November 1, 2013 by phicks2012
Okay, I think it’s pretty widely known that over the years I’ve had quite a few housemates. Some have been great, and the ones I have now are good ones, but, let’s face it, I’ve also had some real winners — she said, prying her tongue from her cheek with a crowbar — in that time frame as well. That’s fine, if you like living in Jerry Springer episodes, psychiatric wards, or Tim Burton movies, but it’s really not all that enjoyable on a day-to-day basis in real life.
Try living in the same house with a couple of co-dependent psycho grifters who make a regular habit of throwing things, screaming threats at one another — threats you sometimes find yourself actually wishing they’d follow through on, stealing your tools, and keeping a catbox in their clothes closet. Try sharing space with a flake who channels Kreacher — the crazy house elf from the Harry Potter series, walks around mumbling insults under her breath when the subjects are in earshot, and accuses housemates of stalking and terrorism. Or try putting up with a narcissistic cheapskate who makes a habit of reading over your shoulder, generating more dirt than a front-end loader, and stealing — among other things — your toilet paper, and you’ll get a fairly good idea of what I mean.
So, after dealing for over 20 years with more than a few neurotics, financial sponges, emotional vampires, and outright nut-cases, I’ve finally come up with five rules — maybe six — comprising a check-list for anyone else wanting to move in with me, and I give you my solemn word of honor that I really intend to stick to it!! Honestly! If I don’t, my friend-and-mental-hall-monitor Ann/Aislinn is going to shoot me!
So, here they are, and remember that these rules exist for a REASON:
1) The person must occupy an actual bedroom. No setting up housekeeping in a public area of the house like the basement, attic, livingroom, or anywhere else that should be available to everyone and then begrudging access to other people. Nope. Not happening again.
2) The person must pay ACTUAL MONEY for that room (to cover the added utilities and other expenses). No more bartering housework, yardwork, or other services in lieu of cash. In my experience, most — though maybe not all — of the people who propose such terms tend not to comprehend that the deal does not entitle them to run up horrendous power and gas bills, burn up entire stocks of firewood, and monopolize cable TV they do not pay for. Also such bartered services seem to become less and less reliable as time passes, and those who so eagerly strike such deals in the beginning too often later begin resenting the need to — well, actually follow through. They tend to wind up deciding that I’m just a horrible, unreasonable and thoughtless virago — and telling other people so — for insisting they actually do what they promised to do, so nope, I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. Not happening again!
3) The person must have a job or other reliable source of income with which to PAY that cash. No more promising to get a job AFTER moving in, or moving in and then QUITTING a job before getting another. I can be flexible under the right set of circumstances, but for the most part, No cashie – No roomie.
4) The person must have reliable, street legal transportation. I am not a taxi service, and after having dealt with a totally nocturnal and non-mobile housemate whose expectations somehow included lifts to Walmart in the middle of the night — and sulks when I failed to comply — I can state definitively that this is just NOT going to happen again.
5) The person must not raise any alarms on the “Ann-ometer”. My friend Ann/Aislinn has a very good radar for psychos, grifters, and general nut-bars, and if she says “Let that little fishie swim right on upstream” I have to do so. I’ve given her my word on this one, and if you have a reliable method of heading off disaster you might as well use it, right? RIGHT!
6) Negotiable but highly recommended: A background check and a valid mental health certificate. No psychopaths, sociopaths, paranoid shizophrenics, felons, druggies, thieves — of toilet paper or anything else, or habitual deadbeats need apply.
So if you are a nice, sane, reliable person in search of a place to live, please let me know! I’d like that!
If, on the other hand, you have a history of drug abuse, alcoholism, chronic unemployment, dangerous mental instability, or toilet paper theft, please look elsewhere. I would like that, too.
If you have a history of mass murder, livestock mutilation, or eating your own young, please consider relocating — but far away. I have mountaintop property for sale on the Hawaiian island of Lo’ihi that would suit you perfectly! ‘Nuff said.