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Thread: Random Thoughts

  1. #42626
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Do you ever tell her this bugs you?

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  2. #42627
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    I'm working myself into quite a thing about roommate stuff. Self-preservation so I'm less sad when she moves out?

    I have a small, small, small house. The living room can hold about four people, tops. When I brought home three bushels of apples last week they took up all the floor space in the living room, easily. I immediately started figuring out where to store them so they're out of the way, and eventually cleaned out some bins they could stay in so they were accessible but not an eyesore. The whole time I was working out this problem my roommate kept following me around, saying "Oh, just leave them there. They're fine there," and, over and over again, "I don't care if they're in the living room." "Seriously, just leave them there, I don't care."

    I kept explaining myself, but she wasn't hearing it, and I finally got kind of pissed and said, "I don't care that you don't care. I care that there are apples in the living room. I don't like them. I am putting them away." She looked hurt but backed off.

    This last Saturday my roommate wanted to watch a show episode with me but I was cleaning the house. No shocker to anyone on MC, but I've been pretty emotionally fragile lately and things like house-cleaning often make me feel a little more in control of my life. Plus, due to house-guests, I was actually a week behind my normal cleaning schedule and things were getting a little scuzzy. I had politely but firmly told her that I was busy with chores all morning but we could watch the episode Sunday afternoon. Again, all I got was "The house is perfectly clean! It's clean enough for me. You don't need to clean. Why do you need to clean today? The house isn't dirty; it doesn't bother me."

    I came back with "It bothers me to be in a dirty house," and she got all hurt again.

    Side note: all four roommates who have lived in my Baltimore house with me don't clean the house. They do (or don't) clean their rooms, and the roommate before this one would straighten pillows and maybe vacuum, but other than that I have not had a roommate that will do anything involving cleaning supplies, a broom, a mop, a toilet brush, or a sponge. They'll wash their dishes, but they'll never clean the sink. It's weird. I'm neat but not a neat freak. I don't think it's unreasonable to scrub a sink every couple of weeks. Or once a month. Or once in two years of living together instead of leaving it for your roommate.

    Also, none of them would ever, ever take the trash from the back of the house to the front. My last roommate finally broke down and tried it once because I was out of town and it was trash day, but she claims she saw a spider out back and was so freaked out that she left the bin there and ran back inside. But most of my roommates wouldn't even take the trash out just to the bin in the back (we are talking about walking about fifteen feet from the kitchen trash to the back door.) My first Baltimore roommate, if the trash was full, would tie up the bag and hang it from the back door handle, instead of opening the damn door, walking two steps, and putting it in the trash. Like, ugh I got it this far, I have suffered enough. You do the rest.

    My current roommate is so anti-trash that on Saturday she finally cleaned out a vase of flowers that had been sitting rotten on our kitchen table for a week. They smelled awful. She went to chuck the dead flowers in the kitchen trash, but it was full. She took out a bag, put the dead rotting flowers in them, and left them on the kitchen counter and walked away. By the next day it was clear that she figured she had done enough, so I took them and the kitchen trash out back and put in a clean liner.

    She is moving, by the way, into an apartment completely by herself. I wonder if she'll be surprised to find out that a magical fairy isn't going to come throw away her damn trash for her.

    Are these behaviors normal for grown-ass adults? Is this what having a husband is like? Is this what having kids is like? If so I'm going to count my blessings; and also the days until I can afford to live completely alone.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  3. #42628
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    Do you ever tell her this bugs you?
    Well, there's the thing. I am obviously, completely, the passive-aggressive one.

    To avoid confrontation, I will often let things slide. If it's something I can't live with, I will tell people, not angrily but firmly, that something bothers me. I will tell them once.

    But I have a huge mental block about telling them over and over and over again. It feels like nagging, and it feels like it shouldn't be my job. (I'M NOT YOUR MOTHER.)

    I will say things like, "I have been taking the trash out every time. Could you please take it outside?"

    They might do it-- once-- but will literally not do it without being asked. What adult needs to be told to take out the trash? Why do I have to be the mean, nagging, fun-killing mom?

