I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter!

I live alone. I love it. Growing up, I always thought that the boogey man would come and eat me if I was the only one in the house at night. Fortunately it turns out that I was just a neurotic child and that being the only one in a dwelling at night does not equate instant death by ingestion.

What a relief.

Toronto is an expensive city to live in. I pay out the ass for my awesome one bedroom, mid-town apartment. I worry about money a lot, mostly cuz half of my money goes straight to rent. I could easily save hundreds of dollars a month if I would get a roommate or share a house with a few people.

The problem with that is, I’ve done it and I don’t like it. I’ve lived with some seriously interesting people. I would rather bankrupt myself than share my space with people. I’m sure this opinion was shaped by those who I’ve lived with, as will be outlined below:

First Year Uni: For the first half of my first year, I lived with the boyfriend and his family and drove an hour and some each way to go to class. So, that was weird, but I won’t go into it. It’s a long story.
My second half of first year, I lived in a weird situation. I had a room on the top floor of a three storey house. The two other rooms on that floor were inhabited by a husband and wife and their 13 year old daughter. They were weird. I wasn’t allowed on the second floor, except to walk into the house. The basement was where my living space and ‘kitchen’ were. You could hardly call it a kitchen. Our sink was a laundry basin, where the washing machine emptied out into, and our counter was the top of a freezer. We had no stove, only a microwave and shared the space with the family’s abandoned possessions, the washer and dryer and hidden crawlspace where the husband played steel drums. Yeah.
The husband loved to talk to me about how he thought his cat could see ghosts. He was weird. The wife ate bacon like it was going out of style and received all of her affections from her strange strange cat.
There was a second room in the basement, inhabited by my roommate. We’ll call her….Jane. Jane was a paranoid gal. She sat in her room all the time, with the door locked. She ocassionally scurried out to go get fast food of some type and then scurried back in. She was addicted to Australian soap operas and drove an old auctioned off police car.

In second year, a friend from high school moved out to Ontario and lived with me for the year. It was some sweet times. We lived in a townhouse my dad bought, in a shady neighbourhood, too far away from campus. Whatevs.

Third year, first semester….we’ll call her Martha. Martha was a nice girl. With some serious emotional problems. She was also very convinced for some unknown reason that she was going to develop Multiple Sclerosis in her lifetime. Now, in no way, shape or form am I going to joke about MS. But her paranoia consumed her and drove her to drink the broth of boiled Chinese herbs, twice a day.
You have NEVER smelled anything SO FUCKING GROSS. It stunk up my entire house. Seriously. I don’t know how she drank that shit, but she did so in the belief that it was insurance against her impending health issues.
Martha cried a lot. It was weird. She had an all-encompassing hatred of commercials and a serious serious obsession with her chihuahua that lived with her parents. She screamed into the phone in Polish with her mom and then always wound up……crying. But she introduced me to blueberry perogies, a Polish specialty apparently, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Third year, second semester……let’s call this girl Freakazoid. Freakazoid seemed so nice, so normal at first. I was really excited to have her renting out the top bedroom.
First off, she was a total slob. Her crap was everywhere. She was obsessed with running, and we all know, that automatically means something is very very wrong with her brain. I’m pretty sure she was bulimic. She threw spontaneous dinner parties for her pretentious friends, also going for their Masters degrees in French literature, featuring fun ingredients like asparagus! She was honestly the most plain, vanilla, boring person on earth who bought herself a stick shift car without knowing how to drive it. She always went out of her way to step on the horribly squeaky spot just outside my bedroom door. I hated her. Lots. She boiled water for tea in a pot…..not a kettle, she didn’t even heat the water in a microwave…..but she boiled it on the stove in a pot. My pots were always scaly. I hated it.
Oh, and and AND…….she stomped. Like a fucking overweight elephant. I HATE stomp-walkers. Grrrrrrrrrr.
She also stole my wine and had a very endearing habit of going into my room to steal my cordless phone instead of buying her own. Stupid Freakazoid.

Fourth year, both semesters.

