My roommate has a really close friend that I cannot stand. He’s loud, obnoxious, untrustworthy, and unavoidable since he is always in our room. Recently I walked into my room, and he was alone on my computer eating my food. This has happened a few times since, and the other day I found $50 missing from my desk shortly after one of these episodes. When I confronted my roommate about this, he defended his friend by saying it was stupid to make assumptions. The problem is I really have a good time with my roommate when this person is not around. What should I do?
– Annoyed and bitter
Besides a great theme song, “Three’s Company” provided an important lesson: that three truly is company. Fact: Only two people can be friends at one time. With that established, we can move on to who will be cut and how to do it. You obviously want to get this friend out of the picture, so it’s time to out-jerk that jerk. No matter what you thought that meant, I’m simply suggesting you be louder, more obnoxious and less trustworthy.
Make this guy so uncomfortable in your room he doesn’t want to be around. Or, maybe you’ll want to leave. You could just pack up your things, get a new roommate and let those fools have each other. Your old roommate will soon see how wrong he was to doubt you and will probably come crawling back to you anyway.
Finally, the most drastic option would be to have your friend want to leave. Remember in all the old cartoons when someone would shrug their shoulders and say, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”? That’s what we need to do here.
Befriend this jerk. To keep him from stealing money from you, the two of you might try stealing money from your roommate. You, of course, would return what you stole because you’re not out to make a buck, you just want to shift the victim of the crime.
Also, be loud and obnoxious with this jerk toward your roommate so that he’s the butt of all jokes. Your roommate will probably leave, which leaves you with two benefits: 1) Your roommate won’t be around to bring crappy friends over and 2) your new “friend” will always have money. But don’t thank me. Thank classic sitcoms for another life lesson.
You’re in a predicament. In a good fantasy, the “Mission Impossible” theme song would be playing while you covertly snagged the annoying thief with all the latest technology, at last proving to everyone the validity of your dislike.
But back in reality it’s a little harder to know what to do. I could easily cop out and say to locate a good spot on campus that is really almost just like another home. That might work once in awhile, but let’s get real. Sometimes you just need to hang out in your own space by yourself or at least with your assigned roommate.
Even without a completely stealthy plan of attack, there are some cards to be played. First, does this friend have a roommate? If so, you should find out what’s up there if he’s spending all his time in your room and not his own. His roommate might be able to help you with insider information. Second, hide all your money and valuables. I don’t think I need to explain why. Third, call him out the next time you see him eating your food, etc.
It also might be worthwhile to say something along the lines of “I noticed you were on my computer the other day, and I was just wondering if you saw the $50 I had in my desk because I can’t seem to find it now. This will throw him off-guard if he took your money and express your dislike of him in a non-confrontational manner even if he isn’t a thief.
Of course, putting tricks and plotting aside, there’s not a whole lot to do but hope that your roommate will come to discover the annoying ways of his friend on his own terms. If not, there’s always the infallible statement, “It’s my room, too.”