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?”


“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.

What a strange living arrangement.

Why are you everyone’s cook? Are you paid for your services?

That definitely sounds like a standard issue roommate thing. Good on you for having patience.:smiley:

I like to vent too. I find volume helps.:rolleyes::p:D

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.”

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. :slight_smile:

Thank you!! Exactly!

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.

$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.

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. :smiley:

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.

Hahahahahaaaaaaa! I hope she was super-squeamish!

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? :smack:

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. **

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.:smiley:

Oh, that is AWESOME! Hahahaha! Wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall.