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Giving Those Dirty Dishes A New Home

I recently went back to school after being a college dropout for a couple of years and promptly learned why I prefer living in my own apartment rather than sharing with complete strangers. I ended up living in three different apartments during my one year certificate program due to various issues. This takes place in my first apartment, one I was very eager to leave. I shared this apartment with three others I got along with fairly well in the beginning. One of the three, let’s call her Tammy, started testing my patience in a hurry.

Tammy wasn’t too bad at first. She would sometimes leave a dish or two in the sink but it would always get cleaned eventually. She was also very social and we started having friends over at the apartment. I was never really asked about having anyone over so I tried not to think too much about it, though I made it clear that my rule was, “Fish and guests both start to smell after three days.”

After a while, however, the one or two dishes became a pile in the sink and the friends coming over wouldn’t leave. (This was made worse by their late-night, loud-movie-watching tendencies.) We had a nice kitchen mess and full-fledged squatters living with us. People were always there, usually sleeping on the living room floor. We had about eight people or more all together in our apartment on a daily basis for a few months. And yet all of these people didn’t know how to wash a dish. We even had a dishwasher for crying out loud and nobody operated it, even when the sink full of dishes would merit such an extravagance. I reported both the messes and the squatters to our housing authority at the school multiple times, as these were violations of the student housing contract, but not much came from it until I was finally moved into my second apartment some five months after my first report of squatters. Meanwhile, I became more and more sequestered in my room and started cleaning up after myself and no one else.

The absolute worst time was when Tammy decided to make breakfast for all of her friends before class one Friday morning. I left for school noticing the pile of dishes in the sink from Tammy’s cooking. So Tammy or her friends would do them later. I didn’t think much on it. They were still there when I came back that night. At that point, I shut myself up in my room for essentially the whole weekend, something I would do almost every weekend for my entire time in school. I was just that uncomfortable in what was supposed to be my own home. Monday morning came again and I had to leave for school.

And the dishes were still in the sink.

I was shocked! Who knows what sort of bacteria had a chance to grow on those?! Never in my life had I been so glad to keep track of my own personal dishes. None of them were in that sink, I assure you.

That evening, the pile of dishes was still in the sink and one of the other roommates had had enough. She went and washed that sink of dishes that she had never used while Tammy sat and watched television. I was disgusted at the unfairness of the situation.

And the scariest part of this story? All of this happened while we were attending culinary school! At this very moment, Tammy and her friends are out there now preparing food for unsuspecting people!   0802-10

My short term solution would have been to purchase my own dishes and a few pots which I kept in my room.  When confronted with a sink full of someone else’s dirty dishes, I’d collect them and place them on the offending roommate’s bed.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • josie August 2, 2010, 7:53 am

    I wouldn’t have been as generous as the roommate and done Tammy’s dishes. I’d of told her to get off her duff and do them herself! The OP did well to move on.

  • Princesssimmi August 2, 2010, 8:05 am

    Ok, I’ll admit I haw a tendency to be lax when it comes to washing up. Mainly because I don’t have a dishwasher but also because I wash dishes at work and I hate doing it when I get home. Mind you, I’m the only one that lives here and everything else is always clean so it doesn’t bother me.

    In a situation such as yours, I believe following Miss Jeanne’s advice would be best. However my other suggestion is that if you have not been moved and the problem has not been sorted within three months of your first complaint, get your local tv station involved. Document everything via email, keep
    photocopies and times and dates of your phone calls and what they were about. Companies tend to get nervous when you involve a tv show like A Current Affair and will normally get a wriggle on.

  • Mojo August 2, 2010, 8:25 am

    Well done, you showed much more patience than I did.
    After due warning, I stacked all my flatmate’s dirty plates, cutlery and saucepans in a bed sheet, knotted the corners together, and dropped it off the balcony. It made the most glorious sound.

