***This w/u was originally under the title My Roommate was the Devil, but it was biffed right back to the drawing board in order to prevent the spread of "Bad Roommate"/GTKY type nodes. I respectfully resubmit this to the daylog for April 29, 2003. Oh, and just for the sake of pure dayloggery, I got this wicked new toothpaste today! It's "Colgate Herbal White", in "Fresh Mint" flavour, with Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Melissa extracts! This stuff is really good - anyone who wouldn't want to kiss me after I brush my teeth with it must be insane!

My roommate of 2002-03 was a real doozie. We moved into our apartment in August '02, and things were cool. Sure, he partied a lot, but it was generally in other places, and I'm enough into the groove of being a student that I didn' t let his activities get in the way. We hung out together a fair bit, he was a pretty cool guy. Then everything changed. I noticed he was around the house less and less in January. Then, at the tail end of the month, I was at home alone one day when a knock came on the door. It was the superintendent with an EVICTION NOTICE. Needless to say, I was taken aback. I got ahold of my roommate to let him know about this, and when I told him, he freaked out. Lost it. He started caterwauling like he was about to be brought to the gallows. The first thing he said was: "WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?" I repeated myself, and he replied "Oh no....OH NOOOOOOO!!! NO! NO! NO!". Then the next thing he said was "Are they gonna tell our parents?" (We had to have our folks cosign because we're students - clearly, 50% of us NEEDED IT, as you're about to find out). I indicated that, yes, the cosignators would probably have to be notified, and he once again went off into a spiel of incoherent babble. I let him go shit in his diapers (actually, I found out later that he threw up when he got off the phone with me) and found the landlady. I asked her what was up with the eviction notice and she said:

"Well, you guys didn't pay your rent, of course!"
I said: "Are you fucking kidding me?"
She said: "No, didn't you get the late payment/bounced cheque notices I sent up to you?"
I said: "No ... no, I didn't know anything about them, I didn't know there'd been any at all..." (Here, I was thinking about my roommate's reaction and alarm bells were starting to go off in my head)
She said "Well, don't panic, if you get this straightened out, it'll all be okay"
I said: "Thank you!" (Well, what were you expecting?)

I phoned my roommate back, and told him what the deal was. I also told him that there'd been two late rent notices slipped under our door and asked him if he'd *happened* to pick them up. He denied any knowledge of any notices. Then he told me that there'd been a "bank error" with the account (our joint account, which is necessary for us to have a single rent cheque - which is required by the rental agency), and that he'd mistakenly believed there to be a surplus of cash in the account. He told me it'd be fixed. That satisified me, because up until that point, I'd had a fair degree of trust in the guy. So, the money got taken care of. He paid up with a new cheque (covered by his long-suffering mother), and everything was gravy. Then I decided, just on a hunch, to go have a look at the bank account's activity for the month of January (and the tail end of December).

I bet you're just DYING to find out what happens next, right?

Okay, I'll tell you! Here's what the bank printout told me: that he had a) not put in his rent for January (I'm assuming he spent it), and b) spent all of my rent. All of it. Actually, because the cheque bounced and we were now in overdraft, our account was about 40 bucks in the hole. I came home with the printout in my hands, and confronted him.

I said: "You spent all the rent money, you stole from me".
He said: Man, I'm so sorry, I totally messed up, I don't know what was wrong with me."
I said: "Look, you just turned 19," (I'm almost 24), "I know what it's like to be out boozing it up and partying; it's your second year, you haven't quite straightened out yet after being on your own. Just use this as a lesson, okay?"
He said: "Thank you so much for forgiving me, I'll never be that stupid again."

This took place in the last 3 days of January

It seemed as though everything had been sorted out and it was time to put February's rent in. I came home from work on the night of January 31st and asked my roommate if he'd put his rent in yet. He said that he hadn't, but he'd go do it in a bit. I figured that was fair enough. Then, after an hour, when he hadn't put the rent in, I asked him again. This went back and forth for a while. Finally, I said "Go put your fucking rent in, right now!". He said "Okay, sorry", and left the apartment with his girlfriend. Ten minutes or so later, he came back and said it'd been taken care of. I thanked him, and told him it was better that he'd gotten it out of the way.

But WAIT! There's MORE!

About two weeks later, I got this answering machine message:

"Hi Matthew, this is Denise from the Rental Office - you told me to immediately get in touch with you if anything else happened with the rent. I'm just letting you know that the cheque's bounced again. Get in touch with me, okay?"

Still being the forgiving and innocent sort, I chalked it up to my roommate's tardiness in putting the rent in combined with bank processes. Nevertheless, I was pissed off, found where he was hanging out, told him to take care of it, and hung up on him. Then, again, I went and got a bank printout on a hunch. He'd done the exact same frigging thing! I made my way to one of his friend's houses - where he usually hung out - and laid in wait. I told his friends what was happening, and they were all agog; he hadn't told them anything about it at all. Furthermore, they told me that they hadn't even seen him in the last week or so. So we started on the hunt for him; finally, we found him at his girlfriend's house, where he was hiding out. The phone conversation that ensued was pretty savage on my part, but the turning point was this:

Me: "You've been fucking stealing from me again!"
Him: "Yeah, I know ... why else do you think I've been ducking you all week?"
Me (after almost choking): Y...w....because you're a fucking coward, that's why!"
Him: "Fuck you, man. You can't call me that!"

Yep, there you have it. I could've beaten him up; I could've sold or destroyed all of his possessions. Instead, I did something way worse: I called his parents. I had to close down our rent account, get the cheques I'd written cancelled, and his mother wrote up the cheques for the rest of his rent. He finally moved out in early April - and since he's still on the lease, the rent that his mother paid has not been refunded. In other words, I'm not living in a two bedroom place for the price of one. On the downside, when he moved out, he gave away all of the livingroom furniture which he'd brought with him, despite the fact that he was moving from Halifax back to Vancouver to live with his mom and pop. I think it was because he still owed a lot of people money and he was trying in some way to pay them back. He also tried to skip out on $250.00 in phone bills and about $100.00 in power bills, but I got ahold of his parents again and deaded that before it got any further.

The Moral of the Story

  1. Avoid getting a joint account with anyone you don't intimately know and trust
  2. Don't become roommates with someone who's still working out their college freshman boo-yas
  3. Forgive, forget, but don't be stupid

The bottom line here is: I sincerely hope that the next person I'm roommates with is married to me.