    With the food comments, I've been trying to shut it down. "Well, good thing you don't have to eat it." "I'm making it the way I like it." "Please stop talking about my tea." I don't know if she doesn't think I'm serious, but she is definitely not dropping the subject.

    My mother the therapist would tell me that I need to stop explaining and defending. Say something like, "My food choices are not up for discussion. Stop commenting on them or I will leave and eat in my room." But that feels really harsh, especially with someone who is about to leave.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  4. #42629
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Mara (view post)

    Are these behaviors normal for grown-ass adults? Is this what having a husband is like? Is this what having kids is like? If so I'm going to count my blessings; and also the days until I can afford to live completely alone.
    I have a mild form of OCD so I probably clean my kitchen 10 times a week, including trash, recycling and whatever.

    Bedrooms are a different story. I don't expect a guest to be in my bedroom so I am more tolerable with laundry on the floor, unmade beds etc.

    But anything in the living areas... I can't not clean it.

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  5. #42630
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    I usually clean my bedroom "as needed." But with bathrooms and kitchens especially you need to be on a schedule.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  6. #42631
    Sunshine and peace Wryan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Mara (view post)
    Meanwhile, my roommate not only acknowledges that she doesn't cook, but she's proud of it and a little scornful of the whole idea of cooking. She kind of sneers, like I'm doing something simple and outdated. Fine; she can eat out every meal if that's what she wants. But it bugs me to no end when she acts like I'm cooking something wrongly and she knows better. Or if I make a really good meal and she says something like, "That smells disgusting" or "I can't even watch you eat that. It looks gross."
    Would she be the type to get offended if you threw a sausage at her face? Cause maybe you should throw a sausage at her face.
    "How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course and forgot how to drive?"

    --Homer

  7. #42632
    Director bac0n's Avatar
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    She actually has the temerity to say "that smells disgusting" while you cook, and "how can you eat that" at something you've made to eat? My kids would be in deep shit if they were that disrespectful.

  8. #42633
    Quote Quoting Mara (view post)
    Are these behaviors normal for grown-ass adults? Is this what having a husband is like? Is this what having kids is like? If so I'm going to count my blessings; and also the days until I can afford to live completely alone.
    I'm sorry Mara. I really don't want to hurt your feelings here, but...

    I think you make a good point. You should absolutely live alone. Maybe then you'd lighten up a little and stop ragging on your roommates for not meeting your standards of living. On the one hand, what you describe doesn't sound unreasonable. On the other hand, you've just lumped all 4 of your past roommates into a category of people you imply would live in squalor if they didn't have the blessing of living with you. You're very good at selling your side of the story as the most logical side. But we don't know what your roommates think! Or how the cumulative effect of your living preferences drags on them. Maybe they think you're obsessive and overbearing. Maybe you constantly stress them out, thus the reason why the are always trying to reassure you "the apples are fine. this is fine. that is fine. leave it. PLEASE GOD JUST LEAVE IT!" Maybe they can sense you are judgmental about their level of cleanliness. Maybe they push you into the dictatorial mother role because they sense an underlying compulsion for you to assume that role seeing how you seem to fit into it very well for every roommate you've had.

    Living with somebody, under any circumstances, is HARD. It is always a compromise because there are always going to be things about that person that you will hate. But it seems living alone is not an option for you right now. So either open a line of dialogue and start working out your expectations, or don't, and continue to be perpetually pissed about this issue. I guarantee it will continue to be a problem, in whatever way it manifests. There's a common denominator in these posts about your roommates, and it's not your roommates.

  9. #42634
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    My feelings aren't hurt. I am trapped pretty far in my head on this issue, and it really helps to hear an outside perspective.

    Before I respond, let me say that except for the girl when I first moved to Baltimore (roomie 1/4) I have genuinely liked all my roommates here and we have remained good friends after they left. We had successful and mutually enjoyable living arrangements. I really like the girl I live with now, and I'm honestly kind of baffled by the dissonance between how much I like her and how angry I am (or at least was, for several hours yesterday, when every house-and-food based grudge I've kept for the last six years had a sudden emotional-based return.)

