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Roommates from hELL |  1 2 3
continued from page 1

How to fix them: Most Slobs are blissfully unaware of the effect they have on other members of the household, and thus find it hard to change. Start by turfing any paper plates in residence, insisting on daily showers for all housemembers and if the Slob can manage that, it’s well on its way to reform.

Manifested in various forms, the Borrower shows its true colors slowly. There’s the type that actually asks, constantly putting you on the spot so you’re forced to say yes. New jeans – yes. Make up remover – yes. Last of your treasured breakfast cereal – yes. Yes! Yes! Yes! This pattern continues until there is nothing left – the Borrower has literally sucked you dry!

Then there’s the sneakier type of Borrower, the sort who conveniently "forgets" to ask. Slowly you realize your new shampoo is approaching empty. Your favorite biscuits are a sorry mess of crumbs still sitting in the packet. And your wardrobe now consists of exactly one pair of undies, a dirty T-shirt, and a single tartan sock. At that point, you realize the Borrower has blown town (and probably borrowed some money for the trip).

How to spot them: Borrowers are always slurping surreptitiously from other people’s orange juice cartons, pinching cigarettes or eating leftovers. Most live by the motto: ‘They’ll never notice if I just take/eat/slurp that.’
How to fix them: It would be fine if Borrowers occasionally bought a slab of beer for the house, but they never do. There are two solutions for living with Borrowers. 1) Hide your stuff. They’ll be stumped for a while, but it’ll force them to buy their own shampoo/moisturiser/jelly beans. 2) Organize a central house fund to which everyone contributes to pay for basic items, so the Borrower is forced to pay his/her own way.

OK, OK. I admit to having been one of these myself, in my youth. I lived at home with my parents and was so desperately in love/lust with my then boyfriend that I spent every night at his house. I had the sneaking-out-at-daybreak thing down pat. But having since suffered many Unpaying Tenants as a bona fide paying tenant, I now understand why the UT can be such a nuisance. The Unpaying Tenant is usually the lover of someone who officially lives in the house, and slinks in each night at around 11pm. Thin walls make Unpaying Tenants more bothersome, but it’s a tricky one to deal with. Flatmates’ lovers invariably come under a certain unwritten code: "Thou shall not make trouble, in case thou get lucky at some point in the future". Who’d want to jinx that?

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