Chocolate Loving Piggy People

by admin on June 30, 2011

This has been a story that I’ve been sitting on for awhile, but I need to stop dwelling on it, put it out there and move on.

In college, I had a two-bedroom apartment off-campus with a roommate I found on Craigslist and we had a friendly, if tepid, relationship.  We didn’t spend a lot of time together but we didn’t have many problems and liked each other’s friends well enough.  It was a perfectly fine situation.  While I only lived in the apartment during the school year, my roommate lived there year-round.  For my three weeks of Winter Break, I went home out of state while my roommate held down the fort.

When I returned, it was obvious to me that someone had slept in my bed (although they had re-made it).  This was not an uncommon occurrence.  My boyfriend was then at another school a couple hours away, and I would visit him on some weekends.  My roommate and her friends would frequently drink in the apartment, and I liked her friends enough to be comfortable with one of them crashing in my room when I was away… especially rather than driving home.

However, and I don’t know who it was, someone at some point crossed a line.  For some holiday that year, my boyfriend had gifted me a “library” of chocolate… a box filled with miniature bars of gourmet-flavored chocolate in different colored boxes that resembled books on a bookshelf.  I had eaten two of the eight, savoring them as I knew it was a seriously pricey package.  The box was very pretty, and I kept it on the night table next to my bed (also convenient for reaching for a nibble while studying at night.)

You can see where this is going.

That someone had slept in my bed didn’t particularly bother me.  However, I noticed that the bars of chocolate were very clearly out of order.  I absolutely could not believe my eyes when I began taking the package apart and saw that four of the boxes were EMPTY (not including the two I myself had consumed.)  Whoever had slept in my bed had taken it upon themselves to inspect, open, and eat my present.  The situation was in fact even worse than that: The thief had opened a fifth bar, taken a bite, decided they didn’t like it, and PUT IT BACK.  Of the six remaining bars, only one remained untouched.

To this day I have no idea what happened.  Was the person sleeping in my room hungry and too drunk to care?  Did they think I left it just for them?  I know that in this situation my roommate was responsible for her guests, but I never said anything.  I wish I wish I wish I had, but I was a very non-confrontational person and frankly speechless with shock.  Maybe it’s my fault for not setting boundaries, but I didn’t think I had to specify “It’s okay if so-and-so sleeps in my room every so often, but please instruct her not to look through my things, borrow my clothes, or consume my food.”  Doesn’t that sort of thing go without saying?

It’s not the scale of the offense that surprised me, but the nature of it.  Who does something like that?  How greedy, self-absorbed and oblivious do you have to be to think that doing such a thing is okay?  No one slept in my room after that, and I still wonder if the offender just felt too guilty.  I hope so, but all things considered it seems unlikely.    0629-11

After I married, I packaged up the top tier of my wedding cake and stored it, with permission, in my former landlady’s chest freezer.    Fast forward a year later to my first anniversary, I have retrieved the cake to defrost it and eat it when lo and behold, someone had gotten to it before me.  Yep, one of my former roommates had a chocolate craving one night, opened up the frozen cake and had eaten about a third of it.  Who on earth eats an obvious wedding cake tier in a clearly labeled box?   Chocolate loving piggy people, that’s who.

{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Bint June 30, 2011 at 4:49 am

Sadly this bad behaviour does not surprise me. Some people are so entitled it’s amazing.

Years ago at university, my flatmate had a friend to stay with us just before Christmas once – the house consisted of him, me and two other girls. His friend slept downstairs in the living room, which we girls had decorated.

All three girls came downstairs in the morning for breakfast to find his friend ‘Jo’ up and about. We all say hi. Suddenly she said, “Oh, by the way, I ate the chocolate decorations on your Christmas tree.”
All of us just stared at her, then L said, “I beg your pardon?”
“I ate the decorations on your Christmas tree,” says Jo, without any embarrassment whatsoever. “I woke up in the night and was hungry so I ate them.”

We’re still staring. Then L says incredulously, “You took our decorations off and ate them? What, the ones that *we bought*?”

