Sunday, February 21, 2010


Once upon a time, there was a very bad blogger, who went for, oh, about 2 and a half months without blogging at all. (This is particularly heinous because in this blog break fell Christmas, and our blogger made out like a bandit, yet didn't show any pictures of the loot.)

Now this blogger was a college student, and she cordially disliked her roommate. It was nothing personal; they just had nothing in common. The blogger was a very quiet person, keeping regular hours for bedtime and mostly sticking to her room. She also, and this is important to the story, needed quiet while sleeping--not absolute quiet, but for the room to be mostly dark and mostly quiet. ("What happens on the other side of the door can stay there, and I'll ignore it, but don't let it come in," was her general philosophy.) But the blogger's roomie, whom we shall call X in the time-honored fashion, was a social butterfly, often not coming back till the wee hours were getting quite large, especially on the weekend, and then turning on her light (admittedly necessary, as her chair tended to migrate into the middle of the walkway), go through her bedtime routine fairly quietly, and then, then, my friends, she would turn on the TV.

For you see, this X could not sleep without noise from the TV. Our blogger vainly suggested music, podcasts, perhaps even episodes on Hulu--something which could come through earbuds!--but to no avail. As humans often are, X was persuaded that only the way to which she was accustomed could possibly work. (This opened our blogger's eyes to that particular bad habit in her own life, and she thereafter tried to take advice that went against her inclination but that she knew was good for her.) At the time of this story, our blogger's college had just reconvened after Christmas break, and there had been an extra-long weekend because of a nasty storm which piled snow atop ice.

The scene was the wee-to-largeish hours of Monday morning. The blogger is quite certain of this, as she finished a particularly gripping book around 11:30, and thus wasn't in bed until midnight. She vaguely heard X come in, put on her "black-out shade eyelids," turned herself away from the light, and restarted her podcasts, so she wouldn't be drawn into the stories issuing glibly from the TV. The TV was louder than usual, the hour was later, the blogger's sleep more fragile as she had recently been on break--for any or all of these reasons, the blogger spent nearly 2 hours half-awake, until the sleep timer mercifully shut the TV off--eight or so minutes after which, her trusty Clip ran out of battery. Our blogger reflected later that the timing could not have been more perfect.

When morning broke, more than it had already, our blogger turned off her alarm and promptly fell asleep again. When she was jolted out of sleep by X's phone alarm, her words were--and I believe this is accurate, though the blogger would be unwilling to testify its truth in a court of law-- "Crap crap crap!"

She climbed hurriedly out of bed, thanking heaven she had laid out her clothes the night before, and whisked through the shower in 12 minutes flat, leaving her precisely on schedule despite the unexpected half-hour sleep-in.

Our blogger thinks, despite everything in her which tells her that the relationship was thoroughly dysfunctional, that she is grateful to have had the experience of someone who is utterly careless of anyone's comfort but their own.

"It gave me confidence that I can recognize dysfunctional relationships, steer clear of them while they aren't large commitments, and that I can cope with one if forced into it," says the blogger. "I have concrete experience now of how selfish people can be, and reason that I should not get emotionally involved with anyone with these characteristics--and reason to never let myself get there, to change while the habit is small. Furthermore, I got all of this experience without the messiness of romantic attachment or being married!"

She has a point, don't you think? How much easier to get learning experiences from a roommate, whom you aren't committed to, than even a boyfriend!


  1. She definitely has a point. I didn't learn those lessons until after I was married to a jerk... (He's now an ex, but still. Better to have learned them with a roommate.) I hope things improve on that front!

  2. Having gone through 10 roommates in college, you'd think I'd have done better in the husband department. ;-)

    Hmm. Maybe I was X.


  3. I feel certain that you weren't an X, Jen! ::laughs:: Some people are better at figuring out when a Learning Experience is occurring, and, oh, actually learning from them. I can't count the number of times I've said to myself, Oh no, not another bleeding learning experience!