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Oh, K!

My story was when I was in my first year of college far from home.  I lived off campus in a 2bdr-2bath apartment with three others I knew from my hometown: A, B, and C.  We were all girls and I roomed with C while A and B roomed together.  This story is a long one as it involved our first guest ever for a weekend.

My roommate C  and I ran into K, a girl we knew from high school who also went to the same college.  We were delighted to find another person from our hometown and so when she asked if she could stay for the weekend, C and I agreed it would be nice so we asked A and B if it was okay.  Everybody thought it would be fun since we knew K from high school and she seemed nice and friendly.  B said she would be out of town to visit her parents, so she only requested that K not sleep in her bed.  Sounds very reasonable.

On Saturday afternoon we picked up K and spontaneously decided to go to the beach (the school was right next to it too!) even though we were not in beachwear.  K agreed enthusiastically and when we got to the beach, A, C, and I peeled off our shoes and hiked our pant legs and ran in the sand.  K, however, decided to sit on a rock far away from sand and listen to her iPod. At this point of the story, I’d like to add that K is an environmental science  major and a self proclaimed hippie.  We were puzzled why she didn’t want to step inside the sand or run in the water.  All she did was sit with her iPod.  Well, okay, the three of us just ran around and had fun anyway but made sure she was in sight.  We left shortly as it was apparent K was glued to her seat annd had little interest.

On the car way home, she just listend to her iPod and made small chit chat or talked on her phone.  Apparently, she had a party to go to that same night and her friend would pick her up and bring her back to our place.  It seemed kind of rude because now it seems she is totally uninterested in hanging with us and we felt like we were running a hotel, but whatever, hopefully the next day she would open up more.  We got home and made a pasta dinner in which we all enjoyed.  A, C, and I watched TV while K spent a very long time in the bathroom.  Periodically she would come out and ask if her hair looked straight enough.  She had straight hair to begin with so we had no idea what she was doing.  Then her time came to leave and when we asked her what time she would be back she replied 9 or later.

Well, it was well past 9 and we heard no call from her.  Our apartment complex had a front gate that only opened with a key on the oustide lock so that meant we had to stay up late to open the gate for her!  We called her but she did not pick up.  It was near 11 when she finally called and said she was here.

While A, C, and I were waiting, we had decided to paint our nails.  When K arrived she just rooted herself onto the couch and opened her laptop and didn’t talk to us other than make comments on something she saw online.  It was getting late and then K suddenly wanted to watch a movie her friend had sent her online.  A and C were already tired (and uninterested) so they retired to their room.  I stayed behind because I didn’t want her to feel neglected (hah!).  She went on and on about how x-rated it was and if I was okay watching something “racy”.  I said sure, I’ve had my share of naughty films.

Well, we didn’t even finish the movie because it sucked (it was really “artsy”), it was not hard-core at all, and she would scream, giggle, and jump everytime she saw a naked person.  I’m beginning to think  she’s one of those annoying people in movie theaters.  Keep in mind, A and C are sleeping and it’s late.  Her attempt to impress with me of how “edgy” and “hardcore” she was failed epicly.  K was to sleep on the couch and when she learned that B was not here, she asked to borrow her pillows since B wouldn’t know anyway.  I said no and goodnight.

The next morning, A and C tip toe around the apartment to not wake up K.  I do the same and we speak in whispered voices.  We hear a “good morning” and it turns out, K is really awake, but she is just lying on the couch and didn’t bother to tell us.  Geez!  A and C go back to sleep since it was a Sunday.  K gets up to use my bathroom and is in there for a really really really long time.  She cracks the door open and tells me she is having her cycle and could she borrow a pad.  I told her yes and where mine were and not to use B’s.  More waiting.  I am doing the bathroom dance (hopping on one leg) and when she is finally done, I zoom in there.

There is very little toilet paper left so I grab a new roll (important!).  This is what makes this story so memorable for A, C, and me.  When I was done, the toilet did not flush.  I was mortified.  My business is in the bowl and instead of flushing, it starts to RISE.  And soon…you guessed it: overflowed.  I told K, and her response was “oh, did I clog it?”  In my mind, I was wondering, what did you clog it with?!

