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My youngest son had formed a D&D group made up of 10- 13-15yos, mainly boys. They play at my house usually once a week 1-5pm.

Knowing boys that age are always hungry I have food out: one hot snack, such as wings, little smokies, meatballs, etc (is served in the crockpot); a couple bags of chips, a jar of salsa and an assortment of pop... all self serve.

They can have what they want and anything leftover (there hasn't been) I can use later. No one has told me of any special dietary needs. I did ask. One mom called and told me that I was serving her son the wrong type food, she wants organic foods only, and I need to prevent him from eating anything that isn't.

I was rude by: A- not knowing that he isn't suppose to eat anything but organic? B- and then not monitoring his food? He is 14yo and has never said to me about any special dietary needs or asked for anything except for more when something runs out. I have assumed that 14yos can be responsible for what they decide to eat in a social gathering.

Next day

I called the mom back yesterday evening. She was still insistent that I serve only organic foods and drinks especially to her son and that he is not old enough to pick what he wants to eat.

I told her that serving only organic foods as a snack to the kids every week was more than my budget would allow and that she has several choices: A- host the boys at her house; B- send an organic snack that will be shared with everyone; C- don't have her son come over.

She didn't like any of the choices and her reason for each were: A- she can't have that many boys in her house and would cost too much to feed them.B- it be inconvenient and to costly to send a snack that could be shared. He comment was , "Don't you realize how much a organic chips cost?"

C- it was mean to suggest that her son not be part of the group playing. I did tell her that it was her choice on how she wanted to handle her son and him eating over here, but that I wasn't going to change what I was serving nor was I going to monitor him.

We will see what she decided to do next week. I am guessing he will show up and she will send nothing.

Week Later

Well today was the D&D group. As I expected the boy showed without any food. I wasn't able to stay due to another son's doctor appt., so DH took to afternoon off to be here.

The mom called and asked if I was home and was told I wasn't. She then asked DH if he the food I had out was all organic. DH told probably not and asked why. She told him that he needed to make sure her son didn't eat anything that wasn't organic. Well DH didn't think too much of that idea and told that he did not monitor what the boys were eating as long as they didn't get into anything that wasn't out for them and her son was eating just like all the other boys. If she wanted organic she could pay us $25 a month to make sure that there is something organic among the snacks and the amount would not be prorated. She told him that this was bad manners on his part and his told he didn't care but she could shut up or pay up take her choice. She hung up so he took that as the shut up choice.


I have had rather awful luck with roommates. My choices are somewhat limited, as I've had to find one who will be okay with me having a young daughter, and I don't make much money to boot.   Roommate #1 we'll call "P". She seemed cool enough at first; she rented one bedroom in her house to me, and our girls got along fantastically, so all was well... or so I thought.   It turned out that P hadn't really thought the whole roommate thing through. She wasn't the most responsible thing on the planet, and had pretty much woken up one morning and gone, "I need more money, so... A-HA! I'll take someone in!" She took me in a week after thinking this up. This, folks, is NOT the way to go about getting a roommate. P decided after two weeks that she didn't want a roommate after all. So instead of coming to me and letting me know that she'd made a mistake and was uncomfortable with another person being in her house, she decided to make me want to leave.   

Step one was to begin smoking in the house. When I moved in, she and her friends assured me that she was an outside only smoker. She even had cleared her garage out and put a couch in there so that she'd have a place to smoke in inclement weather. I have asthma, and told her that as long as the smoke didn't come inside, I didn't care what she did; she assured me that she found people who smoked inside "disgusting", and said she'd "never make all her things smell like smoke that way". I even questioned her friends nearby as to whether she smoked inside. (They'd come to help interview me for P, so I wasn't intruding on them or anything.) They said she'd never do that. Well... that was until she decided she didn't want me there anymore. Not only did she smoke in the house at all hours, which was beginning to make me ill, but removed the air filters in the house on the pretense of "changing them" and never put them back. Her air vent in her bedroom was directly connected to mine, and I actually caught her once on a chair, blowing smoke up into her vent. I spoke to her for eight weeks about this; told her that my health was beginning to suffer, and that I couldn't take it much longer.   

Her behavior also became bizarre. She was always in "go, go, go" mode, 24 hours a day. She hardly ever slept (I know, because I heard her jogging in place at 3 AM, often.) She became very thin and had circles under her eyes, and was never without a cigarette. She also pulled out all the smoke detectors in the house, leaving exposed wiring dangling from the walls.   

The one thing that angered me more than just about anything else was this... She never talked to me directly when she had a gripe. If I did something she didn't like - left a glass laying around, which forgetful me does every once in a while - then she'd wait until I was gone, leave me a nasty note about it, and then leave right before I was due to come home.   

She also (yes, there's more!) was incredibly irresponsible with her money (and mine). Once I came into the picture, she decided to buy a brand new, humongous, tricked-out SUV. Heated leather seats, everything. To pay for her new gas-guzzler, she neglected to pay the bills - which meant that we went for a week without gas once, and a week without electricity once as well.   I finally decided I'd had enough about two months in, and told her I'd be finding a new living situation as soon as I could. She was fine with this, obviously. I found a new roommate, "J", who told me I could move in in 2 weeks.   A week before moving out, I had a discussion with P where we both agreed that I was paid up, and when I moved that weekend, I would owe her nothing.   The bizarre behavior just got worse. The nasty notes increased (even though I was still trying my best to be a stellar roommate), I had to send my daughter to stay with her grandparents, and things for that week were horrible. Then Saturday came.

I was supposed to have my boyfriend come and help me finish packing that Saturday, and then move on Sunday. When I woke up, I found another lovely note from P stating that she was having hardwood floors put in, so I would be leaving her $125 before I moved out or else. (I caused no damage whatsoever to the floors, so this was not something I should have been contributing to.) I freaked out. Her behavior had gotten so aberrant that I was actually worried about my safety moving out. Knowing that P was gone until 1 PM or so, I called my boyfriend, and told him I needed help - that I needed to move out NOW. All my things were in my room, except for a few things in her garage and a set of plates in her kitchen. I decided to leave the plates, so I didn't get accused of stealing things from that room.   

When I came back from taking carload #1 to J's house, she'd gotten back. She'd called all the cul-de-sac neighbors over to her house and had locked the doors. (I had keys only to the door inside the garage - she rarely ever used any other door, so they stayed locked.) I had to knock to get back in, at which point she started screaming at me, cursing, calling me names... The other neighbors almost had to hold her back. I got as much more of my stuff as I could fit in my car, and headed over to J's. I lost all the stuff of mine that was in her garage, which I'm kicking myself for... But I am NOT going back over there to get it.   


