Published in the March 7 – 20, 2018 Issue of Gilroy Life
A few months ago, I hesitantly decided to rent out a room in my house. Actually, I should say that after a lengthy search, a few months ago I finally found someone I thought would make a good housemate.
Fortunately, she’s been a great match. I think she’d say the same about me, but if I’m being honest, I’m not a very easy-going person. I haven’t lived with roommates for many years — unless you count a few dogs.
I can be obsessively clean, like things minimal and organized, and have two dogs, all of which could be issues for potential housemates. I’m a bit older — more set in my ways than when I was younger — and I just wasn’t sure how things would work out.
So, it took some time to find a good match, but it’s working out well. It’s great to have some help with the mortgage, and it’s also nice to have some company in the house.
But this whole process and actually having a roommate again has me reminiscing of past experiences living with people. My years at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, were wonderful, and they also hold some of my favorite — and bizarre — roommate stories.
I still have a special aversion toward rice cookers, thanks to a roommate who would leave his on the counter for days — still with moist, cooked rice inside. We had many discussions about the scientific experiments that grew in the rice cooker, but we still ended up with a fresh batch of mold nearly every week.
Then there was the downstairs room I rented in a woman’s two-story home. It was great for the first week and a half — until the woman’s teen daughter returned from juvenile hall. The pair had a tumultuous relationship full of screaming fights and items being thrown against the walls at all hours of the night. Needless to say, I happily left my deposit behind when friends helped me escape with my limited belongings.
But my favorite “almost” roommate experience is one I still get a kick out of telling after so many years. I was in college when I saw a room for rent in a couple’s home. I applied, they approved, and I went back a few days later to put down a deposit and sign the six-month lease. I literally had pen to paper when the husband said there was one thing I should be aware of before I signed.
Turns out, the couple were actors. But not just any actors — porn actors. They owned an adult film company and filmed movies in their home. He wanted to make sure I would be OK with a crew and random strangers regularly coming in and out of the home.
Yeah. I passed on that one. So, perhaps you can understand my hesitant and thorough search for a compatible housemate.
Now that I’m older, I’m not sure my heart could take the surprises it did all those years ago. But the moment she puts a rice cooker on the counter, I’m changing the locks.
Andrea “Andi” Joseph worked in newspapers for 18 years before transitioning to her current career as a content writer. She lives south of Gilroy with her two dogs, Bailey and Cricket.
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