Living with a disgusting flatmate
I should preface this entry by telling you that as I write this I am tired and ratty. That said, scroll down a bit and let me tell you about living with a disgusting flatmate.
I went to the doctor this morning about a nagging cough that I’ve had for four or five weeks now and got diagnosed with a chest infection. Nothing that’s going to put me out of action, but certainly enough to explain why all I want to do recently is wrap up warm and stay away from people (more so than normal!)
Anyway, this entry is not about me, but instead is about the new flatmate, who I’ll refer to as “J”, who has been living here for six weeks or so now. So how’s it going? Well, not terrible, but not fantastic either.
I’m not too sure where to start, so I’ll begin with the issue that has caused this blog post. It’s grim, so for goodness sake, if you’re eating or just not into anything unpleasant, stop reading now.
J is a big girl. Not massive, but she had a gastric bypass last year, and for a 21-year-old, she is quite large.
Last month, not long after she had first moved in and was still settling into not only the flat but also the country (having moved here from her native Belgium), she started her period. No biggy, right? It happens to 50% of the population and we’re all grown ups.
After a hard day at work, I came down and went to sit at the computer which is set up in the living room. I already knew that J was on as I’d read it on her blog. Us bloggers keep nothing to ourselves, right?
As I went to take my seat I saw a red stain on my white seat cushion. It couldn’t be, could it?
“J?” I asked, “Have you bled all over my chair?”
“Oh My God! I’m soooo sorry!” she replied, seemingly thoroughly embarrassed by what had happened. “I’ll clean it!”
“Too right you’ll clean it!” was probably my response (it was a few weeks ago, so my exact reply isn’t recorded.)
She chucked it in the washing machine, no more was said, other than a few hours later when she admitted to feeling down, stating that she was missing home, felt bad that she was not being a good housemate, and citing the bloody cushion as an example, and saying that she was fed up of not working.
I did my best to tell her that it was a natural thing with the period, but she just needed to check things, and that things would pick up.
A couple of other things flared up in the ensuing 24 hours or so, but nothing major, and I let things go.
Two weeks later and I happened to check my home phone bill. Unbeknownst to me she had been ringing her mum’s mobile in Belgium every day. Not for long, but certainly every day. I discovered this around 7.45am just before I went to work. With £34 in foreign mobile call costs for the previous bill, I caught J in the living room before I went to work.
“J, have you been using my home phone to call home?” I asked.
“I’m so sorry! I’ll pay for the calls!” was her first response. I can’t begin to describe how annoyed this made me.
To apologise straight away tells me that she knew she was doing something wrong, but did it anyway.
“Do you know how much it costs?” I asked, calmly. When she admitted that she didn’t and I told her the bill total, she swore, apologised again and said she’d pay me back.
I left it at that and went to work, where I sat down and reviewed my bill. I wrote J an email telling her how much was due. £54.87, including the cost of the calls that were due on the following months bill. Plus, I added, I had checked by bank account and she was paying her rent a week behind what she should be, so that needed rectifying too.
Lastly, she was paying the rent in Euros, and every week the amount in British Sterling was going down. I finished it by saying we should get a household budget that we put into for stuff like toilet rolls (which she’d not bought any of since arriving) and bleach and so forth.
She replied saying that she’d get the money paid in, and that the budget thing was a good idea, adding that perhaps we should also do a rota for who does the dishes and takes the bin bags out (the latter of which was another thing I’d pulled her up on.)
I shot an email back saying that we could do a rota if she wanted, but I wasn’t overly fussed who did what, as long as stuff got done. In honesty, the last thing I want is a rota in my own home.
Time’s gone by and everything has been ok. She still hasn’t found a job to date, and she asked me to look over her cv, which I did and gave her some advice on, but as a 21-year-old with little or no experience, there wasn’t much I could add to it.
We’re now about six weeks in. I’ve had the day off today and have found that I fully resent the fact that she is always here. When I had my girlfriend visit a few weeks back J made herself scarce, though I think that was more luck than by design, but by her not working it means that she is here when I get up, and here when I get back.
I know that she has applied for jobs (including non-paid volunteering work) and had no luck, so I’ve not mentioned it.
However, tonight she is out in town. I got up from having a quick lay down in my room, something I seem to be doing a lot these days, and went to the loo.
I’m tired and ratty. J isn’t here to talk to directly, and I don’t have her mobile number to text her, so I have left this on the toilet, with an arrow pointing to the problem.
Period blood. Smeared over the back of the seat. This has happened a few times and I have generally cleaned it up and done what I needed to do. (Thank God for being a dad and having dealt with far worse when the kids have been growing up - though nothing like this).
I’m worried that the note is a little passive-aggressive, but hopefully it’ll hit home.