  • jen August 2, 2010, 8:25 am

    I think this is a very common roommate issue. Heck, I have that issue with my husband. I’m assuming the poster actually spoke to her roommate about the mess. People can be pretty clueless and not realize everyone else thinks they’re gross. I love the idea of buying your own dishes, and piling the dirty ones in the roommate’s room is probably a good solution (although I would be careful about antagonizing someone you live with). We all have to compromise when living with others, but there are limits. I think the bigger issue is the squatters. I wouldn’t want that many strangers staying in my living space. Everyone has different ownership standards (to put things politely), and valuable things could go “missing.” With that many people staying over it would be difficult to figure out what happened.

  • LovleAnjel August 2, 2010, 8:27 am

    I had a college roommate with similar cleaning tendencies. I had my own dishes, washed them myself (which I had to do in the bathroom sink every once and awhile), cleaned up my room/messes only. I was tempted to put stuff on her bed, but I would not have been able to make it there across the room without tripping on stuff. Eventually she gave up on dishes and bought styrofoam & plastic stuff that she could use once and throw out. She didn’t have guests over, but spent most nights at her boyfriend’s, then would forget her keys and pound on the door at 3am to be let in. I was very glad when that lease was up. (She also refused to change the utilities into her name after I left, but that is a different story.)

  • Annie August 2, 2010, 8:41 am

    You know, I know someone who did just that! In college, my husband (then boyfriend) rented the second floor 3br apartment of a victorian house with 2 female friends. He’s got a number of great qualities, but let’s just say I’ve learned not to leave the dishes to him. One roomate kept getting on him to do his dishes (as did I) and he kept putting it off, putting it off until one day she got fed up and put all his dirty dishes on his bed.

    It worked. 🙂 🙂

  • Anonymous August 2, 2010, 8:50 am

    That’s just disgusting. I admit there are times when my sink ends up full and the dishes aren’t washed that day, but they’re always done the next morning. This usually happens when I’ve been cooking a huge meal for guests and the dishwasher is already running.

    Roomates. Gotta love ’em. A few years back, I and two other girls were sharing an apartment. One girl used to choose the smallest pot to cook with, and while her pasta was boiling away, she’d be in the bathroom drying her hair and doing her makeup. My pot was soon ruined. Another time, we came home late one evening to find a used maxi pad on our dining room table. It seems “pot girl” didn’t know what a bathroom was for. I promptly placed it on her pillow (using gloves to pick it up, of course) with a very nasty note, while my other roomate bleached down the table.

  • Virg August 2, 2010, 9:06 am

    Given the state of the dishes in the sink after an entire weekend (and given that she had her own dishes) I’d have discarded them.


  • BeachMum August 2, 2010, 10:00 am

    A very long time ago I found myself in a similar situation. My roommate had a boyfriend in another city. Every Thursday night she would cook herself an elaborate meal. On Friday morning, she’d leave for work and, after work, would drive herself to this other city. She’d return Monday after work.

    However, after her Thursday dinner, she never did her dishes. Some weekends, I’d just leave them to fester for four days to see what would happen when she returned on Monday night. Most weeks, however, I’d wash them on Friday morning when I was doing my breakfast dishes.

    The entire situation was nasty, but no amount of begging, pleading or discussions about vermin helped so I just sucked it up and washed her dishes.

  • Shayna August 2, 2010, 10:08 am

    While putting the dirty dishes on their bed seems tempting, I’m not sure I’d want to antagonize someone I live with like that. Thank goodness I have a husband who isn’t afraid of a little housework.

  • kero August 2, 2010, 11:04 am

    Grossss! You sure have patience. I absolutely dislike uninvited squatters and would have demanded rent if they overstayed their welcome. The shocking aspect for me is that your roommate are in culinary school and cleanliness is stressed (at least that is what my culinary friends have told me). I hope she does not get anyone sick with her habits :o(
    When I was in college, I always have heard horror stories and were very grateful for relatively clean and considerate roommates. The worst my friend has told me was when everybody in the house would blame each other for the “mysterious” messes that popped up. She holed up in her own room to avoid the landfill out in the common space. Literally, they would not throw away take out wrappers and leave it on the table for the week–then blame it on someone else for leaving a mess. Disgusting!