I just sent you a story about my bizarre, crazy roommate "P", who I'm certain has found her very own pit in Etiquette Hell by now. I unfortunately have one more story. It's about "J", the roommate I escaped from P's house to go to.   I have the crappiest luck with roommates, don't I? lol   

I moved into J's house.... It was huge and stunningly beautiful. She'd paid well over $500k for it, and it had been previously owned by an interior designer. J was another single mom like myself, and worked from home. Unfortunately, her work slowed, and that cut her income. She didn't need my money to pay her bills, but just to keep up the lifestyle she wanted - shopping every weekend, top-of-the-line everything, eating out as much as possible. She'd thought over getting a roommate for 6 months before doing it, and had interviewed and declined several possible roommates, so I knew she was serious, and I wouldn't have the same problems as I did last time - namely, a roomie who decided on whim that she wanted a roommate, and then decided on another whim that she didn't want one anymore.  

 I talked to J about some of the problems I had had with P. She said she'd never do any of those things, and that she was a die-hard non-smoker. She and I hit it off, and she invited me to stay.   P, the previous roommate, had one last psychotic thing to do left in her... A few days after I moved in, J came to me, VERY angry. She calmly asked me to sit down and explain exactly what had happened with my previous roommate. I asked why, and she told me she'd tell me - after she heard my side of the story. I told her, in complete honesty, what had happened.   It turns out that P, at some point, got on my computer and poked around my email, and got the email address of my new roommate. (She had to be fairly devious to do this, as I had a password and my computer went to sleep after 15 minutes of no activity. I only left it up when I was planning on coming right back to it - like if I was getting something to eat in the kitchen or taking a shower.) So P got J's email address, and emailed her... and I don't think I have to tell you that the email was full of lies.   

Thankfully, J automatically distrusted the email. She didn't exactly trust me now, but trusted less the motives of someone who would go to the lengths of breaking into my computer and stealing J's address just to make me look bad. She accepted my apologies on the situation as well as my promises that I would prove to her that the email was all lies. I have not heard from P since, and neither has J.   

To make a long, painful story short, J ended up being a control freak the likes of which I have never seen. She had rules as to how every single thing in her kitchen was to be handled. For example:   

- Certain bowls were to only be washed in the top left quadrant of the dishwasher. - There were two identical pairs of kitchen shears. One was for meats, and the other was for vegetables. The meat one was to be washed in the dishwasher. The veggie one was to be handwashed. She somehow knew which was which; and if I was washing her dishes along with mine and I got them mixed up, there was hell to pay. 

- Certain spatulas were to be washed by hand, with down strokes only, as she was afraid that the top of the spatula would get soap in it and come off. "That IS a fifty dollar spatula, you know". 

- All plastic grocery bags are to be folded into little triangles for storage and stacked neatly. 

- There was an adult dinner table and a children's dinner table. Children were not allowed at the adult table, as they would get fingerprints on the glass. If I wanted to have dinner with my own daughter, I had to sit with her on one of those kiddie chairs at the kids' table.   If she found one single speck of anything, even pepper, in the sink after I'd done the dishes, she'd come get me from my room, march me down to the sink, and then stand there while I cleaned it. I once got sick (I'm hypoglycemic) and had to go to bed after eating something, and left the bowl in the sink. I was out of it and didn't think about cleaning it. The next morning I felt better, and got up to run off to work. I was horribly late and worked for one of those companies that'll fire you for it and got in my car. She came running out and actually asked me to get out of my car and come clean one little bowl of rice. I told her that I'd usually do it for her since it bothered her so much, but that I HAD to get to work or else I couldn't pay her rent. 

She got flat-out nasty after that. She would do room checks and go through my stuff when I wasn't there; she found a bottle of water in my room once and chased me up the stairs yelling about my disregard of her home. On trash days, she'd take it out, and I'd bring it back in, due to our schedules... If I got home after the sun went down, she would have brought everything up and parked it in front of my garage door.   

On top of all this, she was one of those "My babies are precious angels and can do no wrong" parents. Her daughter, L, was okay, if not a bit manipulative - she liked to get my daughter in trouble with J every once in a while. Her four-year-old son A was a holy terror. Being a single mom, she didn't feel she knew how to raise a boy. I wouldn't either, honestly. So she got a book called "Wild At Heart", that is apparently about the emasculation of today's men by society. She got from this book that since boys are of the male gender, that he should be able to do whatever he wanted and he did. And if it wasn't done exactly right, he screamed at the top of his lungs. You have never heard lung power like this coming out of a small child. And, of course, he did it often. She let him get away with that... He had to have all the pieces of his cereal dunked individually in milk or else he'd scream again... The kid got away with EVERYTHING. He actually got away with coming up to me and telling me he didn't like how I was dressed and that since his mother wasn't up yet, I'd be making his breakfast and making it NOW. I told him that was disrespectful, and that I'd be happy to get him a bowl of cereal if he'd ask nicely for it. I got in trouble for this.   

It got so bad that I could barely even get in the door without her cornering me and letting me know something I'd done wrong, no matter how small. We're talking about missing one speck of something in the sink or not putting something in the refrigerator back in its designated spot. She'd YELL at me.   I began to try and barricade myself in my room when I was there. If I'm not in the house at large, I can't be breaking the 50 zillion rules I don't know about, right? Wrong. Then I got it for putting my keys on the wrong peg or something. So I started trying to stay away as much as I could. I stayed weekends at my boyfriend's house when I could, and my daughter spent LOTS of time at Grandma's. I started having hives daily, and now am the proud owner of an ulcer. 

Thankfully, my boyfriend finally became ready for us to live together, and we now have a beautiful house... and I finally have a sane roommate. We'll be getting engaged soon.   I was glad that I knew she didn't really need my money, or else I would've had a really hard time leaving her high and dry, no matter how she treated me. Since she used my money for fun, I could leave whenever I wanted to. I was trying to stick it out until my boyfriend and I found a place, but I just couldn't anymore after it began to make me physically ill. My boyfriend called his buddies, they all brought their cars out, and I literally walked in one Saturday and said "I can't do this anymore, and I've got people here to get my stuff. I'll be out in two hours." She didn't make a scene, thankfully - she called me rude and stood there for the rest of the time with her arms folded, watching me move out so she knew I wasn't stealing anything.   Good riddance.    



 Two years ago, I began renting a two-bedroom house.  It's a nice house on a good-sized piece of land and although I could have afforded to pay for it myself, barely, I decided that I would get a roommate to split costs with.  I knew a girl at work who seemed just the right person to be my roommate.  I knew from talking to her that she was desperate to move out of her parents' house (she was in her late-teens, I'm in my late 20s)  and so, I asked her if she was interested.  I should've known when she went on and on about how I was the cool girl she always wanted to be in high school and she thought it was going to be so awesome to live with me and we were going to have so much fun together that it wasn't going to work out.  (I'm a pretty quiet person - a loner if you prefer.  My ideal roommate would be someone who lets me happily sit in my bedroom minding my own business with my books and such while they go on about theirs.  All I really ask is that they clean up after themselves.)

