Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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CSKIRPAN'S ONGOING NEIGHBOR WOES (from the discussion forum)


4/1/2005 - But We're NOT In Your Homeowners Association
May - October 2005 - The Satanic Costumes

January - May 2006 - Snowlady, patio light and racist bagels

I have enjoyed your website for many years—it was a huge help when planning my wedding. Now, years later, I have a Neighbor from Hell story for you. Enjoy!

Last year, my husband and I got a dog. Dog is rather large, but very well-trained and quite handsome. We follow all village and county regulations, Dog is always leashed and we carry a pooper-scooper on our walks to ensure that we are good and responsible dog owners.  There are many dog owners on our block, and we pride ourselves in taking very good care of this addition to our family.  Dog is friendly with everyone he meets, and is well-liked by everyone who meets him. After having Dog for many months, and having gone on the same walk route for all of those months (up and down the block), I was quite surprised to find a Neighbor from Hell living on our street.

While walking Dog on a public sidewalk (in front of XYZ house), Dog relieved himself on a bush (as dogs will do).  A woman came out of her house and began screaming at me to get Dog off of that lawn, and to keep Dog in my yard so he could do his business there.  The kicker? I was not in front of this woman’s home. She was yelling at me from across the street. I had never seen her before, nor had my husband encountered her on any of his walks with Dog. I have never had a problem with XYZ people whose easement Dog and I were in. In fact, I have never been yelled at for walking my dog on a public sidewalk. I was very concerned and upset. In the subsequent weeks, my husband saw the woman several times, but she never yelled at him.

Over the next few weeks, my husband and I talked to other neighbors at that end of our block.  It became apparent (to us, at least) that Neighbor from Hell might have confused us with another couple that did not pick up after their dog. If this was indeed the case, then I could understand Neighbor’s point of view. I decided to speak with her in order to clear the air and foster a healthy, adult neighbor relationship.

Needless to say, the talk did not go well. Neighbor from Hell immediately disregarded what I was saying because I was “young” and “didn’t know anything.” I insisted that I wanted to be friendly and that if she had a concern with me or Dog, to speak to me directly rather than screaming at me from across the street. NFH stated that she owed me no such courtesy and that she could do as she pleased. Still trying to be nice, I stated that if XYZ people across the street (whose house Dog and I were in front of during the first confrontation) had a problem with me, they could speak to me directly and we could reasonably and rationally resolve our differences.

Neighbor from Hell then let it slip that she didn’t know Neighbors XYZ.  In fact, she had never spoken to them and had no idea if they had a problem with Dog. I couldn’t believe it, so I repeated this to NfH to be sure: “You are telling me that you don’t know them, you’ve never spoken to them and you have no idea if they have a problem with me or not? You took it upon yourself to yell at me and I wasn’t even near your yard?”  NfH answered in the affirmative, and further asserted that she had a right to patrol my yard as well!  The conversation deteriorated rapidly from there.

Months later, I avoid that end of the street when walking Dog. Husband is still brave enough to go there, but then, NfH only screamed at me, not at him. I guess she thought I was an easier target?



I decided to go to a college about 2 1/2 hours from my home town, so I ended up in a dorm. Let me say now that I was mild-mannered and pretty easy-going.

My roommate was a born-again Christian of the type who makes all Christians look bad who felt the need to lecture everyone on how they needed to accept Jesus into their hearts. Yes, even the other Christians on the floor. Even the ones who went to Church every Sunday.

This was many years ago when the drinking age was 18, and she also spent a lot of time lecturing people on The Evils Of Drinking (I was spared this one as I didn't drink) in the study room on our floor. Yet everyone who did drink saw her at the bars, drinking like a fish.

She saw my D & D books and told me that they were demonic and no one should play it. She thought it was perfectly okay that some guys from her Church played it. I know they did because I met them, and they were more than happy to talk D & D with me.

She decided that the top 40 station I listened to wasn't proper for a Christian to hear, and instead of asking me to turn it off when she was around (I would have done it, no problem) she would walk in, not look or talk to me, and snap on her radio -tuned into the local Christian station and turn up the volume until it drowned out my radio. I would turn off my radio and she would then turn down the volume. Again, a simple "hey, I'm uncomfortable hearing this music" would have worked.

Finally she sat me down and told me she just couldn't deal with my being her roommate, and she had asked for a transfer.

I ended up with a very nice roommate and by the end of the school year my ex-roommate was on her 5th roommate.


When I first started reading the stories on this site, I never thought I'd ever be submitting my own.  However, after reading the "Neighbors" section, I, unfortunately, remembered a story about one of my suitemates in college. 

During my sophomore year of college, I shared a suite (three rooms and a bathroom on each side w/ a common room/kitchen in the middle) with my roommate and three other girls (one whom we met that year).  The four other girls and I decided it was a good idea to live together.  The year started out well as we all seemed to get along.  But the year did not end the way it had begun.

Throughout the year there were MANY problems, most of them the result of Princess Jessica.  Jessica had seemed like a cool person to live with but in actuality was far from it.  She was rude, mean, b*tchy, a liar and an all around horrible person.

