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Old 10-18-2018, 05:21 PM
brujaja brujaja is offline
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That one roommate

I am just posting to vent. I don't need advice, because the situation is the way it is, and I'm not likely to change it because ultimately I care about this guy & don't want to see him on the street.

But this guy drives me nuts! I have three people and myself that I cook for; most of the time, we all have the same meal. But on paydays, I like to order out to my favorite Indian restaurant. I keep fish in the freezer for one roommate who loves fish a lot, for these occasions. Another roommate loves Indian too so that's what we two eat.

The last roommate doesn't like fish or Indian. Usually I get some ground beef & make him a hamburger or something.

Okay, yesterday was a payday. It also is the one day a week that I work late and get home a little after the local markets close. But I knew it was all cool because I knew I had some ground beef in the fridge.

I cook and serve the fish. I order the Indian food. I do some dishes and go to cook the hamburger, & it's gone. "Hey," I said, "I had some hamburger in there. Did you eat it by any chance?" Yes, he did. No problem, I think, there's some chicken nuggets in the freezer. Haha, not anymore. He ate them too.

So then the Indian food arrives, and I sit down in my room to eat. Just then, the roommate knocks on my door.

"Were you planning to serve anything for dinner?" Well yeah, I was gonna give you the hamburger, but you ate it.
"It was only the size of a golf ball!" No, it wasn't. And you ate the chicken nuggets too.

Glowering silence.

I sigh. "Look," I said. "My best friend gave me some meat from Omaha Steaks. It's not labelled, and I'm not sure what it is, but everything they sell is delicious. Do you want that?"

<crickets>

"Okay, how bout if I give you a few bucks for a can of chili?"

This was acceptable. All I had was a ten; he brought me back a five.

Now today he's out in the kitchen, cooking something. I had to go out there for something myself and I see he's cooking the meat from Omaha. That he turned down last night. Delicious pulled pork. That I could have made a meal for everybody with.

And this guy is the only one in the house who contributes nothing financially.

I would have thought it obvious that when I was suggesting things for him to eat and he chose the chili, that put the pork back into the category of "food that belongs to me." Since, yannow, it ALL belongs to me.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:25 PM
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What a strange living arrangement.

Why are you everyone's cook? Are you paid for your services?
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:28 PM
BobBitchin' BobBitchin' is offline
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That definitely sounds like a standard issue roommate thing. Good on you for having patience.

I like to vent too. I find volume helps.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:29 PM
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I would have thought it obvious that when I was suggesting things for him to eat and he chose the chili, that put the pork back into the category of "food that belongs to me." Since, yannow, it ALL belongs to me.
You can change that.

Buy non-contributing roomie a mini-fridge and make all meat in the main fridge off limits without your specific say-so.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:32 PM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Why are you buying (AND cooking) food for someone who contributes nothing financially to the household? Is he a family member, not that that should matter, but it might be understandable if you are helping him through a temporary rough patch.

But otherwise, I don't get it at all.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:38 PM
Eyebrows 0f Doom Eyebrows 0f Doom is offline
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Why are you cooking for everyone and giving the guy money to buy his own food? This sounds like a problem of your own making. He's a roommate, just stop cooking for him if you don't want to!
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:52 PM
brujaja brujaja is offline
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Well, he's an ex. Who let me live with him when I didn't have anywhere to go. When someone stands by me like that, I don't forget.

I cook for the others because they contribute towards the meals. I would be cooking anyway, because I like to cook, and it's much more affordable to buy ingredients than to buy prepared food. Also more nourishing and I know exactly what's in there.

I don't mind sharing with the one guy, but he gets hella presumptuous. I would never have the inclination nor the nerve to be that way.
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:05 PM
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If I were cook and discovered someone had sneakily eaten the food I was planning to prepare for him, my response would be along the lines of "The very BEST you can expect is to go hungry tonight. Pull that trick again and I'll take it as a clear message that you are no longer interested in my services."
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:14 PM
Anny Middon Anny Middon is offline
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What happens when you are invited out to dinner? Do you cook for the others before you go, or do you just tell them they are on their own for dinner? It seems to me that it's not unreasonable for adult people to fend for themselves once a week or so.
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:07 PM
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What happens when you are invited out to dinner? Do you cook for the others before you go, or do you just tell them they are on their own for dinner? It seems to me that it's not unreasonable for adult people to fend for themselves once a week or so.
I often do try to cook something ahead of time if, say, I go out for Happy Hour at the seafood restaurant with my best friend. We do that maybe once a month. Or I will try to go earlier and get back in time to cook dinner slightly late. See, one roomie is disabled, and can't cook for or serve herself. One is my adult son, who can & does fend for himself when necessary.

