Monday, September 13, 2010

Moving in with "Psycho"

Next up on the psycho roommate adventure is the actual reason why I moved in with said psycho roommate. Now, I don't blame anyone, not even my parents for making me continue to live with her for a whole year, as I really do think it was a very good life lesson learned: You can't win with crazy. But you sure can piss them off.

For two years, I shared a one bedroom apartment with a girl I met at a community college in Redding. We had one class together, and somehow it worked out that we were moving to Chico at the same time. She turned out to be the perfect roommate. Half the time she stayed at her boyfriend's (now her husband) apartment, kitty-corner to our apartment. She payed her half of everything and she was hardly ever there. To top it off, we actually got along. She asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. And we're still friends; we get together for lunch once or twice a year. Now, I was very upset when she graduated two years ahead of me. With her graduating and doing student teaching back home, I was out a roommate.

I tried talking my best friend into moving in and filling the roommate gap. No matter how I asked, she finally said no. Apparently she hated Chico with every fiber of her being and had to get out. So I was still out a roommate. As I mentioned in the Intro to Suzi, I had classes with her, so of course this topic came up a few times. Here's how Suzi needed a roommate:

For at least a couple years, she had been living with her boyfriend. Seemed like a nice guy, but really, he kinda gave me the creeps. Suzi had a plan. She was going to vet school. She was going to get married. She wanted to be married before she went off to vet school. So her brilliant plan of action was to give her boyfriend what every boyfriend really wants - an ultimatum. Apparently she told him around October or November that if he didn't propose by New Years, it was over. Guess who never got her engagement ring? Yep. Shocker, eh? A group of us told her it was a bad idea, that it would backfire and she'd be single. Her answer was "Whatever, then I guess it wasn't meant to be." If it was meant to be you wouldn't even consider giving an ultimatum. If you believe it's the only way to get married, then um, you'll never get married. So, come spring semester, I find out from Suzi herself that her boyfriend broke up with her over the ultimatum deal and she was forced to continue to live with him since he couldn't break his lease and didn't have anyone to take over said lease. I said to her, "Oh, I'm really sorry to hear that", when I was really thinking "You dumb ass. You made your bed, now you can lie in it." Not to mention I was probably doing the Grace Adler "I told you so" dance from Will & Grace.

Sometime during that spring semester was when I found out for sure my best friend wasn't going to stick around Chico. And June was looming. Somehow, Suzi and I got the idea into our heads that I could take over her boyfriend's portion of the lease and therefore, I wouldn't be homeless. And she'd be officially rid of him. Again, she had a three bedroom apartment, so I kept insisting that we get a third roommate. It would make the rent so much cheaper, and utilities. After nearly forcing this on her, she finally relented and found another friend of hers that was looking for an apartment. Suzi had us meet to make sure we'd be compatible. We got along great.

I think that was the start of some of the issues. The thing about the number 3 is that in most cases, someone gets left out. In this case, more often than not, it was Suzi. The three of us hung out some during the latter part of spring so we could all get to know each other a little, and make double-sure that we'd all get along as roommates. "Betty" (anonymity, folks) and I got along really well. So well that we both started noticing things about Suzi. Odd things. On occasion we would talk about these odd things at length. We found that in many cases, Suzi would make a claim, or state a "fact" that she believed in yet couldn't (or in some cases refused) necessarily back them up with an actual fact or source.

One thing Suzi insisted on before we moved in with her was to sit down and go over the "house rules". With Suzi's mother present. Yes, you read that right. No, I'm not joking. Betty and I thought it was a complete waste of time. Here are normal roommate house-rules: clean up your own shit and don't bother me. Works great for most folks. Apparently in Suzi's world, things had to be discussed. Especially the boy issue. Now, at the time, Betty and I were both dating - in long distance relationships. Suzi insisted that no boys stay over. Betty and I thought was majorly lame-o considering we were all adults. We argued that if our boyfriends were in town, they could stay the night, but we just let everyone know that "there will be a boy in the house". (BTW, neither of our boyfriends ever laid eyes on that apartment). And besides, how could she insist "no boys allowed" when she had just, oh I don't know, lived with her boyfriend for, like, two years? Exactly. She also insisted that we do our own dishes. Duh. And the front door had to be locked at all times. According to Suzi's mother, we lived directly on Nord Ave. (which, Betty and I both figured out because we have excellent observational and deductive skills), one of Chico's busiest streets and college kid central - we never knew what kind of crazy person might try to get in. Betty and I argued that if someone wanted to get in, the flimsy apartment lock isn't going to stop someone; but that in our current places, the doors were locked, so it really wouldn't be much of an issue. Suzi's mother was adamant - I thought she'd make us sign something in blood. And lastly (and oddly included), was that nothing personal would be in the living room - all "personal" items would be kept in our respective rooms. This meant no pictures in the living room. No CD's. No personal, homey touches at all. I think I heard the Twilight Zone music in my head. I mean, that's just weird. Suzi also needed to know what to call us. In reality, "Betty" and I have the same name, so yes, it can be confusing, so we both had to come up with a nickname she could call us for the year. And we each got our own color of pen for the whiteboard in the kitchen. Plus, she also needed to know if we would share things like condiments, or if we would purchase our own. I'm sorry, but is there really a need to have 3 jars each of ketchup, mayo, and mustard in the fridge? Let me think - no. She already had the huge Brita tank in the fridge and the PUR tap filter. Betty and I didn't think we really needed anymore redundancy. In the end, the meeting was a waste of a good two hours.

June came upon me faster than I could blink. I had planned a trip to Colorado to see my then-boyfriend while he was working at an internship. Unfortunately my planning skills needed some work. The day after I got back, I moved. No rest for the weary. I moved in a week or two before Betty. My room was in the back of the apartment, across the hall from Suzi's. I managed to fit my daybed, huge computer desk, one night stand, my TV, and dresser in a room maybe half the size that I had in the one bedroom I had shared before. It took one step to get from my bed to the computer desk. Two steps from bed to closet.

Little did I know that I'd wind up locked up in that tiny room for a whole year to keep my sanity intact.


  1. oh my goodness. I know it's so wrong...but I can't wait to find out what else happens! hahaha.
    I had a hideous roomate in college that would eat all our food. Not only eat it, but wake up at like 3 am, go out and eat all our food, and then claim in the morning she had no idea what happened to it. Looking back she may have been sleep eating...but come on!
    Rules are great and all...but going overboard is just dumb...and her mother!? How old were you guys at this time? I'd be too embarassed to allow my mother anywhere near roomate negotiations!

  2. Would you believe we were 22/23 during this? LOL Glad I have you on the edge of your seat. ;o) And was your roommate like 500lbs after eating all that food in the middle of the night???

  3. she constantly looked about 6 months pregnant. Not a small woman but not overly huge...but had a constant round belly. I was afraid she'd have a toilet baby out of nowhere...I was so sure she was pregnant!

  4. Oh dear . . . my drink nearly came out my nose when I read your comment about the toilet baby. OMG, too funny!

  5. I'm with Jewels, I can't wait for the next installment! So much suspense!

    Hazel xxx


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