Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Long Overdue Post

*Note: this was originally written back at the beginning of March when this was going on. I decided not to post it in the hopes it would blow over. But that didn't happen. And now I've moved out*

Dear Internet,

I am in the worst situation right now. Honestly, I should have seen it coming. Let's go back to where it all started.

I have been living at my current place for about 6 months now. There are two problems that I have consistently: our internet sucks (cap at 60GB that we always go over that my roommate in control of the internet never "has time" to get changed), and apparently I'm the only university student in existence who likes to keep a clean apartment. These aren't typically huge problems. It's frustrating when I have to pay between $30 and $40 every month for internet when I know that there are better options out there, but come May/June our soul contract with our ISP ends and I can finally choose a better option. Had I been living here and not in stupid Toronto last summer, I would have been able to prevent this problem. Oh well. As for the cleanliness problem, every few weeks I find the time to clean, and in between I often leave notes for my roommates asking them to take care of a chore (our schedules are very different and I barely ever see them, or I would ask them in person), and this has seemed to suffice pretty well until now.

Now, to the current problem. Our lease ends at the end of April, so our landlord asked us last month if we were planning on staying on for another year. If we weren't, he wanted to start advertising the place ASAP. We decided to stay on for another year. We have not yet, however, signed another lease. Just yesterday, chatting with one of my roommates online, she lets it slip that she doesn't think that she's going to be able to stay another year. This is extremely inconvenient to everybody else in this situation. At this point in the term, it would difficult to find somebody to take her place for the summer; difficult for me and our other roommate to find somewhere good to live starting in the summer; and difficult for our landlord to find tenants starting in the summer. I tell her this. She flips out, claiming that I don't care about any of these family problems that she is having (problems, I might add, that she did not tell me about before). I tell her (admittedly rather rudely) that she should calm down and that I didn't know about these problems that she had.

Then, she decides that now is the time to tell me that basically she's been angry at me for over a month. I quote: "Seriously Carolyn I have been biting my Tongue since early Jan ..... Instead of actually talking to [us] you have decided that leaving passive aggressive notes was the best way to deal with things people respond better to kind words and conversations." Because obviously, she is such an expert with "kind words and conversations," as she is exemplifying by vilifying me over Facebook. I'd like to mention, again, that we all have very different schedules and I had decided that leaving notes for them to read and deal with when they had time would be the best alternative to struggling to talk in person. Do you have any idea how angry I am that she decided not to communicate her unhappiness with me at all (not even through passive-aggressive sticky notes!) and let it arbitrarily explode?

It is so hypocritical of her to decide that my leaving sticky notes for communication is not okay, but bottling up her anger with me and allowing it to come out on Facebook is perfectly acceptable (even though, as she says, "people respond better to kind words and conversation"). Her response when I called her out on it? "
I bite my tongue because I hate confrontation and you know that, but I am done being bullied." So bullying = leaving notes for roommates and expecting them to do a fair share of the chores, but attacking somebody on Facebook is perfectly legitimate.

Before this happened, I was already planning on asking them to get together with me for a meeting, as I had drawn up a potential roommate agreement and was hoping we could take care of some of these problems. At the time, the only problems I was aware of were that the place is never clean and it stresses me out, and they picked a crappy internet service provider in my absence.
Now, I didn't think that our other roommate, J, was having the same problems with me as she was. The reason I thought this: I see J more often than her, and he's never said anything to me about being unhappy with my methods of communication. However, after the argument with D (the first roommate), I wrote an email to them proposing a meeting and attaching the roommate agreement I had written so that they could look it over and decide what they liked and didn't like about it before the meeting, with the intention that at the meeting we could draft up a final version together that would help to take care of some of our problems. Finally, I asked them when they wanted to have a meeting.

So far, I've passed a few emails back and forth with them about it. The gist is that they have both now decided that they're going to be jerks to me because of problems that they never tried resolving with me in the past; they're mad that I've gone ahead and done a draft because apparently that means to them that I am trying to control everything; and they won't tell me when they want to meet. I attribute that to the following reason: they are children who are incapable of making adult decisions for themselves and who will avoid conflict wherever possible, even when it results in an utterly horrible and undesirable conflict situation such as the one in which we currently find ourselves.

What makes me angry is that they're mad about me being controlling, when I wouldn't have to be controlling if they would get off their lazy butts and do anything. For instance: dishes barely ever get cleaned unless I request that it is done or I do it myself; trash barely gets taken out unless I request that it is done or I do it myself; we would never get together to discuss things that are going on unless I organize the entire thing (i.e. come up with a date/time, propose the date/time, and work things out with people's schedules from there). They need to understand the difference between controlling and initiating. If they would step up and take responsibility for themselves as adults, they would understand this.

I would love to tell them all this. In fact, I would love to look them in the eyes then punch them in the face. I would love to call them out for being all the horrible things that they are. Sadly, however, I have to live with them for at least 2 more months. I don't think that there is anything salvageable left of our friendship, which I would be disappointed about if I didn't hate them so much right now. In fact, part of the reason I am writing this is that I hope they will see this and know exactly what I think of them, which is extremely passive-aggressive and possibly hypocritical of me but I'm too angry right now to care. Instead of saying this to their faces, however, I have to grovel to them via email so that living together will be even slightly bearable.

The problem now, however, is that I need somewhere to live this summer and I don't want to move...but I don't want to live with them either. I've been checking out various apartments online, and while I would love to live in a single bedroom place where I can keep things as clean as I want as consistently as I want without idiotic, childish roommates, the rent for one bedroom places is much too high for me to afford (nearly twice what I am paying now).

Is a clean apartment really so much to ask for?