I knocked on A and C’s bedroom door and when they opened, I told them of our very serious problem in my bathroom.  We immediately jumped into action, grabbing rags, towels, newspapers and put them on the bathroom floor.  K just stood around and watched us and occassionally handed me a rag while I was trying to stop the mess.  We didn’t have a plunger so A drove me to the a 24hr drugstore in hopes of finding one in the morning, C tagged along too.  K decided to stay put.  In the ride, we learned that C didn’t want to get stuck with K alone in the house and was so angry that K did not helped when we all knew it was K that somehow managed to clog the toilet.

After purchasing a plunger, and trying to plunge a toilet, we ended up calling the janitor to help us but the office wouldn’t open until the afternoon.  In the mean time, I took the 2 bathroom rugs to wash and hung them on our balcony to dry.  We lived on the 4th floor and our balcony faces a hill with tall trees.  It is gated off due to the steepness of the hill and a construction zone at the bottom of the hill.  I’d change the newspapers and rags and K would sit on the couch with her lap top and only once meekly asked if she should helped.  I told her no because she was still a guest and I didn’t want to accuse her of cloggin the toilet since I had no idea what did it.  When it was time for the office to open, A and I went down to the office to explain our situation (and get away from K).

When we were walking back to our apartment, C met us at the gate and told us the rugs had flown off the balcony rail and down the hill.  K of course was still on our couch and we learned from C that K just watched the first rug get picked up by the wind and made no motion to stop the second one from flying off too.  Instead, she quietly called C from the couch that the rugs were being blown away.  C of course dashed to the balcony but it was too late.  So A decided to jump the high fence and retrieve the bathroom rugs.  I was so thankful since one of the rugs belonged to B’s!

The day dragged on and on and the janitor had not come by yet.  K then left to go back to the dorms and mumbled thanks, but not once did she say sorry or even admit that it was her that clogged the toilet.  A, C, and I bursted into sighs of relief and recounted the bizarre events over the past weekend.  When the janitor finally came in the late afternoon, we (especially me) were so embarassed of the mess in the toilet.  He fixed the toilet and we thanked him profusely.  I cleaned up the remaining mess and was exhausted by the end of the day.  B came back that night and we unfolded the horrible weekend.

I did not know this, but we found out that B had put in a NEW roll of toilet paper for our guest before she left.  That meant K had somehow used nearly an entire roll of toilet paper in that one weekend!  And to top it off, B said her package of feminine product had been rummaged through and was strewn in the cabinet.  K did not even bother to rearrange it.

We saw K the next day and she thanked us for the lovely stay and hoped to do it again.  I tried to avoid her for…. well, forever.  K was the first and last encounter of an e-hell bound guest.     0419-10

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • LeeLee88 April 19, 2010, 7:46 am

    I’m wondering if maybe K didn’t have some sort of irritable bowel syndrome, or other digestive issue going on. It’s not nice just to use up toilet paper just because, but it sounds like she was using it because she needed it, and then was very embarassed over the clog. I can completely understand being ashamed of her condition clogging the toilet. This might explain her reason for not doing anything to help clean up, but maybe not.

    That being said, I do not in any way excuse her from not being active in the cleaning up, letting the rugs blow away, or really trying to hang with the roomies a little more at all. She really did treat those girls like a hotel service, which I found to be flat out rude. All parts of the story considered, that was a very strange experience for the roomies, and while I don’t think they should totally avoid K all together, it’s certainly a good idea to never have her stay over again. Maybe she was just nervous because she was trying to show her “new self” to friends from the past?

  • Hanna April 19, 2010, 9:07 am

    The only thing alarming about this post is how 4 adults cannot know how to unclog a toilet…

  • phoenix April 19, 2010, 11:08 am

    I’d give K a little bit of a break on this one, actually. Sounds like everyone involved was new to being out on their own and wasn’t sure how to act, and how to expect people to act. Sure, K should have helped out more and hung out more, but I can see it from her perspective too. When you’re the “guest” and there are three girls who live together who have all “jumped into action” it is incredibly intimidating to jump in with them. How was K to know which towels were safe to treat as cleaning rags and which you’d be angry at her for grabbing? If she didn’t know what to do, where anything was, and there were three of you running around like crazy she might have felt awkward and in the way.