  • Chocobo! August 2, 2010, 11:24 am

    Hm, I notice that this story never says “Then I went and asked Tammy to please clean up her dishes…”

    Non-confrontational methods of dealing with roommates like these just don’t work. All they do is offend the offender, which make them less likely to do the right thing next time, and feel self-justified in leaving their things around. Did smarmy notes and garbage on the bed ever actually work for anyone here? Because I know it never did for me.

    I wonder if this could have been alleviated if someone had just said “Hey Tammy… clean up your stuff”. Not being direct with the roommate is the easy street to misunderstanding and/or being a doormat. If being direct doesn’t work… THEN leave the garbage on their bed, and move out.

  • Tara August 2, 2010, 11:26 am

    This is just one of the things you have to put up with when you have roommates. Not everyone thinks it’s a big deal to leave dirty dishes in the sink until they’re ready to do them. Bacteria may indeed grow on them, but they’ll be washed and sanitary before they get used again. It’s really only a problem if ALL the dishes there are to be used are dirty, or if that person starts using other peoples’ dishes. Or if the counter is unusable because it’s covered with dirty dishes.

    I know, people are going to yell at me for saying that, because rent is expensive. I say… small studio apartments are the price of split rent easily, sometimes less… it may be small, but you have the whole place to yourself.

    I, personally, have NEVER had roommates, other than the occasional boyfriend and now my husband. It’s just not worth it. I’ve lived on a part time retail income while in school, too. I had to look around for a place that was under $300 a month, but it was better than dealing with other peoples’ definition of “clean.”

  • gramma dishes August 2, 2010, 12:28 pm

    I agree with Jen.

    The idea of having people I barely knew, if at all, basically taking over my living space — and NOT contributing to rent or utilities would drive me nuts!

  • ginkiguy August 2, 2010, 12:35 pm

    I agree that is disgusting, and while I can understand the housing authority not wanting to get involved over dirty dishes, I would think the extra houseguests would pose a safety issue and they would resolve that right away.

    @LovleAnjel – you don’t have to wait for your roommate to move the utilities over to her name. I had an irrresponsible roommate at one point, and when I left I just called the utility companies and arranged to have the utilities shut off in 3 days. I then called the ex-roommate to inform him that he had 3 days to put them in his own name or he would be in a cold, dark apartment with no TV. After the 3 days were up, whether he had utilities in his name was no longer my problem.

  • gingertwinge August 2, 2010, 2:50 pm

    Do what we do –take those dishes out of the sink and stack them somewhere –a table, a counter, whatever. Do your own, but those other dishes stay there until the owner takes care of them. But no one throws them away or gets a television crew in! (good grief)

  • Jillybean August 2, 2010, 3:14 pm

    Boy did this bring back memories. I had a college roommate who didn’t clean anything – and I mean that. She spilled ketchup on the floor one day and simply moved the trash can over it. She never did dishes. There were 6 of us sharing a townhouse, and inevitably someone else would end up doing her dishes. She was just filthy. We had 2 bathrooms, and basically she had one to herself, because she would never take a turn to clean. So we pretty much banned her from the other bathroom and she happily used her disgusting, never cleaned, bathroom. We were all so very glad when she moved out.

    I also knew 3 guys in college who shared an apartment, and HATED doing dishes. They had a double sink, and would literally wait until it was full – on both sides, with dishes piled more than a foot over the rim of the sink. Then they would have a Nintendo tournament to see which one of them got to wash the dishes. Seems the same guy always lost – you’d think he would have made it easy on himself and just done the dishes as they got dirty.

  • Xtina August 2, 2010, 3:18 pm

    I hope the OP spoke to her roomate about both the guests and the dishes before taking it to their housing authorities–I’ve seen cases of roomates who retaliated to a “complainer” by purposely leaving more messes or doing more of whatever the offending issue was simply because they (the offenders) weren’t asked directly by the offended to stop doing whatever they were doing.