Jo finally starts to realize that the way to deal with this is to say ‘I’m so sorry but I was starving. I’ll buy you some more this morning, how embarrassing!’ Except I think she was suddenly too embarrassed. She went bright red and disappeared into the bloke’s room and didn’t come back until we’d all gone out and she was leaving that day. She never apologised and never replaced them.

Who does that? Seriously, who does that? We were all completely broke and had to club together to afford a fiver to put a tiny tree up and decorate it, just to make it worse.

We were all very non-confrontational as well but L was so staggered she couldn’t hide it. After that we told the bloke that Jo was a bit of a cheeky cow, and next time she could pay for what she’d effectively nicked. I hope the OP locked her room the next time!

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josie June 30, 2011 at 5:48 am

Since you knew that there was a good chance someone might be sleeping in your bed while you were gone, perhaps you should of stashed the chocolate….especially since it was special to you. No, the person shouldn’t of ate it, but they did, and yes, that was wrong. Unless, of course, they thought it was a hostess nicety, sorta like a mint on the pillow. Doubtful tho. Lesson: Always hide the chocolate!!!!

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karma June 30, 2011 at 5:55 am

Room mates can do some awful stuff; so can their pals. I can imagine that the chocolate incident left a terrible taste in your mouth, no pun intended. You are right that kindly sharing your bed should by no means indicate that an obvious gift is to be used by anyone crashing there.

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The Elf June 30, 2011 at 5:59 am

The entitlement! The only excuse I can think of is that they were drunk, but really that’s not much of an excuse. Honestly, I’d have a bigger problem with someone sleeping in my bed, but I’m pretty private like that. Drunk college friends can crash on the floor.

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Iris June 30, 2011 at 6:13 am

“Chocolate Loving Piggy People” I love it! Presumably these are the same people who steal other’s lunches from the work fridge.

I don’t think you should have to hide chocolates from potential guests. It was not a guest room, it was another’s bedroom. Any normal person would know to keep their hands off. As to taking a bite and putting it back? Just plain yuk.

I will admit that I once had chocolate stolen from beside my bed once, but it was my brother, we were both less than ten, and I’m sure I repaid him in some dastardly older sister way. Apparently this person is stuck at that level of maturity and entitlement.

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Harley Granny June 30, 2011 at 6:15 am

It never ceases to amaze me that people think it’s OK to just take whatever they want whenever they want.

While it seems like these types are the majority, luckily they are the minority.

Similar things have happened to me so now when I know I’m going to be gone for a length of time and know that someone else will be in my house, I tend to “put away” things I want to make sure are there when I get home.

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anonymous June 30, 2011 at 6:50 am

What I want to know is who eats a months-old wedding cake when they are not one of the couple? It’s a cute tradition for the couple themselves, but because of the symbolism, not because the cake actually tastes good after months in a freezer.

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Zhoen June 30, 2011 at 7:41 am

I worked in a large OR, went into the staff lounge for lunch, and a surgeon was there as well, having his lunch. A little unusual, but not unknown. A few minutes later, one of the scrub techs comes in and stares at the doctor, “That’s my lunch!”

Without a bit of remorse or embarrassment, Dr. says, “Oh. Did you want it?”

I don’t remember what happened next, my brain just short circuited I think. But I never left food in the staff fridge, and assumed anything left out could disappear.

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SHOEGAL June 30, 2011 at 8:08 am

I don’t think this is so terrible – yes, I agree the proper thing to do is not take someone else’s things and consume them but there is a different way to look at this: what if it was an open bag of chips left on the night stand? Would it be so wrong to snag a couple of chips?

What if the person thought it was just a snack left in the bedroom nobody would miss – not a cherished box of gifted chocolates?

Taking a clearly labeled top tier of a wedding cake???!?!?!?! Just wrong!!!! That person knew what they were doing.

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Hemi Halliwell June 30, 2011 at 8:38 am

I hope the OP at least informed her friend what the person had done! It really is amazing that people have no sense of boundaries anymore.
Like @The Elf, I would have a problem with someone sleeping in my bed, as I am a private person as well and a little OCD.

