The Silent Treatment (Surviving a Sloppy Roommate)

Inx By Inx, 26th Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Funny Stories

I stared at it for a good two minutes before realising that I had absolutely no idea how to handle this situation at all. So I texted my sister:
"Hi... what am I supposed to do if there's a fire truck in my room?"

Let's talk about hostels...

On the NWU Potchefstroom campus, there are 20 hostels. 11 female and 9 male. To be one of the "lucky" few to get into one of these hostels you have to either have an outstanding academic record, excel in some kind of extra curricular activity or have a sibling that's already in one of these hostels. The latter was what got me into Kasteel Ladies Residence. Kasteel meaning Castle in Afrikaans... oh sweet irony.
Instead of spacious rooms with luxurious furniture, you get a room that's so tiny that by the time you move in your own fridge, microwave, drawers, dustbin and laundry basket you can barely move.
Instead of graceful people with good manners, you get students. Enough said.
Instead of servants who do just about everything for you, you need to sweep your floor twice a day to get rid of the dust bunnies that seem to magically appear no matter what you do.
Instead of being guarded by a fierce dragon, you get monkeys, meerkats and cats, lots and lots of cats.
And on top of it all, you have to share this very, very little space with some stranger. O goody. For the sake of this story, I'm going to call this stranger Andy.

The Roommate

I guess it is my fault that we didn't get along. She was expecting a roommate that would stay up late talking about boys with her, lend her clothes and be her shoulder to cry on when things get rough. Instead, she got me and my bitchy resting face that would NEVER do the above mentioned. I'm just not that type of person. But I was never mean to her. Quite the contrary, at the start of our roommateship, I did everything I could to make the experience bearable for the both of us. I was very nice to her, greeted her when she came back from class, asked her how her day was, listened to her stories (with the best pretend interest that I could pull off) and wrote her test and other important dates on my calender so I could wish her luck. Don't think that I got any of that in return though...

Oh the stories I could tell you...

I could go on and on about how her side of the room was always messy or how she never showered after a party and thus polluting the little air we have in that cramped room with her smoke and beer smell etc., etc... but then I would go on forever and I'm sure I would just bore you. So I'd rather just tell you 3 stories that really sticks out from the rest:

1. The Beetle
It was one of the first weeks that we started living together. One Monday night, the hostel decided to have a bomb drill. That put quite a damper on my mood but as we all were obligated to participate, I solemnly dragged my feet down the stairs amidst the crowd of scurrying students all yelling "BOMB!!!", "I GOT HIT!!!" or "IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!!!" at the top of their lungs to the meeting point (that's just outside the hostel so even if someone (for god knows what reason) decides to bomb our hostel, we'd still be hit.). At 1 am, after they called out our names and we all confirmed that we are indeed there and not inside the hostel where the imaginary bomb might hit, we were free to go back to our rooms. There was nothing I wanted to do more than to just get into bed and sleep, but when I opened the door to my room I was greeted by Andy's screams and nervous giggling. Right under her desk was possibly the biggest beetle I've ever seen lying on its back, kicking and squirming around to get back on its legs. I really don't like killing any bugs if I know that there is a way that can safely remove them from room where they're bugging me, but seeing as I was sleepy and not at all in the mood for the hysteria that I knew would continue all through the night, I dug out my can of insect repellent from my drawers and sprayed a thick white layer on top of the bug. It's squirming gradually became slower and I figured it would die sometime soon. She didn't make any attempt to throw away the insect that night, so I figured she'd do it the next day. The next morning when I came back from class it was still there, and still moving. So I sprayed it again. That sequence went on for three weeks. In that time she sat at her desk and studied, watched series and ate food while a massive beetle kept moving its legs around in a peculiar motion next to her as it had refused to die! It was only after I asked her to please get rid of it that she actually did, otherwise she might have left it there forever!

2. The Apple Core
One day she was sitting on her unmade bed amongst piles of dirty laundry, texting someone and eating an apple. When the apple was finished she simply left the core on the bed. And not just that, she actually slept in the bed with the apple core and dirty laundry all around her. I should also mention that the dustbin was within arms reach of her (just like any other object in that tiny room) so seriously? How hard can it be? As I was the one who threw it away in the end, I can assure you that it's not!