    So, after reading your post, I found my reflections going in three parts:

    *Are the causes of my stress real?

    Yes, they are. Each of my roommates have done things that are irritating, because each one of them is a person. But of all their quirks, it appears to be the house-based stuff that was really bothering me yesterday. And though I painted them with one brush, of course they're not. [I started typing out the different cleanliness habits of all my roomies, but who cares?]

    My mom has a thing she calls "BEC", or "bitch eating crackers." It means that someone has annoyed you to the point that everything they do feels hostile, even when they are doing something innocuous. "Look at her over there. Eating crackers." When you see this behavior, it is a "you" problem.

    Thinking about it clearly, there are only a couple of things that are actual problems with my roommate and aren't my BEC. Bascially, 1) commenting on my food negatively, 2) leaving trash out without putting it away or in the back and 3) leaving her dishes for days. I complained for pages yesterday, and when I look at the thing solidly, these are the only real problems. Stuff like "she keeps telling me to put stuff in the freezer" are totally BEC.

    *Am I having an emotional over-reaction to these stress-causers?

    Um, yes. Obviously. Even when I was typing those posts yesterday, a part of my brain was thinking, "Where is all this coming from?"

    I think there are a few factors I wasn't really looking at. I have three home-bases in my life, with "Work" and "Home" being the biggest, and "Church" being a third. Whenever I am unhappy at one of my home-bases, I have a tendency to run to a different one for solace. As a kid, the two biggest were "School" and "My Bedroom" and if I had a bad day at school I would need to hide in my room for a couple hours before I felt okay again.

    I don't think it's a coincidence that all those raving posts came yesterday while I was sitting at my desk at work, thinking about how much I wished I was not there. Especially since I bought my own house, I have an almost violent nesting instinct there (I want to hide in my house and never come out) when I'm unhappy. So, because I'm an emotional wreck, every little thing that my roommates do to my house is striking me as a violation way out of proportion to the actual offense. Does that make sense? I mean, look at the way I'm talking about it: MY house, like they don't live there. When I'm a happier person, I don't use that kind of terminology. It's OUR house... OUR home.

    I have more thoughts but I'm running late to work. I will complete later.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  10. #42635
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks for your patience.

    *Are my physical responses to my emotional reactions healthy?

    And, no, I guess not. Right now, my physical response is to bottle up all the emotions, rarely (if ever) make an actual comment about the things that are bothering me, and then go on a venting screed on the internet. That's not a healthy or an adult response.

    So, of the three questions:
    #1 is a combination of a roomie problem and a me problem (BEC)
    #2 is a me problem, and
    #3 is a me problem.

    When I look at it more like that, I have a lot more control over the situation than I felt like I did yesterday.

    So, what can I do about it?

    I feel like, for the first issue, I need to separate real problems from minor irritants. What can I live with and what won't bother me once I am not overly irritable?

    For the third issue, instead of being silent or being a scold, I need to figure out how to communicate my expectations better on the issues I have identified in #1, and then let the other stuff go. I have housekeeping standards spelled out in the lease, but if something is a perennial problem, I would be happier if I addressed it. Maybe it would be better to just make a calm comment, like "I feel like I've been taking out the trash most of the time, and I would prefer if we took turns." Or maybe we should have little "roommate meetings" where we both can express concerns about the house so I can know if something is bothering them as well. ('I know you don't like shoes piling up in the living room, but I feel like if I just have one pair there for convenience, you need to let it go.")

    Either way, I need a plan. I'm not going to institute it with my current roommate, as she is probably moving out this week. Also, I suspect a lot of my irritation is misplaced anxiety because I don't know if she's moving out or not. THAT IS NOT HER FAULT. She is in the process of getting a really good place where she can live privately that is much, much closer to her work. The only way she can afford it is through a rent subsidy, and as I work providing people with subsidized housing, I know better than anyone how much paperwork there is, and how hurry-up-and-wait it is. I am trying to be accommodating (for instance, I excused her from having to give the 30-day notice on her lease) because I know that this is best for her and I like her. I wonder if I'm subconsciously blaming her for things being topsy-turvy, even if rationally I know that it's not her fault.