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Mariela June 30, 2011 at 8:45 am

This same thing happened to me in college. I lived in the dorm & was leaving for Christmas, but several groups of people (most notably, foreign students & athletes) were going to be left behind for parts of the holiday, and the residence office designated our wing as the hotel for those folks–so my room was going to be used.
When I returned, I found all my stash of soups cleaned out, as well as various snacks I had around the room. Nothing of value was taken (that I could ever determine)….I guess it wasn’t really stealing if it was easily replaceable at the grocery store??

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Just Laura June 30, 2011 at 8:46 am

Eating the chocolate was one [bad] thing, but putting a partially eaten bit back? Probably a drunk person.
I know we all have roommate stories like this (sadly), but I wanted to quickly share a brief story my student worker told me last month.

Student Worker has a roommate whose parents buy her everything (car, rent, cell phone, etc), yet still has sticky fingers. SW woke up one day and wasn’t able to find her contacts. She had put them in their case the previous night, and left them where she always does. After tearing her room and car apart, she asked a different roommate if she’d seen them. Roommate says that she thought she “saw ‘Sarah’ with them yesterday.” SW sneaks into Sarah’s room and sure enough! Her contacts were there. When she opened the case, she found Sarah’s in there too! Contact cases are free, but Sarah was too lazy to get her own, so she stole SW’s out of her room along with her expensive contacts. SW took her case back, and threw everything away (sharing contacts/cases is extremely unhygienic, and can be dangerous).

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Jillybean June 30, 2011 at 8:47 am

@ Bint – I knew a family that hung candy canes on their tree every year. The problem? They hung the SAME candy canes from their tree every year. And probably once a year some unsuspecting poor soul takes a cane without asking and discovers that 25 year old candy canes taste like crap! People should be careful with christmas tree edibles. LOL.

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Erica June 30, 2011 at 9:03 am

Wow. Just wow. That is some cheek.

I can see a less than scrupulous person sneaking one of the expensive bars in hopes that you wouldn’t notice, but all but one of them? And then leaving one half uneaten? If someone is that evil then why didn’t they throw it away to dispose of the evidence??

I too wish you had confronted your roommate, but I can tell you from experience that it would have done no good. People like this have *no* understanding of common courtesy.

When I was in college, my grandmother came to visit. She took me to Outback Steakhouse and told me to get something to fill me up. As I was living on a pathetic diet of mainly Ramen noodles, you have no idea how much this meant to me. I ate half the steak I ordered, and took the rest home to have another good meal later.

And let me tell you, I was very much looking forward to the second half of my partially eaten steak.

That is, until my roommate’s boyfriend ATE my steak. That’s right, this guy ate the leftovers from a steak I had already taken bites out of… *so* gross. It isn’t like he thought this had belonged to my roommate, he was there in our dorm room when my grandmother picked me up and I excitedly mentioned that she was taking me to Outback.

I confronted my roommate about my missing steak. Her excuse? Peter was hungry and so he ate it… and she didn’t tell him not to because wasn’t sure when I planning to eat it. I asked her why she didn’t tell me beforehand, as I had NOTHING else to eat that night. Her excuse for that? That she hoped I wouldn’t notice.

Selfish. Inconsiderate. Disgusting.

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Breanne June 30, 2011 at 9:22 am

This isn’t chocolate, but years ago when I worked for a major bank my “team” had one a lunch to a local restaurant. The portions were enormous so I took the rest of mine back to work in a carry out box and scratched my name in the top with a fork. I was looking forward to having a really nice lunch the next day. But, lo and behold, when I go to get my lunch out of the fridge it’s gone. Now, I knew lunches were stolen from the fridge from time to time, but this was half eaten leftovers! PIG! PIG! PIG!

