Whether it is based on my predisposition to dislike people or not, I seem to have bad luck when it comes to sharing a room or space with people, AKA, "roommates". Each and every time that I've had one, they've always managed to annoy the crap out of me. I am the sum of my experiences, so I guess I'll leave this question up to you to answer.
Is it my problem that I haven't liked all these people, or perhaps I have just been unfortunately paired with crazy people?
My troubles began when I was very young and had to go to camp Y'Shua, a fat camp masquerading as a Christian learning retreat. During the day we would be forced to run a few laps, crank out a few push ups, and throw some frisbees. And dance, we can't forget the dance. I didn't have a roommate really, for all the males shared a big room with wooden bunk beds.
I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and climbed the wooden ladder to my bed to settle down for the night. A counselor came in for a mandatory thirty seconds of prayer, and then the lights went off. I thought it was time to sleep, until...
The voice came from some top bunk in the corner. It was said with such confidence that you could tell he had been waiting all day to say it.
"What do you mean dude?"
"I mean nunnapeeds man, shit, they're here... in the trees. I saw one."
My eyes widened, not because I believed in nunnapeeds, but because I was appalled that a sixth grader was using such language.
"What's a nunnapeed?" A scared voice asked from below me.
"You don't know what a nunnapeed is?"
"You're a lucky bitch. Well I guess you've been one up until now, 'cause I'm fixing to tell you. Nunnapeeds are little people that live in the mountains and trees, they got sharp teeth and sharp claws. They eat babies. I know this 'cause I used to have a little brother, but we took him hiking one day and a damn nunnapeed ran out and took him. We was looking for a long time for him, until I found his body... but the insides had been taken out."
I wondered what business a baby could possibly have in the wilderness. Who takes babies on hikes?
I really wanted to sleep. There was a shuffling noise from across the room, and a shaky voice said, "I saw one. Today."
"You seen one?"
"I did. He was crawling by the rocks over there... there was blood on his mouth."
Everyone began whispering amongst themselves. The original storyteller, none too happy that someone else had witness a nunnapeed, disputed his claim.
"You didn't see shit, bitch. I lost a baby brother to the nunnapeeds, if you'd-a seen one then you'd be dead."
Then there was silence, and half the people in the room woke up to shaving cream on their faces, no doubt the work of the nunnapeeds.
I had just won a free trip to Washington D.C. because of an essay I had written over conserving energy. All the winners had received letters telling them that they would be sharing a room with two other people during their week long stay in the capital. This all seemed fine with me at the time, but then....
"You see them Mexi-Can maids? Can ya talk to 'em?"
"I can, but it would be rather unprovoked. You don't just randomly approach people and talk to them because they can speak English, do you?"
"I reckon not but that's 'cause I don't speek a for-ran language! If'n I did, then I sure as hell would use it!"
This was the general dialogue I had with my roommates. The essay contest had been for rural students, and I was the first minority they had ever laid eyes upon.
"I'm roomin' with a gen-you-whine Mexi-Can!" I heard one of them say during a phonecall home. "He speaks real Spanish!"
During our week in the capital, my roommates frequently spoke about bombing the mosques they saw near the embassies in order to, "see how they like it!" and liked to play with the idea of shooting the first gay person they saw.
Our group left every morning at the ungodly hour of 6:00 a.m., but my good ol' roomies liked to keep me up until 4 a.m. Their methods of doing this varied greatly from day to day. On a good day for me, it would simply be a televised cocktail of NASCAR, ESPN, and E! entertainment. The last one made it to my list of things that I may never understand, right under "Biopolitics and Autonomo-Politics of the body." On my worst nights, though, it would be because they brought some girl back to the room.
"Aw shit I got a pretty lady to fuck with tonight!" One exclaimed after he got off the phone with the pretty lady I just mentioned. It's worth mentioning that this is the same guy who has a girlfriend back home, and who "lead the group in prayer" the next morning. Those nights I would call home to talk to family and friends.
"Why are you calling so late?" my friend asked.
"Because the bumpkin found a hooker."
I eventually took a little bit of revenge, however. My last night in D.C. was approaching, and one of my roommates was on the phone with a potential "pretty lady."
"Alright babe I'll wait." He said, putting the phone down and holding it to his chest,
"Ay amigo!" He said, looking at me. "I wanna tell my lady that she's beautiful in Spanish, how do I do that?"
Had I answered, "mi amor, eres linda", it would mean no sleep for me and another awkward phone call home at 3 a.m. Knowing this, I responded with...
"Eres un puta fea, y tambien un gordita."
"Don't puta mean bitch?"
"No, it's our slang word for a young woman. Use it."
I am so lucky at the University of Oklahoma to have no roommate. However, OU does operate with suite mates... people who share the bathroom that joins the two rooms together. I walked by the door next to my dorm, and noticed that my suite mates were named, "Ian and Gregory."
When I finally met them, I noticed how money was dripping from their every pore. Their room looked like something out of a PB Teen magazine, with letters attached to each decorative item and corresponding prices on the page. The bathroom we shared had already been furnished with mats and scented candles. Not that I minded.
They both spoke with an prep school type accent.
"Well hello there," Ian or maybe Gregory said with what seemed to be great effort, "looks like we'll be sharing a bathroom. Let's go ahead and create a schedule for showers and cleanup time."
"Oh, okay..." I responded.
Then Ian whispered something to Gregory (or maybe vice-versa?),
"Oh, yes. Well, as you can see we have outfitted the bathroom quite well, quite well indeed. We assume you want to contribute as well?"
"Sure..." I said.
"Okay good, could you provide maybe a trashcan for the bathroom? If it's maybe not too much trouble?"
"Sure." I said again.
I already had an extra trashcan because I have no roommate, so I just put a bag over it and set it in the bathroom. I thought it would work just as well as any other trashcan... but then I overheard Greg's (Ian's?!) reaction...
"Wow, he really is poor. You were right. Look at this."