How To: Be a ‘good’ roommate

Most people spend a fair amount of time worrying about being a good roommate. This is not a terrible practice. It might afford you a comfortable living arrangement or the ability to ask for small favors or other conveniences. How would you thank your roommate for all these kind and positive interactions? You might consider being a bad roommate.

I’m sure you think this sounds contradictory, but consider the gift of a good story. Think about all those times where people have swapped stories about terrible roommates from their past. You don’t want your roommate to have nothing to offer to the conversation, do you? Offering the subject of a great story is like teaching someone how to be double jointed, or do magic. It’s just a great party trick.

Instead of being directly rude, maybe you could just do things that confuse your roommate and then try to pass them off as adorable quirks that you’ve always had. If you can disorient them with what appears to be unprecedented stupidity on your part, you might not immediately lose their friendship.

Steal their toaster. Don’t just steal it, though- steal it, pawn it, and buy a toaster of slightly-lesser value. With the money you have left over from the inferior toaster purchase, you could buy them a loaf of bread as well. You could explain that your gift to them was much more holistic than just having a toaster. When they ask what they are supposed to do when that loaf of bread runs out, just point out that you bought the first loaf and you thought you guys could alternate. If you get away with this, you might consider the continuation of downgrading until you end up heating single soda crackers over the cigarette lighter from your car.

Maybe you could offer to simplify their life by putting their surge protectors in the microwave. For this maneuver, I would suggest that you make sure neither of you are in the room. When both the microwave and the surge protectors are ruined, offer an explanation of environmentalism or simplification of lifestyle. Tell them you heard microwaves could emit harmful waves into the environment of your room that you heard could be cancerous. Point out that having surge protectors implies they have far too many electronics and are in danger of becoming a slave to their deskwork. If they seem less than liberated, you might want to leave the room for awhile as they cool off in their new, distraction-free environment.

If they finally decide to confront you, point out the gift you have given them. Tell them about their ability to now participate in conversations they might not have been able to earlier in life. Don’t let them convince you that they have always felt they had the ability to participate in these conversations. If they become even angrier and begin yelling at you and threatening to press charges, don’t be afraid to take some action and move out. No one deserves being subjected to that kind of idiocy by the person they live with.