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Teapot June 30, 2011 at 9:33 am

The fact that the guest replaced the empty packages tells me that they were fully aware that what they were doing was just wrong. If it had just been middle of the night drunken munchies, the wrappers would have been gone or maybe tossed under the bed. But to carefully replace the empties shouts that they were fully aware that they were stealing your chocolate. And the one that had a bite out of it is just plain gross. There must be a special corner of Ehell for chocolate thieves.

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Princess Buttercup June 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

I could never imagine being that selfish and self-centered. As a big time chocoholic I would certainly admire the awesome treats but never touch.
I had a “friend” over once with her boyfriend, this was shortly after my (now) husband had given me a bulk box of candy bars and attached reasons why he loved me to a bunch of the bars. The box was on the kitchen shelf but behind a couple concealing boxes. While I was gone they got ready to leave and decided to pilfer three of my candy bars (at least they dug down past the special ones). So not only did they steal by concealed candy but were extra greedy in taking three bars even though there was only two of them. Besides, as a chocoholic, I had many other chocolate options in the house, had they asked I would have said that since those were a special gift please do not take them, however help yourself to my stash elsewhere in the kitchen.

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badkitty June 30, 2011 at 10:42 am

I can, unfortunately, offer up one suggestion as to how this person thought that eating your chocolate was okay… because something similar happened to me and I remember the rational that was offered up at the time. I was at a sleep-away camp when I was a teen, and my mother had sent a care package (many parents did) including some of my favorite chocolates. I had one or two when they first arrived, and then stashed the rest in my nightstand – intending to save them for the last weeks, when I knew I’d be sick to death of the camp “desserts”. Fast forward a week or two and I opened the drawer looking for something else… my chocolates were almost gone! I asked around and finally confronted the girl who had not only been eating my chocolates but had *told others that they should/could do the same.* We ended up taking the issue to a counselor, who told me that she’d had no way of knowing they were special or not for others to just take because “you’ve had them for weeks and haven’t touched them, so clearly you don’t want them. You probably forgot all about them and only noticed because she left a few.” That’s right, the fault DID lie with the other girl, but only for failing to eat ALL of my chocolates. Some people apparently believe that if you have something you haven’t used recently or consumed entirely then it’s fair game for others to take. These people are wrong and horrible, but they cannot be convinced to think otherwise.

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Hal June 30, 2011 at 10:57 am

Upon moving in together roommates should purchase door locks and use them. There are several available that are portable and make no mark on the door or woodwork. Do it as a matter of course before living together starts. That way no problems, or fewer, down the line. Do not allow anyone into your room if you are not present. Good people will comply. The wrong sort will complain or refuse. That is your cue. Move on.

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Louise June 30, 2011 at 10:59 am

If you let people crash in your room, you shouldn’t have to hide your stuff so they won’t damage/destroy/consume it (although this site has shown me it’s a sensible precaution).

Gourmet chocolate is expensive. I send some to my parents now and then and usually spend $5 to $8 a bar, often at specialty shops. I wonder if people like the one who ate the chocolate in the OP think, “It’s just chocolate! You can get more from the 7-Eleven!” Although you shouldn’t be stealing my chocolate from the 7-Eleven either. And that’s really what it is — stealing.

Do people who do this have a thought process beyond “I wanted it, it was there, so I took it”? And where do they draw the line — would they take half a dozen eggs from someone’s house, or a paperback novel they like the look of, or a roll of toilet paper?

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Ashley June 30, 2011 at 11:15 am

Stuff like this happens ALL the time. Every job I have ever worked at that had coworkers, something like this happened. Lost a whole bag of milano cookies when I worked at an office supply store. Lost a bag of Halloween candy I was supposed to bring to a party right after work when I worked at the YMCA. Probably THE most annoying incident though happened when I worked at a sandwich shop. We had permission to make any combination of food we wanted on our breaks, out of what was at hand, as long as we kept up health and safety standards. A few months earlier, someone figured out we had all the supplies to make a pretty tasty chicken quesadilla. So one day on my break I made myself one, and then I got called over to help fix something by a manager. I got back to the break area to find one of my coworkers HALFWAY THROUGH eating my quesadilla. He went all bug eyed and after the manager figured out what happened, he made the guy pay me for the supplies I used to make it. I got a free lunch out of it at least but still. To catch him eating it? Wow.

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Joley H June 30, 2011 at 11:20 am

That happened to MY wedding cake too! I kept it in my mom’s freezer and when we took it out, there was a piece missing – thanks brother of mine!
I’m sorry about your chocolate stash….and you realize, there is such a thing as justifiable homicide! :D

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Aje June 30, 2011 at 11:25 am

My Dad works at a food processing plant which grinds up all the bits of the animals that butchers do not use and turns it into protein powder. They had a real problem with men stealing each other’s lunches. Then one day my father got tired of it… and put some chicken guts in his sandwich.

It never happened again.

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K June 30, 2011 at 11:31 am

Ewwww! Someone sleeping in your bed? I had a roommate pull that crap on me and I ended with lice.

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Mojo June 30, 2011 at 11:49 am

This sort of behaviour is staggering, but all too common.

I saved up and bought a bottle of really expensive, premium gin to take to party on Saturday night. Unbeknownst to me, some of my flatmate’s friends stayed over Friday night and, you guessed it, found my bottle. They drank the lot.

I wasn’t as shy as the poster, and I did confront them. They promised to replace it, but went out an bought me a bottle of cheap and nasty supermarket own brand, for about half the price. Their excuse, that “we’re poor students!” didn’t really wash with me, as I was also a poor student who’d been saving up for weeks for a bottle of the good stuff.

Some people really can’t see that they’ve done something wrong. Enlighten them.

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Wink-n-Smile June 30, 2011 at 11:50 am

If you know someone will (or may) come over, it’s a good idea to stash your stash, so they don’t see it. It is also a good idea to provide something they CAN eat, and say, “Please help yourself to THESE chocolates.”

This sort of disctraction and hiding behavior is standard procedure for parents of toddlers.

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Calli Arcale June 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

You definitely shouldn’t *have* to hide chocolate from total strangers, who really should have brains and manners and know better, but I hide my chocolate anyway. It’s MINE!!! My precious!!!!! :-P

It is really amazing what people will do. My grandparents let their niece and her fiance spend a weekend at their place once. (They were in college, and my grandparents were much closer geographically than her parents, who lived a good day’s drive away.) They slept on the futon in the basement, but they got drunk, were obnoxious, and were not invited back. It wasn’t until after they’d left that my grandfather discovered they’d drunk a great deal of his expensive Scotch! Some people just don’t recognize boundaries very well, it seems.

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Vanessa June 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm

This got me to thinking – years ago while at work I received a box of chocolates. I decided to share them with my coworkers. A coworker took a chocolate & ate a bite. She made a face indicating she didn’t like it & put it back in the box.

I was appalled at this utter lack of elemental sanitary habits. I looked at her & pointedly took a napkin, picked up the chocolate & threw it out. She then asked me what the problem was. I pointed out that nobody else would eat her half-eaten chocolate & that putting it back in the box would spread germs to all the chocolates around it. She seemed put out that I would have the nerve to think she had germs.

Sadly I have seen this sort of behavior happen off & on over the years. At another office, someone had brought in a box of assorted doughnuts. A coworker would pick up a doughnut, look at it & put it back. Pick up another, look at it & put it back. After the 2nd time, I told him to stop it. That nobody wanted to eat doughnuts that had his fingerprints all over them. As with the previous coworker, he looked astonished. After all, how was he to decide what he wanted to eat if he didn’t get a good look at it? I told him it was just as easy to look at them without picking them up. Also, as with the previous coworker, he was rather put out with me for making life ‘so very tough for him’.

Sigh.

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Clair Seulement June 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Unconscionable! You have my sympathies, OP, I would still be upset about this too:)

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Shiksagoddess June 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I’d have been thrilled if my college roommate only stole chocolate. Instead, she stole my phone card out of my desk drawer and racked up over $150 in phone calls. I never knew it until I tried to make a phone call and was locked out for going over my limit.

Yeah, she paid it back. And while I locked up my own things afterwards, so did she – afraid I would steal something in retaliation or something.