She however was friends with my roommate who allowed her use of her computer as Princess Jessica did not have one of her own.  And when my roommate wasn't home, I was gracious enough to allow her access into my room to check email.  However, on this particular day when I let her check email, she ended up staying in my room ALL DAY LONG.  I was somewhat of a coward (I must admit) and hate confrontation so I let her stay.  My mistake!  In the time she was in my room, I had studied for a hard midterm and taken a nap. 

Unfortunately, this set precedence for what the future would be.  She only got worse and worse and became a thief in the process.

One weekend when I went to visit my boyfriend she answered the phone and informed the caller I wasn't home.  Okay, you're probably thinking "what's she complaining about?"  But I NEVER got the message because apparently she couldn't be bothered to take a message.  When my sister (the caller) called me back, she questioned me why I didn't return her call.  When I explained what I figured out must of happened, she wondered why the girl had picked up the phone in the first place.  The voicemail would have picked up the message and I would have at least gotten it.

The last thing that really angered me was she had STOLEN pop tarts from my stash of food.  Now we were starving students at the time and I had never had a problem sharing when asked, but she had taken it upon herself to rummage through my belongings to retrieve food because she didn't want to spend money to buy something from one of the vending machines.

After that year was over, I was more than happy to move out and away from her.  And I found out later that the few people who she hadn't entirely alienated with her b*tchiness, self-righteousness, selfishness and greed no longer talk to her because she ended up complaining about them to each other. 



Hi Jeanne, I am a devoted reader, first time submitter! While this story was going on, my out of province friend kept saying "don't worry, it can't get any worse." But somehow, with each day, it did.....

After first year university I rented a house with three other girls from my residence. I had been friends with best friends "Sheila" and "Amy," and they in turn, were friends with "Jane." I had many upper year friends who had regaled me with stories of housemate horror, so I initiated a house meeting at the beginning of the year. We discussed many things including what to do in the case of interpersonal problems. We devised solutions to nip common problems in the bud, most importantly, we agreed to NEVER act like spiteful women and bad-mouth other housemates behind their backs. If we had a problem, we would discuss it openly, honestly, and only to the person it concerned.

Initially, I was a little worried that Jane would be hard to live with. I had heard she was a bit of a party animal, and I had very difficult courses to take that year. In general, all the other housemates spent more time together (and in the house) than I did, since they averaged 8 hours of class a week while I had 30 (and played several sports).

Things went smoothly at first, but Jane and Sheila began mentioning the "tension" between Amy and me. Strange. Once I had asked Amy to please set her alarm clock in the morning, as I was tired of waking up to her rowing crew pounding on our door at 4 AM. And yes, I had asked her to stop gushing about how much she loved her boyfriend, since she was cheating on him with at least 2 guys. But I had thought both instances went well, and Amy hadn't seemed surprised about my requests in the least. I shook it off.

The year continued, Jane and Sheila continue to comment on the tension between Amy and me. But, frankly, I hadn't seen Amy in months, so I figured that it was more of her problem than mine. I became close to Jane (despite never being at home!), and I mentioned to her that really I just didn't "feel" this tension. By now Amy seems sullen and withdrawn. My best friend was depressed in high school, I suspected that Amy was as well. If Amy is using me as an excuse for her unhappiness, well, sometimes it happens. I mention my suspicions to Jane, as I figured her friends would make sure she got the help she needed. But the housemate situation wasn't great. Amy wouldn't speak to me, and Sheila seemed like she always needs a crisis to thrive on. I backed off my friendship with Sheila, but still figured nothing much is going on. Besides, Jane turned out to be the best housemate ever, so what's a little drama among women? I pointed out to Jane, in passing, that it seems that Sheila is forever telling other people's secrets in order to prove how much people trust her. I made a mental note to never tell Sheila anything I didn't want as common knowledge, and warned Jane that this might be prudent.

At the beginning of March, Amy is injured in an accident. She sees a doctor, Jane and Sheila tell me that everything will be fine. Suddenly, Amy is chipper and perky. And she is speaking to me! We have a month left of school, and Amy, an English major, is busily writing essays. I figure that this is a great change of events! Until I read the essays. They are enthusiastic, rambling monologues and isolated thoughts thrown together on a page. Amy will not pass her classes if this is what she submits. She doesn't sleep anymore, and has been making long calls to the White House to leave messages for Bill Clinton...

Hmmm... I ask Jane if maybe, just maybe, when Amy was hurt did she start taking anti-depressants? Jane flashes me a guilty look, "Sheila and I think it is better that you don't get involved, since you don't get along with Amy." Well, be that as it may, I point out to Jane that Amy won't pass her classes and ask if she has read any of the essays. As Amy's friend, I council, Jane should respect Amy's right to not tell me anything, but should also make sure that Amy gets in to see her doctor. I explain that, yes, Amy seems happy but her dosage is WAY too high. She will have to play around with the amount of anti-depressants she is prescribed. But in the mean time, Amy needs to get exempted from handing in essays or writing exams, or she will lose the year. It was that very moment that the truth dawned in Jane's eyes: I didn't hate Amy at all! But why would it seem like I did??

