My college roommate took off all her clothes to poop. Our room had its own bathroom. She would go in there (for pooping) and she would take off all her clothes. Afterward, presumably she would put the clothes back on. She thought everyone did this.
2. Austin Hunt
It was in freshman year of college. I’m sleeping on the futon below our lofted bunk beds, and all of a sudden I hear this drip drip drip coming from the ceiling. I’m in a slight daze, as it’s 5 a.m. after a heavy night of drinking, but I look up and I see [my roommate’s] legs swung over the bed frame above me. He’s blacked out and solid-stream peeing all over our dorm room. I frantically gain consciousness, as I’m being hit with the splashing of urine against the futon and carpet, and rush out of the room.
I lived with this guy who was a little weird and very controlling — the kind of person who desperately wanted you to think he was chill but was the literal opposite. He and his girlfriend would have loud sex to Pandora’s techno station, but because he did not have a subscription, in the middle it you’d hear “Nchnchnchnch — advertisement: Are you a vampire?? — Nchnchnch.” Anyway, between having sex to techno and vampire ads, he would break up with her and then call his dad to cry/yell about how she was a horrible, immature person. We had very thin walls and I could hear everything including the moment he forgave her: “She’s just been through so much,” he said. “Her brother was there when Plaxico Burress got shot.”
During my freshman year of college I lived with a very talented art major who was very, very Christian. She actually had a neat painting of Jesus on her boots, which was cool. Anyway, one afternoon, she was watching 7th Heaven, and there was a plot line where a male Christian character was dating a Jewish girl, and they were having an argument about something dumb. “I just don’t understand how those two could be together,” she said to me. “Yeah, I know,” I replied. “Those two characters are always fighting.” She then responded: “No, I mean, I just don’t understand how that Christian guy could date anyone who is going to hell.”
Sophomore year of college, I moved into a house next door to where all my friends were living in Boulder, Colo. I didn’t know my new roommates, but they all seemed like chill dudes. They smoked a lot of pot, but it was Boulder and who didn’t?
My first few months, I noticed that a lot of high school students would swing by the house, then leave a few minutes later. I started getting to know my roommates better, and quickly discovered that they were among Boulder’s most notorious drug dealers. They were cool with me, though, so I just stayed out of their way.
One time, a family of authentic, off-the-grid hippies (complete with a 5-year-old boy named something like “Stargazer”) came and set up a tent in our backyard that connected to our living room via a sliding glass door. They sort of occupied the living room and backyard for a few weeks, and stole shit out of my bedroom.
One night, I was sitting in the living room alone, and all my roommates burst in the front door shouting. One of them was bleeding from his nose. They ignored me and kept shouting about how they we’re going to “go back and get those fuckers” and each went to their rooms. A minute later, they all came back out with handguns and ran out the door.
I asked to end my sublease early the next day, and I think the hippie family moved into my room as soon as I left. No idea what happened to any of them.
I had a great apartment, but needed a subletter to move in so that I could finish out the lease. When Mary said she could move in AND pay all five months up front, that sounded great. The bad part was everything that followed. She was ambiguously employed and would be up all hours doing coke with her friends, sleeping all day, and generally acting like an insane person. One time, I woke up in the middle of the night, and she was sitting on the edge of my bed talking to me in a creepy whisper voice, saying, “I’m so mad, Julie. I’m so mad.” I don’t know what she was talking about, but I tried to usher her out as quickly as possible.
7. Carol Tan
Can I make this about myself? I had a fantastic roommate for two years in college who put up with a lot of shit from me. The most memorable was during sophomore year when a blue whale died and washed up on a nearby beach, so I got up the following morning at 4 a.m. to take a quick look at it before class. I brought back a chunk of baleen with me and stuck it under my bed. By the time my roommate woke up the room REEKED of dead whale and continued to do so for at least three days even after we put it away in a Tupperware container. It was really gross. But she supported me. Bless her heart.