    Girls sometimes give off a strong “us versus you” mentality without realizing it, and then wonder why someone is acting aloof. It sounds like the roommates acted as one unit on this one…which by implication excludes someone. The OP keeps complaining that K didn’t hang out or join in, but there’s no mention of really trying to make her feel welcome either. If they wanted her to help so much, why didn’t someone say “Hey K, can you find the paper towels?”

    The same could have happened at the beach. If three girls are all automatically doing the same thing (running to the beach, rolling up their pants, etc) the guest might feel like they’re intruding to jump right in and act like they do this all the time. Maybe she was just waiting for you guys to make it clear that you were interested in her company, not just putting her up for the night.

  • Anonymous April 19, 2010, 1:31 pm

    I agree with others that she may have just felt awkward about the toilet thing, and felt like she was more in the way than she was helping. I also think that being so close to her period probably explains why she may not have wanted to run around on the beach (some girls get bad cramps, headaches, etc. leading up to it). But going to a party and staying out too late without calling to check in was pretty inconsiderate of her.

  • evely28 April 19, 2010, 3:01 pm

    I don’t understand how the view could be taken that K was using them as a hotel. K was made to sleep on the couch even though there was an empty bed. Then when she asked for pillows or even more pillows she was denied in a not very friendly way. Then the LW is ticked off that she tip-toed around in the morning and finds out that K woke up. Then the LW watches the toilet overflow instead of turning the water off before it can make such an icky mess. I think K could have done more to help and yet with the other 3 freaking out it sounds like she was more on the sidelines. The one thing I will fault K for is not letting her “hosts” know in advance of her plans. For the LW and her roommate’s, it sounds like they agreed to have K spend the weekend as long as she “hung” with them and didn’t inconvenience them in any way. Not very hospitable or welcoming.

  • Samantha April 19, 2010, 3:20 pm

    I am alarmed and dismayed that as a host you would not only keep track of, but DISCUSS the amount of toilet paper used by a guest in your home. Sounds like all five of you could stand to learn some better manners.

  • Enna April 19, 2010, 3:36 pm

    Hm I think there is inexperince on all sides here – if K was fine to admit she was “on her cycle” then why not admit she had some tummy trouble if that was the case? Maybe the others should’ve included her a bit more but with over flowing toliets everyone should help out – I would. If K had real tummy trouble she should’ve said so: maybe the OP should’ve used the other toliet? Since there are 2 bathrooms in the place.

    It is still rude to sit on a rock and listen to music when the others are running around – it’s easiy to join in that kind of messing around on a beach. Again the other girls should’ve encouraged her to become more involved – at the same time if it was her time of the month she might be feeling uncomfy – something most girls are okay admiting in front of other girls if they are in pain/discomfort and most girls except as a good reason to want to sit still and relax.

    I’d put this down to a girl feeling ill due to her homrones and therefore being in an unsociable mood. Maybe give her a second chance to work out if the 1st visit was a bad week?

  • Mom April 19, 2010, 4:07 pm

    Seems like there’s a lot of rules (no listening to the IPod or failing to copy our movements in the water). Apropos of absolutely nothing – here’s my guess. All five in the story are freshmen from the same home town; four have found each other and, prior to heading off to school, have arranged to live together. The fifth – perhaps feeling lonely and homesick so far from town – reaches out. She is expected to conform to the group’s way of doing things (which is often the case – it’s not a criticism; it’s part of the way groups function) but may feel a) pushy if she does so or b) shy or c) uncomfortable. There’s a perfectly good bed and pillows going unused (a good guest would wash the sheets when done with it and a good host would refuse to let her) and I imagine she was completely mortified by the bathroom incident.
    Perhaps the three girls could have been somewhat more welcoming. I come from a big opinionated family and am VERY aware that we are not an easy crowd. A good host will always try to make their guest comfortable.