Roommate from hell #1, who we will call "Alison", moved her things into the spare bedroom about a month after I moved in, and started instantly complaining that I got the bigger bedroom and she had more stuff.  Which I'll grant might not be entirely fair, but since I'd moved in before her, my name was on the lease, I'd paid the deposit and I'd offered her the "spare" room, which she'd seen before she moved in - I just took it in stride.  I knew she was kind of high strung.  (Have I mentioned this was her very first time living on her own?)  That died away after about a week and she began obsessing about two things:  The state of cleanliness in the house and the bills.  Now, I will freely admit that my bedroom was often cluttered.  You know, books, clothes and CDs scattered around on desktops and the floor.  But, it was my room, right?  If she didn't like it, all she had to do was shut the door when I wasn't home so she wouldn't have to see it.  (I always kept it shut when I was home, for privacy.) 

One day after I got home from work, she started *screaming* at me about the state of my room and that she wasn't going to live in a "filthy damned house" (note:  I always took out the trash, she didn't..  and I always cleaned up after myself in the kitchen and the bathroom.  It was just my bedroom she took issue with.) and that I'd better clean it up or she was moving.  I should have let her move, then.  I'm a kind-hearted person, though, and I knew she didn't have anywhere to go except her parents' house, where she claimed she didn't want to be, so after her temper tantrum I just quietly started closing my door whether I was home or not so she wouldn't have to see it and so that the only way she'd know she was living in a "filthy damned house" was if she invaded my privacy.  That ended that problem.

The bills were the other thing.  Where we live we only had to pay for phone service and electricity.  Since I wanted the phone, I paid for it and never asked her to help.  So, basically, all she was responsible for was half the rent and half the electricity.  At this point, let me say that she was still so bound to her Mother's apron strings that she only spent maybe two nights a week at "our" house.  The rest she spent with her parents.  While she was gone, she left her fan, television and every other electronic device in her bedroom running constantly.  I never went in to turn it off because of the privacy I felt she deserved.  After she'd been living with me for about a month and a half, she came home one night and found my cousin staying the night.  We'd agreed ahead of times that it was fine to have family or female friends stay over occasionally, but that we needed to discuss parties or opposite-sex friends staying..  and nobody was to stay for more than a night or two.  My cousin was there for the one night and when she went home the next morning my roommate confronted me about it, screaming again, and told me that my cousin would have to pay part of the electricity for the month and how *dare* I have a party without letting her know.  Well, okay.  She also complained that morning about me being on the phone so much.  (Please remember who was paying for it!)

She didn't last much longer as my roommate because less than a week later (before the electricity bill ever came, thankyouverymuch) I found her methamphetamine stash in the bathroom.  While I knew she smoked pot before she moved in and I told her it was fine as long as she didn't bring it into my house, the harder drugs were a deal breaker.  I kicked her out and then got to listen to more screaming that I didn't refund her part of the rent and bills for the time she'd lived there.  I was kind of in a tough spot since I'd taken on a car payment while she was living with me under the presumption that "Hey, I can afford it because I have a roommate."

This all paved the way for roommate from hell #2.  I don't even know where to start with him, who we will call "Alan".  When he moved in with me, he seemed like a nice enough guy.  He smoked pot, too, and I was fine with that as long as he didn't bring it in the house, as per the agreement before.  The other agreement we made when he moved in was that if he wanted his own phone line, he had to pay for installation and pay the monthly bill himself - he was not to give out my phone number to anyone but his parents, who lived in a distant city.  My phone was my phone and we'd split the other bills (rent and electricity) right down the middle.  He had a steady job and seemed quite interested in making this arrangement work out, so I thought things were going to be fine.  Until, that is, my electric bill doubled because of the hour-long showers he'd take and the fact that he had to wash and dry at least two loads of clothes a day!

It soon became apparent to me that Alan was this town's Casanova, as well.  He was always talking about this girl he'd "had" and that girl and the other girl.  It made me laugh, mostly, because I just couldn't see that in him.  Then the phone calls started.  Different female voices all hours of the night and day.  One girl would call and wake me up and then curse at me and demand to know who *I* was to be answering the phone at her boyfriend's house.  I'm sorry to admit that I sunk to her level and said some very impolite things to her one night when she woke me up and started grilling me.  He was, of course, rarely home to field these calls himself because he was too busy being out having this girl or that one. 

His other most annoying habit (there really were quite a few) was his nocturnal activities.  My bedroom is right off the living room, separated by a thin wall.  Because he didn't want to be out the money to actually buy furniture for his bedroom (money he'd rather spend on Hot Wheels - no joke - at 23 years old!), he chose to sleep on the couch.  I was fine with that, but I let him know right up front that if that were to be the case, he'd have to keep it down at night since I had to be at work at 4:30 in the morning.  He was quite agreeable to that in *theory*.  In practice, he'd come slamming in at 11:30 or midnight and then put in a DVD and crank the sound up as loud as it'd go, then blissfully fall asleep on the couch while I stayed in bed trying to ignore it and go back to sleep until I couldn't stand it anymore and got up to turn it off.  Which would invariably wake him up and he'd complain that I was being unfair to him.  Ugh.

Oh.  He also bought and set up a saltwater aquarium while he lived with me and then accused me of killing the fish by not properly taking care of them while he was away for a week one time.  Like I knew how to take care of tropical fish!  I have a single beta, myself.

He lasted about six months, which was long enough for me to finish paying off my car (it was a very short loan, so high payments).  After he'd lost his job and sat around on the couch playing video games for two weeks, I finally told him to get his stuff (what little there was of it) and get out.  He had me take him to the bus station and I never saw him again.  For which I'm very thankful.

Since he left, I turned my spare room into a room for my Macaw.  Although she's a little loud and messy, she's the best roommate I've ever had!



This story isn't about a neighbor, but a roommate who almost drove me crazy.   In the early 1990's I was in the military and stationed on a remote island. The only residents of the island were military members and contract personnel brought in to take care of maintenance, cooking, etc., so that the military members could concentrate on doing their duties. There were no other people allowed on the island, i.e. no tourists.   All military members were housed in barracks, two or three to a room, depending upon rank. I was assigned to a two person room. I'll call my roommate Sandy.   From the minute I stepped foot inside the room it was obvious that Sandy did not want a roommate – period. Since she was the first one there, she'd had her choice of beds and lockers. I was fine with that. We were allowed to reconfigure the furniture in any way that would make us comfortable, as long as both roommates agreed to the set up.

The furniture in each room consisted of two single beds, four credenzas, and three stand up lockers for clothing. The clothing lockers were stationary, but all other furniture could be moved. We also had a full sized refrigerator, a sink, and a toilet and shower housed in a separate room.   Despite Sandy's somewhat hostile attitude we worked together to arrange the furniture so that we each had a small amount of privacy. The credenzas were arranged so that they divided the room in two, and Sandy strung a blanket between them to maximize her privacy, meaning that I would have to pass through the curtain to reach the bathroom and sink.   