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Lizza June 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I was perfectly fine with letting my roommate – my best friend, as a matter of fact – have people over and let them sleep in my bed when I was gone one weekend. Until I came home and found weirdness on my pillow and in my sheets – it looked like bits of broccoli. I mused about it out loud, and my roommate paled. Turns out they’d all gotten drunk, and the girl who slept in bed had THROWN UP IN IT. She was on top of the covers though, so roommate washed the blankets and thought nothing of it. You best believe I made her wash the sheets too.

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badkitty June 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm

reading all of these stories I find myself wondering where these “I saw it, wanted it, took it” food thieves draw the line. I mean, would they steal jewelry if it was left out?

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AMC June 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm

@Shoegal- I have to disagree. Big or small, stealing is stealing. The only difference between a bag of chips and a box of chocolates is that someone is unlikely to notice a couple of chips missing while an almost entirely devoured box of chocolates is sure to be noticed.

There is no excuse for this behavior, no misunderstanding about right and wrong or yours and mine. No, there is only one reason this type of thing happens, and it is that ugly monster Entitlement. The people who take things that don’t belong to them, whether it be chocolate, wedding cake, leftovers, lunches, or contact cases, have only one concern on their mind: Me, Me, Me. “I want it, so I’ll take it.” I believe these people should be confronted and taught the lesson that their parents apparently never gave them: If it’s not yours, then don’t touch!

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Earl Hamsher June 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I think I may have eaten some of my sister’s wedding cake. She never said anything to me about it. It was in the freezer wrapped only in foil, I never opened the foil enough to get a good look at it, only enough to take a piece. I had never even heard of the practice of freezing wedding cake until years later and put the clues together and felt awful. I am so sorry sis I wouldn’t have touched it if I knew.

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Miss Raven, the OP June 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm

This is one of a couple stories I’ve submitted here, and as usual the catharsis (and advice) has made me feel much better. Thank you, Etiquette Maven and fellow eHellions!

This particular story is really under my skin because my boyfriend has developed a habit of gifting me with that chocolate brand and I’ve come to be a bit obsessed with it. But I can’t open a fresh bar without inadvertently thinking of my chocolate-loving piggy person! What really gets me is that the “library” was supposed to be a sampler pack of strange (but delicious) combinations and I didn’t get to sample a lot of the ones I was looking forward to. How sad.

To answer a couple questions: My roommates friends were clean people and (except for one mystery girl) kind people. I didn’t care if they slept in my bed. It’s not like they smelled or had parasites, plus standards of hygiene tend to be much more relaxed in college in terms of sharing (beds, clothing, makeup, drinks…) The point is that it didn’t bother me.

Second, I didn’t keep food in my room besides that box. We had a kitchen and a pantry, and my roommate who was a similar chocoholic always had her own stash. She also enjoyed cooking, so I tend to think that if her guest was hungry they could have wandered into the kitchen or asked my roommate for a snack. It’s not like this was the only treat in the apartment.

And third, it was very obviously a special gift. There was a gold ribbon wrapped around it, and like I said, it was very pretty and also alone on the night table. Each little bar was in its own little box, inside which was a sealed wrapper. I had put the empty box back when I finished a bar because otherwise the library would look empty! (The thief did likewise.) So not only was it obviously special, but until the thief began pilfering, it probably looked unopened and they took care to make it look so when they were finished. Astounding.

Thanks to those who agree I shouldn’t have had to hide my things in my own room. That was my thought process; glad to see I wasn’t just being naive (although perhaps I was!) I guess I didn’t hide the chocolate in the same way I didn’t hide the jewelry or CDs I left in my room… I just never expected that anyone would be so clueless or selfish as to help themselves!

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Leslie Holman-Anderson June 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

But… but… Shoegal, the chocolates weren’t ‘ left out.’ According to OP’s story, they were in their boxes, on the shelf where they belonged. If they’d been in a bowl on the nightstand, I could see some one taking one — just one — but not otherwise.