I need to expand my repertoire of things I can just throw in a crockpot and leave alone, then come back to a rockin dinner.
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:10 PM
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If I were cook and discovered someone had sneakily eaten the food I was planning to prepare for him, my response would be along the lines of "The very BEST you can expect is to go hungry tonight. Pull that trick again and I'll take it as a clear message that you are no longer interested in my services."
Thank you!! Exactly!
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:27 PM
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Locks on the freezer often stop freeloaders.
As you are cooking for the whole household it should/could be cooks choice. You don't like it order yourself a pizza or don't eat. You shouldn't have to cook 3 different meals. Do upgrade your crock pot skills. Have a vote on what everyone can agree on. Freeloader can't just assume things in the fridge or freezer are his to do with as he pleases. You need a household meeting to lay down the law on this.
  #13  
Old 10-18-2018, 08:36 PM
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$5 for a can of chili???

You're being taken advantage of by both your son and the freeloader. You're doing them no favors by being their servant. Make your son do his share of cooking.
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:24 PM
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I use had a housemate in college who made the mistake of raiding my freezer. She had a separate apartment in the house with a full kitchen so she didn't use ours. I was a biology major taking an entomology class. The final semester project was to submit an insect collection with representatives of various families, orders, etc.

The professor recommended freezing the specimens until mounting at the end of the semester. So I used a plastic ice cream bucket to store all the little critters in and my other roommates knew what was in it.

One night the housemate had some craving for ice cream and went into our freezer. I would have loved to have seen the look on her face when she peeled off the lid and saw dozens and dozens of frozen bugs with their little legs and antennae point up at her.

Last edited by dasmoocher; 10-18-2018 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
$5 for a can of chili???

You're being taken advantage of by both your son and the freeloader. You're doing them no favors by being their servant. Make your son do his share of cooking.
Congratulations, you're the first person to notice that a can of even really good chili costs no more than $3.00 around here. That's part of the whole thing!

About my son, however: You don't understand. I'm an Italian Mama. I looove to cook for him. He does whatever else I ask him to do, and kicks in for groceries like the stand-up guy he is. It makes me happy to cook for him. The other day, he asked for lasagne (not cheap) and paid for everything. I was beside myself. Best one I ever made too; I think it might've been the canned fire-roasted tomatoes I got. Never seen those before.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:03 PM
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I use had a housemate in college who made the mistake of raiding my freezer. ... . I would have loved to have seen the look on her face when she peeled off the lid and saw dozens and dozens of frozen bugs with their little legs and antennae point up at her.
Hahahahahaaaaaaa! I hope she was super-squeamish!
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:13 PM
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Congratulations, you're the first person to notice that a can of even really good chili costs no more than $3.00 around here. That's part of the whole thing!
So not only are you providing board and lodging for your ex, free of charge, with cooking thrown in, he's blatantly stealing from you as well?
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:40 PM
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I don't care if your ex helped you out in the past. Taking advantage of you? Lying and stealing from you? Any ONE of those would be reason enough to get kicked out of a living situation, no questions asked.

I disagree with giving him an ultimatum. He's way past that. My guess is you have some form of co-dependency keeping you from making him pull his own weight, or even following basic rules of decency.

What kind of role model is he for your son? And what does your son think of his behavior?

I have a wide streak of co-dependency, and people have exploited that in the past (hopefully, less now, and not at all in the future). One saying a counselor used with me:

If you over-function for others, you are giving them permission to under-function.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dasmoocher View Post
I use had a housemate in college who made the mistake of raiding my freezer. She had a separate apartment in the house with a full kitchen so she didn't use ours. I was a biology major taking an entomology class. The final semester project was to submit an insect collection with representatives of various families, orders, etc.

The professor recommended freezing the specimens until mounting at the end of the semester. So I used a plastic ice cream bucket to store all the little critters in and my other roommates knew what was in it.

One night the housemate had some craving for ice cream and went into our freezer. I would have loved to have seen the look on her face when she peeled off the lid and saw dozens and dozens of frozen bugs with their little legs and antennae point up at her.
I had a deadbeat housemate in college who we suspected of raiding the fridge and pantries for other people's food. (There were five of us and we all bought our own.)

