Posted by: Kate | June 25, 2009

You’ve Been Ruining my Life Forever

I can’t think of what reminded me of this, but I have a college-roommate story.

I went to school in way northern New York.  As in, considerably past the land that God forgot.  As in, the closest cities, by far, were Montreal and Ottawa.

If that wasn’t bad enough for things like culture, social interactions, broadened horizons, I also attended a college with a ratio of 6:1 male:female.  The unofficial motto was, “Where the men are men, the women are men, and the sheep run like hell.”  Of course I objected to that motto – there were buffalo farms around, but no sheep – but had to acknowledge that there was a certain  truth to it.  Being in possession of breasts and a face that didn’t break glass, I didn’t lack of company on any given Saturday night, you know?

Anyway, it was a tiny little town without much to do, and with even fewer women to do it with.  So when, during my junior year, I tired of dorm life and got an off-campus apartment, it was a bit of a challenge finding female roommates.  I found a four-bedroom apartment that was, in no uncertain terms, absolute highway robbery ($500 a month for 1400 square feet?!?  And gorgeous, floor-to-ceiling windows?  And no upstairs neighbors??  Sign me up!), and had a variety of company there, over time.

One of my favorites was a young lady who was in the US from Indonesia just for college.  She was petite, and cute, and girly, and dumb as a box of rocks.  I say this not because I disliked her – though I did – but because sometimes, when the lighting was just right, you could gaze deeply into her eyes and stare directly at the back of her skull.  But she mostly behaved politely, and her father paid all of her bills on time (the rent was in my name, so this mattered greatly to me), so I avoided intellectual discussions with her – this would include things like, “Are those your shoes?” – and we got along just fine.


The only time we really had a hard time getting along was when I caught her smoking pot in the apartment.  To each his own, as a general rule, and if you’re feeling a need to increase your basic cannabis level, knock yourself out.  But not when you’re barely of age, and living under someone else’s name on the lease.  “Please,” I asked her, “find somewhere else to smoke.  Anywhere else.  But if it happens again here, I’ll need to call the police, because otherwise the jewelers downstairs may decide to do so on me, and I really don’t want to be held responsible.”

She swore, she begged, she argued.  This was her home and she had the right to do whatever she wanted in her home.  Medicinal marijuana was legal in California, so it shouldn’t be a problem here.  (“Here” being upstate New York… not, last I checked, remotely near California.)  Her boyfriend was smoking it, too, and so they could share the responsibility if they got caught.  And besides, the cats were just so much mellower this way.

I was unmoved by her arguments, and insisted: find somewhere else to indulge.  I was hardcore enough that I also insisted that someone over the age of 21 be present if we were drinking.  Not that no one under 21 could drink, mind you (um, I graduated a month before my 21st birthday, so… yeah), just that we had someone present to hand it to if needed.  Being directly across the street from the bar, I saw a lot of police activity in the area; never in our apartment, but still.  Paranoia seems to increase when it’s your name on the lease.

Anyway, this was all over a spaghetti dinner that the four roommates were sharing.  And once it became clear to this fine, upstanding young citizen of another country that I was not easily dissuaded from my position, she got very upset.  She, this girl I had known for about three months, stood up and shouted, “You’ve been ruining my life forever!”

She then proceeded to throw an entire pot of spaghetti sauce across the room.  Luckily for me, the landlord had used high-gloss paint, so it didn’t take an act of God to get the stain out.  But still, I considered this a bit excessive, reaction-wise, and was grateful when she decided to move in with her boyfriend for the next semester.



  1. Ah, it was like a preview for teenagers!

  2. Ahhh! I agree with jmlc.

  3. I think I got her room, no?

  4. Haha . . I don’t feel so bad about living at home during my Uni days!

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