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Jillybean June 30, 2011 at 1:39 pm

All the co-worker food thief stories remind me of something that happened at my work. A bunch of us were sitting around the lunchroom eating when a coworker comes in and starts rummaging around the fridge. After a few minutes she says, “I think someone stole my lunch!” We were all appalled and sympathetic. But we say, “Maybe you’re just missing it, what was it?” She replies, “It was pasta in a square, blue, tupperware container.” We all look down the table to another co-worker sitting there eating pasta out of a square, blue, tupperware container.” She looks down at it and says, “Crap! I thought it tasted better than last night.” They had both brought similar pasta dishes and the one eating it just had forgotten what color her container was. LOL. They had a good laugh over it.

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Leslie Holman-Anderson June 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I hate you all. Now I have to go buy some chocolate!

(just kidding about the hate…)

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Amanda June 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Incidents similar to this are why my husband, back when he was single and living in a student two-bedroom apartment at school, bought a locking knob for his bedroom door. One of his three roommates was a bit of a klepto as far as we can tell, as Hubby always had small things in his room go missing when this roommate was the only one home. So hubby got the lock and gave the spare key to the roommate who shared his bedroom, and things stopped disappearing.

But honestly, what goes through some of these people’s heads? If it’s not yours, don’t take it!

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Daisy June 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Well said, AMC! Entitlement is responsible for the definite lowering of standards with which we all must contend. Shoegal, if it’s okay to take some potato chips, where do you draw the line: a few chips, 6 gourmet chocolate bars, half a left over prime rib roast? My car’s been in the driveway for a week. Is it fair game too? What may seem of little value to you may be of great value to me. I’m a diabetic, and I save up my “extras” allowance in order to indulge in my favourite bittersweet chocolate. If I discover it’s missing when it’s okay to eat it, my disappointment may seem overdone to you, but I assure you it’s a hanging offense to me!

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Snowy June 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm

As a teen, I went out of town with my parents, while my brother (two years older) stayed alone at the house. Needless to say, he had people over. I like odd things and Germany, and had saved some sort of packaging that was in German that I thought was really neat. I stowed inside my stereo stand, alongside the tape deck, where it wasn’t invisible, but it wasn’t just sitting out.

When we got home from our trip, it was clear someone had been (at least) sitting on my bed and had gone into my stereo stand (it had clear doors), found my neat little package thing, and tore it into little bits, like you would idly do with a napkin. I was so mad! No one else in the family gave a darn, but I still get miffed when I think about it. I don’t care if it was trash or not, you don’t go into someone’s room and destroy what you find!

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Hemi Halliwell June 30, 2011 at 2:52 pm

After reading some of the stories from other commenters, I am SO glad I have never had roommates! I would be in jail if some of those things had happened to me!
It is bad enought that people would steal food but…Getting lice from someone who slept in your bed? Someone throwing up in your bed and the roommate only washed the blankets? EWWW! I get nauseated thinking about it.

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--Lia June 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Louise– Would they take a dozen eggs, a paperback novel or a roll of toilet paper?

Yes, yes, and yes.

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YWalkalone June 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Regarding coworkers stealing lunches: at my old job we had a huge problem with that. I once had my lunch stolen every day for a week. I suppose if you work with 400 other people it sadly is to be expected, but still. At any rate, someone had gotten so sick of having their lunch stolen that they put a handmade sign on the fridge (I don’t think I need to stipulate that this was in the break room, far out of sight of the general public). One of the managers got more upset by this sign than about the thievery, and stood over another employee and watched as he took it down instead of taking it down herself. Some others respectfully brought up to her that we had a problem with thievery and the sign might help. She haughtily responded that the thievery didn’t matter; what mattered was that the sign looked “unprofessional”. I responded, “I don’t know about you, but if you ask me stealing someone else’s lunch is much more unprofessional than a handwritten sign.”

She never did like me. = )

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Angel June 30, 2011 at 3:50 pm

@Jillybean, I took one of those years-old candy canes once. But not off the tree. It was a bowl full of candy canes, sitting out at a party. One would assume they were there for eating, but yuck!

