Sunday, November 11, 2007

Too embarrassed to call it anything but number seven

The thing is, someone else recently told me about one of their former flatmates, the pinnacle of whose appalling behaviour was his attempt to drive out P. from his council-provided splendour with twin offensives in the form of poor personal hygiene and flamboyantly noisy live-in lovers squatting on the sofa. This was followed up by a pathetic attempt to steal P.'s identity and thereby claim his benefits.

The plot was foiled by the aforementioned vociferous and as it turned out, spurned and vengeful lover Revealing All, and I mean All in the menswear department of Dickens and Jones. But it was the seventies, it might have worked.

I am now a little embarrassed at my previous description of my erstwhile flatmate's behaviour as "appalling". A trifle annoying perhaps. A mild social solecism. And of course, now that my own level of righteous anger has faded to mildly pissed off, I feel guilt and ashamedly petty about my own actions.

To sum up, I returned home after a week away to find a message that read, "I have decided I hate it here. I have left work and moved back home. I need to know what to do with the keys. Don't worry about paying me back for the rest of this month's rent."

This would be the person who had agreed that because of her lack of deposit and general uncertainty about life, the universe and tram times she would give me a definite 4 weeks notice of her plans to vacate or pay the difference. The one who had organised her entire life here (including a fall-back career and alternative Friday job) in advance from the other side of the world before arriving. The one who had never lifted a finger to do any cleaning and kept her own store of toilet paper in her room, since it seems that short lets do not dust or have a communal attitude to personal hygiene products (although other people's DVDs are another matter). The one who left only three days before next month's rent was due, which would make it a three days rent-but-no-tenant-bonus. Ice creams are on me.

A few weeks later, no sign of the keys in the post, but a further message, "My friends are coming to stay in Hotel XYZ for the weekend. Please take the things I left behind around to their hotel for me so they can bring them back for me. Don't bother about the food or anything, just the clothes, shoes and bags."

These would be the clothes that had been left in dirty piles on the floor (now laundered) or mildewing gently in the washing machine on my return. With shoes and everything, the enormous canvas holdall allocated to the task weighed about 20 kilos (44 lbs.) and would have required a taxi to deliver.

Gentle readers, I said no.

Today falls on the last day of the weekend of the visitation and I have not taken the items around. The weather is bad, the taxi drivers are angry, the hotel has steps. Twenty navy-blue, canvas kilos of guilt are weighing on my conscience with fraying straps.

8 comments:

Yvonne said...

Auntie! Do not be a doormat. Blame it on PMS, or mismatched socks or even global warming!

EvilAuntiePeril said...

Thanks for the encouragement, yvonne. So far, the doormat has remained firmly up.

In fact, in breaking developments, flatmate and my missing key will return briefly to collect bag. I was feeling guilty until I checked flight prices for the promised time of arrival, and realised the return ticket for that day was less than £50. Hopefully, she'll leave the key this time.

Tricky said...

Idiotic and immature moron! (the former flatmate, not you!)

I would have sold all clothing and shoes, in fact all possessions left behind, on eBay "to defray expenses" as a friend of mine puts it.

I am full of righteous indignation on your behalf.

Lyvvie said...

Not your responsibility to send her her things. She needs to get some backbone and collect them. Bloody coward, she is.

But, Auntie...you washed her clothes for her?

(Word verification for today is: Hungjaja. This made me smile.)

fiveandfour said...

The room mate I had back in the day who put labels on all of her food (including on each and every package of Top Ramen - because heaven knows the real reason she'd been invited as a room mate was so we could at last set our nefarious plans in motion that involved the ingestion of 10 packages of beef flavored Top Ramen) and used up all of the hot water every single day just before other people could hop into the shower is starting to look like a real peach in comparison to the parade of egotistical half-wits you've found ;-). Thanks - I feel so much better now that I can re-examine my past in this new light.

EvilAuntiePeril said...

tricky, thank you for the sympathy. In the latest flatmate update, she did collect the bag and left the key. Is is very mean of me to admit that the first thing I did when I came home that day was to carefully count all my DVDs?

hi lyvvie, thank you too. I did indeed wash her clothes, but mainly because when there was no prospect of her collecting them, and they were busy smelling up the front bedroom, I decided to donate them to the Czech equivalent of Shelter.

hello fiveandfour, I too live and plot for the day I can steal instant noodles from my flatmates. Sadly, their a bit of a luxury item here. Perhaps instant knedlik (dumpling) mix is the Czech equivalent. I will monitor the situation. BTW, did your flatmate also draw a line on her milk or juice?

fiveandfour said...

did your flatmate also draw a line on her milk or juice?

I gasped at the thought that someone could be so clutch-fisted, but on further reflection I am convinced my roommate didn't do that only because she didn't think of it.

The roommate who replaced Ms. Clutch-Fist had a very good rule I have since employed with my family: you can have my diet Cokes on the condition you don't ever take the last diet Coke. Of course, the unspoken part of this rule is that one must purchase the occasional diet Coke for return sharing so as not become the other side of a Clutch-Fist: a Mooch.

EvilAuntiePeril said...

This is the sensible approach. I did at one point live with someone who promoted the idea of better living through accountancy, but it just used to drive the rest of us to tears of frustration as she totted up and divided endless sub-quantities of this and that, and worked out average loo roll consumption with a complex calculation using flat-inhabiting time vs. time spent at work vs. diet (yes, truly) vs. average number of trips. And bizarrely, I never felt like I came out fairly in that situation. But no one did.