I lived with this one lady from October 2012 until April 2013. I call her a lady because in her Craigslist ad, she said she was about eight years younger than she really was. That was the first sign. One incredibly early morning after a very loud argument with her boyfriend/baby daddy (she also “just found out” she was pregnant when I moved in) she woke me up and insisted upon showing me her gun, which she said was pink and had Hello Kitty on it. I declined, but she was insistent.
I also remember one morning when I wake up to hear very loud…moaning. It’s coming from the living room, and I assume her boyfriend is there. I proceed to get dressed for work, and wait for a pause in the action so I can walk past the living room and out of the front door. As I walk by, she jumps up and says, “Oh my god, I thought you were gone! If you had come out just a few moments earlier that would have been really embarrassing.”
Turns out there was no boyfriend — just her. In the living room, on the couch, in the middle of the day.
9. Eugene Yang
My freshman college roommate from Hong Kong was so bizarre. He wore the same outfit every day, like Doug Funnie. It was a pair of olive green parachute pants, a powder-blue puffy jacket, and a mustard turtleneck. He would masturbate under his covers while I was in the same room. Loudly. The only meal he cooked was steamed assorted meats. The only food he bought was Caesar salad. He always chewed with his mouth wide open like a baby bird. He developed a crush on one of my other close girlfriends because, and I quote, “she looks like Trinity from The Matrix. I like women with big face bones.”
My friends and I gave him his first shot of liquor. He refused to swallow it and held it in his mouth as we screamed, “Just drink it, you’re making it worse!” He then vomited steamed meat/Caesar salad all over my leg.
10. Leah Reich
I lived with a grad student from the German department who walked only on the balls of his feet and occasionally complained about his job in a coffee shop. One time he told us about the guy who came in every day and ordered the same thing, the exact same way, and would give detailed instructions, each time. He told us that finally, with a huge exasperated sigh, he told this guy, “I know how to make your coffee. I’M AN INTELLECTUAL.” Months after he left we cleaned out the cabinet under the bathroom sink and found a stiff, crusted pair of underwear jammed in the back that we removed with a stick.
11. Spencer Althouse
One of my roommates during my sophomore year of college was an aspiring tattoo artist. He’d set up shop in the kitchen and practice by giving tattoos to pig ears, because apparently the texture of pig ears is very similar to that of human skin. Toward the end of the year, he turned our kitchen counter into a fully functioning, unsanitary tattoo parlor and had actual paying customers. I lived in fear of that kitchen for eight months and have never looked at a pig the same way since.
12. Valerie Anne
Once I was living with a girl who was on-again with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. He had made some bad choices and was trying to get back on the straight-and-narrow and she was helping him do that. He more or less unofficially lived with us, and he was always perfectly sweet to me. Once he even bought me seven full-size candy bars because my roommate had sent him out to get some candy for her and he didn’t want me to feel left out.
One night, my roommate found out that he was making bad choices again, and she kicked him out. This did not go over well. The next night, I heard something tapping on my window. I looked out and he was throwing rocks and broken lighters and other random debris at it, sort of like in rom-coms where people try to secretly get someone’s attention to confess their love. Except he was trying to get my roommate’s attention to tell her he slashed her tires.
The next day, when I got home from work, I noticed the door to our apartment was open, even though it was one of those heavy doors that closes on its own. Then I noticed it had been bashed open. Inexplicably, I decided to enter the apartment. I can’t explain what made me do it, but I stormed in there like I was the FBI or something. Nothing looked different at first. Until I noticed my laptop was missing. I poked my head in my roommate’s room and noticed her room was trashed. Then I saw a crowbar in the kitchen trash can. After a long night of phone calls and police investigation, my roommate and I sat down at the kitchen table, exhausted, and I noticed one more thing he stole: my candy bars.
13. Tom Phillips
This one time a girl — an acquaintance of my housemate — came to stay with us because she’d been kicked out of her house. Which was odd, we thought, because she seemed very nice on the first evening she was with us.
The second evening, she started taping small bundles of herbs around the doorframe to ward off witches and malign spirits, and then screamed at me because I opened a packet of potato chips “the wrong way up.”
She moved out shortly afterward.