One day I went back to the room after work and noticed that my space seemed to have gotten smaller. The following day, even smaller! This went on for a few more days before I figured out that while I was gone, she was pushing all four credenzas a few inches in my direction. All told, she managed to increase her side of the room by almost 12 inches. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but in a room that was small to begin with, one foot of space meant that I would have trouble opening my credenza drawers without having to contort my body. I confronted her, in a quiet voice, and told her that it wasn't acceptable and I would be moving the credenzas back to their original position. She claimed that since she'd been the first in the room she was entitled to more of it, but I informed her that that was not the case.   

Another bone of contention was our time alone in the room. I worked from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. five days a week. Sandy's hours varied as she worked 12 hour shifts, both day and evening hours, with several days off between her four days of shift work. I tried to be as polite as possible. If I knew that she was sleeping during the day I didn't return to the room during my lunch break. However, if she was on her "off" days, I would sometimes stop at the room after eating, to brush my teeth, etc before returning to my office. She became irate one day, claiming that I was intruding on her "personal" time in the room. She stated that since I was given 12 hour blocks of time alone in the room when she was at work, she was entitled to the same privacy. I did my best to accommodate her, but some days it just wasn't possible. I did find a project to occupy my time outside of working hours and would be gone for hours in the evening, trying very hard to let her know that I would be gone until such and such a time. Actually she was so unpleasant to be around that I would do anything not to be in the room with her.  

 Well, since she couldn't intimidate me by squeezing me out of the room, she tried another tactic. Her bed and clothing locker were closest to the shower. She asked me one day if it would bother me if she walked from the shower to her locker with no clothing on. I said no, I was fine with that (remember the curtain in our makeshift wall, so I couldn't really see into her side of the room). A few weeks later, I passed through to her side of the room to reach the bathroom. Sandy was lying on her bed, with a t-shirt on, but nothing else. Her legs were sprawled open and she made no effort to cover herself. I was pretty disgusted and told her that her behavior wasn't acceptable and that if she didn't change I was going to contact the barracks master-at-arms (MAA) to complain. She quit exposing herself after that.   

I arrived at the room one night to find her in bed with a guy (mind you, she was married, not to the person in her bed though). I was horribly embarrassed and spoke to her the next day. I understood the need for privacy for intimate moments, but at least give me some notice. I said that I could find somewhere else to sleep on the occasional night when she wanted to entertain in the room. I really was trying to keep things civil between us, but in the meantime I was miserable being anywhere near her.   

The last straw came a few weeks later. We were both smokers, and smoking preference was always taken into account prior to room assignment (this was at a time when smoking was still allowed in the barracks). I went back to the room after work one day and lit a cigarette. She informed me that I would have to put it out, because the room's status had changed to "non-smoking", since she'd decided that day to quit. According to her, as told to her by the MAA, if one person in a smoking room quit smoking, the room became non-smoking. I finished my cigarette, grabbed my keys, and went to speak to the MAA myself.   According to him, that is NOT what he told her. He was somewhat aware of the issues I'd been having with her already, and was more than happy to help me out of this situation. The policy at the time was, if one person in a smoking room desired to be in a non-smoking room, the non-smoker would be the one to vacate the room and shift to a different room. He asked me to send her to him so that he could explain the policy AGAIN. She was moved to a different room within a day. Hallelujah!   

Sandy continued to bad-mouth me around her work center (thankfully we worked in different buildings). I was alone in my room for a few weeks before another woman was assigned there. She was the sweetest girl and we got along famously. One day she heard Sandy bad-mouthing me (they were co-workers) and she looked Sandy straight in the eye and said, "You can't possibly be speaking about MY roommate, because she's one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life". I gave her a hug when I heard that!   The rest of my time on the island passed quietly, while Sandy continued to create hate and discontent among her next few roommates. It was a relief for everyone when she was shipped off the island due to a (non-fatal) medical issue.


 A few years ago, my roommate and I had invited one of my friends to co-room with us in our rented three-bedroom house.  We felt that the arrangement would work out well, both from a social and financial standpoint.  This friend, whom I'll call 'Veronica', and I had known each other for years, and even after I had moved to a different town due to my mother's marriage when I was a child, we still kept in touch.   Veronica arrived in early spring, and though she because she hadn't found a job yet, she was all too happy to do all the house chores.  My roommate, 'Melissa', and I didn't feel it was necessary, but alas, every day after work, we arrived home to a spic and span house.  Since neither Melissa or I preferred that particular chore, neither of us complained.   

After about a month, Veronica found a job.  At this point, we began to divvy up the chores, hoping to keep our house still in some semblance of orderliness.  It wasn't long before we began to see that this wasn't going to work out well.  The first clue came about when we noticed that we'd had to double our food budget in the first month.  We had told Veronica that as long as she was looking steadily for a job, she didn't need to worry about bills or whatnot.  We didn't realize that she would be such a big eater (all of us were plus-sized girls), and Melissa and my usual $300/month food bill went to $600 the first month Veronica was there.  Before long, we found ourselves running out of things like mayonnaise, cheese, milk, bread, sandwich meats, etc., though there always seemed to be an abundance of fruit and vegetables left.  Veronica had a tendency of eating every two hours, which caused our food supplies to dwindle fast.  It really wasn't so much how much she ate, but rather that she ate it all before Melissa and I could get to it.  We were sharing the food bill equally by this point, so we felt that Veronica was taking advantage of us.  Eventually we decided to buy our own groceries.  That worked out better.   

There were other problems, but the kicker was one night Melissa and I arrived home from an outing, only to find sitting on our dining room table a used maxi pad.  I kid you not.  It was the most disgusting thing I had ever seen.  What I did next wasn't much better, but I just couldn't help myself.  I wrote a very nasty note, put on a pair of rubber gloves, and left both the note, and the maxi pad, on her pillow.  While I was doing this, Melissa scrubbed the table with a mixture of extremely hot water and bleach.  Even so, it was a long time before we ever used that table again.    



A story about noisy dormmates made me remember a problem I had with two in college.   My senior year, I moved into a single room in a dorm of about 20 women. Our tiny dorm had a reputation for being quiet, but "Sally" and "Denise" did their best to shake that. They were sophomores who had lived in this dorm the year before and clearly thought they were its queens.   Our dorm was very old and the doors were very heavy, so it didn't bother me when I heard them slam from time to time. Soon, however, I noticed it was happening more often, and sometimes pretty late at night. I sent a polite e-mail over the dorm listserv asking residents to be careful not to slam doors -- just one can disturb an entire floor. Eventually, I had to send another e-mail.   

One morning, about 3 a.m., a succession of slams woke me. I cracked my door and saw someone stroll into Sally and Denise's room, letting the door slam behind her. I left a Post-It note on their door asking them to please stop. A couple of days later, I saw one of them walk into the room and let the door slam. I knocked and politely asked them to mind their door; Sally smirked at me, said she would then closed the door in my face. I heard her and Denise screeching with laughter over my request. In the meantime, a couple of other people have sent out e-mails asking people to quit slamming doors. It was happening at all hours, including late at night when people were trying to study or sleep. Most girls figured it was Sally and Denise, but most of the girls on my floor were freshmen and didn't know what to do.   I became the door police, and the next time I caught Sally or Denise slamming, I went straight to our community adviser and told her. It turns out I wasn't the only one who had complained. Our adviser advised Sally and Denise to mind their doors. 

