≡ Menu

Christmas Karma

This is the tale of my first and only roommates. A little background: my parents kicked me out at 16, and I had been living with my boyfriend (who was 18) for a year. We were trying to shape up our act, but still partying a little more than we probably should have. Our major wake-up call came when I was 17, right before I graduate high school. He got 2 DUIs and some drug charges, and the judge decided a 9 month prison sentence was in order. I was devastated, and we vowed to stop our lifestyles and start from square one when he got out. This didn’t change the fact that my part time after school job wouldn’t be able to support me enough to keep our apartment for the 9 months he would be away. So I made arrangements to move in with some guys I knew who went to a local college for the 9 months, and kissed my boyfriend goodbye for the better part of a year.

I had graduated already when he had to report for his sentencing, and had enrolled for the summer semester at the community college and taken on my part time job full time. I should have known the situation was trouble my first night with my roommates when they wanted to get me wasted drunk to “celebrate never having to see *that guy* again”. I explained I was not leaving him, nor did I want to get drunk and put myself at any risk of getting arrested. They seemed rather pissed. Between full time college and full time work, I had very little time at the house. When I was home, I usually filled my time with homework or studying. I would shut the door to my room and try to ignore them out in the living room being loud as they got progressively more drunk and coked out. They tried almost every night to get me to party with them, to which I replied “no” over and over.

About a month after I lived there, letters stopped coming from my boyfriend. I had been sending him letters daily as he had been me. One night I had gone down to the basement since a fuse had blown and I had no lights in my room, and found my letters in the “trash pile” they had down there. As I read them, it became clear to me, my boyfriend hadn’t gotten any of my letters in a week or so (they were taking them out of the mailbox). I got a P.O. Box, and told him to send letters there, and I started mailing my letters from the mailbox in the parking lot of my work. Problem solved, or so I thought.

My roommates, figuring since letters stopped coming, that we had broken things off, started trying to hook up with me, hook me up with their friends and just being general perverts.I told them to back off, and that My letters were coming somewhere else now. They got really pissed about that, and reacted by pouring alcohol into my bottle of OJ in the fridge (as if I wouldn’t notice). I got a mini fridge, and put a outside locking lock on my door, for which I had the only key. They reacted to that by offering me a sub from Subway, it seemed innocent enough, and I thought perhaps they felt bad I had been eating food from the dollar store. Wrong again! After I started feeling funny, they informed me they had put acid in the sub, because they felt they needed to “force me to have fun”. I immediately called a friend who I could trust who came, explained the horrific situation I was in and she came and picked me up. Apparently, when my friend went to the bathroom, I disappeared, and woke up in the middle of a field in the pouring rain covered in mud. At this point, I wanted to move out and call the cops. Not only was what they did highly illegal, but I could no longer trust these bastards. But seeing as I had nowhere else to go, I locked myself in my room at all times I was home, and tried to be away as much as possible.

It finally ended one night when I came home later than normal because I had been studying for a big exam with a classmate. This was 3 months after I moved in, I had done nothing wrong in those 3 months, paid all my rent and utilities, done nothing illegal (except when they drugged me, and that was certainly not willingly), and had been a good roommate. When I got home, all my stuff was outside, and they informed me their new friend had moved in, and there was no place for a girl who didn’t want to be “a member of their family”. I put what I could in the trunk of my car, and told them to kiss my a**. I lived in my car for the next 6 months, freezing my butt off at night because it was fall then winter. I had to buy a membership at the Y to take showers,  I had no access to a phone, so I lost contact with all my friends (this was the days before cell phones) and I still maintained full time school and work. It was the most miserable time of my life.

But Karma has a funny way of getting people back. My boyfriend got out of prison, we lived briefly at his mom’s while we saved money, and got our own place again in the spring. We both graduated college, got married and he got a great job, despite his past. Fast forward 15 years since the whole roommate disaster happened: my husband is a successful businessman, we have the luxury of me being a stay at home mom with our 3 beautiful children, and while we’re not rich, through smart money management, we live very comfortably and are very happy. Last Christmas, we traveled home to see my in-laws, and on the 2 hour drive from the airport, the kids got hungry. We stopped at this little no name greasy spoon by the side of the freeway. Some overweight, unkempt 40-s something guy comes up to inform us he was our waiter. After he took our drink orders, he paused and said “aren’t you (Jane Doe)?”. Now I haven’t been called by my maiden name in so many years, I was somewhat taken back as to how this man knew me from my past. I cautiously said, “That used to be my name, who are you?”, and he gleefully replied, “I’m (Bob Smith), your old roommate! Remember me?”. I replied, “O ya, how could I ever forget, you stole my mail, tried to break me and my husband up, drugged me, and threw me out on the street”.

