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Your (Weird? Wonderful? Wacky?) Roommate Stories
The cover image from Stephanie Wu's book "The Roommates." (Picador USA)

The cover image from Stephanie Wu’s book “The Roommates.” (Picador USA)

When we asked for your wacky roommate stories during our Tuesday, August 19 hour on just that topic, we had no idea you would respond so enthusiastically. It was enough for our guest, author Stephanie Wu, to imagine writing a sequel to her new book, “The Roommates” using all of your stories.

We’ve collected a few of the better stories here, from the broadcast, our web comments, Facebook, Twitter and email, but it doesn’t mean you can’t keep sharing your stories in the comments here! (And don’t worry: we’ve only used initials. If your current or former roommates read your comments here, they won’t know it’s you…probably.)


“I once had a roommate who had a weekly ritual of eating In-N-Out Burger while clipping her toe nails (she was an assistant camera person in the film industry, so she’d be on her feet for a good [stinky] 12-17 hour day when this would occur) and watching True Blood in the living room at least once a week.  The end result?  A pair of dirty socks and a lot of toe nail clippings littering the floor under the coffee table.  Girls are gross. I can say that. I’m a girl.” — M, email

“She brought to our dorm room four different guys in the first five nights of college — late at night, drunk each time, noisy too. On the last night she stopped midway through the amorous activities, wailing, ‘No, wait. I can’t. I’m wearing my boyfriend’s t-shirt. [sobbing] You have to go.’” — C, Facebook

I did a year of Volunteer service with JVC in New Orleans. There were 12 of us, 6 on each side of a duplex. My side was 4 girls and 2 guys (inlc. me). We lived in community like one of the callers, and shared a food budget, cooked meals and ate together. There were plenty of ups and downs, but the most consistent problem was the DISHES. OH MY GOD THE DISHESSSSSS. No matter who cooked, or how often, there was always dishes!” — D, email

“Differing taste in music is one thing, but my wife had a roommate in college who continuously played whalesong recordings. I’ll just leave it at that.” — D, Facebook

She kept everything in her room.  I mean everything.  The world was in her room.  Walls lined with scifi and romance novels, clothes (for years), makeup from 1993 until now, hair product, her giant golden retriever, a queen size bed, purple walls, her ginormous shoe collection.  And food.  Lots of food.  She was convinced that if she took a shot of canola oil in the morning that it would help her digest the donuts, fakeburgers, french fries, pudding, cookies, candy, and earl grey tea.  It was a health thing.  And she kept it all tucked away safe and sound in her 12×12 room.  The door was always closed.  And it was always quiet in there.  She wouldn’t come out, except to pee and shower, for days.  She only worked 20 hours a week, so she could keep her unemployment, which supplied her fast food habit and online shopping habit and when asked to do a chore, such as help clean the kitchen or empty the trash building up in her room, she would cry, loudly.  Sobbing actually and would hide herself in her room.  We’d wake up and find the trash was taken out though, so she did it, but with a lot of waterworks and passivity.” — M, email

“I worked 2 jobs so I could live alone in Boston for 8 years, and because all my roommate situations up to that point were nightmares. But I’m now 41, living in Austin with my fianće and a housemate who is in his mid-30′s, and it feels very natural, like family. We own our home and put our housemate’s rent toward the mortgage. The three of us are musicians and independent artists, self-employed. When my fiancé and I go on tour our housemate takes care of the property and our dogs. He also builds instruments (an added advantage). In exchange we knock off some of his rent. It’s a very harmonious arrangement that I didn’t expect would go well. There’s no shame in being our age and having roommates.” — M, Facebook

“I too paid extra in college not to have a roommate.” — B, Twitter

“After my ex wife moved out I needed help paying the rent and took to craigslist. I ended up picking a lady 20 years my senior who was active in the local swinger culture. I never experienced said world, but had a lot of eye opening stories over dinner. We didn’t work out for long, but now I live with a friend of mine of almost 15 years and we get along great!” — S, email

“I shared a room in my house for over a month with a choreographer. She was work obsessed and would come in in the wee hours – as late as 3AM – and be gone again by 9 AM. I scarcely saw her, but she was nice and very interesting.” — D, Facebook

This single-child bachelor man of three decades of recent six live in a cottage sized space with few possessions. A dog walks me daily. The Library is still public.” – V, Disqus

“The cool A frame house above Palo Alto, with a young guy who never lived with anyone other than his parents, and worked for a tech company. He would come in at 2 or 3 AM every night, and put his gym bag and shoes in the washer and dryer…right under my room! I would wake to the sound of metal zippers, buckles and thumping in the dryer. On other nights he brought friends home to play cards until dawn- when I had to get up to work. When I said we had agreements on noise, he said ‘you’re not my father’ and complained to the other roommate who was the ‘main renter’, and he kicked ME out!” — R, Facebook

“My roommates were generally on a spectrum between Timmy McVeigh and the Unibomber. I live on my own these days.” — B, Twitter

“When I moved from Mass to Fla for a year, I met my roommate on Craigslist and it was my first time doing that. It worked out amazingly! We became fast friends and now a few years later, states apart, we are still close friends and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding.” — D, Disqus

“My roommate was dating a cop. He’d leave his gun on the coffee table. One night his X and 2 men came to our house and woke us by pounding on the door. They intended to beat him up. I was thinking about gunfire and how I would stay safe in my room. I pushed the dresser against the door and crouched in a corner. No gunfire, but I decided to move out.” — K, Facebook
“I am really terrified I won’t be able to afford to live alone as I get older if I don’t have a partner to share costs.” — S, Twitter

“My first college roommate made voodoo dolls … she had dummy dolls and various hair samples – thankfully none of the samples were mine! We lasted one semester!” K, Facebook

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  • peter3dogs

    i had a house on Saxony Rd.in Encinitas,calif in the late 70′s. About 1978 there was a few people living a w me from Boston,& Providence R.I.. Russell wray was a welder & artist from the R.I. school of design. He fabricated a life Size Killer Whlaes tail.Its stood in the front yard & as cars went by they would see it diving into the front lawn! I cooked on 2 research boats for Scripps Inst of oceanography & when i was talking to the scientists,they would ask where I was fro. I told them about 536 Saxony Rd..& since it was a main crossroad,,they all knew about it.when I mentioned the mailbox,which said,”Elvis Presley & The Beatles” they always recognized it.& when i said that we had a whales tail in the front yard,,They knew EXACTLy where it was!!

  • Richard Faymonville

    I had a roommate who wanted to put earth on his bedroom floor, to me and my other two roommates’ horror. He thought it would be more natural and better for his health. He didn’t do it. He did wallpaper his room with macaroni and cheese boxes after buying 100 of the off-brand version for a nickel apiece. Took a while, but he did it. I miss that guy.

  • michi_chi

    No true horror roommates – a food stealer (you wake up to find only the stems to the bunch of grapes you bought yesterday). But there were the girls who had a line taped down dividing their dorm room in half because they truly hated each other and housing wouldn’t let them move until the end of the semester. I had class & extracurriculars with both of them and if I was there talking to one and the other walked in, before you could talk to her you would have to jump across the line before she’d acknowledge your existence. Wow, it made high school drama seem comical.

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