One day we had enough and took an empty bag of Chips Ahoy and put a mousetrap in it and left it in the pantry in the kitchen. The rest of us were all sitting around the living room watching TV when deadbeat walked through into the kitchen. After about a minute we heard a snap! followed by "Ow!" We had trouble stifling our laughter. Deadbeat went straight to his room without coming back into the living room. We didn't lose any more food after that.

Last edited by Colibri; 10-18-2018 at 10:43 PM.
  #20  
Old 10-18-2018, 11:03 PM
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I had a deadbeat housemate in college who we suspected of raiding the fridge and pantries for other people's food. (There were five of us and we all bought our own.)

One day we had enough and took an empty bag of Chips Ahoy and put a mousetrap in it and left it in the pantry in the kitchen. The rest of us were all sitting around the living room watching TV when deadbeat walked through into the kitchen. After about a minute we heard a snap! followed by "Ow!" We had trouble stifling our laughter. Deadbeat went straight to his room without coming back into the living room. We didn't lose any more food after that.
Oh, that is AWESOME! Hahahaha! Wish I could've been a fly on the wall.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:10 PM
dasmoocher dasmoocher is online now
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I had a deadbeat housemate in college who we suspected of raiding the fridge and pantries for other people's food. (There were five of us and we all bought our own.)

One day we had enough and took an empty bag of Chips Ahoy and put a mousetrap in it and left it in the pantry in the kitchen. The rest of us were all sitting around the living room watching TV when deadbeat walked through into the kitchen. After about a minute we heard a snap! followed by "Ow!" We had trouble stifling our laughter. Deadbeat went straight to his room without coming back into the living room. We didn't lose any more food after that.
When I was later in grad school I had roommates who would help themselves to my steaks, chicken breasts, and whatnot. Our lab grew out a whole bunch of chickens for an experiment, half control and half treated. At the end of the experiment, they needed to be sacrificed. A lot of my lab mates and me decided to take home the meat from the control group since it was perfectly fine and why waste it. However, I needed to transport it back home. I decided to use one of our radioactive waste bags.

Roommates were like: "What the hell is in the freezer!"

Me: "Oh, those are my chicken breasts."

Roommates: "Why are they labeled radioactive?!"

Me: "Help yourself and find out."
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:13 PM
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Kambuckta and Digs: A little while ago, I found out what he spent the rest of the money on -- he got TWO cans of chili. Jeezus!

And since you asked, my son hates him. <sigh> It's just, in this world that is so harsh for people who are poor or have maybe some emotional health issues going on, it doesn't seem right to put somebody out on the street. Everybody has to live somewhere, and those who are obscenely wealthy are turning the screws tighter & tighter on all of us. Our buying power has been stagnant for decades. The rich just got TWO gigantic tax cuts. There but for the grace of god...

Still, you're right. Both of those things are stealing; actually, three things. Four. The hamburger, the nuggets, the change from the $10 and MY GODDAMN OAMAHA STEAKS PULLED PORK.

God, if I had known that's what the mystery meat was, it would've been all about some carnitas tacos!! Days ago!!

Man, I dread having to get in his face but I gotta.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:19 PM
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When I was later in grad school I had roommates who would help themselves to my steaks, chicken breasts, and whatnot. Our lab grew out a whole bunch of chickens for an experiment, half control and half treated. ... ... ...

Roommates: "Why are they labeled radioactive?!"

Me: "Help yourself and find out."
Just curious here -- I understand if you can't tell me. But, uh, what was the hypothesis you were testing? Cause I love science, it's all fascinating to me.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:55 PM
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Just curious here -- I understand if you can't tell me. But, uh, what was the hypothesis you were testing? Cause I love science, it's all fascinating to me.
Basically, to see if injecting a steroid hormone into the eggs would improve growth and muscle composition in the adults. It didn't.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:31 AM
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dasmoocher: Thanks for answering! I can see where that's a plausible hypothesis. And a potentially lucrative development if it had worked out.

You didn't ask my opinion on chickens, but FWIW, chicken back in the day used to be so delicious. I really can't find words to adequately describe the contrast to the taste of modern chicken. And I can't help concluding that food seems to taste better if we leave it the heck alone.

That said, I am looking forward to vat-grown muscle tissue with no animal suffering involved. I doubt it could be more disappointing than present-day chicken, and it might be better!
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:45 AM
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dasmoocher: Thanks for answering! I can see where that's a plausible hypothesis. And a potentially lucrative development if it had worked out.

You didn't ask my opinion on chickens, but FWIW, chicken back in the day used to be so delicious. I really can't find words to adequately describe the contrast to the taste of modern chicken. And I can't help concluding that food seems to taste better if we leave it the heck alone.

