I am the target of an Inquisition

My roommates apparantly hate me. Tonight, my roommate Paul says, “All of us roommates have some issues we need to discuss, so one of these nights we’re having a meeting.” I hear from a friend (who has talked with my roommates) to expect an ambush.

Here’s what I’m up against.

Roommate #1: Kim
Major beef with me: Didn’t leave a note for her to check the message machine. She missed an important call.
Defense: There was already a note on her door from another roommate telling her she had a message on the machine. I didn’t see any reason to waste paper and leave another note. (Turns out that note was old and she’d already listened to that other message, but didn’t delete it, which was one reason I thought she hadn’t checked the machine for that message yet.) Also, she’s already said that she knows it’s an honest mistake and that she forgives me. Still, I don’t know if she’ll take that back for a chance to sink her claws into me. Especially since she’s very protective of April, and almost always takes her side.

Roommate #2: Paul
Major beef with me: I never run the dishwasher to clean the dishes.
Defense: I barely make any dirty dishes (not compared to Paul and April, the last roommate). I also regularly clean up messes on the stove and counters left by Paul and April. In fact, I clean these up more often than they do. Moreover, I’ve already told him that I’d be happy to wash dishes by hand but that the dishwasher just doesn’t get them clean. (I often find myself washing individual dishes by hand, after I take them from the cupboard, because they are still dirty.) He wants me to use the dishwasher.

I know this is a somewhat weak defense against this particular beef with me (which is, amongst them all, the strongest IMHO), but I also help Paul with his Java homework. No, let me correct myself. I do Paul’s Java homework for him. Without me, his grade would be at least a letter lower. I’ve never asked for anything in return for this, but I think I should be granted a little leeway if I don’t wash dishes in the way he wants me to, and instead decide to clean up the messes he and April leave in the kitchen.

Roommate #3: April (note: Paul and April are engaged - which means even if Kim doesn’t participate in the attack, I’ll still have to deal with a unified tag-team; she also is verbally and physically abusive towards Paul, which is one reason I can’t stand her most of the time)
Major beef with me: I had the gall to ask her to neaten up her stuff. I entered her room without permission.
Defense: Ok, this is the interesting one. Here’s the senario: My gf is comming over to watch videos later. The living room is a complete mess, as usual. April always leaves her books and papers and just general stuff in the living room (and hallway) because she’s both a messy person and a person with too much stuff.

So, I go up to her and say the following: “Can you do me a favor? Can you neaten up some of your stuff in the living room?”
April: “What, right now?”
Me: “Well, no, not this second …”
April: “Well, I’m leaving in two minutes.”
Me: “Ok. Well, could you maybe point out what, of that stuff laying around in the living room, is yours, so that I could transfer some of it to your room or something?”

This is where rational reality breaks in half and starts to bleed.

April pushes past me, goes into the living room, and starts picking stuff up and transfering it to her room rapidly. At first I think she’s just in a hurry. But no. She takes her fishbowl from the small table in the corner. She takes the lamp. She takes the large piles of her crap (which is all I wanted or requested her to move in the first place!), and she takes the fucking remote controls for the TV, DVD player, etc. (These are actually Paul’s, but she considers Paul’s stuff to be her stuff.) And some chairs. And some other stuff.

At this point I know she’s tweaking and decide to stay out of her way, so I start sweeping. She comes up to me and says, “Are you sure you want to use that broom? It’s mine too.”

Um, right. Asking you politely to clean up your ridiculous mess is exactly the same as saying I don’t want to ever touch one of your possessions! Of course!

Ok, at least the living room is clean for the first time in forever, if a little bit barren. (I take the opportunity to vacuum.) So April leaves for whatever it is that she just made herself late for, and my girlfriend arrives with some movies. I look for the remote for the DVD player and can’t find it - then I remember. I open April’s door a crack and see it right inside. I walk in, take it and the other remotes that she took, and take them back to the living room where they belong and where they can be put to use.

So now apparantly Paul and April (and possibly Kim) are planning a meeting (read: bitch session at BlackKnight).

I’m not perfect, nor do I expect my roommates to be. But, seriously, arranging a united bitch fest instead of comming to me personally one-on-one to address problems? I just don’t see the point. All it will lead to is a big fucking mess where everybody hates everybody.

I’m tempted to recall every tiny little thing they ever did to piss me off, just so it won’t be so one-sided, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. sigh

“Tweaking” literally or figuratively?

Fucking heretic. I hope they poke you with the soft cushions.

April sounds like an ex of mine (on one of her good days).

My advice: Move out. Today. Now. Leave your stuff. Just run. Fast.

If you see them building a gallows or setting up a stake and gathering firewood, I would suggest skipping the meeting. Otherwise, don’t let them push you around. Doesn’t sound like you did anything too terrible, other than possible poor taste in roommates.

