Pooey! Others’ significant others, and my roommates

I ain’t gonna work and I ain’t gonna study, Just gonna toke up with my buddy.

roommatesI believe this is the end of the Ask Roger Anything questions for this round:

New York Erratic queries:

What have been your best and worst room mates?

Oh, I’ve had a LOT of bad roommates. In New Paltz, NY, I had two guys, both named Mike, who, for some reason, hated each other. I mean, throwing chairs at each other disdain. I ended having to play interlocutor for them.

Any of my roommates who smoked inside; that was a drag. (Pardon the pun.)

I had one roomie who wasn’t bad, but his estranged wife calling at 4 a.m. was no fun.

I was in loco parentis for a 17-year-old when I was 25. THAT was a mistake. And the third roommate was an artist, so when I’d walk into our apartment, I’d get yelled at by people I didn’t even know because it made some nude model in the living room, who I didn’t even know would be there, cold.

Romantic entanglements muddle the question. There have been people who were great in sharing the space, but emotional stuff got in the way. Or conversely, the Wife, who is otherwise great, but puts away my stuff so that, not only I can’t find it, but SHE cannot.

My best roomie was probably my first one in college, Ron, who was tidy without being oppressive, and we left each other’s stuff alone.

When someone has a pooey spouse or SO, what do you do? Butt in, say nothing, or some other option? Why?.

Pooey? Really? What does that mean?

Well, it depends on what way they are “pooey” AND how my friend feels about it. Are they just loud, or obnoxious, or have crummy politics? I can overlook that.

If my friend has a jerk for a boyfriend, I’m not going to say anything, unless he/she brings it up. That is unless I believe the friend is in danger of being harmed, or kids in their care might be imperiled.

I’ve actually been in the situation a few times, usually women in relationships with men who were not worthy of their time and energy, though the reverse has also been true. The guys were emotionally abusive, but not physically.

There’s always that tricky line between being helpful, and being patronizing. Adults have the right to make bad decisions unless real damage is possible. And what is “real damage”? One tends to decide this on a case-by-case basis.

Now, I have also been involved when someone was actually abusive and was supportive in getting her away from him.

You wanna give me some examples?
Arthur inquires:

What ONE thing always pops into you head when you think of your university years?

For some reason, the phrase “your university years” made me wish I had a tweed jacket.

Anyway, it is the college alma mater:

New, New, New Paltz…
New, New, New Paltz…
New Paltz is good enough for me.
I ain’t gonna work and I ain’t gonna study,
Just gonna toke up with my buddy,
New Paltz is good enough for me!!!!!!

OK, it wasn’t the alma mater. In fact, I could not tell you the NAME of the alma mater, if you offered me a million dollars. THIS song, though, was well known on campus in the 1970s, since it was such a druggy school, and, as it turns out, it still is. This news surprised me because the narrative is that the administration was “cleaning up” the school.
Thanks to all of you who participated!

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

4 thoughts on “Pooey! Others’ significant others, and my roommates”

  1. My roommates are my friend from church and her fiancĂ©. She’s great. She has a full time job, cleans up after herself, and is generally thoughtful and considerate.

    He’s not so great. He only works part time and spends the rest of his time hiding in a room with the door shut playing video games. He doesn’t seem to contribute anything of meaning to the relationship. He has her paying for the second room as his “man cave.” He puts her down a lot, calling her stupid and so forth, but she’s much more intelligent and capable than he is. He whines and even starts arguments over basic adult responsibilities like cleaning and unpacking.

    They’re both 27. It doesn’t get in the way of my life except that I feel hurt on her behalf. I’ve also been the “woman in a relationship with a man who is not worthy of her time and energy” and it’s hurtful to see someone in the same position.

    Not to make you an advice columnist, but everyone has a different opinion on what I should do. Also these are my first roommates, so I’m not sure of the expectations.

    Nude models was quite a story – that must have been a trip! 🙂

  2. You can ask for a house meeting, if it can be arranged, and if it involves the general living conditions. For instance, he leaves dishes on the living room floor.
    Their relationship stuff – well, it depends on your personal relationship with her. Is she confiding in you about him? Then you have some leverage to say that his whining is creating a hostile environment for you. BUT if she isn’t, then it’s trickier. If she’s an enabler of his bad behavior, she could turn on you as a busybody, and it’d be 2 against you.
    Ultimately, you can STILL butt in, but it COULD end up with you moving out. You need to know what you’re willing to put at risk. Or that you just HAVE to put at risk, because he’s an abusive putz. How serious are the arguments? Tricky to judge from the outside.

  3. She confides in me and we talk a bit about it.

    I really have all the power: my name is on the lease, I make about than twice their combined income, there is no way they can afford the apartment without me, etc.

    It’s about to get a little more complicated because they’re moving with me to the house I’m buying.

    He’s definitely not bad enough to kick out. She cleans up after him, so that’s not a problem. We need a house meeting about “deep cleaning” days – washing floors and stuff.

  4. All these years, and that’s the first time I’ve ever heard the term alma mater used to refer to a song! Up until now, I’d only known it as a term to refer to the school (and took me awhile to find a definition that used it in that way, because, of course, I Googled it…). That was interesting to me in itself!

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