He no longer bore any resemblance to the young man I once had as a roommate. I guess years of hard partying takes it’s toll and lands you in a dead end career. After I said that, he moped about as he brought us our food and check. What him and his buddies did was unforgivable, and I guess the universe saw he got the punishment he deserved in the end. 1002-10


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sharon December 15, 2010, 9:03 pm

    This story just shows us we never know what someone else is going through. Whether it is someone sitting next to us in a class, at the next table at a cafe, or just someone we pass walking down the street… you do not know the price they are paying just to “stay afloat”.
    I know in hindsight it is easy to say, “I would have done this and I wouldn’t have done that.” But, I am humbled by this story. I don’t know if I could have achieved what this OP has done with that hard start.

    God bless you, OP. I hope you have a very joyous Christmas.

  • LilyG December 15, 2010, 9:05 pm

    Mwa ha ha! Revenge is sah-weeeet, sayeth the Lord.

  • colleen December 15, 2010, 9:05 pm

    I’m not sure why this is an etiquette story? Surely there is no etiquette discussion that covers illegal activity of this nature. It goes far beyond rude. The only true etiquette lapse I see is when the former roommate introduced himself at the restaurant, the poster’s response was rude. Icy silence or a terse “I’m afraid I don’t recall you” would have been far more appropriate from an etiquette perspective.

  • Tara December 15, 2010, 10:59 pm

    I hope he didn’t spit in your food. He was trash then, why wouldn’t he still be trash?

  • DocCAC December 15, 2010, 11:20 pm

    Colleen, “I’m afraid I don’t recall you” might have prompted the former roommate to not only bring up some incidences she alluded to, but going into all of this with much more detail than she might have wanted her children to hear.

    I would be interested into why her parents threw her out, and why her now in-laws wouldn’t take her in (did they blame her for Sonny boy going off the straight and narrow?) and what her relationship with her parents is now.

    Having said all that, I lived with a sibling who told everyone who would listen he was doing drugs, thrown out by our parents (he was living at home and obviously well fed, well groomed and dressed nicely although not expensively), running with a motorcycle gang (no gang in our small town, at least at that time and he owned no motorcycle), etc., etc., and had more people than we could believe believe him and swallow it line, hook and sinker and having having heard some very interesting stories in my career, I think this story may be a bit too interesting by half from start to finish. If I am wrong, my apologies for doubting any of it, and kudos to the OP.

  • DocCAC December 15, 2010, 11:22 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention my sib wasn’t on drugs. His “track marks” on his arm was where he was getting B-12 shots.

  • Amber December 15, 2010, 11:32 pm

    @ karma — who cares if its embellished? This is a site that archives anonymous stories of bad etiquette. I’m sure more than one story has been embellished or stretched thin. That really isn’t the point. The point is to take these stories at face value so that we can all benefit from the etiquette lessons at their core.

    Also, it’s amazing how quick people are to say “fake!” if a story is outside their normal realm of experiences. Just because something is over the top doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Truth is stranger than fiction, etc. etc. Just check out snopes’ or cracked’s many, MANY articles on the weird things that happen every day.

  • Cooler Becky December 16, 2010, 1:40 am

    Agree with colleen – that response would have been preferable to that dredging up of horrid memories. Maybe this Bob guy wanted to forget that too… maybe.

    Anyway, kudos to you for toughing it out.

  • Emmy December 16, 2010, 5:45 am

    Abby: I didn’t say that she was asking for it. and I didn’t say it was because she moved in with guys either. My response would have been the same if it was with women. but the fact of the matter is, that if this story is true, this girl was “partying” as she called it. She knew these men, and should have known what they were about. If she was really intent upon changing her life, she wouldn’t have put herself at risk like that. She says she was going to change her life, and then she put herself right back into the thick of it, in a pretty dangerous situation to be in. Especially since these men were propositioning her sexually, and to do drugs. They laced her orange juice with alcohol, probably to “loosen her up.” The not so nice roommate way of slipping you a mickey. This girl could have been seriously hurt, or raped. If living in her car was her only option (and there are homeless shelters, and she could have always gone begging back to her parents) then she would have been safer doing it a long, long time before these people put anything in her food.