The answer was close by, in her room just off the kitchen: SHEILA. Remember how she likes to stir up trouble? She had spent the entire year emotionally torturing her "best friend" Amy! She had been trying to cause fights all year. Since I was never home, I often left notes (instructions, thanks yous, encouragements) on the kitchen table for my housemates who woke up hours after me. It started small. If I left a note to remind all three girls about a chore that we had each agreed to do, Sheila would get up after I left, do her and Jane's portion of it and leave the note for Amy. She would then tell Amy, I did everyone's chore except Amy's. If I left small presents (I am cheesy, what can I say?) she would take Amy's, so it looked like I only left them for Jane and Sheila. Dinner invitations disappeared in a similar manner. Once Amy had started to get (understandably) upset about my terrible treatment of her, Sheila upped the ante! She told Amy that I liked Amy's room, so I was trying to get her to move out so I could move into it.

Now all of a sudden things from the year were making sense. Like when Sheila had "confided" in me that Amy had moved in early and "christened" my room with one of her boys. (I didn't care, it was an old house. Apparently the old woman who used to live in it died in my room. That's more creepy than your housemate having sex!) Or when she tried to convince me that Amy had gonorrhea and was refusing to tell the guys she had been sleeping with, and didn't we have a moral obligation to call all her guy friends and tell them? (No, Amy had a right to medical privacy. Good call since it was a LIE) She had spent the year just destroying Amy's soul! That's what I pay tuition for -- a lesson in how to dehumanize your best friend.

But now Sheila had a problem. So it was obvious to Jane that I didn't hate Amy, and it was obvious that Sheila had caused all the "tension" with her stories. While the mature thing to do would be to admit that you had been evil and mean, beg for forgiveness and try to make it up to us (Amy especially), maturity was not Sheila's strong suit. Why admit to lying, when you can go completely off the deep end?

The next thing I know, I am getting called into an intervention by the president of the college. She is concerned for my safety and has offered me a room in residence until the end of the year. Why? Because Sheila has gone to her (the president) and said that Amy was taking drugs and that Sheila had become afraid for her life. Riiiiiiight. I told the president that Amy was most likely on anti-depressants and that Jane and I were trying to get Amy's exams and assignments deferred. I requested that she meet with Amy together with Amy's academic advisor to see what could get done. After that meeting, I ran into the president again. Having talked to Amy, she agreed that Amy wasn't the problem. She had left her offer of a room in residence on the table to Sheila, because the president was a woman of her word. Sheila moves out, and into residence, and begins to really spread her tales.

Friends on the bus stop looking us in the eye.... I hear whispers about how terrible Amy is...then Jane....then how terrible I am. Sheila (among others beauties) continues to spread the Amy-has-gonorrhea lie, phones Jane's fiancé and tells him that she is cheating on him, and tells people that she was forced to leave because I was mentally and physically abusing her all year. Sheila calls our landlord to try to get us kicked out of the house. Poor Amy and Jane, all those secrets they trusted Sheila with? Common college fodder now! She gets her mother to move in to her (now unused) room. During final exams. It now becomes clear where Sheila gets her charms from!

We ask Sheila's mom to leave. She says she is on holiday for a week, and is visiting her relatives. We ask her to stay with them, she says she can't because they smoke and she is asthma. I point out that both Jane and Amy smoke. She says smoke doesn't bother her. We remind her that it is final exams and we need peace and quiet, not stress. She says it is her legal right to be there, she would stay. We point out that she is not on the lease, therefore she has no rights of tenancy. She says she will leave only if we pay her Sheila's last month of rent. That's fine, I can write a check! We write the check (made out to Sheila) and she takes it, goes to Sheila's room and blares her stereo. Her stereo: the only thing she has brought with her for a week long "holiday" in our house. DURING FINAL EXAMS!!!! We tell her that if she wasn't leaving immediately that we wanted the check back.

New plan. We call Jane's Dad. He asks us to handle it like adults, and we tell him that we really have tried to reason with Sheila's mom. But, it really seems like she is only here to make us flunk out! We tell him the story. Up until this point, Jane, Amy, and I had had a pact. Because we got into this mess by someone telling tales, we figured we couldn't get out of it the same way. We agreed that no matter what we heard, we wouldn't justify it. We would just smile and say, "If that is what you think (Jane, Amy or I) did, then you are free feel that way." We hadn't even told our parents what was going on. We let Jane's dad know what had happened in two weeks. Next thing we know, Jane's very proper father curses up a storm, jumps in his car and drives three hours to the university town.

Sheila's mom went upstairs to the bathroom, locking the door to Sheila's room, with the stereo blaring in it. The stereo is so loud she doesn't hear Jane's parents walk in the door. When she came back down the stairs the smug, satisfied look wiped right off her face. While Jane's dad would never become violent, he IS HUGE. After a "discussion" in which Jane's dad outlines the arguments we have made for her to leave (with her calling us slutty liars), and the threat of a lawyer and immediate removal, via the police, they come to an understanding. Sheila's mom now states that she never intended to stay past this one night, and that she always planned on leaving in the morning. Jane's parents stay to ensure this happens. We call an all-night locksmith to change the locks, which Jane's dad insists is his treat. Sheila's mom doesn't hear this either, because the stereo is now at full blast.

When we gave the landlord the new keys, he says that Sheila has been harassing him too. If she (or her family) steps on the property, we are to call him, then call the police to remove her. He will charge her with trespassing. Three days later, Amy answers the door to the house because one of her good friends has arrived. But the friend is pushed aside by... SHEILA. Sheila says that she is here to remove her (bolted in) shelves. Jane and Amy and Sheila are know alone in the house. Jane tells Sheila that she should leave, as the landlord has said that she could be charged with trespassing. Sheila raises an eyebrow "what are you gonna do about it?" "Well, we were told to call the police..." "Oh," Sheila squeals "if you are going to call the police, I'll do it first!" Yep. She dialed 911, gave them our address and said she was being held against her will.

Jane had had enough, she sat down and waited for the police to arrive. Amy (who's anti-depressant levels had been lowered), cried loudly in the corner to herself. When the four squad cars showed up, Jane calmly answered the door. When asked who had called 911, she pointed at Sheila and returned to watch 'General Hospital.' The police asked Sheila if she was being held against her will, she said "no." (I still don't know why she wasn't charged with mischief or something) When the police asked Jane why Sheila had called, she looked the officer in the eye and said, "Officer, she's a bit of a b***h and I get the impression she likes to cause trouble." The officer smiled and said "I believe you might be right, ma'am."

For the rest of the semester we lived in fear that Sheila would get even crazier and try to hurt us physically. No matter how hot it got, no windows were ever opened (least she climb in or firebomb us) and we each spent the night in hotels (the only places we could sleep) before our major exams.

My friends from that time (from class, not ones that couldn't be told anything because of "pact of silence") still joke about the worst housemate horror story ever. It only took three weeks from figuring out that Amy needed a lower dose of anti-depressants, to the last day of school.

I look back on this time and laugh.... Jane is still one of the best people I know. Amy and I lost touch (we really never were close). And every time I see some that looks like Sheila, my chest tightens and I can't breath. I live by myself now.



Here's a roommate from hell story for you. I had wonderful luck with roommates all through college, and am still friends with all of them to this day. That all changed when I went to law school. Because my law school was in a distant city I was not familiar with, I elected to live in their dorms my first year, as did many other students in my situation. My assigned roommate was named Betty. Betty was already a little odd for living in the dorms in the first place, as she was an established professional with a law degree, in her 40s, who was there to pursue an advanced degree in law (LLM). In other words, the sort of person you would expect to find better housing than what was offered in your typical dorm. Our suite of rooms had 2 separate bedrooms, and then a shared living room, kitchen and bathroom. The rooms came with ample furniture, including beds, desks, bookshelves, dressers, a couch and chairs in the living room, and a kitchen table with chairs. Despite this fact, Betty imported a TON of her own furniture from her house out of state. Some of this was welcome, like the TV and the microwave. The rest of it, I rarely saw, as she kept it ALL in her tiny bedroom, which was almost invariably kept locked. On the rare occasions I was invited to speak to her in her bedroom, I could see that she had barely 6 square inches of floor space to move around in. She must have had to climb over her furniture constantly to get anywhere. Why keep it all locked in her room, you might ask? Well, because it might be stolen or damaged otherwise. Presumably by me and my friends, she implied.

Her obsession with security turned out to be the main reason she had chosen to live in the dorms. Despite the fact that anyone entering the dorm had to use a personal key card to go through 2 sets of main doors and past a guard desk, use the keycard to operate the elevators and then use it again to gain access to our room, she was positive we were all going to be invaded and murdered in our beds at any moment. I should mention that Betty was white, a real "southern belle" in her own mind, and had a terrible fear of black people. We lived in a predominantly black neighborhood, so this added to her paranoia. As a result, she was obsessive about making sure the deadbolt was shut whenever she was in our suite, and locked herself in her room as well. I was constantly coming home from class to find myself locked out of my own rooms because she had thrown the deadbolt and then gone to take one of her hour-long showers. With the bathroom door locked as well, of course. I asked her time and again not to throw the deadbolt when she was going to be unavailable to let me in, but she always got huffy and accused me of being unconcerned with her safety. I didn't point out that she didn't seem to be too concerned with MY safety, out there in the hall where the hoards of murderers were presumably lurking for her.

The security obsession also extended to her personal items. On our first day in the room, Betty explained to me that she would be keeping her personal supply of toilet paper locked in her bedroom, since she would be unable to observe me in the bathroom and would therefore never be sure that I was not using more than my fair share of the toilet paper if we split the cost of this particular item. She magnanimously informed me that she would not be offended if I kept my toilet paper in MY bedroom as well. I declined to do so, reasoning that it might be a bit hard on our guests who had not had the foresight to carry their OWN roll of toilet paper with them at all times.

Betty also had very strict (and somewhat strange) notions of cleanliness. On many days, I only had a 45 minute lunch break between classes. This left me only enough time to get home, eat a quick lunch, and return to class. In doing so, I usually left my dishes in the sink (we're talking, like, one plate and a fork here), fully intending to clean them when I returned in the afternoon. This was unacceptable to Betty. The first time I did this, I came home to find my dishes gone from the sink. I assumed Betty had done them as a favor, but then I couldn't find them in the cupboard. I asked Betty where they were, and she gave me a lecture on her theory that dishes left in a sink, even for an hour, will "fester." Her solution? She had taken my dirty dishes, tied them loosely in plastic bags, and put them in the cabinet UNDER the sink. Yeah, because dirty dishes sealed in plastic in a warm, damp environment aren't at ALL likely to "fester." She continued to do this anytime I accidentally left a dish in the sink. Including once when I had left the dish for three minutes so I could go to the bathroom. Meanwhile, Betty carried one of those sippy cups with a straw everywhere to feed her continuous need for Diet Coke, and the straw was permanently stained the color of the garish, hot pink lipstick she wore all the time. Eww.

Betty also approached me about my toothbrush. When we first moved in, I was in the habit of keeping it on the small area of counter between the back of the sink and the wall. Betty took me aside and told me that she was going to give me the benefit of the doubt and presume that I was just ignorant and not WILLFULLY trying to poison her, but that keeping my toothbrush there was spreading germs ALL OVER the bathroom, and so she had generously bought me a toothbrush holder. I was more than happy to use it (I had simply forgotten my own and hadn't gotten around to buying one yet), but I failed to see how keeping my toothbrush in a confined area she had no reason to touch was spreading germs EVERYWHERE. (Her personal toothbrush was in no danger from my germs, since it was kept locked in her bedroom with the toilet paper, of course.)

Betty was also deeply suspicious of my friends and boyfriend, who were all very fine, upstanding fellow law students and hardly the gang members she seemed to regard them as. If I had anyone over in our living room, she would flee past with barely a glance and lock herself in her room as quickly as possible. She accused my boyfriend and I in engaging in lewd practices in our common space in front of her. The incident in question? My boyfriend and I were sitting next to each other on the couch, watching television quietly. Meanwhile, she would have her out of state boyfriend (also in his 40s) visit frequently, and he would spend a lot of time at our dorm room alternately leering at me or giving me spurious advice about the legal profession in a fatherly tone. He was also in charge of hiring off-duty employees from the hotel he stayed at (always minorities) to come over and perform menial repair tasks for Betty. He would sit in our rooms and back orders at these people like an overseer on a plantation, much to my discomfort and that of the people working for him. I noticed the same people never came back twice.

Eventually, Betty's constant complaints and bizarre behavior drove me to avoid meeting her at all costs. Any time we were both in the rooms, we would both stay in our bedrooms. If I heard her exit her room to fix herself dinner, I would stay in mine until I heard her return to her room before I exited to fix mine, just to avoid any possibility of a confrontation. Even that didn't always help. I returned home one night, after Betty had gone to bed, to find one of the floor lamps from the living room moved to the middle of the floor right in front of the door, where I would be sure to see it the moment I came in. On the lampshade was a post-it note, on which was written in large, emphatic letters, "THIS IS LAMP." I had no idea what I was supposed to make of that. I hadn't been in the living room at night for weeks, and therefore hadn't touched or used or been anywhere near the lamp during that time. When I got up in the morning, Betty was gone and the lamp was back in place as usual.

At the end of the first semester, Betty requested to move to a single room, citing the fact that I was a "disruptive influence" in her life. I was more than happy to see her go. I should mention here that she was not so afraid of my germs that she couldn't remove my toothbrush from the holder she had bought and given to me as a "gift" so that she could take the holder with her when she went. Another girl moved in in Betty's place, and we got along fine and both managed not to disrupt each other unduly for the remainder of the year.



My fiancé and I are quiet, unassuming, compassionate, homebody kind of people. We don't go out and party or drink excessively (in fact, neither of us drink much at all.) So I must admit I rather dubiously submit this story, because I'm sure when I tell you about the kind of people I live with you're going to wonder how in the world we fell in with them. I must honestly admit I'm a little perplexed at this myself. I guess it's happenstance, since the six of us all lived in the same dormitory for the first two years of college.

Anyways, for our senior year of college, Fiancé and I agree to move in with a few of our buddies: Best Man, a very close friend of ours; Sexist, a weird but admittedly entertaining mad-genius type; Selfish, who you will hear plenty about, and Quiet, a random guy neither of us knew much about. So this means I, a 22-year-old female, agreed to live with five men for a year. I honestly had no second-thoughts about this because we seemed to get on okay and I have always preferred the presence of men to women.

What I did not realize at the time is that Selfish and Sexist are two of the most appallingly behaved, rudest, and self-centered people I have ever had the displeasure to know. Both men have their strengths, and sometimes their presence is a joy and not a burden, but I'm here to discuss their weaknesses and the things that make me want to strangle them.

First, Sexist. Sexist is a womanizer. He is incapable of having a monogamous relationship. He always talks about the necessity for men to have more than one sex partner because they ''have needs.'' This in itself would not be particularly bad, but his sense of humor is positively revolting and he never shuts up. Example: cleanliness. I admit I am a messy person, but there is a major difference between messy and disgusting. This man has appalling personal hygiene. He is constantly leaving dirty, decaying food in the kitchen, spilling it on the floor or the kitchen counter, and letting it fester. He then complains excessively that everyone he lives with (except Best Man) is a slob and lazy and irresponsible.

One day, I got fed up with the kitchen, and cleaned it. Because we have no mop, I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the nasty kitchen floor by hand. When Sexist came home, he looked into the kitchen and then stumbled into the living room. ''Who cleaned the kitchen?" he wondered. When I told him that I had done it, he smiled at me and said, ''Wow! You might not make such a horrible mother after all!'' He then proceeded to make it filthy all over again.

Then there is the subject of his sensitivity to issues of women's violence. I have a rather sexually traumatic childhood history which I do not broadcast to the world, but certainly these men, who I lived with and had known for years, were aware of it. One day we were discussing my very dysfunctional mother, and I mentioned that I had never really been wanted as a child but, as my biological father had sex with my mother while she was unconscious, she really had no choice in the matter. Sexist then proceeded to tell me that having sex with a passed-out woman is not really rape, and that women go out and get drunk all the time so they can have sex without having to feel guilty for it. This from the man who is always proclaiming that he has the ability to ''heal'' victims of sexual violence--and then turns around and enthusiastically watches (and discusses, in vivid detail, much to my extreme discomfort) anime movies that glorify the rape and degradation of women. It's not that I believe he would ever victimize a woman in this way -- but who's to say he won't pass down this attitude to his children, or a nephew, someone who WOULD do this kind of thing?

Then there is Selfish. Selfish is a decent guy (I think...) who has a fatal case of not caring about anyone but himself. He is obsessed with himself and his amazing ability to charm women. He is an aspiring actor and rather successful -- would not surprise me if he becomes a celebrity at some point in his life. Unfortunately his attitude is already completely Hollywood. He is a womanizer as well -- infamous for charming the socks off of a woman, spending a few romantic weeks with her, and then never calling her back.

At the beginning of the year, Selfish decided he was going to bring his cat to the apartment from home, regardless of the fact that animals are not allowed. We all had a group meeting where Fiancé very respectfully informed Selfish that he did not want to deal with the responsibility of a pet or worry about getting caught. Even though I love cats, I sided with my fiancé. Selfish just shrugged and brought his cat home anyways-- it now owns the entire apartment and tries to eat our food all of the time. I love cats, but this one is as inherently selfish and attention-seeking as Selfish himself.

Selfish also likes to interrupt us when we're engrossed in a book, movie, TV show, or clearly serious conversation, to talk about himself. Even when we tell him to please be quiet, he doesn't shut up. He keeps talking about how awesome he is, how awesome his life is, how hot hot chicks are, and anything else he possibly can to keep the focus on himself.

All of this is really quite a nuisance, but the /coup de gras/ is the parties. Selfish likes to throw huge double-keggers with 50-100 guests who act like they are living in a consequence-free environment. The first party he threw, at the beginning of the school year, he invited all of his friends from home, everybody he knew at college, and his two brothers, who are complete losers. We were soon surrounded by drunken idiots-- about ten playing beer pong, spilling beer all over the floor and table, some guy upstairs doing coke lines in the bathroom, six guys out on the front lawn smoking weed in clear view of anybody who happened to be passing by. The worst was when they took all of our landlord's furniture from the basement and threw it on the front lawn . At some point Sexist started shouting ''Break the table! Break the table!'' Can't accuse them of not following through. Sexist, Selfish, and his two brothers took the landlord's table and smashed it into splintered pieces in the middle of the street. When Fiancé and I insisted we tell our landlord what happened, Selfish just shrugged and said, ''He won't miss it.'' To this day he thinks it's hilarious.

At one point, Selfish, completely blasted, decided to leave the house. He didn't bother to check if anybody else was *staying*-- so effectively our house was left with approximately 100 drunk, high, irresponsible people completely unchaperoned.. By that point Fiancé, Best Man and I were so disgusted that we took off for refuge at a friend's house--not realizing Selfish wasn't at his own party! There's no telling what happened while we weren't there-- or what /could/ have happened. To this day Selfish doesn't see anything wrong with that.

So during Selfish's subsequent parties, Fiancé and I made it a point to make other plans and not be present during the fiasco. However, everybody (excluding me, who is behind) in the house recently graduated from college. Best Man is moving to another state at the end of this week. Selfish, in one of his rare moments of considering other people, suggest that we have a going-away party for Best Man. We think this is a wonderful idea, as Best Man has been feeling under appreciated and frustrated and he truly deserves a night to honor him.

However, soon after setting the party date, Selfish begins to realize that hey-- he's having a party! So he invites all of his friends from home and plans his theatre cast party for the same night. Best Man invited a few of his friends, getting really excited, but also aware the guest list was climbing--all Selfish's kind of people. Selfish even invited a guy I'll call Creepy-- who had a HUGE problem with Best Man. To make a long story short, they had formerly been roommates, Creepy had crossed the line and made inappropriate and unwanted advances toward one of Best Man's female friends, and they both were livid with one another. Creepy talked all the time about how he was going to beat up Best Man any chance he got. Selfish didn't seem to see a problem with inviting someone this openly hostile toward Best Man to a party that was, in fact, supposed to be honoring Best Man.

