#2: Kitchen

Just as the bathroom is his duty, the kitchen is mine. However… When, I’ve brushed my teeth, I rinse out the sink. When I’ve used the facilities, I flush and clean up any messes I’ve made (this is in theory, as I don’t make messes whilst using them). When I’ve showered, I rinse out the tub and hit the button on the shower-cleaner-dispenser-machine-thingy. In short, I help to make his job easier. Even though the kitchen is my domain, simple requests such as “please rinse off your dishes when you put them in the sink,” and “when you spill something, wipe it up right away so it doesn’t stain,” are not, in my opinion, over-the-top. Another point of interest when it comes to my roomie and dishes: he uses a new item each time. Two drinks = 2 glasses; One salad = 2 cutting knives, 1 cutting board, 1 plate, 1 bowl, 1 spoon, and 2 forks. You get the idea… it doesn’t take long before there are a LOT of dishes (pretty much daily, sadly).

Ok, so..after I start doing dishes this morning (b/c every pot,pan,dish,utensil,and piece of silverware is dirty–wish i’d have taken a pic) 11:24 AM Nov 28th from web

I got through three drainers full, roommate goes in 2 finish. It’s impt 2 know that I dirtied maybe 2 bowls, a fork, and a spoon. IRRITATING 11:26 AM Nov 28th from web

Here’s this situation (and why it irritated me): I had finally come to my limit. He was dirtying enough dishes each day for a family of four and I rarely dirty any at all. He was never rinsing anything off, which makes it very time-consuming to wash. So, I decided to stop doing the dishes for a week to make him see what it was like . I made it three days before I couldn’t stand looking at it anymore. I began doing the dishes at 10 in the morning. After I’d done more than half of the dishes and took a little break whilst the dishes in the drainer were drying so I could put them away (no he doesn’t do this either) and finish up, I come back in 15 minutes later to find him washing dishes.

You’re thinking, “Well, you should be happy he was helping clean up his own mess.” Perhaps, but I’d taken ownership of the situation and was extremely irritated. Also, he doesn’t wash them, rinse them, put them in the drainer to dry (or dry them), then put them away before washing another sinkful. He washes them all and finds places to stack them around the kitchen so they’ll all dry simultaneously, which he then never puts away so they sit there until I do. In short, he’s not helpful in the kitchen when he tries to help.

Dear roomie #6: No, it isn’t ok to go buy more cooking utensils and cookware b/c you don’t want to wash dishes (just more for me to wash) 11:16 PM Dec 4th

I’m washing dishes i didn’t dirty…again 9:26 AM Dec 6th

Dear roomie #10: It IS ok to finish the dishes that I presoaked in the sink (you know, the last two of FIVE drainers-full that YOU dirtied). 4:48 PM Dec 8th

Yes, sadly, he actually went and bought more cooking utensils and storage containers so he could cook food rather than just washing the multitudes of utensils and storage containers we already have. Two days later, I got to the point (again) where I could no longer stand looking in the kitchen and began to wash dishes. It may be important at this juncture to let you know that I do have a full-time job (other than cleaning the kitchen). I spent two hours washing (and putting away) three drainers full of dishes, then put the rest in some soapy water to soak — to make them easier to clean. My dear roomie, who had been off work all that day, could have washed those dishes for me since I had lessons to plan and papers to grade, which I hinted at for 3 hours. Alas, no, he just walked past them all evening. He was nice enough to put the additional dishes he dirtied that evening in the water to soak, instead of piling the on the counter to crust up.

Dear Roomie: Watch as I take the plate I used for my grapefruit into the kitchen and wash it immediately so it doesn’t need doing later… about 24 hours ago

…maybe leading by example will do the trick? (Hope not…or there goes my blog ideas) about 24 hours ago

NO…THIS DOES NOT WORK. (well, not with him…he is immune to subtlety)

Dear roomie: Please do not eat the food I bought, esp. if you are going to eat it using 3X the usual # of dishes and not wash them after. about 1 hour ago

I bought some frozen tater-tots the previous day. I never would have known he’d eaten some the night before except I saw the lid OFF of the Fry-Daddy, which I bought him for Christmas so he would stop leaving quarts of oil in a pot on the stove for weeks at a time. I’d done the dishes the day before and the sink was empty when I went to bed. Lo and behold, there are three forks, a spoon, a steak knife, a bowl, and two plates waiting for me when I awoke this morning (he says he never eats). If someone out there could please explain to me how it is possible to dirty that many dishes for some frozen tater-tots, I’d be forever grateful.