    It sounds like the OP and the other (clean) roomates in this story sort of hung back and took the treatment Tammy doled out–even to the point of doing Tammy’s dirty dishes while she was sitting right there listening or watching–maybe the OP is leaving out some details of goings-on between them and Tammy, but when it got to the point of feeling like a slave in one’s own home, then something should have been said or done a while back, even if it meant more affirmative action with the housing authorities. Tammy started to push the boundaries slowly, and when the roomates didn’t push back or speak up, she got progressively worse.

    Regardless, what Tammy was doing here was both disgusting and discourteous. Agree with Ms. Jeanne and other posters who have said they would have stacked all the dirty dishes in Tammy’s bed, or thrown them out–anything to make the point that such behavior will not be tolerated. Moving out as soon as she could was probably about the most effective way for the OP to manage this situation, because some people don’t ever see the error of their ways.

  • Xtina August 2, 2010, 3:20 pm

    whoops–by “some people” not seeing the error of their ways, I mean the bad roomates, not the OP 🙂 Best to remove oneself from a bad situation, or all the roomates should have gotten together and tried to get Tammy to move in with some of these glorious friends that she was having over all the time. Then they could have all been nasty together….haha.

  • Amazed August 2, 2010, 4:12 pm

    Destroying the dirty dishes sets a bad precedent. That leaves the person open to getting their own personal property destroyed should it ever be considered out of place by someone you already know is irresponsible. “Oh, your toothbrush was on the wrong side of the sink, so I threw it away.” “You left a book on the kitchen table, and it doesn’t belong there, so I threw it out the window.”

    Best to just box up the dishes and put them in the offender’s room.

  • The Dish Fairy August 2, 2010, 6:28 pm

    My husband had roommates like this, back before we were married. At one point, when their dirty dishes filled the kitchen sink and surrounding counter space and they’d ignored numerous requests to stop playing video games and clean up, my husband had had enough. He put the whole, disgusting mess in the bath tub, thinking that they’d have to clean it in order to shower. No such luck. They befriended the neighbor and started showering at his apartment. Now that’s some dedication to slovenliness!

    My now-husband showered at my place for a few days, in hopes they’d give in, but the roommates were stubborn. He eventually ended up washing all the dishes so he could reclaim the bathroom. Boy was he glad when that lease was up!

  • LeeLee88 August 2, 2010, 7:00 pm

    Amazed, I agree with you on that. While it may feel good at the time, it will most definitely cause problems and leave the initial destroyer open to some big ramifications. I had a roommate who threw out my hair straightener because I “left it on the wrong shelf”. In the bathroom. On the shelf that had been designated as “mine” with the rest of the my toiletries and such. I was mad, and the roommates made her buy me another one.
    I also did not hesitate to report her to our RA when I found a stranger in the living room very late one night. It turned out to be the nasty roommate’s boyfriend, but our college had strict rules about that sort of thing. She was not long for the apartment after that, from what I was told. I had already given up and moved out by then because of other issues with her, and I won’t deny that I was pleased that she finally got a bit of karma coming back her way.

  • Me August 2, 2010, 7:14 pm

    A few years ago, my fiance and I were living with this really lovely but totally clueless hippy sort of guy. He would cook his dinner each night and leave all the pots and pans on the stove with bits of food in them. At first we cleaned up after him until one night we’d had enough. When hippy roommate got home, I snapped at him, “You’ve got to do something about the pot situation!”

    His response? “I don’t bring marijuana into the house!”

  • ashleigh August 2, 2010, 8:03 pm

    Maybe it’s because I hit the roommate lottery when I was in college (I only had two bad roommates out of eight). Although I can appreciate that it’s irritating to live with people who are different, the original poster moved three times during a one year program. That kind of makes me question if the OP had difficulty with dealing with people. Like an earlier poster said, there is nothing here about approaching the roommate.

    Maybe the OP talked with the roommates, but the way the story stands, I would have to question how everything played out.

  • Lynne August 2, 2010, 10:13 pm

    My initial response echoes the sentiments of those who thought that the OP needed to talk more with her roommates. I was surprised to see so many people praising the OP’s patience, whereas I saw a lack of assertiveness/reluctance to problem-solve.