  • AS April 19, 2010, 4:40 pm

    On a slightly different note from the other commentators, this story reminds me of something that happened with a roommate of mine at grad school. I don’t want to hijack the story from OP, but I was tempted to share the story. I once roomed with 3 other girls, let’s call them A, B and C too. We had separate bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a common living room. A and B shared a bathroom and C and I shared another.
    Once, one of A’s guy-friend, let’s call him G for guy-friend had visited her (a guy who was interested in her but she wasn’t as she had a boyfriend, though she did not stop him from spending time with her or pampering her). He wanted to use the rest room – apparently he had a slightly upset stomach. He tried to flush, but something went wrong with the pot, and the water overflowed.
    Now, G was embarrassed to tell A, and hence he texted B. She texted C and me, and we tried to look for the apartment’s maintenance phone number and gave them a call. In the mean time, A got to know of it too, though all of us acted in front of G as if she did not know, just so that we don’t embarrass him. He left shortly thereafter.
    It was quite late at night, and at least someone has to be awake when the maintenance people come. As soon as G left, A told us that she is very tired and needs to go to sleep, and if one of us will stay awake! C had to go to sleep too, and finally B agreed to stay awake (as she shared the bathroom too). I felt sorry for B and said I’ll give her company. And A said she didn’t care who we say used the rest room last, as long as it is not her or G (we ended up not mentioning whose junk it was when the maintenance staff came; but B was quite embarrassed)!
    Now, what peeved us is that G was A’s guest. She should have taken the responsibility of her guest and waited for the maintenance to come. She knew that if she went to bed, one of us would surely stay awake because if we didn’t the crew would have knocked on the door and some people are light sleepers, and she is not. So, we’d wake up. We thought her actions were very selfish.

  • Heather April 19, 2010, 6:27 pm

    I’ve often wondered why people continue to post stories for the blog considering that most of the writers of said stories are usually told in comments that they are the rude ones. Granted, sometimes it is warrented. But not this time.

    I’m not sure what else the roommates could’ve done to make K feel more welcome. They took her to the beach, ate together, etc., and she acted very disinterested. Were they supposed to force her to participate in activities somehow? Any why shouldn’t they avoid K if that’s what the writer and her roommates choose?

    I’ll agree that they should know how to unclog a toilet at this stage of their lives. It’s always good to have a plunger on hand.

  • LL April 19, 2010, 6:57 pm

    It is not always easy to unclog a toilet. Someone at our apartment flushed a paper towel down the toilet. Why? I really don’t know. The paper towel got stuck so far down that after trying to clear it out with several types of tools/plungers we had to call the janitorial service to use a very special tool to get all the way down to the clog. Sometimes it just takes a professional.

    As for K – at least she said thank you.

  • HonorH April 19, 2010, 7:49 pm

    Yeah, I agree with Heather–I don’t think I’d ever have something posted here for fear I’d be ripped to pieces.

    I agree there was a lot of inexperience going on with the young people in the story. K didn’t make a good guest; she didn’t interact with the friends putting her up and kept them up late to let her back in. And, honestly, unless she did have some kind of condition, using an entire roll of toilet paper in one weekend is truly excessive. No wonder the toilet was clogged beyond what a plunger could fix!

    The only real criticism I’d levy against the roomies is that, while I know some people are funny about their beds being used, there wouldn’t have been any harm in K taking B’s bed for the weekend. You wash the sheets, you’re fine.

  • Harry April 19, 2010, 8:13 pm

    This entire story could be boiled down to three sentences.

    We had a guest.

    The toilet got plugged.

    The guest left.

  • KimberlyRose April 19, 2010, 8:51 pm

    @Mom: “There’s a perfectly good bed and pillows going unused (a good guest would wash the sheets when done with it and a good host would refuse to let her)”

    It was B’s bed, therefore B had the right to decide who slept in it. She didn’t want K in her bed. Therefore, it would have been amazingly rude for the LW or C to let K sleep there. B wasn’t the host, so your comment about what a good host would do is not only irrelevant, it actually implies that the polite thing to do would be to try to pull a fast one on B.

  • PrincessSimmi April 19, 2010, 9:15 pm

    No matter what, you should NEVER ignore a host OR a guest by using a computer/phone/etc to capture your full attention. Something that is inclusive (I often read books, out loud, to my boyfriend as he is not a big reader, but would never use it to ignore him) like a movie on the TV, or a board game, etc, is the way to go. I still remember the one and only time my Nanna ever roused on me for reading a text message when the family was over – and I never did it again.