This girl? Was a winner. I’m not even making a name up for her. She was named Erin. Erin was a stripper who thought she was the chick from Legally Blonde. She was bleach blond, made up to the nines at all times, obsessed with pink, had a fund for her fake boobs that she wanted when she turned 21 and was a vegan who ate four foods: Cool Ranch Doritos, fake cheese grilled cheese sandwiches, some weird noodles from a chinese restaurant and tofu dogs. She tanned like there was no tomorrow, smoked like a chimney and refused to let me wash her dishes, cuz my sponge touched my meat-contaminated dishes.

She claimed to work at ‘bars’ as a ‘bartender’. Though she’d never say which bar, she’d only give me a city. The city changed each night. She took a huge duffel bag with her to work all the time. She came home with wads of cash each night. WADS. There was no way she was making that money by serving beers, my friends. She was making that money doing ‘other things’.

She was obsessed with this scary gangster guy who wasn’t really her boyfriend, but wasn’t really wasn’t her boyfriend. He broke up with her, but she didn’t really buy into it. She was purposefully trying to get herself pregnant with his baby, so he’d have to marry her. Yeah. She was special. Most of her phone calls ended in tears. It was sad. She liked to pretend she wasn’t banging strangers in her room by turning on the incredibly noisy bathroom fan.

Her and I had the strangest relationship ever. We both hated each other, cuz we were total opposites and didn’t particularly care for the other’s opinions. But we were never outright about it. We faked liking each other. I’d go with her while she ran errands, she’d listen to me bitch about my days, I’d hang out in her room and watch tv on her big screen with her mini fridge (yeah, hello, WADS of cash……..stripper!!), I think I ever borrowed her clothes once or twice. It was so fucking weird.


After that fun group of gals, I decided to never ever live with a roommate ever again. The fiance has been the only exception to that. Well, him and my ghost from a few posts back.

Sticking to that decision hasn’t always been easy. It involved me living in a semi-shady building on my own (complete with a Vietnamese brothel at the end of the hall!), moving home for three months and now paying an atrocious amount of money for an apartment that I love in a location that I don’t love.

My rent? Stupidly high. My peace of mind, silence and the ability to stay up at all hours and listen to terrible music or watch Gilmore Girls for 10 hours straight without annoying anybody and being able to go the bathroom with the door open? Priceless.


Comments on: "Those I have lived with and……tolerated" (15)

  1. Lawdy, I can see why you must be on your own after those experiences. I would hate to have to “fake it” with a roommate that I couldn’t stand. It’s a lot like being at work- I have to fake it with so many of these bitches up in here but at least I get to leave here and go home- to my life. Oh, I can so see why you spend the big bucks to be in your own space! Good for you, paying the extra money is worth every ounce of drama spared 😉

  2. I totally get where you are coming from. After several roommates throughout college, I moved out on my own and refused to EVER live with anyone again. I loved living by myself. I even bought a house by myself, WAAAY out in the woods down a hidden, dead-end dirt road. Loved it. But, eh, things change sometimes. 😉

  3. You need to put that in a book. I was gonna ask you if I could move in 🙂

    seriously dude..I’d never touch your shit..I’d let you wash my dishes and I speak Gilmore! Running?? HA that’s for horses! Vegan? That’s a big mac without pickles right? I drink coffee…straight up..no funky ass tea crap.

    wow and you let all of those freaky ass people live? I am IMPRESSED! 🙂

  4. I’m sorry, but this terrible cliche really fits in describing this fun post about your various roommates. At least you gave it the good old “college try”. Is that a saying in Canada? It’s kind of an archaic saying here in the USA, but one I hear more often probably because I work at a college. It’s a lovely little school with 70% female students. Some of those descriptions you provided rang some bells for me. Except for the stripper chick. I don’t think we’ve had any strippers as students, but how would I know that?

    It was good of you to tolerate and learn from the experience of living with those undesirables. It brings fresh meaning to your wonderful tag line I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter! And now you live happily alone. Priceless indeed!

  5. Fun!! I’m not a fan of sharing my space with people I’m not related to, maybe with the exception of Brant, when we lived with him it worked out alright. You have a serious list there though, I’d love to hear more about this mysterious stripper chick. Wads of cash as a ‘bartender’…interesting!