  • Simone August 3, 2010, 3:19 am

    I had a flatmate who was just totally domestically useless. He wasn’t unwilling, but we literally had to teach him how to stack dishes. At first we assumed it was a ploy to get out of his share of the work but we would just patiently explain and then walk away and he WOULD do it.

    I still laugh about one night when I, my other flatmate and my now husband were sitting in the loungeroom watching TV while he cooked his dinner in the kitchen. Suddenly we heard “Uh, guys? Guys?” Assuming that it was another petty problem, we just didn’t hear. Then “Uh Guys? I’ve set fire to my dinner?” My now husband sighed, got up, wandered into the kitchen, picked up the pan, put it in the sink, turned on the tap, then walked back to the lounge room and sat down, all without a word to the flatmate. Somehow he’d set fire to spaghetti (how do you even do that?).

    I love this guy dearly and he is still a close friend, but to this day I cannot believe the things he just could not deal with.

  • Ann August 3, 2010, 9:21 am

    I had this problem at university, nearly 20 (!) years ago. Four of us shared a two bedroom apartment, with a fairly well appointed kitchen and living area. One of the girls had an ongoing issue with doing here dishes, leaving them for days at a time and adding more as the time passed. At first we did them, talking to her about the importance of her taking care of her own dishes. After several discussions with her, and no improvement, we started moving her dishes to her bed. She would wash those, but continued to leave dishes piled in the sink. We finally told her that if she kept leaving dishes in the sink, they were going to get thrown out… and they did! We threw out her dirty dishes until she didn’t have any left. (We locked ours in a cabinet using a combination padlock.) She started buying disposable plates, utensils, etc., and she always managed to get those into the trash can. She never said a word about the dishes, nor did she ever retaliate.

  • danielle August 3, 2010, 11:17 am

    I spent 6 months in Italy with 5 female roommates, In the 6 months I never left my room except to cook in the kitchen, I had all disposable plates and only ever used one pan which I washed every day. One weekend my roommates all went out of town leaving every pan and dish in the sink-I left them there all weekend and when the girls all came back one of them asked me why I didn’t do my dishes.

    I said I did my dishes those are yours from last week next time you go out of town please wash your dishes first. They constantly did not do the dishes so finally I told the one of the 3 other girls I was on speaking terms with that if they left the dishes again I would leave them in one of their bedrooms, from then on the dishes were done immediately.

    The worst issue we had was that our apartment had two bathrooms so we split them up 3 would use one and 3 would use the other. We all agreed to take turns buying tp but two of the girls who used the other bathroom would come take our rolls when they ran out so the three of us using our bathroom and the third one using the other one all started buying our own tp and bringing it into the bathroom with us.

  • Kriss August 3, 2010, 11:57 am

    Tammy obviously doesn’t care about dishes in the sink. Work out a plan where you do the dishes full time and she does some other chore that you don’t like full time. You don’t say anything about talking to Tammy, only that you tattled at the first sign of violation.

    Tammy really sounds like the type of roommate I would not want to have. I don’t mind guests all over and some clutter but she seems to have had a serious lack of respect and that would bother me more than dirty dishes. With that said, although I can’t speak to what kind of person you are OP but you remind me of some of the more prissy “letter of the law” roommates that I’ve had. Heaven help a roommate that had their boyfriend stay 5 minutes past curfew. Girls like that would report, cause trouble, be passive aggressive, etc until something finally gave. They’d apartment hop because everyone was mean/stole toilet paper/broke curfew/used their towel/etc and would leave everyone in the apartment in a lurch. All of it could be solved by speaking up but they wouldn’t. I understand taking off when things don’t work out but moving 3 times in a year barely gives you time to fall into a groove with new roommates and it makes you look like a difficult person to live with. That can be just as bad, if not worse than some dishes in the sink.