    Mind you, there are a few little things on both sides here – but I don’t know how to unclog a toilet either, and I certainly wouldn’t let clothes on the line go flying off – I’d be off after them! I mean, come on, two bath mats – it’s not like it was A’s or B’s dad’s dirty undies or something. *Sigh* At the same time, if someone asked me for a pad, I’d lead them straight to my stash and offer them whatever they needed rather than letting them rummage willy-nilly.

  • LC April 19, 2010, 10:20 pm

    Hey, I am the the OP and I see I was not clear in some areas and should have gone back to edit before submitting–

    There was a stack of newspaper meant for recycling in the living room in which one of the roomies was grabbing. I didn’t expect her to know where all the paper towels are rags are but the newspaper were in plain sight and in plenty. Perhaps the cleaning “group mentality” was intimidating for her….but I surely didn’t appreciate her standing over me when I’m on my knees cleaning. And while she did offer to help once afterwards (waaaay after), it was more of “I guess I should help but I don’t really want to.” I don’t expect a guest to help, but I do expect the guilty to admit and pay for their crime.

    I did turn off the water to the toilet. True, I am inexperienced in unclogging a toilet as I have never had a clogged toilet before! When I plunged, it did not work and seemed to worsen the problem. The janitor came in with a different shaped plunger and that seemed to do the trick.

    While there are 2 bathrooms at our place, the other one belonged to A and C while I shared mine with B. I know it sounds crazy to some, but we locked our bedroom doors thus I do not have access to their bathroom. They went back to sleep so I didn’t want to wake them. Personally, I find it rude that a person pretends to be sleeping in a common area and everybody has to be quiet to not wake up the “sleeping” person. The “sleeping” person could save the others the trouble of being extra quiet.

    I will not disrespect B’s wishes and have someone sleep in her bed or use her pillow when she requested otherwise. I would be pissed if someone slept in my bed without my permission, regardless if they washed the sheets afterwards or not. To ask for something because “they won’t find out anyway” is not nice. In real life, my response to her pillow request was not as curt in the post. If you must know I told her B didn’t want anybody to sleep in her bed or use her pillows. Sorry I did not further explain.

    We were shocked by K’s toilet paper usage not because of how much she used but because we assumed she flushed them in large wads which caused the clog. I realized this when B told us she had put in a new roll and when I used the bathroom, I only found a nearly empty roll (and the bathroom trash bin was empty so K did not toss it away). Ugh, I realized I did not make this clear even though I noted it was important.

    We did ask her if she wanted to join in the beach fun but she simply said she okay where she’s at and didn’t continue any further. If she was indeed troubled by cramps or such, why didn’t she tell us? K was enthusiastic about the beach before, so of course it puzzled us when she didn’t want to participate at all.

    As for being unwelcoming hosts– were we not suppose to be cooking dinner, watching movies on TV, talking about the past, and painting each other’s nails?? K chose to isolate herself on the laptop and spend hours fixing her hair even though we talked with her (albeit it was like talking to a wall). If I’m suppose to fawn all over her and made sure she had enough pomade, then I guess I am a terrible host!

  • Xtina April 20, 2010, 8:38 am

    I don’t think K was being a very good guest. It seems that she was invited to join in the festivities and chose instead to remain aloof from the group. Maybe the roommates didn’t hold her hand or demand that she join (which may have been rude if she didn’t feel well), but it surely doesn’t sound like she was shut out from the group by any means.

    As for the toilet paper usage…well, some people use more than others. As a host, I would not care how much my guest needed to use, especially if they were having problems, but as a guest, I would certainly be mindful of using too much, and I certainly would have jumped to fix the problem I’d created by clogging the toilet!!! Embarrassed or not, K should have been more proactive.

    As for B, who did not want her bedding and stuff used, that decision is up to her alone to make, but I do kind of wonder how come she minded that so much–after all, as long as sheets were cleaned, what’s the big deal if someone sleeps in your bed when you’re not there? But I digress; maybe there is some history there we don’t know about.