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Lilya June 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

OP, I’m so sorry. As a fellow chocoholic, I can relate.

I have my own story of petty thievery, but instead of food, it involves flowers.
I was still in highschool and my seat was right beside the door. On March 8th, one of my classmates bought some bouquets of mimosas: a big one to keep in the classroom for everybody and some smaller ones for us girls. However, he couldn’t afford one for every girl in class, so it was strictly first-come-first-served.
I was among the girls who received the flowers. A few minutes later, a friend of mine arrived and I went to say hi to her, leaving them on my desk – said desk was on the first row, right beside the doorway, while hers was a couple of rows back.
We chatted for a minute or two, then I turned to go back and my flowers were gone. At first I thought they might have fallen off, but soon I realized they had been taken.
I never did find out who did it – there was a group of students from another class who had come to chat with a friend of theirs and they left while I was talking with my friend and had my back to my desk, but nobody saw them take the flowers. It was very upsetting and hurtful, since it was the first time I’d ever gotten flowers for March 8th.

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Erin June 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm

My first year in college, I lived in the dorm and had a roommate. Our dorm room was just that, one room with two beds, a closet, a mini fridge, a desk, and two dressers. After the first day in the dorm, my roommate didn’t say more than a dozen words to me over the course of the year…which was odd. It led to some awkward situations, like the time she came home after I was asleep and let her boyfriend sleep over – I woke up and there they were in her bed. Yikes!
My dad was working about an hour away for part of the fall semester (I went to school out of state), so on weekends I’d go stay with him in his travel trailer. One Sunday I came home and my bed had obviously been slept in. I changed the sheets and from that point on made sure to make my bed the same way every time, so I’d know if it happened again. Which it did. Several times. One time, whoever had slept in my bed had decided to break the latch off a small decorative box I had on my dresser. I asked my roommate about it and she just shrugged.
I moved out about a month before the spring semester ended, and while she didn’t say anything to me, as I was moving my stuff I heard her and her new roommate huffing about me taking the TV (which was mine, not hers).
Yes, yes, I was a doormat back then. She was a jerk, but she wouldn’t have pushed it if I’d stood up to her.

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Sarah Jane June 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm

This reminds me of a time when I was younger, and my husband and I went to an expensive seafood restaurant, something we could rarely afford to do. I ordered the stuffed shrimp, not knowing how enormous they were going to be. The meal was so delicious, pricey enough, and WAY more than I could eat, so I quite proudly asked for go-box to carry half of it home to savor the next day for lunch. All the way home I had a fit over how good the food was and how I was excited to have some leftover.

Fast-forward to lunchtime the following day, and picture my silly self dashing for the refrigerator. I grab the box, get the dishes ready, open the box…and…

Nothing but a mound of fries.

In shock, I call my husband to see if he knew what happened to my lunch. His response? “Sure, I ate it last night…right out of the fridge. I thought you saw me.”

We aren’t married anymore, by the way.

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DGS June 30, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Gross, disgusting, entitled behavior…I wouldn’t so much as pour a glass of water in someone else’s house without permission, much less help myself to any food, including chocolates. That’s ridiculous…and why I keep my work lunch in my desk. Our office secretary routinely helps herself to lunches and any treats that are left out, and anytime there is a catered luncheon or dinner, she takes it upon herself to take any and all leftovers home. I wouldn’t normally think that the latter is a big deal, but at times, I have found myself having a small helping at lunch and then going back to have a piece of fruit a few hours later only to find that everything had been cleaned up and packed and sitting in boxes on top of the secretary’s desk to “take home to [her] family”. Now, I think that in this circumstance, it is fine to a) ask if you can take a small treat to your famiyl, and b) take a token treat – not an entire luncheon for a small company. Piggy award.

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Lily G June 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm

We solved this problem in college by labeling anything that was ok to eat as GUFF: “general unspecified free food”. If it had a name on it, leave it alone. If it was GUFF, snack away! If there was no name, you learned at your peril…

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