    The second issue (my emotional response) is going to be the hardest for me to handle, because I have trouble controlling my emotions.

    Changing jobs (OH PLEASE WORK OUT) will hopefully help. If I am not feeling angry and hopeless when I am at work, I need less from my house home-base. Things that happen there will hopefully not get blown out of proportion. Other than that, I'm not sure what I can do about it except try to avoid getting caught in my head-space and trying to look at things rationally.

    I think it will be good for me to take a break from roommates, and although I've put out feelers I very much doubt I will find a new person soon. Most of the people that fit my roommate qualifications are in Baltimore for school, and nobody is looking for housing in the middle of a semester. I will probably not find a candidate until January. And... good. It makes things tricky financially for the holidays, especially if I don't get this new job (AAAAAAAAAAAAGH) but would be good for me emotionally. It would give me time to get used to my new job (IF I GET IT YOU HAVE NO IDEA THE STRESS) and work on my own mental/emotional health before involving another person.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  11. #42636
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    A few points Amberlita made that I don't know the answers to:

    *Do I put myself in the mother role?

    My instinctive answer is "No" because I hate when it happens. But it keeps happening, so... ?

    I don't know. I do like to be in charge of certain things. And there are certainly situations in which I can be an insufferable know-it-all. I'd like to think that it's not all the time. I like learning things and if I meet someone who knows more than me I will happily listen to them and learn from them.

    But maybe I am provoking something. Maybe when my roommate corrects my cooking or gives me unhelpful advice she's trying to balance out a power dynamic where I am acting superior. I don't know, because I can't immediately visualize what I am doing before she responds. I will need to pay closer attention.

    *Do I cause my roommates anxiety and stress?

    The rational answer is yes, of course, but would you believe that it had never really occurred to me? I guess I guess I figure that if I'm not asking them for anything and not talking about my own problems that it doesn't affect them. But of course it would. When someone is unhappy it affects people they live with. (One of my major problems with roommie 1/4 was that I felt I was marinating in her anger and sadness at all times, even when she didn't say anything. Like a miasma of depression lay over the whole house.)

    And my current roommate has been quite short term, only four months, and those four months have not been a good time in my world. I have been sad and stressed and anxious. My roommate and I get along great and hang out and talk, but my ratcheted-up emotional state can't be easy to live with.

    I tend to forget that my roommates know me as well as I know them.

    Roommate 3/4 recently stayed with me for a week because she had stuff to do in town. It was great to see her. The day I picked her up from the airport, she was eating an apple in my kitchen and dropped it on the floor. She picked it up and rinsed it off, saying "It's probably fine just to rinse it. I bet you mopped the floor in the last six hours."

    I said, "Yes, I mopped this morning... how did you know?"

    She said, "You always do a big cleaning before guests come to stay. And even though I lived her for two years, you're going to consider me a house guest."

    And she was right on both counts.

    So, I guess I have some work to do in the next two months, or at least before I get a new person in here.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  12. #42637
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Mara (view post)
    ...when every house-and-food based grudge I've kept for the last six years had a sudden emotional-based return.
    Oooh, look at that! Holy crap! I was scrolling up after my last post and this caught my eye.

    HOLY FREUDIAN SLIP, BATMAN.

    I haven't lived in my house for six years. I have lived in my house for 4 1/2 years.

    I HAVE WORKED AT MY JOB FOR SIX YEARS.

    /slaps self on head

    Way to see the real problem, here, Mara!
    ...and the milk's in me.

  13. #42638
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    In an effort to redirect the thread that I have killed, and to combat my endless negativity:

    Adagio Rooibos Caramel Tea is my new tea discovery and it is so good I want to cry.

    http://www.adagio.com/rooibos/rooibos_caramel.html
    ...and the milk's in me.

  14. #42639
    Sorry I haven't responded. It's been a long day; just getting back around.