    I’d probably give K another chance before I wrote her off from staying over ever again, but it does sound like she was a little too self-absorbed. On a side note, I once had a guest stay at my home who used every spare minute of downtime we had at home to surf the internet (using my computer and internet connection) for entertainment, posting on online bulletin boards, etc….knowing full well that I did not have “unlimited” internet access and I paid for it by the hour. I bit my tongue because she was my guest and I wanted her to feel at home, and yes, I did make suggestions that we do other things, but I still found that to be a little rude.

  • phoenix April 20, 2010, 9:46 am

    I honestly don’t think the OP was being “ripped to shreds” as was implied by an earlier poster. People are politely pointing out that they disagree with a judgement of a situation. That is the nature of a blog- it is a forum of opinion.

    But when it comes to how welcoming or unsociable someone is being, it is very hard to tell the truth of a situation from a blog post. Some guests just aren’t as comfortable opening up with a united group. Or, just have different tastes. I’m not excusing all of K’s choices, just saying that maybe the real problem is a clash of tastes, personalities and expectations.

  • Maureen April 20, 2010, 1:05 pm

    I don’t think “K” was the ideal guest by a long shot. However, I believe the OP to be young and has not had much experience with being a hostess. By that I mean not much experience with the true “guests from hell”. As a person that has entertained a ‘guest’ that ate with their bare hands (yes, mashed potatoes as well as meat), asked to trade husbands for the evening and dressed in a tutu for a family outing, I find “K” rather tame.

    (Note: I asked ‘guest’ to remove themselves from my property the following morning)

  • Mom April 20, 2010, 2:57 pm

    @KimberlyRose –
    You are absolutely right; I wasn’t advocating that they pull a fast one on B, but that B (or someone else) offer her the bed (or a pillow). Doesn’t everyone offer their guest a pillow?

  • Amy April 20, 2010, 6:38 pm

    I have a feeling that K was wanting a weekend away from the dorms. I have had guests leave me a present in the form of a clogged toilet, I laughed it off and went on about my business of unclogging it (and trying not to get too skeeved about it in the process!).

    All and all, it sounds like kids being on their own for the first time and not really knowing the whole host/guest etiquette. You live and you learn.

  • Enna April 23, 2010, 3:28 pm

    It does seem to be a bit unfair not to let the guest sleep in the spare bed – it is easy to wash sheets. Since the guest was acting quiet maybe the girls should have asked if anything was up? Or maybe say stuff to get her talking about what might be bothering her – this could be homesickness/hormones/headaches anything. Like “I really found it hard the first week I was at collge/uni” someway to break the ice and that everyone is in the same boat.

  • Tess April 25, 2010, 5:40 pm

    I laughed so hard at this story.

  • zhoen June 12, 2010, 9:45 pm

    I had my husband’s brother act much this way, when he visited from out of town. But we fully expected this. He clearly asked for a place to crash while visiting friends and seeing bands, and we gladly offered a corner of our apartment for his use. Knowing full well we would not be socializing. And BIL was more pleasant and sociable than K, who was supposed to be a friend.

    B asked that her bed not be used. In her absence, the ONLY option is to respect that, without question. Anything else would have been not just impolite, but unethical. When in college, I never had a spare pillow, barely had one for myself. How would they have offered K a pillow, if they didn’t have one? I’m all on OPs side here. K was being a twit, a bathroom hogging and oblivious guest, and by her actions I’d make the wild guess – on drugs.

  • badkitty August 11, 2010, 12:18 am

    This point has been made by others, but it bears repeating, and poor B gets extra sympathy points from me. If B did not want her bed used, it was off-limits. Period. A good friend of mine is a germaphobe, and I know that she would not be able to deal with someone sleeping in her bed, even if the sheets were changed after. To ignore her rights and preferences in her own home would be beyond rude, and really cruel. And even if B does not have this issue, I personally would not want someone else sleeping in my bed, and to say that I wouldn’t know is irrelevant. It’s like saying that B won’t notice if somebody wears her underwear and then washes it: even if she never knows, it’s still gross. People sweat in bed, and sometimes they do other things and I for one would not want to worry that I can’t go out of town for the weekend without having to come home and burn my mattress. K was clearly an awkward young guest who had never visited any home outside of family and had no idea that typical childish rudeness and angst-y sullenness would not be viewed with tolerance. Let’s all be patient while these poorly-raised children grow up the hard way.

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