I’m quickly learning how off my roommate is. We have been “having problems” mostly with Roland. At first it started as a kind of over parenting, telling me to go to bed, telling me we would talk after I slept. You see I work midnights and I took it at first as her looking out for me and not wanting to be inconvenient. Yeah not so much anymore. Ive watched her wash the dogs food and water bowel every time they eat. She fills her dogs water dish with bottled water. How much has this cost you in water over the past 9 years. She cooks her dog people food and serves it to her in Tupperware, inside the dog bowl. No wonder your dog is shaped like a soup can with legs. No wonder it wont eat dog food.
A little back story first, She is recently divorced and has two sons, lets call them Matt and Eric. Matt lives with us and our other roommate. Eric had come home for the holidays to visit and the four of us were in the kitchen. Matt, Eric, myself and their mother. She then told Eric “While you are here you can use my bathroom Eric.” Matt quickly without skipping a beat said, “No Eric, you WILL use her bathroom.” The three of us laughed for a moment before, all of us in a silent understanding that she was particular about certain things.
One night I caught Matt awake when I came in and we were talking at the steps. Both of us going back and forth about sports, Magic cards, his friends, my work, etc. I asked what sports he played in High school since all of his friends played sports. He said he didn’t want to as he pumped his thumb up and down in the air, pointing directly at his mothers room. Making a pained pleading face as if to say, dude why do you think. With that unspoken gesture and facial expression I replied with “No worries, I played soccer too.”
Over the next few weeks Roland would have to eat upstairs, downstairs, together and separately with her dog. All the while I am just thinking if you tell me what works Ill make him do that. She doesn’t want him to be in a crate or the bedroom while I am away, so I leave him out. Now keep in mind Roland loves his crate, Its like his little cave. Actually while I am writing this he is tucked away in the closet like a bear in hibernation. He has always liked to squeeze into small places to sleep. So I leave him out per her request.
One day while I was at work Roland got a can off dog food of hers, come to find out she left the food out, open and within reach. Keep in mind she doesn’t want me to put him in his room or crate while I am away. She was so upset and mad at me. Apparently she was terrified of him now. She couldn’t get him out of it. I later found out that all her son did was grab the can out of his mouth and put in the trash. OK, so what the hell was she doing then? She doesn’t understand why a dog would eat a can of opened dog food she left out in the open. I don’t know, maybe because it’s a dog and you left it out in the open. That’s just my thought.
It gets even better. I couldn’t make these things up if I tried. I asked for a glass of water one night and she handed me a glass and said “Here this is your glass, I will make a place for you to keep it here in the kitchen.” How about in the cupboard, or the sink, what the hell is going on? As it stands at this point my glass which she washes regularly, whether I use it or not, sits on top of the mini fridge.
On more than one occasion I’ve been on the receiving end of some odd comments. “Roland needs a bath so he doesn’t get sick.” What? Seriously, so he doesn’t get sick. It’s a dog some dirt stuck in his paws or tail isn’t going to give him influenza of which he is vaccinated for. “I think he’s sick, his nose is dry, you need to take him to the vet.” Wait let me get this straight. On numerous occasions she told me she wants nothing to do with him and she didn’t want to be responsible for him. How would she know if hes sick.
Roland and I came in from a walk. I told him to sit while I got some paper towels to wipe off his feet. He didn’t sit. “SIT.” I told him firmly this time as he sat. I told him stay and walked into the kitchen. He followed me and I turned around in one quick gesture making my hand in to a claw and scrunched his fur with my fingers on his butt. He quickly sat and stayed. She turned, looked at me and asked “Why are you being so mean to him?” I quickly told her “I am being firm and that’s what he requires is a firm demeanor.” She was clueless. The very thought of telling your dog to sit was almost foreign to her.
She had made a decision regarding him and wanted to tell me. She then proceeded to tell me that I don’t take care of him and I don’t provide him with what he needs. Oh really, and what does he need? i thought. “You don’t feed her enough” she said, “he always hungry.” Very true, I never feed him because that’s how he got 6 lbs overweight, by lack of food. “He is getting older he needs a home, a place where she can stay and relax.” How much more does he need to relax I thought, he sleeps 16-18 hours a day if I am working, at some point its called hibernation. “Why do you always have to take him out when you come in and when you leave?” she asked. I hoped she wasn’t serious but her grave facial expression said otherwise. That’s right I am not looking out for him by taking him on numerous walks a day. With all my strength I replied with only “He has to go out to the bathroom.” All the while I am thinking, if I don’t he’ll pee and poop all over your house, we can do that if you’d much rather me never take him out.