  • Missy December 16, 2010, 6:32 am



    At first I was shocked by the story, but I think I might be more shocked by the harshness of some of these comments. I’ve been a long time reader of E-Hell, but this is my first time commenting. I’ve been thinking of making my own contributions to E-Hell, but now I’m not so sure 🙁 not sure I’d like to see some of these ‘holier than thou’ perfect people comment on my stories.

    I’d like to see the 17 year old you’s dealing with this very situation, I bet you wouldn’t have been as perfect as you are now

  • DGS December 16, 2010, 10:18 am

    OP, kudos to you for getting out of a terrible situation, and I’d like to point out to some of the PP’s that a 17-year-old doesn’t always exercise the best judgment. It sounds like the OP tried her best (and made some pretty poor decisions along the way), but thankfully, things ended well for her.

  • --E December 16, 2010, 11:23 am

    I think it’s easy to blame the victim because the whole story reads like Go Ask Alice fanfic. Put me in the camp of those who doubt the veracity of the tale.

  • Wink-n-Smile December 16, 2010, 12:30 pm

    You can’t believe parents would kick out their child at 16? I can. It happened to a relative of mine. At gunpoint, in fact.

    Yep, her dear old Daddy pulled a gun on her and kicked her out.

    Teenagers often don’t have many options on where they can stay. There ARE shelters now, but they weren’t always around. We don’t have a date on this story. Also, shelters get full and can’t take in everyone who comes along.

    Sometimes, life really is that tough.

    Kudos to the OP for pulling through and protecting herself as best she could, at the time. And kudos to her husband, too, for turning his life around so well.

  • karma December 16, 2010, 4:59 pm

    @Amber: Who cares if it is embellished, you ask? I do. I’m not very interested in stories that have an extremely embellished tone and feel. Additionally, it’s really not an etiquette issue, so it didn’t present much of a learning experience.

    What’s interesting is that you assume that some are not buying because this story is “outside the realm of usual experience.” I’ve lived a pretty ….interesting life, seen an awful lot, had some whacked out experiences with roomies, eviction, drug users, and others, so I’m not a greenhorn to living on the edge back in my 20’s. In fact, it’s because of some of this that I don’t find it a very believable tale.
    But, we are all welcome to our interpretations and opinions.

  • Mechtilde December 17, 2010, 10:13 am

    Honestly? The OP’s story rings completely true to me.

    People who are trying to get away from the drugs or alcohol scene have huge problems, just like this. Their families often no longer want to know, after repeated promises that things will get better, denials of any drug use etc etc. Their friends are all users. The only people willing to share flats with them are users.

    The flatmates spiking her stuff and getting angry with her for not wanting to do drugs? Totally believable. Getting angry with her for wanting to finish school when they have all dropped out? Yup. Trying to get her together with their creepy friends? Absolutely- in fact I’m half surprised they weren’t trying to get her involved in prostitution. Or maybe they were.

    Drugs do bad things to people, and put people in very hard situations-even when they want to get out. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking it is easy, even if someone is not actually addicted, for them to get away from the scene if they have been heavily involved.

    The OP not wanting to move out? Well where else was she supposed to go? Home’s not an option. Boyfriend isn’t allowed a roommate in his cell and any “Clean ” friends are still likely to be at home with their parents, who may not welcome a girl with a criminal boyfriend and chequered history moving in with them. Please note that she ended up living in her car. She could so easily have ended on the street.

  • Izzy December 17, 2010, 11:17 pm

    There are so many things wrong with this tale that I don’t know where to begin. I’m retired after working 35 years in the criminal justice system. I know a phony story when I hear one, (believe me, I’ve heard plenty!) and this little saga is either totally fabricated or embellished to the point that it bears little relationship to any real events.

  • RP December 17, 2010, 11:18 pm

    I didn’t say that she was asking for it.

    @ Emmy – No, you’re just saying that it’s her fault which is pretty much the same thing. That you “can’t imagine this” is pretty obvious from your comments. Your assumption that her parents would take her back at this point, that her city has enough facilities to deal with the homeless situation, that said facilities are in fact safe, and that living out of your car is safe are all ignorant at best. Not to mention ridiculous.

    Surely those rotten people weren’t her only friends.
    @ bookworm – That’s not just ignorance, that’s getting into trolling territory. I have a hard time believing that you honestly think that people who have a drug problem bad enough that it gets them kicked out the house at 16 have sober and trustworthy friends still willing to take them in.

    Honestly, there are an awful lot of rather sheltered people here coming up with some whacked out theories. The OP was naive? I think the victim-bashers are the naive ones for assuming that anyone would be willing to take in someone who had *just* decided to get clean.

    Yes, the OP’s boyfriend’s mother took them in but only after he got out, meaning they’d both been clean for 9 months. Being willing to take someone in after they’ve demonstrated they can stay sober does not translate into being willing to take someone in that first day they’ve been sober solely on their word that they won’t user again.

  • aventurine December 18, 2010, 4:57 am

    Meh, nothing to see here. I was okay with it until the ending, which seems just too straight out a fairy tale. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction; I find I don’t need glurge for life lessons. So I won’t be buying this one. 🙂

    YMMV. Moving on…

  • TheBardess December 18, 2010, 8:54 am

    There seems to be a lot of extremes going on here- either the OP was totally asking for it by being such a stupid and irresponsible idiot, or the OP was a poor, totally innocent, completely helpless victim and to even suggest otherwise is victim-blaming of the worst sort, done by horrible people. Why does it have to be either/or? Isn’t it possible that the truth is somewhere more in the middle- that the OP was in a tough situation and trying her best, but that at the same time probably made some unwise decisions that contributed to her finding herself in a dangerous situation?

    But either way, put me in the camp of those who have doubts about the veracity of this story, if only because the ending is just a little *too* perfect.

  • shelle December 19, 2010, 4:16 am

    Big kudos to OP and husband for turning their lives around.

    I was in a similar situation when I was 17. It’s hard to know when it’s time to leave, especially when you don’t have many options.

    But for everyone crying “don’t blame the victim” – there’s a big difference between “blaming” and “assigning responsibility.” The ways in which the OP was victimized were not her fault, as she cannot control her roommates’ actions. But her decision to stay as long as she did was her responsibility, and put her in a position to be victimized. So she DOES bear responsibility here. And I’m not throwing stones – I’m saying this as someone’s who’s been there myself. It’s just a simple fact.

    Hopefully the OP has learned proper personal boundaries, and has learned to expect better for herself. Her experience was a hard way to learn.

  • Enna December 20, 2010, 12:11 pm

    I feel really sorry for the OP having such a bad time – sometimes families fall to pieces for various different reasons. I too wonder why she didn’t stay with her bf’s parents – they might not have been able to put her up due to their own issues or it mightnot have been pratical at the time.

    Stealing post is illegal. So is doing drugs. So is drugging people. I’m amazed the housemates didn’t end up in prision. If anyone else who reads this story finds them in a smilar position – call the police if drugs are going on in the house. After all if there is a drugs bust you don’t want to be implicated in it.

    Did the OP sign a tenancy contract? The hosuemates shouldn’t have kicked her out if she did. Again if someone else finds themself in the same situation they should make sure they seek help about what their rights are. I’d be careful about saying he was “punished” for what he did to you – maybe saying he’s made his bed now he’s got to sleep in it.

  • irish December 20, 2010, 12:29 pm

    I’m sorry, I have to say it. Even if you ‘KNOW’ this story isn’t true, why not…. keep your knowledge to yourself? Or talk to people you know in real life about the lies people make up on the internet, if you really feel angry about something you think was made up. I just don’t see how it benefits anyone for people to be nasty about the OP, who if this is indeed true, has been in an absolutely horrible position, and for her to read comments blaming her or suggesting she lied could be very painful. Yes even so you still have the right to post whatever you want. I just don’t see why you want to be so negative and sometimes plain nasty.

  • Javin September 28, 2011, 8:34 am

    I really can’t believe how many commenters just CAN’T STAND to read a decent story with a happy ending. Frankly, I don’t care if the story’s true or not. I choose to believe it is. Is it so wrong to believe that maybe once in a blue moon good things do happen to people who straighten their lives out? That maybe, just MAYBE Karma does exist and hopefully the horrible people get what they deserve?

  • Vrinda March 31, 2014, 10:47 pm

    There does seem to be a lot missing to this story and things which don’t make sense, and calling people trolls because they call the OP’s roommates rotten is going too far.

    Did you miss this line? “…I had no access to a phone, so I lost contact with all my friends (this was the days before cell phones) …” She had other friends but lost touch with them.