#3: Shared Space

Every area of the house that isn’t a bedroom is shared space. It is this shared space that we both must look at and use. It is this shared space visitors get to see when they stop by. It is everyone’s responsibility to keep the shared space neat and tidy. Leaving all that to one roommate is a great way to cause animosity, end friendships, and ultimately end up losing your home because nobody will ever want to live with you.

Dear roomie#11: It’s ok. I’ll fit all the housework into the time left over after I’ve worked 70+ hours this week… cont’d 5:09 PM Dec 8th

DR#11 cont’d: I know it’s rough going into work at 5pm. So, you relax and I’ll take care of it.

The living room literally looks like 4 suitcases walked in off the street and exploded. The living room is where my roomie likes to leave his suitcases. There is clothing and there are toiletries that are strung across the room and on every piece of furniture. The dining room still has unpacked boxes from the move (14 months ago). You’re probably asking yourself at this point, “You moved from one location to another with him?”

Yes, I did… but this is an entirely different “him” than the one I moved in with when I moved to this city. The other house wasn’t the neatest place, but it wasn’t messy – and it certainly wasn’t dirty. Everything had a place, and it pretty much stayed there. (I concede, the bathroom was a wreck, but he even kept the kitchen clean before we moved.)

I’ve tried picking up. I’ve tried to coerce him into putting things away. I’ve tried mentioning it in passing…and telling him point-blank. The piles are just too daunting. To be honest, if I were him, I’d be scared of the piles too.

Almost everything I own, I keep in my bedroom. There is far too much “stuff” in this room for it to ever be neat, but it’s my room, and I keep the door shut. Do I like it? No, of course not…it drives me crazy. I’m just not sure where else to put it all. He has taken every other room of the house and made it his dumping ground.

#5: My Final Thoughts On Roommate Cleanliness

As I’ve said, keeping shared space neat and tidy is a matter of respect. He doesn’t respect himself, and doesn’t respect me. I’ve told him (and it’s kind of common sense) that cleaning a room can take all day… keeping a room clean only takes five minutes a day. Every time he cleans (not often) he is so proud of himself that he finally cleaned something he can’t wait to show me. Every time he shows me, I tell him, “Now you should just keep it clean because it will make your life easier and it will simply stay clean.” Every time, this falls on deaf ears.

In closing… Hope all my work gives HIM a sense of accomplishment. Blah. I need to move 11:27 AM Nov 28th

I’ve been looking. I probably will soon…

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Living with another person takes a lot of patience. A lot of effort. A lot of work.

Being a roommate requires living with another person. Being a good roommate requires a level of respect for yourself and the person you live with. It isn’t just splitting bills… it is respect. A big part of that respect, in my opinion, comes in the form of simply keeping shared living space clean and tidy. This would mean, of course, the living room/den, the kitchen, and the (unfortunately shared) bathroom be free of clutter and be kept clean. In short, everywhere in the house should be kept neat and clean, save your bedroom…do what you want in there.

So, I’m going to have to split this blog into sections (an indication as to exactly how slovenly the roomie truly is): 1. Bathroom; 2. Kitchen; 3. Other Shared Space; 4. Everything Else; 5. Final Thoughts. (Numbers 2, 3, and 5 will come in a blog later this week so this one isn’t too long.)

#1: Bathroom

It is important to understand something about cleaning bathrooms and me: I’m allergic to the fumes from the cleaners — I’ve recently been told to try a mixture of vinegar and water…I can’t imagine that would make a clean-smelling bathroom, but I’ll give it a try next weekend. Because of this allergy, cleaning the bathroom was his agreed-upon job when we began this cohabitation.