It culminated with our adviser sticking a wad of sticky tape on their doorframe so the door would hit that then close gradually with a click. If anyone else complained, our adviser said she would go to her supervisor, and the girls would be in a lot more trouble.   Sally and Denise glared at me whenever they met me after that. Doors slammed occasionally, but not as often. A lot of the freshman girls thanked the big, bad senior for taking action. I'm sure my friends and I were obnoxious and loud sophomores, but I hope we weren't blatantly rude!


I have often considered submitting this story but worried it would be too long. Now all hell has broken out in my neighborhood so here goes…….

A little background is needed and I will make it as short as possible. I live in a resort community in the mountains. We have a beautiful lake and skiing in the winter. Because of this, many homes are occupied by what we locals call “weekenders”. These are people who own houses but only use them on weekends and holidays. On my particular street, there are only two of us who live here full time, myself and my next door neighbor Maggie. The street dead ends at the top, and where the pavement ends begins thousands of acres of national forest. Houses next to the forest all have acres of untouched land on one side of them.

At the end of the street are a retired couple Gary and Ellie (our villains). Their property has one side next to the national forest. These two visit their house about once every two months for about a week. A little more in summer, less in winter. Next door to them is us and Maggie is one more house away from our villains next to us. Next to Maggie is “the dads”, two single guys who went in on the house together. They are here about once every three months. Then is Rachel, she is Ellie’s sister. Rachel only comes to her house when Gary and Ellie come to theirs. So my usually quiet neighborhood is descended upon by these two families and the three of us, ourselves, Maggie and the dads, are trapped between these two houses.

I say trapped because either Gary, Ellie, or both must walk down the street to Rachel’s a dozen times a day. When they are not walking to Rachel’s, she is walking to their house. Over, and over all day long. This would be fine, but they take this opportunity to inspect the three houses between them. They check out the yards, see who has been keeping things up, and will even go look in the windows of the houses. I know this for a fact because I once came home from an errand and Gary told me how cute my cats were when he walked up to my house and looked in the window to see them. Gary, Ellie, and Rachel have owned their houses longer than myself, Maggie, and the dads, and have a sense of entitlement that the neighborhood belongs to them. 

To keep neighborhood harmony, we and Maggie have indulged them for the past 6 years. An example of our indulging them would be that the first time they used their house after we moved in, they approached us and asked that we not use our porch light. It disturbed the darkness of the mountains for them. My porch light faces the side of their house. Their bedroom windows face the front and back of their house so the light could never reach their bedroom windows. But, okay, no big deal. They have asked the same of every house on the street. For years, no one used a porch light. I should say that in the summer we have bears from the forest in our front yards and a porch light would be helpful.

So for years we have dealt with their odd requests, looking in windows, and bad mouthing every neighbor behind every other neighbors back. But as I said, they do not live here full time so we have indulged them. Maggie and myself have become very good friends. We have barbeques, go to each others birthday parties, and have keys to each others houses. We both have dogs and watch each others animals when needed. If one of us had a problem with the other, we know we could call, talk about it, and resolve things like adults. Being the only two full-time people on our street we have to watch out for each other.

Now, I have six dogs. No, I did not mistype, I really have six dogs. Everyone knows about them, the vet, the Sheriff (one of my previous neighbors, turned friend, is a Sheriff), and animal control. Because we take such good care of our animals and they are not a problem, everyone turns their head. Gary and Ellie have known about the dogs since we moved here six years ago. Until a year ago, the dogs were no problem. They knew the dogs names, and asked us about them whenever we spoke. 

One day everything changed. One afternoon one of my dogs was barking in the backyard. Naturally, we went to go see what was going on because we don’t let our dogs bark. Ellie is standing in her yard about 3 feet from my side fence, staring at the dogs. When we go to quiet our dogs we notice her and say “oh, hello”. She then says, “if you don’t do something about that dog, I will” and turns and walks away. Huh? Ellie, Gary, and Rachel leave the next day without saying another word to us. What the heck is going on? We have been cordial to these people for 6 years and suddenly they are being nasty. The next time they visit their house we are still trying to keep the peace. We speak to Gary and let him know that if there is a problem to please just let us know. We will do everything we can to remedy it. He states that Ellie was just tired from her son visiting and lost her temper. Okay, I understand. No problem. We thought.

We now notice that every time Ellie and her sister Rachel walk by our house Ellie barks at the dogs. Yes barks. Most of time my dogs don’t take the bait. I actually heard her do it one time from her yard. She couldn’t see me so she barks at the dogs and when they bark back I distinctly hear her say “see, here they go again”. We figure she is trying to make some sort of case against us for animal control by proving the dogs are barking all the time. They are barking at her!

A few months go by. Our villains visit a few times and refuse to speak to us or Maggie. When walking up and down the street they shoot dirty looks at our houses. Whatever, it’s better than having them peek in our windows. Then a few weeks ago I get a call at work. A woman calls and asks for me. I say yes, can I help you, and the screaming starts. This is an actual version of the conversation: Me,  “Can I help you?” Caller (screaming at the top of her lungs): “You most certainly may. This is Ellie and you better come home and do something about these dogs this minute. I come to the mountains for peace and quiet and they are barking”. Me: “Stop screaming at me. I am at work and actually one of my dogs is at the vet right now and could be dying (true statement)”. Ellie: (still screaming) "Good I hope it does die. And I am going to shoot the rest of them right now”. Me: “You just threatened to shoot my dogs, I am calling the sheriff”. I hung up and did exactly that. I left my business and raced home to speak to the Sheriff. He hears my story and goes to their house and tells them they cannot speak to me again. That they have an animal control issue and that’s who they need to call. They cannot threaten violence again. They tell the Sheriff that they called animal control the day before. Huh? By the way, when the Sheriff is done with them, he come back to my house and tells me all this. So sure enough later that day, here comes animal control. The population of people that live here full time is fairly small. So of course when animal control gets here, we know her. She explains that she came out the day before and found their complaint “unfounded”. Needless to say she again finds their complaint “unfounded”. So now, they know that it will do them no good to call animal control. As I said, we take good care of our animals and don’t live in the city. Having 4, 5, or 6 dogs is typical for this area.

After 6 years of putting up with these people, now I’m mad. You don’t threaten my animals. Had they approached me like decent people and said the dogs were bothering them, I would have done everything in my power to correct the situation. But to call me at work out of the blue and say you’re going to shoot them? So I did what any angry neighbor might do in this situation. I found the most obnoxious hard rock cd I could find, put it in the stereo, turned the speakers in an open window towards their house and cranked it up as loud as I could. This is legal. There was absolutely nothing they could do about it. I only played it for an hour or so, but legally I could have gone until nine or ten at night. Was this the right thing to do? Probably not. But I needed to take control of this situation. After calling the police about the music they found out it was legal and that I could make their life hell if I chose to.