Good luck. :slight_smile:

This made me laugh.

I agree with the others. If you can leave, leave. If you can’t, then you probably don’t want to do anything that makes relations any more strained. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t defend yourself during the inquisition (No one expects the roommate inquisition! Our weapon is dishes… and remote controls! Our two weapons are dishes, remote controls… and an almost fanatical devotion to bitchiness!).

Just stay calm, reason with them as you have here, and use the Java if you have to.

Hey, if everything goes to shit, you could always go tell his Java teacher that you were the one who did the assignments and ask him to do a pop quiz. Bwahahahaha, etc.

Get out while you can. The yoinking of the remotes was supposed to be a clear message, “you are no longer welcome here.”

Yes, it sucks.

You can’t win in an intervention-style pile-up. You just can’t–defending yourself won’t work, and not defending yourself is the worst sort of passive aggressiveness. So odn’t let them have it. If they say “Blacknight, we’d all like to sit down, and just, you kn,w, talk about things” say “If ny of oyu have any complaints about me, feel free to talk to me individually. But Idon’t want to see this apartment break down into tag-teams. That never works out”. If they ambush you, leave or go straight to your room.

This sounds cheesy, but when you do tal to them one-on-one, use “I” messages: I feel like my wiping and vaccuming more than make up for my not doing the dishes. These really do help.

Lastly, if you stay you are going to start doing a great deal more and putting up with a great deal more. It may be totally, completely, and utterly unfair, but that’s how it is. f you aren’t prepared to start doing more–fair or not–you gotta leave.

All those people who have been writing those threads about how communism is so great should read this thread. People who believe the world will be a better place when we all do what we have to do just because we like to do it. Everybody will want to do the dishes. Yeah, right. It is difficult to get four people to be happy sharing an apartment without disagreements and yet millions can share the world without a single disagreement? I don’t think so.

OTOH you might want to tell them the Inquisition is passé and you have now appointed yourself Kommissary General of the Apartment Soviet and for this time you will let them off with a warning if the confess but next time heads will roll.

One thing about sharing an apartment, if you want things cleaner than your roomates do, you will be the one doing the extra cleaning. There is no way around it, you can’t make them clean things up if they don’t think it’s dirty.

If you want cleaner dishes, you will have to spend the time to rinse them off thoroughly before putting them through the dishwasher. That, or you will be handwashing all of the dishes yourself. Your roomates feel that the DW does a good enough job, they won’t do extra work that they deem unnecessary. BTW, you will still be responsible for running and emptying the DW just as often as they do. Same goes with cleaning up spills and such, the fact that you clean up the countertop will not buy you anything with people who don’t give a crap if it’s dirty.

Living rooms are interesting. Many people will treat a shared living room as personal space and will put their crap wherever it pleases them. Perhaps trying to impress upon them the idea that it is shared space, not personal space will help. Other than that, there is little you can do, moving their stuff into neat piles can be a touchy thing to do. You can be confrontational about it, and basically say “If you don’t want me moving it, put it in your room.” but that is a dangerous move.

Best of luck to you.


I’ve been in a situation like this. I once shared an apartment with one of my best friend’s girlfriends. He lived in Vermont, she and I lived in Colorado. Over Christmas break, he decides (unknowst to me) that he’s quitting school and moving in with us. OK… fine, we’re all friends (or so I thought). They start having sex all the #!# time. I’d walk in after work, they’d be half naked on the couch going at it. I’d be in the kitchen having lunch, they’d be having LOUD sex in the bathroom off the living room. I should have known what was coming when, during Thanksgiving dinner when we had about 10 people over, they got up and went in their bedroom and started screwing (he was visiting at the time, this was before he actually moved in). Imagine me, with a houseful of guests I barely know because we’d only moved to the area a couple months previously, standing there with the grunts and moans coming from their room. Not fun.

Anyway, I once had the gall to knock on their bedroom door shortly after they had finished a bout of loud sex in the shower, and ask them politely if they’d not fuck in the shower while I was home. The next day, I came home from work to an inquisition. Apparantly, it was completely out of the question for them to not screw in the shower. In fact, I was being completely unreasonable to ask them to change in any way at all. They’d screw where ever and whenever they damn well pleased.

I moved out soon after.

Several years later, I found out that C, the girlfriend, was insanely jealous of me, and was absolutely sure that I was after R, my friend. Nevermind that Rand I have been friends for years after trying the romantic thing. Nevermind that he and I had ample opportunity to go after each other if that was what we wanted for years and years before C was even in the picture. Nevermind that I SET THEM UP ON THEIR FIRST DATE. I once commented to her that R and I were “great friends and I could really tell he was happy with her because I knew him so well” as further proof I was trying to get her out of his life so I could have him to myself.