Even though fiancé and I dreaded this party, we knew we had to stay out of honor for Best Man. So that I had someone to keep us company while we sat there and endured the hell that was sure to follow (and hell it was), I invited my best guy friend, Wonderful, to come hang out with us. Don't know what I would have done without Wonderful to keep me sane.

Everything started somewhat low-key. People poured in--the usual moronic suspects. Someone put on some music, people started drinking and dancing dirty and playing beer pong. At this point Fiancé was ready to fall asleep, so he went upstairs to his attic room and attempted to get some rest. This left Wonderful and I to try to entertain ourselves despite the horror around us. Best Man had a bit too much to drink and wandered around socializing with his friends who he hadn't seen in a long time. We took some silly pictures (neither I or Wonderful were drinking-- I guarantee we were the only sober people there.)

Wonderful and I went out on the front porch to get some air. We sat there looking at the stars and talking about parallel universes and other astronomical oddities, and generally were enjoying ourselves as best as can be expected. It was at this point that Selfish's brother came out and began pestering us for cigarettes. He seemed personally offended that neither of us smoked. Finally Selfish and his brother stumbled out onto the front porch together, saying they were going for pizza. These men were falling-down drunk.

I told Selfish that if he dared to get inside a car while he was drunk, as soon as he left the parking lot I was going to call the police and have him arrested. I think drunk driving is one of the most irresponsible things anybody can do. Selfish ignored me, and tripped his way to his mustang. At this point, as I watched helplessly, Wonderful took the initiative. He ran out into the parking lot and stood behind Selfish's car, refusing to let him back up. When Selfish started to swear at him, Wonderful offered to drive he and his brother wherever he wanted to go.

As I was not about to be left alone at this party, I went with them. So Selfish, his brother, and a very inebriated mutual acquaintance all pile into the backseat of Wonderful's car, chanting incessantly that they are going to get some pizza (a fifteen minute walk away, by the way.) I was pretty resigned to this nightmare at that point, and was just trying to enjoy it as much as possible.

However, as we were about halfway to the convenience store serving cheap pizza, they all started talking about how hot the girls at the party were, and Selfish's brother announced, ''I want to rape those girls!'' Wonderful and I exchanged horrified looks. When I very firmly began to explain the trauma that rape victims experienced, he insisted that any girl would love to have sex with him (though in a very vulgar, unrepeatable way) and that he was going to jail soon anyways so he wasn't worried about getting into trouble. Wonderful just kept repeating, ''You REALLY don't mean that. You REALLY don't want to do that.''

Finally Selfish just laughs and explains ''He's just joking around. Don't worry about it.'' I'd like to make it clear at this point that I was a victim of sexual abuse by my mother's fourth husband for six years when I was a pre-teen/teenager. Selfish is COMPLETELY aware of this fact and yet sees nothing wrong with his brother ''joking'' about rape-- in front of a rape victim!

Wonderful and I sat in the car while the three boys went to get their pizza. As they were coming out, they shouted at some random girl walking by and called her a whore. They thought this was really funny. Finally we drove home. By this point selfish had discovered that he'd accidentally broken his cell phone, and was whining about it incessantly. We all piled out of the car and the boys took off without so much as a ''thank-you.''

By this point I was livid. Wonderful and I sat on the front porch. Some random guy was nearly passed-out on the other couch of the front porch-- I watched him get up and vomit into the bushes. While I went inside to get the man a glass of water, I was told that Selfish's brother had thrown up all over the living room rug, right in front of the TV. I went outside, handed the glass of water to the poor almost-passed out guy (who promptly passed out). Then Selfish came outside and began to complain some more about his cell phone-- he was so drunk that he kept forgetting it was broken every fifteen seconds, so he was constantly ''rediscovering'' this minor tragedy.

It was about 3:30am at this point. Finally Best Man came out onto the porch, looking very angry. He was clearly sobered-up by this point, and told Selfish in no uncertain terms that he was throwing everybody out of the house. After Best Man managed to evict everyone, Wonderful and I tried to help him clean up the mess, including Selfish's brother's vomit, on the floor. Best Man is somewhat obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness and he could not sleep knowing the house was a disaster area. He tried to get everybody, including Selfish's brother, to go to sleep--but we still ended up with one person passed out on every couch downstairs. It was then that Best Man informed us that he had overheard Creepy insulting him behind his back, with Selfish just going along with it.

So, to rehash-- Selfish throws a party for Best Man, invites all of his friends, including members of his theater cast, and even invites the one person that Best Man hates the most. During the party, he ignores Best Man, threatens to endanger countless numbers of lives by driving drunk, calls a stranger a whore and defends his brother for threatening to rape a girl in front of a rape victim. He then leaves the mess for Best Man to clean up.

When I (and everyone else) confronted him the next day, his response was, ''I don't remember anything that happened last night,'' and a shrug. When I confronted him about his brother, he assured me, ''He always says that when he's talking about women he's attracted to.'' WHAT?????? His next line of defense is, ''Sexist thinks it's hilarious!'' Oh, that makes me feel so much better.