Well, you lost me at this point.  You didn't take control of the situation, you took a flying swan dive right in the pig wallow with your neighbors.  You had the Sheriff and Animal Control in your corner so cranking the acid rock music as loud as you could just advertised your pettiness in victory.  

A few months have now passed. We obviously do not speak to each other. I’m sure we never will. It’s a shame really. Living in the mountains we have been evacuated due to fire, have snow storms where the pipes freeze, and all kinds of other things. Making friends with your full time neighbors is a benefit. All the other weekenders realize this and they know they can always call and have me check on their houses. I am hoping writing all this down helps me get over my anger. We’ll see.



This is one of those "should have seen it coming" stories about a roommate I once had. I had to move off-campus my junior year of college and, through a series of events, ended up not being able to get an apartment with friends. There was no way I could afford a place on my own so I went online and found a group of people looking for one more to join their apartment. It was fine for a year. Two of the girls were a bit dramatic, but I got along well with the guy, call him Bob.

Now, Bob was far from perfect - a bit messy and had once or twice asked me to cover his rent while he waited for a student loan to come through. (Warning, Warning!) But we got along and he always paid me back, so the next year we found a much less expensive place and signed a lease.

Things went downhill right away. He went from being slightly untidy (leaving books in the living room or not hanging up his coat) to being a filthy slob. He never cleaned, rarely bathed and his bedroom was just disgusting. He would leave half-eaten food on the floor, which led to a mouse problem. He would cook these elaborate meals then leave the dishes in the sink for a week at a time. Once it was so bad that we got a fruit fly infestation. It was awful and any time I confronted him, he apologized, blamed stress from school and promised to clean as soon, as soon, as soon as......

Well, a few days before winter break, the rent was due and he was acting strange. Turns out he was drinking huge amounts and then taking too much cold medicine on top of it. He was so messed up he physically couldn't write a check. Of course I rushed him to the hospital - he was fine but got a stern lecture from the doctors there about his drinking. After making sure he was OK, I paid both our shares ($1100) because I was leaving the next day and didn't want to be penalized for paying late. 

I left for break and was out of the country for a month. He knew I would be out of touch and without e-mail access. I come home a month later to an e-mail saying he was dropping out of school and moving home to another state. I get back to the apartment and discover that he hadn't paid the cable bill all year (the only bill that was in his name. We split everything, but apparently he never mailed our payments!)  and that our internet and cable had been turned off. The only way to get it reconnected was to pay all the back fees - which totaled more than $300! I needed internet for school and work, so I reluctantly coughed up the money.

The icing on the cake was when he came back to get his stuff. He timed it so he would be arriving just as I left for work. I was on my way out, but asked when he would be around because we needed to talk and settle things. He promised he would be there first thing in the morning. I sat in my apartment all day, waiting for him to come back for the remaining few items. I finally had to leave for work and left a note outlining the money he owed and telling him to leave it in the apartment with the keys, etc.

When I got back from work, the rest of his stuff was gone, and he didn't leave a note, a message, NOTHING. At this point he owed me nearly $1,000! I called his phone over and over but he wouldn't pick up. I was so frustrated I called my mom, who promptly called his mom. Well, she didn't know half of what was going on, had no idea that he had signed a lease and was responsible for the rent whether he lived there or not, etc. She was really nice and apologetic and sent the money back, and that was the last I heard from them - Good Riddance!


After college my sister and her husband invited me to live with them in their nice family neighborhood.  We are not real chatty neighbors, and we all had hectic work schedules so we pretty much kept to ourselves.  We ended up getting a puppy that the children in the neighborhood quickly became enthralled with so we would allow them to play with her if:

1. Their parent’s knew they were over.

2.  They could not come in the house.

3.  One of us was outside overseeing the festivities at all times.

Through these play sessions, we found out that their parent’s were mystified and scandalized as to who I was (two women, one man, one house).  This was pretty amusing especially since my sister’s job (surgical resident) had her coming and going at odd times and even had her in another state for 6 months.

The house two houses down from us had four little boys who would spent their days riding their motor cross bikes in the field behind the house which is both dangerous and annoying, but at least they were quiet at night.   One weekend during the 6 months my sister was out of town, my brother in law was visiting her so I was the only one home and I had decided to mow the lawn.  I was obviously busy when I was approached by two strange men one of which asked me, “So, how’s the Dr. business going?” .I was taken aback as I am not a physician and my sister who was, had not been home in several months.  I asked him what he meant by that and asked him what he wanted (maybe not so nicely).  He said that they were salesmen and one of the neighbors down the street (the guy with the four boys) had informed him that I was a doctor.   Now, since none of us had EVER told anyone that my sister was a physician and I look NOTHING like my sister it was obvious that “someone” had taken the liberty of looking though our mail which often had things addressed to my sister with MD or Dr. on it and “someone” had assumed it was me. 

 I was livid because I was home alone for several days and had no way of knowing whether these men really were salesmen or just two guys casing a nice neighborhood looking for a place to rob.  Who better to rob than a Dr.’s house (ummm yeah, residents are one step up from slave labor and we had nothing of value).   What kind of a person would just volunteer that kind of information about their neighbors to random “salesmen” anyway???   Maybe he wanted to get rid of the guys and he thought I would make a better target?  Nice, real nice.   



I've lived with some crazies in my time.  One girl asked me to put away the clean dishes that she'd just washed and I told her I'd do it once I was dressed because I'd just left the shower and was wearing a towel.  She threw the stack of dishes at me and accused me of never doing anything useful.  A couple of years later another roommate got mad at me for cleaning the kitchen too much and told me I should just tell her to her face if I thought she wasn't cleaning enough instead of being passive aggressive.  You can't win!

The craziest roommate of all however was a girl I lived with my third year in college.  We lived in a house with 6 individual bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 shower room and 1 half bath.  We didn't know each other before moving in together; basically we were 3 pairs of friends.  Three of the strange girls were very nice but the last girl was just horrific.  She was totally convinced that cleaners came in and did all the cleaning so she never had to do anything when in actual fact we had no cleaning service.  Not once did I see her doing dishes, she never took out the trash and she smoked in the kitchen of our non-smoking accommodation.  She also refused to buy things like toilet paper which meant we all wound up hoarding our stuff because we were sick of her using up stuff and not replacing it.  At one point we agreed not to do anything until she stepped up and did some chores.  When the bin filled up she started putting trash in grocery bags.  It got to the stage where you could only get in the kitchen by sitting on the table and sliding along it past the piles of trash to the fridge.  After almost 3 weeks (I'd been mostly eating at my fiancé's place during that time) one of the other girls cracked and took all the stuff out but still crazy did not learn.  