That said, I am looking forward to vat-grown muscle tissue with no animal suffering involved. I doubt it could be more disappointing than present-day chicken, and it might be better!
You might find this interesting. They're taking a different approach than lab-grown meat.

Impossible Foods:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossible_Foods

The Impossible Burger I think is getting mixed reviews. I saw one where a vegetarian didn't like because it tasted too much like beef compared to a veggie burger and other reviews were more meh.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:50 AM
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Now today he's out in the kitchen, cooking something. I had to go out there for something myself and I see he's cooking the meat from Omaha. That he turned down last night. Delicious pulled pork. That I could have made a meal for everybody with.

And this guy is the only one in the house who contributes nothing financially.

I would have thought it obvious that when I was suggesting things for him to eat and he chose the chili, that put the pork back into the category of "food that belongs to me." Since, yannow, it ALL belongs to me.
If you lay down on the doorstep, don't be surprised when people use you as a mat.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:53 AM
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I know you didn't ask for advice, but my mom's rule when she was cooking for a mob of her children, two daughters-in-law, and dad's sister plus her two kids:

You don't like what I made for dinner? Well, you know where I keep the peanut butter and bread.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:55 AM
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That's nothing...
I have 3 roommates who I cook and clean for 24/7. I serve them 3 meals a day and all they do is complain about what I make, pick at it, ask for something else or don't eat it because they hate tomatoes or onions or they're not even hungry. And then...30 minutes later, they're in the kitchen going through the fridge and making a meal for themselves because they're starving to death!Then they leave their food-filled dishes all over the house and when I ask them to take them to the kitchen they just dump everything in the sink!



Whenever I check the fridge, the orange juice carton is empty, the milk has a sip left in the bottom and someone has unwrapped all the sliced cheese! There are no ice cubes in the tray and the ice cream carton has a used spoon in it. Then I go to the pantry, there's an empty boxes of cookies, empty boxes of chocolate chips, empty bags that used to have bread, chocolate chips, marshmallows, etc..

These freeloaders haven't EVER chipped in for groceries or rent .... and my lawyer says I can't evict the fuckers until they're 18!

Last edited by Sparky812; 10-19-2018 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:25 PM
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I know you didn't ask for advice, but my mom's rule when she was cooking for a mob of her children, two daughters-in-law, and dad's sister plus her two kids:

You don't like what I made for dinner? Well, you know where I keep the peanut butter and bread.
Yup. That was always the rule when our son was younger. You don't have to like it, you don't even have to eat it, but there isn't anything else. Or, more succinctly, "This isn't a bloody restaurant!".
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:29 PM
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And now that the kids are grown, it's "Your on your own for dinner. Leftovers in the fridge, or you can fry up the pork medallions I bought. But don't touch the salmon, I'm grilling that tomorrow night."

The kids learned to wash their own clothes and make their own lunches in grade school. They picked up cooking on their own (out of necessity, using cookbooks and YouTube).

I credit my wife's hands-off approach with all the kids becoming strong, independent twenty-somethings.
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:44 PM
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Well, they aren't going to change if you don't create an incentive. And going hungry if you can't learn to cook is the best incentive there is.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:10 PM
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Though from the OP, the annoying room mate has no problem cooking his own meals. Just wants someone else to supply the ingredients for him.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:28 PM
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Though from the OP, the annoying room mate has no problem cooking his own meals. Just wants someone else to supply the ingredients for him.
Quote:
I have three people and myself that I cook for; most of the time, we all have the same meal. But on paydays, I like to order out to my favorite Indian restaurant. I keep fish in the freezer for one roommate who loves fish a lot, for these occasions. Another roommate loves Indian too so that's what we two eat. The last roommate doesn't like fish or Indian. Usually I get some ground beef & make him a hamburger or something.
I dunno, this level of eagerness to please everybody borders on being a pathology.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:28 PM
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When I was later in grad school I had roommates who would help themselves to my steaks, chicken breasts, and whatnot. Our lab grew out a whole bunch of chickens for an experiment, half control and half treated. At the end of the experiment, they needed to be sacrificed. A lot of my lab mates and me decided to take home the meat from the control group since it was perfectly fine and why waste it. However, I needed to transport it back home. I decided to use one of our radioactive waste bags.

Roommates were like: "What the hell is in the freezer!"

Me: "Oh, those are my chicken breasts."

Roommates: "Why are they labeled radioactive?!"