I am so over these guys. In a few months Fiancé and I are moving in with Wonderful, his lovely girlfriend, and another nice lady who all share the same sense of decency and respect for other people. I'm so ashamed to be living with these so-called ''men.''


This story is about my parents.....They have recently built a home in a very exclusive riverfront neighborhood and paid a hefty sum for their house and property. Well.....the trouble starts when the next door neighbor (who is a golf course landscaping designer) decides to plant a tree line down the entire length of his property line. When he started planting my parents noticed that the trees seemed awfully close to their yard and they had had trouble with the backyard being a bit off as far as the property line My parents paid to have their entire property surveyed to determine the exact boundaries of their property. Once all was said and done it turned out that the neighbors trees (which my mother really didn't like) had been planted more than 4 feet into my parents yard. Needless to say my parents went and talked to the neighbors and offered to work with them on what kind of trees to buy and try to compromise so that everyone liked the choice that my parents would plant the chosen trees down a tree line closer to the property line. Now this seems like a reasonable solution the problem...especially with the fact that if they were to leave the trees there that the 4+ feet of my parents yard that was being used would eventually become the neighbors property. Well....It has been a year and the neighbors trees are still growing there and they have even added MORE trees....all the while acknowledging that they are on my parents property but insinuating that its "just a few feet" and "not a big deal". parents have just decided to plant the trees that my mom picked out in a line on the property line. While those are being planted the neighbors trees will be dug up an I guess returned to them....maybe onto their front porch or something.


I had an elderly neighbor who we'll call Mrs. M.  Since she was homebound, and could not walk very well, she asked me to wash and dry laundry twice a week for her and her husband.  I would pick them up at her house, then take them home to wash, and deliver all to her clean and folded.  She did not pay me for this.  Never even a thank you, but I guess I did it because she just needed help, no problem there.    

The problem begins after about a month of this, she decides she is missing one of her sheets, says I did not bring it back.  So I look all around my house, no, I don't have it.  She insists I do, and calls me about three or four times a day, wondering when I'm going to return it.  Finally she says one of my kids must have "stolen" it from her.  That's quite enough, so I go to the store, buy her a new sheet, just to shut her up.  She calls me that afternoon, says she "just can't take this new sheet."  Oh, good, I think, she's actually got some guilt or something.  No...she says the new sheet is a 'flat' sheet, and hers was a 'fitted' one.  Even though she's already opened it, can I take it back and exchange it?  (I do not do her laundry anymore.)   I guess I shouldn't be surprised, as her 30 year old daughter was the one who, when my little 5 year old cousin got leukemia, told all the neighbors they shouldn't let their children play with him as 'they might get it, too.'  Neighbors from Hell, indeed!


One day I arrived at home to find an extension cord running from my outdoor outlet on the side of my house across the lawn to the next house.  I unplugged it, threw it in their yard, and marched over to see who was on the other end of it.  Finding no-one home, I slid a note in the cover of my outdoor receptacle to NOT use it without my permission and went to the store.  When I returned home- it was hooked up AGAIN!  This time the landlord of the other house was there, using power tools off of my electricity without my permission to fix it up before renting it.  This is STEALING- he didn’t even bother to contact me to ask me (which I would have gladly given.)  The chutzpah of some people!



My fiancé "Ron" and I decided to move in together when we were starting college. A friend of my fiancé's, who we'll call "Mary" said that if we were willing to live with her she knew a house we could rent since the landlord was a friend of her family's. Since I was still finishing work I decided that I would move into the house at the end of August. Ron and Mary moved into the house in June. I hadn't seen the house but I should have. I went to visit my fiancé and check out the house when I had a weekend off from work. It was a complete eyesore in the middle of the street among several polished looking houses. The landlord never fixed anything and it was falling apart. Deciding that there was nothing I could do because Ron and Mary were already there I moved in at the end of August. 

Ron and I got along great but Mary proved to be the roommate from hell. She wasn't in college and she was working at a local pizza place. When school started in September I found myself desperately trying to finish my homework every night before she came home from work. I like quiet when I do my homework and Mary would immediately take over the computer and blast her music and the TV at top volume. She spent about six hours a night online and never cleaned up after herself. She never once did dishes, took out the garbage, etc. but tried to boss everyone around, wanting everything cleaned her way. Since she wasn't helping me I just ignored her and did things my way. Since Ron and Mary had moved in first and gotten everything set up most of the bills were in their two names but a few were in all three of our names. Ron and I worked out an agreement with Mary that we would write her checks for the rent and bills every month. She would pay the landlord and the bills. Over the months that we lived together several bills piled up. Since I was young and naive I didn't think anything of it when Mary claimed that she had paid the bills every month. 

Come October Mary and Ron weren't getting along at all so Mary told me that she was moving out. She ended up moving to another state. Afterwards we found out that she had not paid a single bill and our utilities were sitting there unpaid. Our names were on the bills so we had to do our best (with some financial support from our parents) to pay the hundreds of dollars in accumulated bills that Mary was supposed to pay. We figure that she took the money we gave her for bills and used it to pay her part of the rent. I don't think Ron and I will ever get an apology or see that money again but we are a lot wiser. We now live together in a different location and will never have another roommate again.


Page Last Updated September 11, 2007