3. The Fire Truck
One Sunday afternoon I arrived at the hostel after visiting my parents and boyfriend for the weekend. My mother bought me some groceries and as I walked over to the fridge to unpack them, I saw the worst thing that Andy has ever left on the floor right in front of it. And there have been many things. I'd love to tell you what it was but as I'm new to this site, I'm afraid that the moderator might reject this page if I do! But I will give you two hints: 1) It's something that a female uses once a month. 2) I decided to call it a "fire truck" for the purpose of this story since it was the first red thing I thought of for some reason.
I stared at it for a good two minutes before realising that I had absolutely no idea how to handle this situation at all. So I texted my sister:
"Hi... what am I supposed to do if there's a fire truck in my room?"
It wasn't even a second later before my sister came to my room, utterly confused. I showed her the fire truck and she immediately became outraged. She stormed out of the room and called one of the hostel prefects that lives just one floor above me. She came to inspect the situation and was just as shocked as we all were. She assured me that she would handle the situation. Everyone left and I threw Andy's rug over the fire truck so it would stop staring me in the face. I barely started giving my groceries attention again before there was another prefect who wanted to see the fire truck. When she left I thought it was finally over, but a few minutes later our head prefect had to check out the scene. She also promised me that Andy would not go unpunished. At the time I wasn't sure that I wanted Andy to be punished. I didn't really think much of the situation while it was happening. But once I had my thoughts to myself, I became angrier and angrier. And the fact that the story spread like wildfire didn't help either. Every time I went outside my room at least one person asked me if Andy really left a fire truck in our room, and I would get angry all over again!
The prefect (that lives one floor above me) called her that night and told her to go see her immediately. You know how you can recognise someone by their footsteps? I actually heard her coming from wherever the hell she was and going up the stairs to the prefects room. And after her visit there, did she come to our room to apologise to me and to pick up the fire truck? NO. She did not. She didn't even sleep in our room that night. And even though I couldn't see it under the rug, the fact that I knew it was there was a bit disturbing. The next morning around six I woke to our door opening and closing. I heard Andy tiptoeing into our room and throwing away the fire truck. In her dustbin. In our room. *sigh* I guess it was better than nothing.

The Silent Treatment

I managed to fall asleep again after I heard Andy come in. When I woke up the second time she was sitting at her desk, reading. When I got out of bed she heard me and told me good morning. I suddenly became mad again. I wanted to scream at her, ask her what her problem is and throw her with something. It took a lot to hold it all in, in fact it took so much effort not pounce on her like a lion and strangle her, that I couldn't think of something nice to say. Not even a simple good morning. So I said nothing at all.
She asked me if I slept well. Nothing.
She asked me if I had class today. Nothing.
And then I realised I accidentally started using the silent treatment on her. Which is something I'm not a big fan of but really, it was in her best interest and mine. And it continued like that for a few weeks. After a while she stopped making an effort to speak to me too. We sat in silence there the entire time. I would be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy it. But one day, when I came home from class, the room was spotless. I mean there wasn't a single dust bunny anywhere which is nearly impossible to achieve in that hostel. This has never happened before. Never. I stood there in awe for a while just taking it all in. Andy was sitting at her desk when I came in and idly greeted me like the newly cleaned room is not a big deal at all. But it was, so I greeted her too.
And the silence was broken.

Old Habits Die Hard

I'd love to tell you that she actually kept the room clean for the remainder of the year but then I would be lying, unfortunately. I guess old habits die hard (or not at all). It was a good few months, but it was over way to quickly. But somehow I stopped seeing the mess. When my sister or friends visit me they would always have something to say about how dirty her side of the room is and I would just shrug and start talking about something else.
I can safely say that I can handle any mess that comes my way, now. I don't know how that's going to come in handy later in life and it's not like I can put it in a CV but hey, it's a skill nonetheless!


Apple, Beetle, Bomb, Boyfriend, Castle, Cats, Classroom, Dragon, Dust Bunny, Fire Truck, Groceries, Hostel, Laundry, Meerkats, Mess, Monkeys, Parents, Roommate, Rug, Silent Treatment, University

Meet the author

author avatar Inx
Gamer. Daydreamer. Otaku. Bookworm.
"Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking."
Instagram - @inxypandapantz

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
1st Dec 2014 (#)

It is indeed tough to adjust to a stranger as a room mate especially one with a totally different standard - siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Inx
2nd Dec 2014 (#)

I agree. But Andy definitely prepared to me to deal with any other future roommates and their different standards!

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?