The funniest incident was the theft of the cheese grater.  The kitchens in these houses came with basic supplies like 3 pots, 2 vegetable knifes, a chopping board and so on which we supplemented with our own stuff which we mostly kept in our own cupboards.  One of the items that was supposed to be in the kitchen was a cheese grater but for some reason we didn't get one.  I'd brought one with me and I was happy for others to use it so long as it was cleaned and put back in my cupboard afterwards.  After finding it sitting dirty a few times I decided to leave a little note.  I washed it, put it away and stuck a post-it on it saying "I don't mind you using this but please clean it and put it away when you're done."  I came home that evening to find the grater sitting dirty and the kitchen inventory list stuck inside my cupboard with crazy hi-lighter and red ink all around where it listed cheese grater.  



When returning to grad school in my late 20's, I wanted to be close to campus but not in a loud "party" area.  I found a great rental on the back side of an older house in what was generally a quiet neighborhood. 

One neighboring house was rented by a group of about 8 undergrads who were generally pretty was their guests who were the problem.  When having house parties, their trashed guests would come to the side yard to pee, either against the tree or *our* house.  This was usually accompanied by some witty discourse with friends along the lines of, "I'm sooo drunk, I really gotta piiiiiiss".  I should mention that the older homes in this neighborhood generally didn't have air conditioning, so everyone left their windows open when it was nice out (and most parties happened when it was nice out).  It's nearly impossible to ignore somebody peeing just outside your window.

While we didn't call the cops on them (there were city ordinances, of course), they'd usually go away if we called out something about what their Mom would think.  I was tempted to start taking pictures out the window...



My husband and I live in a townhouse on a quiet urban street. Being that it is Southern California, we and our neighbors have several opportunities to sleep with the windows open.

One night just as we were about to fall asleep we heard a very load moaning. We ignored it and a minute later we heard it again! It was became pretty clear to us that it was another neighbor engaging in very vocal sex. It was obviously a woman and it got the point that we felt as if we were listening to a pornographic video. We were in disbelief so we closed our window and went back to sleep.

A few nights later we heard her again! It became clockwork with this couple that every night at 10 p.m. we heard them. I felt so violated by this that I stepped outside of our townhouse to figure out which unit it was coming from. I could not believe that it was four units down!! The entire block could hear her!

Unfortunately I do not have an end to this story. I sometimes fantasize about screaming back at them “She’s faking it!” but I just simply close my window for ten minutes until they are done. If only they would close their own window…


When I was fresh out of college, I moved into a small “garden” apartment by myself.  It was the middle in a row of three apartments set in the yard behind a single family home, sheltered from the street.  My neighbor in the first apartment in the building was a single man about fifteen years older than me. 

 “Mark” was a nudist.  He always managed to have on at least a pair of shorts when I was around, but on one occasion I got an eyeful of more than I expected.  He was having trouble with his television reception and asked me to help by checking his television while he went up on the roof to adjust the antenna (the good old days).  As he moved the antenna, I was to holler up to him whether or not it was improving the picture quality, however he couldn’t hear me from the roof, so I had to step outside each time to communicate with him.  As he stood on the edge of the roof to talk to me and I was looking up at him, it became really obvious that those loose shorts were ALL he was wearing.  That’s right, a full view right up to his junk, unrestrained by his nylon running shorts.   

After six months or so, Mark moved out-of-state to live with family.  During the time we had lived next door to each other we had become good friends.  I was young and just starting out, and my furniture definitely reflected that.  I had crates as tables, cardboard dressers and metal garage racks for my books and television, and I had a small futon that served as both my couch and bed.  When Mark moved out, it was during the day while I was at work.  When I came home that night, he had piled all his excess furniture out in the alley to be picked up with the garbage.  I have never understood why he didn’t offer his cast-offs to me, who he knew desperately needed them.  I wasn’t too proud to recycle his trash though, and hauled in a dresser, kitchen table, chairs, bookcase, TV stand and a coffee table.  Today, years later, I still have that dresser in the spare bedroom of my house.


I've got one for you.  The condo I used to live in had one assigned spot per unit.  The assigned parking had your units number stenciled onto the space (for example I was in unit B1 and my spot had a B1 stenciled on it in white paint).  If you had more than one car there was plenty of street parking available in front of the buildings (the assigned spots were off-street between the buildings).   

About a year after I moved in new tenants moved into unit B13 and slowly started taking over the parking lot.   The first to go was the handicapped spot.  I came out one day and the handicapped symbol had been painted over with black spray paint.  A crudely drawn B13 was spray painted over it in white spray paint.   Less than a month later they apparently realized that one of the units was vacant so they blacked out that units number and spray painted another B13 onto it.  A little while later they apparently decided they needed a fourth "assigned" spot but unfortunately there were no more vacant units so...they spray painted a car sized rectangle onto the street in front of our building and painted B13 inside of it!   

One day shortly after, my fiancé was in our assigned so I wound up parking in B13's home-made street spot.  As I was getting out of my car a woman came running out of the building screaming that I was in "her" spot and that I had to move my car immediately.  Maybe my etiquette wasn't up to snuff because I actually started laughing out loud at how absurd this was.  As I walked around her to get into the building (still hiccupping a few small chuckles) I told her she was too funny.


 In the mid/late 90s, I lived in a small building which included 5 townhouses. These were all two bedroom places which tended to fill with young roommate-types. We were all approximately the same age - early to mid-twenties professionals. We all partied together at least some of the time. It was like Melrose place, in that there were infatuations and occasional hookups. We all got along for awhile. Though we were wild things on our time off, most of us were trying to establish careers and be responsible adults. Most, not all.

At one point, the unit two doors down opened up, and I told a guy acquaintance who was looking for a new place. He moved in, however, at the last minute, he brought in my high-school friend / previous roommate Alyssa. She had just married Kevin and they were pretty poor, so a roommate situation was just what they needed at that time.

I should have known.   I had previously lived with Alyssa for a year when we were around 21, and she was already a burgeoning drunk. Many nights of the week (including work nights), I would be woken up a little after 2am (after the bars closed), to her shouting "Wooooohoo!" in the house and being generally rowdy and loud. Tiresome. She was and always has been an out-of-control, embarrassment of a drunk. And quite obviously, inconsiderate. This lasted a year, and then we roommates went our separate ways while remaining friendly.

This was fine until she became my neighbor a year after that.   I suppose she decided to never grow up, or be responsible, while the rest of us did. It was the same thing, over and over. It felt meaningless and superficial to me - I never felt so lonely as when I was surrounded by a big group of friends, because no one connected; it was all about debauchery and going numb with booze. So, I quickly tired of the same party with the same music clips, with the same sloppy drunkenness and grind-dancing, ad nauseum. I also felt embarrassed for her (she was the ringleader and loudest/biggest spectacle).

To be fair, I did my own share of inappropriate behavior during that time, but I never kept neighbors up at night, and I was much less visible with my antics.