    Though come to think of it, I don't have much else to say. Glad you weren't offended or hurt. Seems like you're doing your best to get a grip on the situation. I'm not going to weigh in on all the issues you were examining in your posts this morning. It's the difficulty of not really knowing you, your roommates, the details, etc. If you can't answer the questions then I certainly cannot. I really do agree that you have cause for complaint on many of the issues with your current roomy (and especially 1/4, who sounded like a mental case). It's a hell of a lot easier to tell someone to chill out then it is to actually do so, especially someone in a state of flux on multiple fronts as you are. I'm sure you're a terrific roommate and home-owner. And if nothing else, I'm learning a lot about canning and food dehydration via your domestic woes.

  15. #42640
    Also, for anybody who wants to spend 30-40 minutes reading a lengthy deconstruction of my hometown's economic disintegration and why it is now one of the most depressing places in the U.S:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...rules-20141014

  16. #42641
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Broke up with my girlfriend of eight months last night, been Buttersing since Sunday, when I knew it was go-big-or-go-home time.


  17. #42642
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    HEY. Remember when those drunk kids broke into my neighbor's house? Neighbor just knocked on the door to ask a small favor so I asked him what exactly happened (first time we'd spoken on the issue.) Keep in mind I live in a very modest home on a small street, but his house backs against mine, is on a larger street, and has a carport. It's on the market for almost $500K.

    He said it was bad but could have been much worse. He has two girls (I'd guess about 9 and 11) and some of their things were broken and a bike was stolen. He had to make a judgment call about if he should tell them what happened, but he was worried they would be fearful to sleep in the house after and so had to make up convoluted stories about why all their stuff was gone.

    Other than that, they drank all the booze and broke a couple things, but no holes in the walls or anything like that.

    He said he had a court date, and I said, "Oh, so they caught the kids?" Because if you recall, the cops did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when called to the scene. My neighbor kind of laughed and said he'd done a google search on his address and had pulled up pictures on Twitter of the house party. He made screenshots and called a lawyer, and they have now tracked down nine or ten of the kids.

    I mean.

    Liveblogging your life of crime?

    (I immediately tried to google the address but I think the pictures have been taken down.)
    ...and the milk's in me.

  18. #42643
    i am the great went ledfloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting amberlita (view post)
    Also, for anybody who wants to spend 30-40 minutes reading a lengthy deconstruction of my hometown's economic disintegration and why it is now one of the most depressing places in the U.S:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...rules-20141014
    I read that a week or so ago. It's a very familiar, and depressing, story. I feel like it applies to most of this state.

  19. #42644
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Holy shit I got the job.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  20. #42645
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Mara (view post)
    Holy shit I got the job.
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

    ritch:ritch:ritch:

  21. #42646
    Sunshine and peace Wryan's Avatar
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    Congrats! You deserve a change and, hopefully, an improvement, something that won't lead to so much stress in your day-to-day.

    Hopefully it's still interesting enough that we continue to get your stories though.
    "How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course and forgot how to drive?"

    --Homer

  22. #42647
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Congrats! Hopefully this job contributes to an overall better environment...
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

  23. #42648
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention that I hung out with Grouchy last week.

    Someone from Argentina came and got drinks with me. The rest of you are slacking. I assure you there is no ebola outbreak.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
    Movie Theater Diary

  24. #42649
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    According to my dad, these are his top 10 favorite albums:

    Sgt. Pepper's #1
    Unforgettable Fire - U2
    Graceland - P. Simon
    American IV - Johnny Cash
    Highway 61 Revisisted - Dylan
    Meet The Beatles
    Surfin' Safari - B. Boys
    Pet Sounds - B. Boys
    Blood on The Tracks - Dylan
    Best of Van Morrison vol. 3.

  25. #42650
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Since it's a grading day (and I DON'T WANNA), dreamdead's top ten favorite albums:

    Robert Johnston - King of the Delta Blues Singers
    Bo Diddley -s/t
    Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks
    Judee Sill - Heart Food
    Talking Heads - Remain in Light
    Cocteau Twins - Treasure
    U2 - Achtung Baby
    Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
    Hum - Downward is Heavenward
    LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

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