out of gas on the freeway from overestimating how much was left in the tank. This meant that eventually when all the gas my sister put in dwindled, [Roommate #3] kicked back into her old habit of just paying what she needed, confused as to why this had suddenly become a pet-peeve to my sister’s. Other than her unique money-saving tactics and her obliviousness, she’s become an awesome housemate. My sister made it through borrowing her car for about a month until [Roommate #3] confronted her about dirtying up her car — “I mean, you could pay for the car cleaning, at least? Then you can drive my car again. Fair?” — and she magically found her own money to get a used car, herself.)

Someone Said The Same Thing To Willie Nelson About Ed Bruce

, , , , | Friendly | March 26, 2019

Me: *singing under my breath* “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys…”

Roommate: “Huh? Why not?”

Me: “Um, because they never stay home and they’re always alone, even with someone they love.”

Roommate: “That’s deep. You should write that down.”

Putting The Ouch Into Couch

, , , , , | Friendly | March 24, 2019

(It’s the week before spring break. I have a ton of work due over the next few days and I am stressing quite a bit. It’s Tuesday night, around 1:30 am, and one of my three roommates leaves for twenty minutes and comes back into the dorm with a guy in tow. I’m sitting on the couch writing a paper and eating M&Ms out of a large jug my mother bought me as a random gift a few weeks ago.)

Guy: *looks at the candy, then back up at me* “It’s like that, huh?”

(I have no idea what he means, but I shrug and say sure. This isn’t the first time she’s brought a random dude in at ungodly hours and I don’t have time to have a conversation. As the evening goes on, it’s apparent that he doesn’t plan on leaving for the night. Come 3:30, he’s still in the room I share with my roommate — we live in a two-bedroom, apartment-style dorm, two girls to each room — and they’re LOUD, laughing, making noises and watching TV. There is no way I am going to be able to sleep with a random dude in my room and with so much noise, but I don’t feel like starting a fight at 3:00 am, so I quietly grab a pillow and blanket from my bed and sleep on the couch. The guy doesn’t leave until almost 6:00 am on Wednesday morning. My roommate all but ignores me until 11:00 pm the next day, but has no problem loudly complaining to another roommate about my behavior last night. I wasn’t rude when retrieving the pillow and blanket, and I never once complained about them, so I am confused as to why I am the bad guy. I shrug it off. I want to say something, but being in an active fight with my roommate sounds more like an annoyance than a solution so I ignore her.)

Roommate: *icily and not making eye contact* “[Guy] apologizes that you felt you had to sleep on the couch last night.” *emphasis on “apologizes”*

(She then rolled over to play on her phone, and the silence between us was deafening. I had somehow offended her by quietly retreating to the couch to sleep, but the fact that she brought a guy in, without warning, from 2:00 to 6:00 am on Wednesday morning was fine? I think I’m going to put in for a room change.)

We Can Interpret From This That They Really Need Their Spring Break

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 10, 2019

(My roommate and I are in separate rooms while talking. We’re both in our late twenties or early thirties, but we have a running joke that we’re going deaf because of frequent exchanges like these.)

Roommate: “Only eleven days until spring break!”

Me: *with my head in the refrigerator, looking for a snack* “I’m so ready. Why can’t it be next week?!”

Roommate: *pause* “Did you just say, ‘Why do you hate me?’”

Me: *standing up and looking through the door at him* “No. I said, ‘Why can’t it be next week?'”

Roommate: “Oh.” *another pause* “I just had my urine checked last year, and it was fine.”

Me: *staring at him, trying to figure out what that has to do with anything, then it clicks and I start cracking up*

Roommate: “What?!”

Me: “I thought you said you had your urine checked instead of your hearing!” *still dying of laughter*

Roommate: “Oh, my God.” *shouts to his boyfriend, who is an American Sign Language interpreter* “Hey, babe! We’re gonna need your interpreting services a lot sooner than we originally thought!”

Sorry, Not Sorry That You’re My Friend, Not Friend

, , , , , | Friendly | March 9, 2019

My college has a great program where, if you work full time so many hours during the summer, in addition to getting paid an hourly wage, you get free room and board on campus! The first summer I do it, it goes excellently. The second, they put us in a different dorm, the one that was just constructed and consists of suites — two rooms with two beds each, two bathrooms, and a small common area — so I have three “suitemates.”

By pure coincidence, my suitemates are all equine science majors who know each other; I’m an English Lit major who doesn’t know any of them. I don’t want to bother them, so I mostly keep to myself and leave them to hang out together, thinking I’d annoy them or be intruding if I tried to force myself into their circle for no reason. I’m an introvert, anyway, so I don’t mind being on my own. They never once invite me anywhere or ask me to do something with them, giving me no indication they want me to hang out with them. They also never once complain to me, never giving me any indication they have a problem with me at all.

I have hyper hearing — I have to sleep with earplugs — and one day, I hear a strange noise or vibration in the walls. I’m sure it is just something up with the AC or heat, but at the time, I’m really curious to know what it is. My roommate has no idea, so I go into the “hall” and knock on our suitemates’ door to ask if they know what it is. That’s when the director of whatever movie we’re in suddenly decides to change the tone and atmosphere of the scene without warning.

1) The two girls act horribly offended that I would ask them this, like I’m taking a great liberty. Think how a parent would respond to a child demanding they choose a certain company to refinance their house.

2) They say, “You know, we’ve had a lot of problems with you.”

3) They finish by informing me, “We’ve gone to the RA about you.”

I’m sincerely stunned and don’t try to hide it. They’re stunned that I don’t get why they’re so upset. At least they’re willing to explain. Their first complaint is my steps are too heavy when I walk, creating too much noise at night. No, they’ve never once mentioned or even hinted at this to me at all. The second is that I’ve been “unfriendly” because I haven’t tried to be their friend… again, with no indication whatsoever that they wanted me to… make an active effort to be their friend…?

Since they claim they’ve gone to the RA already about this, I go to her. She confirms that she was planning to meet with all of us to share their concerns with me and walks with me back to the room. We have a conversation that consists of them repeating that they find my lack of trying to become their best buddy “unfriendly,” also using the phrase, “afraid of you,” and me explaining that they’re all friends in the same classes and I didn’t want to bother them. How was I supposed to know they wanted me to make an effort to be their friend? And why would they want me to if they really found me so annoying? Nothing about their feelings or their way of handling it makes sense!

It’s the only conversation that ever takes place on the subject, which I assume means the RA found it ridiculous. Nothing changes except that I start tiptoeing if I walk around after dark. It is the result of two forces: the stereotypical-but-in-this-case-100%-true female practice to never confront someone directly when you have a problem with them but spread rumors about them behind their back, instead — in this case, to the RA, since there is no posse of high-schoolers available at the time — and the pervasive fear of all loners — remember, anyone who keeps to herself is obviously up to no good!

My family and I still laugh about their immature behavior. It’s hands-down the best roommate story any of us have. I look forward to sharing it with my niece if she goes to college in the far future.

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