The real problem was the rest of the building wanted to sleep during work nights, and she would persist to throw a few back and play music too loud (and have occasional brawls). I could hear her from two doors down and be kept up - I felt sorry for the people on either side of her. I would occasionally go over on a weeknight (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em- I wasn't going to get any sleep anyway; might as well do something).

The neighbors in between us had to get up even earlier than the rest of us, due to a long commute. They would be so tired and frustrated, having to get out of bed, to come knocking on Alyssa's door to ask her to please turn the music lower. She would agree to it, and then soon after, the music would keep creeping up. I would insist on keeping it lower, but I was vetoed and thought of as a buzzkill. I would always feel embarrassed at the few times I was in that house and the door was knocked on, as I would be associated with the neighbors lack of sleep, even though I wanted to be polite and more mellow.

The worst of it came on two separate occasions: First, a drunken night where Alyssa and Kevin flipped out on each other. They fought, screaming obscenities at each other in front of our units, until he called her the worst name possible, beginning with a C. All neighbors, even with windows closed, heard every bit of it. There was a shocked pause until she said something about being done with him, and he elatedly yelled about his newfound freedom. I was so embarrassed for this display of crassness, for letting every last bit of their ickyness be experienced by neighbors. Some things should be dealt with privately. I always felt partially to blame for these things, as if everything they did by default was associated with me, as I brought these people to the building and foisted their grossly inappropriate behavior on all the rest of the nice neighbors.

The final straw was one night, when for no apparent reason, Kevin, in a drunken rage, lunged angrily toward me. Instinctively, two male friends knew to hold him back and it took both of them. I was terrified, not having seen this coming, and most certain that something bad would have happened had Todd and Benny not been there (thank you!!). With them holding him back, I was able to slip away and run to my house. Not knowing why he was mad at me, I was a little worried he would come pursue me later to do some harm (he didn't).

I was done after this. This is not the life I wanted to lead. I avoided Kevin and Alyssa, though they eventually hunted me down so Kevin could apologize for lunging at me. Sorries are nice, but that doesn't fix anything. I suppose forgiveness is fine, but why in the world would I want to put myself in that situation again? I retracted from the group activities (as mentioned, they were boring and meaningless anyway), and started doing my own thing. We made nice here and there after this incident, but things were never the same and I'd lost interest in the group as a whole.

Kevin and Alyssa eventually moved on to another state, with the promise of low-cost mortgages, and the dream of home ownership, and started going to church. The rest of us filtered out over time for various reasons; I was the last of the Melrose-ians to leave, nearly ten years later.

They have gone on to have four kids (two of which she does not love because they did not fit into her perfect plan of one boy, one girl), and she is still a fall down drunk. They maintain the look on the surface of being normal people, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Good riddance. I miss none of it.


I had a chance to leapfrog to a better life.  I would move in with a friend from university.  Everyone said it would be a mistake and I said I agreed but I couldn’t pass up the job opportunity.   Turns out we were all right!

Now I am a sucker for love and hard luck and not easy to live with.  My roommate found her partner 4 months after we moved in together.  From that point on I pretty much didn’t exist except at bill time.  I admit, I was severely hurt.  I didn’t understand and Vanessa wouldn’t talk to me to so I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong.

Well, our lease was up and we had agreed to go our separate ways.  Unfortunately everything fell through.  V also wanted to move Leo (her partner) closer to her and so being a sucker for hard luck, love and an obvious glutton for punishment, I came up with the plan for the 3 of us to move in together in a bigger place.

Thankfully we were only there a year.  Things went downhill from day one.

Come time for the lease on the flat to either be signed or notice given, it took an act of parliament for them to sign the notice.  By this point if they spoke to me once a week, I was to consider myself blessed.  And when they did talk to me it was for favors and answers to their questions were automatically wrong (why the Hades did they bloody ask me then!)…

I had even taken the time, well in advance, to arrange for members of my parish to bring their carriages as I had a small car.  I offered several times to include them with the movers.  The night before, I am asked if the offer was still open. I even stupidly agreed to take Leo to a car park to borrow a mate’s truck.  Morning came and Vanessa decides she has to go shopping and thus was not even there when we moved our stuff!

My stuff was moved with one move, but it took the movers three more trips for their stuff.  And on top of that I was asked and went by the old place to pick up stuff they couldn’t “fit” into their car.  I was paid a fee to store their stuff.

Things went to the South Pole due to behaviors on both our parts and it has been ages since I heard from the happy couple…and that was a call by Vanessa for help on a project…Unbelievable!



To be honest I'm not sure if this is really an etiquette story but I still shake my head when I think about it.   When I left home I wasn't making much money so I found a rather cheap furnished room.  It was a typical family type home with three bedrooms on the first floor and the attic was finished into two more rooms.  The owners rented all the rooms on a weekly basis.  The right side of the lawn and half of the back lawn had been paved for off street parking for the tenants and there was a low chain link fence separating the paved half of the back yard from the grass half of the back yard.  We were assigned spaces with front end parking facing the chain link fence.   It had been a heavy snow winter and I was happy to see that the landlady was quick to have the driveway and parking lot plowed after each storm.  We would all move our cars and the plow would push in along the side of the house and then pile the snow where the chain link fence was located.  I say where the fence was located because after the second snowfall the fence was buried under a snow bank not to be seen again until spring.  

Shortly after the snow melted there was a knock on my door.  It was the landlady who explained to me that the chain link fence was brand new last summer just before I moved in and that it was now "bowed" in the middle.  Since the "bowed in" part was in front of my space and the two adjacent spaces she decided that one of us had hit the fence and since she could not determine exactly who had done it we were all responsible for the repair bill.  She then handed me my portion of the bill.  I told her I would take a look at it.   After she left I went and looked at the fence.  My spot was in the center and the fence was definitely "bowed in" away from the paved side of the yard.  There was no damage or paint transfer to the fence that you would expect from a vehicle impact.  It seemed pretty obvious to me that the fence had not been hit, the snowplow pushing more and more snow against it had caused it to bow away from the direction the plow was pushing.  Great!  Mystery solved, I and my neighbors are off the hook for the repair as the snowplow company was clearly at fault.   

When I next saw my landlady I gave her the good news.  To say the least, she was not happy.  She insisted we had hit the fence so I took her down to the lot and showed her that the bending was too evenly distributed across the entire length of the fence for it to have been an impact and that the fence was still in pristine condition without a scratch on it so clearly it was the force of the snow pushing against it that damaged it.   Regardless of the evidence in front of her nose she still kept insisting that we had hit the fence.  I was very puzzled until she let slip, "My NEPHEW plows the driveway and there is no way HE damaged the fence!!".   I let my neighbors know about who had caused the damage to the fence and I'm pretty sure not one of them gave her a dime for it.  I was asked to move out shortly after and did it gladly.  To this day I'm pretty sure she knew her nephew had caused the damage to her property and was just hoping her tenants would be gullible enough to "foot the bill" for his mistake!


Page Last Updated September 18, 2008