Sometimes it might be nice to not have a condo roommate. Don’t say you haven’t thought about it. You might have wondered about how great it would be to live alone—no unnecessary noises while you work, no “accidental” raids on your prized chocolate supply, and guaranteed privacy. There are also days when you simply don’t want to talk to anybody and explain why.
“No man is an island.” Whoever said this (as there are conflicting information on its origin in Google), forgot to place a caveat. If your companion rants about her love life throughout the night, is it wrong to wish solitude? You’re just a simple human who wishes nothing but to keep your sanity, after all.
Here are things you probably thought of saying to your roommate, but could never do.
I’m not a bill collector.
When I approached you with a proposition of being my roommate, we stipulated on our co-living agreement the mechanics of our relationship especially when it comes to paying bills. I don’t like repeating myself, but I can’t function without air conditioning either (in this scorching weather, who can?). Let us not go back to three months ago when you forgot to drop by the payment center on the very date that our electricity was due and I had to get off work in the middle of an important meeting to pay our bill. Let’s not go back to that, please.
The garbage will not bring itself out.
It’s a universal knowledge that no one likes to do chores. However like getting a bath or drinking water, cleaning up must be done. You scrub the bathroom on Wednesday, wipe the kitchen counters every time you’re done eating, and bring the garbage out on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re unable to perform said tasks, you can advise me beforehand, not after our kitchen starts to smell.
We’re under a co-living agreement, not a marriage contract.
Living together doesn’t mean our properties are conjugal. My towel is mine. If you forgot to do your laundry, you can buy new towels in the nearest store. Living in a condo means we can literally run to convenience stores, supermarkets and other establishments. Everything we need is within reach. There’s absolutely no reason for you to hijack my closet.
I can do a lot of things, but plumbing is not one of them.
On our living room bulletin board is a list of emergency contact numbers including the line for maintenance in the event of condo problems. If the kitchen sink is leaking, you can call a plumber. If the home alarms are not working, you can seek help from the maintenance people. There’s no use waking me up at five in the morning—that’ll be too early for me to even offer you moral support.
House parties are for houses, not condo units.
Do you remember those 90s chick flick we swooned over? The red cups, the pounding electronic music and beer pongs became our definition of college parties. Let me remind you though: we’re no longer in college and we don’t live in a house. Condo living requires tenants like ourselves to comply with community rules and regulations. Moderate your noise at all times. If you want to throw a party, reserve the function hall or the clubhouse. I don’t want to get reprimanded for something you did while I’m out of town.
Maybe your family can consider renting a hotel room next time.
I love your family, and you know I do. Your mom cooks the best paella I’ve ever had, your dad can very well be a professional comedian and your little brothers are worthy video game opponents. I enjoy their company for a day or two. However, if we’re going to have a repeat of six months ago when they stayed for a week, we might have a problem.
There should be a law penalizing spoilers.
I’m a busy person. I have a monthly, weekly, even a daily plan of the many things in my life. I hit the condo gym early in the morning, spend my entire day in the office, relax by the condo leisure pool before dinner, and read books until I fall asleep. I watch TV series on weekends. This means that I expect to be surprised when my favorite character makes a drastic decision and disappointed by the end-episode cliffhanger. We’re good friends but I really abhor your insensitive spoilers.
Sometimes, I need to be left alone.
We’ve been friends longer than we’ve been roommates. You know that frequently dealing with your other friends drains my energy. I’m an introvert and while I enjoy our dinner conversations, this doesn’t mean that I feel the same way in big crowds. You can host parties in the function hall as often as you can, but don’t feel obligated to invite me. Sometimes, I just need to be left alone and I hope you understand that.
Really, you just need to ask.
Despite the many things I disapprove of when it comes to your negligence and sometimes utter disregard of my personal space, I’d still want this co-living arrangement to work. If there are changes in your schedule, we can adjust the dates of your chores. If you can’t attend to your laundry because of a toxic project in the office, you can ask me to bring your dirty clothes to the laundromat.You just need to ask. You can even send me a text message whether I want spoilers on my favorite series. Who knows, maybe I need spoilers once in awhile.
There are many things that we wish we can openly say. It may be a cultural thing or simply a need to maintain good relations that most of the time we hope other people can get our message in other ways. However, there are matters that should be addressed directly, otherwise we’d be dancing an endless waltz, resolving nothing. With this in mind, you can talk to your roommate about your concerns. Perhaps home-cooked meatballs spaghetti might lessen the blow?