“She is a very good dog, very lovable. Maybe he doesn’t want to hike, did you ever think of that.” These comments were getting worse and worse. Am I on a hidden camera show, I thought. Is she trying to get a rise out of me. Roland has been pulling a sled, bike, scooter, hiking for about 9 years now. I am sure in all this time it would have became evident he didn’t want to do it. Maybe she doesn’t know what a working dog is? Or maybe she is bat shit crazy? She then said “I am not your mother but I feel like I have to be. Did you know that after you feed him I have to go downstairs and roll up his back of food?” Its in a container and shes following me around just to roll the bag? Seriously where are the cameras? “He is so filthy, he needs a bath, you don’t take care of him.” I looked at him and thought what are you talking about. She quickly followed with, “She is such a pretty girl but you cant tell because he hasn’t had a bath.” “Where I come from you don’t take your dog to someones house without having a bath.” Where the hell is this I thought. At this point she was really starting to piss me off with all this. Our conversation quickly ended and all i could think about was what the vet said a few weeks ago “He’s 12? Wow he is going to live forever.” I am so glad I have had you around these past few weeks, to tell me how to take care of my dog. Where would he be without you?
About ten minutes later she asked me inquisitively “Has he ever been hit on the head?” “No Lynn, he hasn’t. It is a sign of dominance and aggression. he is a very dominant dog and you are making a threatening gesture to him” I replied. It was already evident that she had no clue about dogs or their behavior. “OK, because he still doesn’t let me touch his head” she said worriedly. Great now all I can think about is you calling the SPCA saying I abuse my dog, that is just what I need. I put my head down and covered my face. This woman is out of her gourd.
A few days later I sat on the floor rubbing Roland’s belly and she came over. “I hate to keep pestering you, but could you not sit on the floor it is filthy and I don’t have time to keep it clean?” I was dumbfounded, speechless. I looked around floor and the only thing I could do was repeat what she said. “You don’t want me to sit on the floor.” I quickly got up and grabbed my shoes. She thanked me as I left he house. As I got in my car it all became clear to me. No wonder her husband moved halfway around the world without saying something. No wonder her son is always “working” all day and night. She is friggin nuts.
I couldn’t take it anymore I had to confront my other roommate Francis. I wondered if it was just me. Turns out since Lynn wasn’t working she never left the house for anything. She would stay up till past midnight most nights and be up by eight doing god knows what loudly downstairs. It proved to be a challenge to catch Francis by herself. Tough I finally did and I asked her one simple question that led to a hilarious conversation. I asked her if she thought Lynn was a touch off. She then told me about the guest policy she had that she wasn’t allowed to have anyone over no matter what. She wasn’t allowed to eat or drink in her room and everything must be at the kitchen table. It got even better.
We talked about how neither of us liked to cook and I told her about my spot for the glass. She then said that one day she came home and all her stuff was in a basket on the table. It had just appeared overnight that way. She was also given a specific glass to use, a specific glass. Francis told me that she never cooked because she would have to ask Lynn for a pan and go through a hundred and one questions to get one such as, what are you cooking, when will you need it, how long will you need it what else are you cooking etc. are you kidding me I thought, thank god I ate out all the time. She then informed me about the silverware situation. The silverware situation? I thought. Apparently she has a full set of silverware but only four of each utensil are in the drawer, the rest are god knows where. That’s right one for each of us. We couldn’t stop laughing about this.
Francis then asked me why I never did my laundry here. I replied honestly, so I can not be told what to do, when to do it, how to do it, come home and find my clothes folded, put away, or missing, I’ll just wash them somewhere else and avoid the creepiness. I also told her I wasn’t allowed to clean my room that Lynn had to do it. I wasn’t allowed to use the vacuum or bring my own vacuum in to do it. I should just leave my door open and she will do it. As much of an irritation this was it was just easier to let her do it then to tell her to piss off.
Written January 6th
At the time of writing this I had numerous interactions with Lynn. After Roland I no longer came home home everyday. My interactions have been few and far between. I struggle as to wether post this now or save this for after I move out. I also wonder if I should leave a note for any future tenants as to what it’s like living under this weird house. Where we are told to clean our room so it can be shown at a moments notice. Clean my room, what am I twelve, are you kidding me. I count the days till I am free of this prison.
Updated and uploaded on February 28