Roommates with rabbits

Christine Colleran

Okay, let’s face it- the honeymoon phase is officially over. You have only had one of those “weekly family dinners” since you moved in, and things are so tense that it is only a matter of time before one roommate loses it and eats all of the other’s Fiber One bars. I know from experience, a move like that could start World War III.

It’s simply difficult to live with other people, no matter how good of friends you are. Here are some classic roommate mistakes, and how to avoid them.

The No. 1 roommate issue could very well occur when nobody does the dishes, and no one will admit to having used them. “They aren’t my dishes” could be the time-honored quote of roommates everywhere. Four pans with remnants of egg, the entire supply of forks, thirteen coffee mugs, half a bowl of CoCo Puffs and an ice cream scooper sit in the sink- yet nobody has used these dishes. If Mr. Nobody keeps this up things are going to go south fast.

What’s the easiest way to avoid dish-aster? Buy plastic plates, bowls, cups and utensils. If the dishes are not yours- you cannot be blamed. A foolproof plan – just don’t forget to recycle.

Another roommate issue is the cleaning schedule. Suzie was supposed to clean Tuesday, but she had a giant chemistry exam Wednesday morning, and Billy was supposed to clean Thursday but he got that nasty bout of flu that’s going around.

Moral of the story? Don’t make a cleaning schedule, you will get busy and you won’t stick to it. Instead, clean when other people are around. If some of your roommates are hanging out in the living area that needs to be cleaned, start picking stuff up. Chances are they won’t just sit there and watch you, especially if you are getting in the way of “The Office.” They’ll hand you trash, or make a run to the garbage can themselves. You’ll be done in ten minutes, and then it’s back to Jim and Dwight.

The last big roommate issue is using peoples’ stuff, and people using yours. This one gets tricky because there are some things that are shared naturally (i.e. the Xbox in the living room) and some that people must ask for before taking (i.e. food or beverages). Most roommates like to share, if it happens on their terms. Take their stuff without asking, however, and you are breaking a boundary that may be irreparable. In this instance, the best thing you can do is ask – every single time.

It’s difficult to live with people, to understand each other’s quirks and differences, so make the choices that make cohabitation easier, and remember to be patient with each other.

Ignore the fact that your roommate has a stinky rabbit for a pet, and love her because she is hilarious and always willing to share a pizza with you. That’s what I do.

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