I had forgotten all about my picky roommate until this thread. I think I blocked that year from my memory.
We were in grad school and knew each other and it seemed that we'd be a good match as roommates, so the second year of our program, we got an apartment together. One thing "Jane" told me was that during the summer, she didn't throw food scraps/waste into the kitchen garbage, but put them in a plastic bag in the freezer, and then threw that bag out on trash day. Which, okay, a little fussy for my liking, but I could live with it.
Well, it turned out that Jane had a lot of little rules that that, for the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, and general cleaning of the apartment.
The food scrap bag turned out to be not just for the summer, but all year long. Then she poured some sort of liquid in it, and it ran all over the freezer, so she started double-bagging it, which made it a bit more difficult to deal with. Then she developed a special sort of twist and knot to close it, that I had to copy exactly.
Then she caught me making a salad, with the food scrap bag on the counter, handy for me to toss all the bits and pieces of the vegetables that I was trimming and cutting into. Oh, no, the bag couldn't possibly be left on the counter. I was to keep the bag in the freezer, and bring it to the counter only when I was done fixing all the vegetables. Oh, and egg shells? They had to be put in their own, special plastic bag before they could go in the food scrap bag, so any egg left in them wouldn't leak out.
She used dish clothes to wash dishes; I used a sponge. I had to stop using the sponge. I had to remember to put those strainers from the sink drains in the dish washer every time I ran it. She left things in the dish drainer only while she washed dishes, then she'd dry them. I left things in the dish drainer until they were dry, then I'd put them away. Oh, no! That was sloppy housekeeping and not allowed.
I didn't use bleach when I cleaned the bathroom. That had to change. I vacuumed the public rooms of the apartment--living room, dining room, hallway--in the wrong order. I vacuumed the kitchen! Oh, the horror! Even though it was the best way to get the cat fur off the floor, her mother had never vacuumed the kitchen, so that too was sloppy housekeeping.
She made her bed immediately after she got out of it in the morning. I made mine after breakfast. Again, filthy, dirty habit. But I argued that she couldn't control what I did in my own room, and she finally backed down.
She never actually complained about how clean I got things, or the results of any of my housework. We had worked out a chore chart, and we both kept on top of the chores.
But it was the constant, non-stop niggling about *how* I did just about everything that wore on my nerves. It got to the point where I wasn't cooking and baking as much as I used to, because those activities had gone from being a fun way to escape from grad school to a time of torment, because I wasn't doing things my way; I was forced into doing them her way. And it got hard to remember all her little rules. And she'd get so upset if I forgot to put the sink strainer in the dishwasher, for example, and go off on a rant about how filthy my habits were.
No one thing that she wanted me to do was a burden. Some of them were a little silly, but in my attempt to be a good roommate, I kept that thought hidden. It was more the fact that every single thing had to be done her way. That every thing I did was "wrong." Not "different," just "wrong." And I got tired of always having to do things her way, of always giving in so she wouldn't get upset.
So I sat her down one afternoon and told her things weren't working out. She was very surprised to hear that. I gave her the choice of picking out which three things she wanted me to do in the kitchen, which three in the bathroom, etc. I had a list of them all for her. She argued and argued that my ways were "wrong," but I stood firm. I may not be the world's best housekeeper, but I'm not a slob and my house is clean.
She was very upset and complained to our friends. Fortunately, the friends were not as sympathetic as she would have liked, and mostly took my side.
She moved out when the lease was up, and had to get an apartment by herself, as no one would live with her.