  6. ok living in an apartment building is a trial in and of itself. When we first got married we got our first apartment. We had lived with my folks for the first year of our marriage and then decided to have a kid.

    ..so husband worked 2nd shift. I was 8 months pregnant and bored out of my mind. Dude upstairs of us was an ass. He lifted weights. Same time every night. Ok I’m pregnant..ready to get this loaf out of me and I’m listening to Atlas upstairs drop his friggin weights on the floor. ..just waiting for them to come through. I couldn’t even watch tv because he had to have work out music going (ok…seriously was not working out for him. I’m betting he was lifting some serious twinkies after his “session”.) …anyhow how was I going to deal with this. I could haul my preggo ass up the stairs and nicely ask him to maybe change times he did it or like maybe take it to the back room…but that’s not the way I roll. I spent an entire evening searching his address in the phone book. SCORE..not even kidding! Phone jacks in these apartments…kitchen…clear on the other side from the bedroom.
    So the game was on. After a few more nights of BAM BAM BAM…I knew his routine. BAM session…some quiet (this was twinkie time I’m guessing)..then shower…then bed. Alrighty then. I waited up for husband to get home at about 11:30 so I had a good hour or so of “play time” …Atlas went to bed about 10ish. I knew he would be ALMOST asleep by 10:30….ringy ding ding! (no caller id at this point or cell phones)..(land lines with no answering machines and no caller id) PERFECTO! RING RING! Me trying not to piss my pants from listening to TROMP TROMP down the hall…..(groggy hello?) CLICK!…..tromp tromp tromp…I seriously am on the floor. 15 minute intervals this went on with. Probably about a weeks worth of it too. I finally got bored but guess what. I think he was so tired from being up at night answering the phone that he didn’t lift weights for like a week…glad to say though he and the twinkies kept their date…dude was huge! Anyhow that’s how I “get along” with living with somebody that close.

    so yeah I haven’t posted for a day or so over on my blog I might just have to post about this. I LOVED that apartment except for Atlas and his weights. Well then I found out the bitch from hell moved in after her moved out and yeah I let her live there about two months and got her ass thrown out. She was a real piece! Then it was empty and since she had trashed it we ended up finding a house to rent before they moved anybody else in. YIKES!

  7. There has been Vicki. There has been Terri.




    Except for maybe you. But we’re an odd pair. Wearing the same clothes is one thing, but we think the same things sometimes. *narrows eyes susiciously, puts on aluminum foil hat*

    Also, I’m so not willing to pay what you do. But that’s why you can go back to my old apartment and open all the mailboxes with any old key or a fingernail.

  8. Okay…I will never bitch about the one roommate (though we lived together several times) I’ve had.

    I LOVE living alone. Love it. 🙂

  9. I’ve had good roommates and bad roommates. The worst was when I lived with two buddies in a 3 bedroom condo. The place was cool but I couldnt handle the drop in centre it became. I used to get really mad and leave in the middle of the night to cool off. One time I stormed out at about 1:00 AM and drove all the way to Montana and drove up and over a mountain on a crazy road… got back that evening. Man was I pissed.

    On the other hand I lived twice with my best friend, a girl, and that worked out really well and I miss it sometimes.

    Now I live with only my kid… like Will Smith said it’s just the two of us.

    In other news I’m going to watch Shaun of the Dead now… love that flick!!

  10. I have lived in some weird ass places and had some strange room mates too. I think I would have liked the stripper, she sounds like fun. But really I want to focus in on one particular comment you made.

    You borrowed stripper clothes? Awesome!

  11. Living by yourself is awesome. It just sucks that it costs so much… but it is worth it.

  12. haha yes i’m alive… for a little bit i guess. im happy you remembered me

  13. You’ve made some great points there, Talea. I could really cook up a story with all those crazy characters and weird situations. May I?:)

  14. Wow. You have really had some f’ed up roommates. I’ve had two horrible roommate situations and only one good one. That said, I like living alone too. This makes being married difficult at times.

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