  • Laura August 3, 2010, 12:42 pm

    My last bad roommate was fun – she used my dark green hand towel to clean out the hair/grunge from the inside the bathtub drain, then put the towel (and only the towel – nice waste of water) in the washer on hot, where the color was ruined.
    This was after my other roommate and I would find bad roommate’s “time-of-the-month” blood on the beige rugs in the bathroom on a somewhat regular basis. Then she (who did not have a job) would get upset with other roommate and I because the “apartment was filthy,” and when I showed her the vacuum, she said she didn’t know how to use it, and would probably just break it.

    So no, dirty dishes don’t bother me so much. And if they did, I’d ask the person to do something about it, as many of the wise posters have mentioned. Sometimes as obvious as it seems to you, people aren’t even aware they’re offending someone.

  • Livvy August 3, 2010, 2:37 pm

    I agree with Chocobo, first step is to talk directly to the offending person. She probably had no idea it bothered her other roommate, may have even thought she was just very private, as OP admits to hiding out in her room, and generally being pretty darn passive (and/or passive aggressive in ratting to housing authority). I can just see the other roommate huffing and puffing when washing Tammy’s dishes, while Tammy was watching TV, probably thinking, “what the heck’s her problem?.”

    Address problems directly. Tell people what you’re going to do (dump dishes on offender’s bed) if they don’t comply. Be open to compromises that will make you both happy (splitting tasks, etc.)

    As has been said before, no one can take advantage of you without your consent, or in this case, your silence.

  • RP August 3, 2010, 3:03 pm

    This would be a ‘should have’ list since the OP has moved but in general:

    1) You need to establish some ground rules. As has already been said by others some people don’t think a dish being dirty for two days is a big deal. You need to get everyone to agree not only on what chores need to be done but on how often and how soon they need to occur. Same with guests.

    2) Complain to the roommate first. You can’t expect the housing authority to talk to your roommates about the dishes if you won’t. (I do think they should have stepped in regarding the number of people living there.)

    3) Do not dump dishes on a roommate’s bed. That’s basically giving them permission to do similar things to your property. Their bad behavior does not excuse bad behavior on your part.

    4) Consider Kriss’ compromise of having one person in charge of dishes regardless of who used what and letting the non-dish washing roommate do something else like mop the floor.

    All that said, there’s no excuse for having guests living with you for months at a time without clearing it with your roommates first. Still, I can’t understand how the dishes not getting washed over the weekend is the worst. How is that worse than suddenly having extra people living there?

  • Enna August 3, 2010, 4:17 pm

    Talk to them first that is unfair and can attratate vermin. If that doesn’t work then leave them by their bedroom door. If they complain then say “I don’t want rats or cockraochs in the kitchen: if you don’t clean your dishes the vermin can go into your room.” Putting the dishes in their room I think is invading their personal space and going too far.

  • Ellen CA August 3, 2010, 6:09 pm

    I had a housemate years ago who was the opposite of Tammy. Roxie would do everyone’s dishes, which sounds like a great deal, but it wasn’t. She’d do them before we were ready for it. We all cooked individual meals and she’d wash our dishes right after we cooked, while we were still eating. If there was still food in the pots, she’d throw it away. We’d go in to the kitchen for second helpings and the empty, clean pots would be drying in the drainer. Any leftovers that actually made it to refridgerator were thrown away immediately by Roxie, often the same night, because she didn’t want the fridge cluttered up with “old” food.

  • Ruth August 4, 2010, 11:45 am

    Dumping on the bed/breaking/throwing out is a bad idea, as people have pointed out because it sets precedents for her to do the same to you. But if you’ve spoken to her about it directly, putting them in a box in her bedroom isn’t a bad idea. That sets the precedent for her returning items to your room…and you could do a lot worse.

    Housing authority definitely should’ve stepped in about the guests. Our apartment complex is very firm about that kind of thing.

  • The Original Poster August 4, 2010, 3:53 pm

    Wow, this story made it in faster than I thought!

    In regards to the issues brought up, we did have a roommates meeting that did bring up leaving dirty dishes around and the guests situation before I went to my housing authority. I will admit that I tend to be non-confrontational, but I did make an effort to tell Tammy how I felt before reporting her in this case.