Me: "Help yourself and find out."
That's a great story!

And your username adds another dimension.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:31 PM
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I dunno, this level of eagerness to please everybody borders on being a pathology.
Reading between the lines, I suspect there are some cultural issues going on here that play a factor. That still doesn't excuse it.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:48 PM
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I think itís fantastic Brujaja is willing to be kind even in difficult circumstances, as long as she is willing to accept that occasionally this may veer into her being taken advantage of. We need more people like that.

I would at a minimum lay down some rules, and speak up when I felt taken advantage of, but I am not she and neither are those of you who question her willingness to live her life this way.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:50 PM
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When my kids were home I fed them. I cooked and even cut their meat up til they could do it themselves. But, I made the menu, I shopped for the ingredients. I grew a garden, picked, shelled or peeled, washed and then cooked it. What was on the table is what their choices were. Occasionally we had an outlier who went on a one meal hunger strike. They gobbled the next meal down, I can tell you.
I explained to them many times, you cannot always have your way. This is not a restaurant, and I am the boss of you. No ice cream for breakfast. No cookies for lunch. You will eat this or starve. No kid ever died from missing one meal. It worked. They are all still alive.
The OPs problem is, she's dealing with adults.
If they know she'll do all the heavy lifting they are gonna lounge around while she does it. Throw a few bucks her way, that's the easy part.
I wish I had a live-in cook.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 10-19-2018 at 11:51 PM.
  #39  
Old 10-20-2018, 11:38 AM
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When my kids were home I fed them. I cooked and even cut their meat up til they could do it themselves. But, I made the menu, I shopped for the ingredients. I grew a garden, picked, shelled or peeled, washed and then cooked it. What was on the table is what their choices were. Occasionally we had an outlier who went on a one meal hunger strike. They gobbled the next meal down, I can tell you.
I explained to them many times, you cannot always have your way. This is not a restaurant, and I am the boss of you. No ice cream for breakfast. No cookies for lunch. You will eat this or starve. No kid ever died from missing one meal. It worked. They are all still alive.
The OPs problem is, she's dealing with adults.
If they know she'll do all the heavy lifting they are gonna lounge around while she does it. Throw a few bucks her way, that's the easy part.
I wish I had a live-in cook.

Quoted for the truth and the Win.

Although I did do the "you can make yourself a sandwich or have cereal" thing, too, when I made stuff 2 out of 4 wouldn't eat (liver and onions) or 3 of 4 would (1 stopped eating eggs as in fried or scrambled but had no problems when mixed in something like pancakes or meatloaf).
  #40  
Old 10-20-2018, 01:52 PM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brujaja View Post
I don't mind sharing with the one guy, but he gets hella presumptuous. I would never have the inclination nor the nerve to be that way.
Well, by your actions you're telling him that it's so good to be that way that you'll reward him with money and labor when he is that way, so by now it doesn't take any nerve for him to be that way. If you want it to stop, you'll have to stop rewarding him for taking advantage of you and pushing you around.
  #41  
Old 10-20-2018, 02:31 PM
filmore filmore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brujaja View Post
Well, he's an ex. Who let me live with him when I didn't have anywhere to go. When someone stands by me like that, I don't forget.

I don't mind sharing with the one guy, but he gets hella presumptuous. I would never have the inclination nor the nerve to be that way.
If your ex gets to live for free and have you cook for him, why would he ever leave? Yes, he did a big favor for you in the past, but how long can he get a free ride off of that? And his actions now are downright disrespectful and unacceptable for someone freeloading. It sounds like your big heart may actually be enabling him. Even if you care for him, be sure to push back when he acts like this. It will make him a better person. It's good for him to learn how to behave like a responsible adult.

But just based on the living arrangement with all those people, it might make sense to come up with a system so people know which foods are reserved versus what's available to take. Someone could very easily eat something as a snack that you need to use for dinner. A simple way could be to put rubber bands on things you don't want people to eat. It makes it very clear what they should not touch and will help avoid these situations in the future.
  #42  
Old 10-20-2018, 03:59 PM
CairoCarol CairoCarol is offline
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I'm a little sympathetic to the OP's willingness to be chef for everyone, especially when one of the roommates is her son. (I enjoy cooking from scratch and love to have people to cook for.) But they all need to do something for her. If she does all the cooking, she should get a break on her share of the rent. Or if a financial arrangement doesn't work, the roomies need to take out the trash, vacuum and dust, clean the fridge, do the dishes, etc.
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