Dear roomie #11: No, is it NOT ok to pee on the seat and not clean it up. (gross) — excuse me…*vomits* 9:13 PM Dec 8th from web (*note* there was an earlier tweet on 9/19/09 concerning this as well)

Dear roomie #12: No, it is NOT ok to tell me that you slept ALL day as soon as I walk in the door from an 11.5 hour day… 9:08 PM Dec 9th from web

cont’d… especially when the dishes are not done and the house is a wreck and there’s urine on the toilet seat (again) and…etc. 9:08 PM Dec 9th from web

Ok, now this is just disgusting. Common sense, no ANY sense, will tell you that if you actually urinate on a toilet seat you should clean it up. This goes for those of you living alone as well. It’s simply unsanitary. Period. As toddlers, boys are taught to lift the seat and aim for the water. It’s been decades since the roomie was a toddler. This is a lesson that should have set in years and years ago (years before I was even born, actually). The really sad part is, I’ve mentioned it to him (in passing — it’s somewhat of a disturbingly embarrassing topic to broach), yet there it is, on the seat, nearly every day. I just don’t get it.

Dear roomie #18: Thank you for cleaning the bathroom, finally. It is NOT ok to wait 5 months before doing it again. 6:14 PM Dec 19th from web

about my last tweet: Bathroom cleaning is roomie’s agreed-upon job (i.e., he chose it) as I am allergic to the fumes from cleaners. 6:15 PM Dec 19th from web

As an additional side note to DR#18: I cleaned the br 4 times in the last 6 months and was rewarded with illness for days each time. 6:23 PM Dec 19th from web

What’s more disgusting is that he was so proud of himself..couldn’t wait to show it off. I said,”if u keep it … 1:41 AM Dec 20th from web

… up and clean it once a week, it will stay this way.” He didn’t respond.. 1:41 AM Dec 20th from web

Again, common sense. A bathroom can not stay sanitary for months at a time. And, I should not have to get a respiratory infection just so I can walk into the room without wearing shower shoes… and I should not have to wear shower shoes in my own shower — I haven’t had to do that since the dorms in college 15 years ago. So, as you can see, he simply doesn’t do his job. The job he agreed to. The job he chose. And what’s worse is, when I mention it, he ignores me. (Recall I mentioned respect.)

#4 Everything else

Dear roomie #4: No, it is NOT ok to put your chicken bones in the kitchen trash can without replacing the can liner first. 11:26 PM Dec 3rd from web

Here is when my roommate deals with the trash: on Friday mornings he takes the garbage bin (and recycling bin — a later blog) to the curbside. The other six days, apparently it is my responsibility to deal with the trash. He lets it pile up in the trash bin until it is impossible to close the bag and I have to start a new one just to get the first closed… that is if he has even bothered to put a liner in the bin after (the very few times) he takes the liner out. Even when he takes the liner out, he doesn’t take it outside, it simply sits in the kitchen until I take it.

Dear roomie #9: Since you do laundry 6 times a week, it is NOT ok to leave your clothes in the washer on the one day a week I wash clothes. 6:45 PM Dec 6th from web

My roomie works in the service industry, so naturally he has work shirts and aprons to wash…I understand this, I’ve worked in that industry. However, I do laundry once a week. Two loads (occasionally three). I always do — and have always done — this on Sundays. I work Monday – Friday so Sunday makes sense to me. He knows this about me because 1) I’ve always done this; and 2) I’ve told him over and over. Since he knows this, I would think he could remember that on this one day a week, just for a few hours, I will need him to empty his laundry out of the machines. (again, I mentioned respect)

I could go on and on, but this post is quite long enough already. I will address: 2. The Kitchen, 3. Other Shared Space and 5. My Final Thoughts on Roommate Cleanliness later this week…stay tuned.

(*Note: Before you comment on how I could help more in the bathroom, since I must use it whether he cleans it or not… I address this in part 2/2 of this blog coming later this week.)