  • Lizajane August 4, 2010, 4:22 pm


    Why would you worry about invading their personal space with their own dirty items when they’re invading everyone’s common space with them?

    How is stacking the dirty dishes up in outside their bedroom door (presumably in a hallway or living room) better than them being dirty in the kitchen?

  • AS August 10, 2010, 5:45 pm

    I hate when room mates do that. I once lived with 3 other room mates. All 3 of them left for a week at thanks giving while I was staying back (I am not from USA, and hence going home was not feasible for me). The kitchen sink was FULL of dishes! On closer observation, it was from 2 of the 3 girls. I had to wash them as I could not leave them over the whole week when I am staying in the house! I did not tell them anything about it – I come home late at night from my research work in the lab, and I cannot tell them anything without it ending up into a huge scene.
    The same thing happened during spring break, and this time, the third room mate (who had not left dishes over thanksgiving) was home too. She was totally peeved by it, and decided to tell the other two girls about it. Their reaction – they came to me and started yelling at me at how unfair I was to expect them to wash my dishes! (No! They were NOT mine!).
    I decided to live alone since then, and I am so glad I did. Now I live with my boyfriend, and it is lovely as he is more caring.

  • Chelsey August 13, 2010, 3:54 pm

    I had a similar situation while I was in college. One of my roommates would regularly throw “study parties” (guess how much studying got done) and then would leave a mess of dishes, pizza boxes, and glasses all over the living room. And then her excuse was, “I was so busy studying, I didn’t notice.” Uh huh. I spent an entire semester cleaning up after her. And then when I stopped, the apartment became horribly messy and she blamed me! She and the other roommate (she had apparently convinced her that all of the messes were mine) sat me down for some sort of “intervention” in which they told me all of the cleaning rules (that I had come up with the previous semester and wrote on our roommate agreement form), particularly that we had to wash the drip pans on the stove (which I’d been doing). Just to prove a point, because I knew it would come up again, I stopped using the kitchen for nearly a month. I ate all of my meals at the cafeteria and went back to my room for the remainder of the night. Three weeks into this experiment, one of my roommates was cleaning the stove and bitched at me for it being so dirty. I was so excited to be able to look her in the eye and say, “You’ll have to talk to Roommate #2, because I’ve been eating in the caf for the last month.” She gave me a blank look, said, “Oh…” and went back to cleaning.

  • Kitty Lovett July 13, 2011, 12:22 pm

    See, I pretty much always wash my dishes as I go. I have ONE mug I use (it’s a Doctor Who mug…), and I usually wash and re-use a bowl or a plate. I’m very allergic to dish washing liquids, so I just give it a scrub and a rinse in hot water. It seems to work out – but it gets on my nerves when I’ve taken the time to wash and use something, and then wash it again and set it for drying….and then someone else uses it! ><

  • Ash Kilday May 11, 2012, 12:25 pm

    One of my best friends lived with her sister in a rental house that their parents owned. The sister NEVER did dishes–insisting my friend was supposed to do them, even when she didn’t eat from whatever was prepared. It finally came the day when my friend, K, ran out of dishes completely. I happened to be over at the house that day, the sister was involved in some very complicated personal tosh and had run off with her boyfriend, and my friend needed….well… a friend. I suggested we clean up around the house, then have some Jameson. We had to pour boiling water into a crockpot to get rid of the INCH of mold and accumulated sludge that had once been pasta (I think).

    I went home that night and became violently ill. I had to go see my internist for an immediate-relief anti-nausea shot, and I swear I lost 5 lbs because I couldn’t keep anything down for days. We still don’t know exactly what caused it, but I’d be willing to bet it was the filth in that kitchen!

    A word to the not-clean-inclined: It’s not about you, it’s about general safety. NEVER let anything accumulate that long. If you used it, clean it up. If you spill, sprinkle, drip, splash, etc ad nauseum, clean it up and clean it up well. Be considerate of those AROUND YOU.

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