They stayed together for several years after the fact, enough time for her to get him to join a church and become born again. She then dropped the church herself, and dumped him, leaving him to his Christianity. He’s since become a big time thumper, so bad that I can’t even spend any time with him because he’s so lost touch with the real world. He’s turned from an intelligent, interesting person to someone who stops all conversations or debates with “it’s that way because God did it that way.”

I blame C for his demise. Fuckin’ bitch.

Is it an option to tell GF, “Sorry about the mess; it’s my roommates, not me”?

Also, my earlier question: Is April a tweaker? (Speed, cocaine, whatever.) If so, run, do not walk.

I"d say you have a potential pilot for a tv series. It needs a bit of a rewrite but you stand a good chance. Good luck.

That was one nastly flashback you just put me through.

I have had some great roommates over the years. Many are still close friends. One of them is now Mrs. H.

OTOH, I have had some horrendous roommates; psychos, assholes, thieves, you name it. I know your pain. If you live with a fucking loser who is snorting powders, get the hell out. There is no worse form of life than an unclean speed/coke addict.


LMAO - I read that thread & you are 100% correct in your observation.:wink:

The first blow of the Revolution has been struck!

(Ok, first things first. “Tweaking” is a slang term for drug use? Well I’ll be damned. I honestly had no idea. For the record, April does not use drugs. She barely even drinks. I just meant “acting in a very bizarre and inexplicable manner” or something like that. You learn something knew everyday.)

ahem As I was saying, the first blow of the Revolution has been struck!

The “meeting” has not yet occurred. Like a torturer who knows that waiting for torture is nearly as bad as the torture itself, my roommates have not actually set a date when this meeting is to occur. They’re letting it hang over my head. However, a few late developments have tipped the balance slightly. I may yet survive the rack, iron maiden, and the thumbscrews.

The friend who tipped me off to expect an ambush has talked his way into being present at the mauling - er, meeting. He is ostensibly there as a “neutral mediator”, but I know he is mostly friendly towards my side. Normally I’d feel bad about having a non-neutral neutral mediator on my side, but I think it’s the only way to avoid a complete evisceration.

My roommates all know this guy, and Paul and Kim are pretty good friends with him. April hates him.

Moreover, a small battle was faught tonight. The mediator’s name is Tony. I was at Tony’s place tonight writing a Java program. Tony is in the same Java class as Paul, so I end up doing the homework for both of them. Paul and Tony were talking while I was typing.

Tony brought up the “meeting”, told Paul it was a bad idea, and suggested that any roommates who have a specific beef with another roommate bring it up with them one-on-one. He also told Paul that his fiance acts like a child and should grow up. (Tony’s very blunt.)

“But she had had a hard day at work!”
“Is that any reason to take it out on him?”
“But … well, no, but sometimes people just act like that …”
“No, sometimes April just acts like that. That doesn’t make it right.”

Go Tony!

Although Paul stuck to his guns about having a meeting, he finally admitted that maybe, possibly, his fiance over-reacted to a slight degree, perhaps, maybe.


Also, Kim and April had a small disagreement earlier today. Perhaps Kim will not automatically take April’s side during the Inquisition. She’s the wildcard. Moreover, I did a load of dishes this morning (and plan on doing so again as soon as there are enough dishes to wash) as a sign of my willingness to work things out.

However, not everything is fluffybunny yet. During Tony’s unexpected mini-Inquisition of Paul, Paul kept repeating a certain phrase: “There are other issues involved here.”

For some reason that gave me the chills. I honestly have no idea what he’s refering to.

Since I’m in a reasonably good mood right now, I shall whimsically dub these other issues “Factor X”, and hope that Paul is just being overly dramatic about something trivial, or at least that he is talking about one of the beefs I’m already aware of.

Thank you all for your responses and support. I don’t think it’s an option to find another place to live, as I’ve already signed the lease for another year. But soon I will (hopefully) have a car, and will be able to leave the apartment at will.

Go on the offensive. Tell them you’re disappointed with their attitude. Definitely have a rant about April, with particular reference to her antagonistic attitude.

Blackknoight I repeat myself: don’t go to any “meeting”. Refuse to participate. Make it clear that you are more than willing to talk to anyonr one on one. Invite April out to coffee so that the two of you can discuss things. Do anything but have this meeting. This “once and for all” type things always blow up and they are never productive. They can only have a “meeting” if you agree to it.

[li]Did you expect this?[/li][li]Do your roommates speak Spanish?[/li][/ol]

<Monty Python>If 1 is yes, & 2 is no, this isn’t the Inquistion.</Monty Python>
:cool: :slight_smile:


Why are you doing the guy’s homework if he is going to turn on you. If I were you, I would start making contingency plans.