If you’ve ever had a roommate, then you know it can be tricky when one of you has a boyfriend or girlfriend.
The goal is to figure out how to share your space (and bed) with someone you like while trying to be as little of an inconvenience to your roommate as possible.
This includes not having him/her shower when your roommate is sweaty and waiting, not having him leave his (skidmarked) boxer briefs in the dryer, and not invite him to come over when you aren’t there.
My friend Natalie was paired up with a roommate in the college dorm whose boyfriend, Bryan, didn’t have that same set of etiquette rules.
It was one of those high school relationships that continued long-distance when they went to different colleges. They were both so in love that they needed to talk to each other all the time.
Natalie met Bryan almost immediately when she moved her extra long twin sheets and microwave into the tiny space. She waved at him through the computer screen.
Natalie observed that they would face chat night after night and she wondered how they didn’t get sick of one another.
A few months into the semester, Natalie brought her own boyfriend up to the dorm room at lunchtime for a quick…uh, nap (mom).
Natalie said it was exhilarating having to be in class in the next 30 minutes and to finally have the room to herself. It was fun.
Later that night, however, Natalie was scolded – SCOLDED—for her afternoon delight.
“Look,” her roommate said seriously, when Natalie came home and heaved her backpack onto her (still unmade) bed.
“Bryan called me to tell me that he saw you and Scott hooking up.”
Natalie almost fell off her rolling computer chair.
“He has me leave the webcam on all day long so he can see my room and stuff,” she said.
(REPEAT: he specifically requested that she leave the webcam on 24/7 so he could peek into her room whenever he wanted. She is also a toolbag for agreeing.)
“WHAT!! THE!!! F*CK!!!” Natalie yelled, thinking about all the times she was naked in the room getting dressed or having a phone conversation that may or may not have included how annoying Bryan was.
“You should have told me!!” Natalie yelled. “This is my bedroom too!!!”
Her roommate didn’t explain herself but said that if Natalie wanted to hook up in the room, she should just go over to the computer and exit out of the web camera program.
“I mean, Bryan was just really not happy with seeing that this afternoon,” she said, matter-of-factly.
OH, HE WASN’T HAPPY??? WHY WAS HE EVEN WATCHING!!!?
“THIS ISN’T EVEN HIS ROOM!” Natalie yelled. “Why does he need to see ANYTHING when you’re not here?”
Natalie was furious and felt violated. And the web cam was probably still on at that moment.
“Bryan gets bored at work a lot and feels more ‘connected’ to me by being able to see my room whenever he wants,” she said.
Did he like seeing the arrangement of her pillows and Dave Matthews Band posters on the wall??
Or did he just want to keep tabs on his girlfriend 24/7 because he didn’t trust her??
“Who would even COME UP with the idea to keep the camera on all the time?” Natalie asked. “That’s sick.” It was like the creepiest 24-hour security ever.
WHERE DOES HE GET OFF (no pun intended) THINKING IT’S OK TO SPY ON HER and their room whenever he wanted, let alone CALL HER OUT on her lunchtime quickie???
Like she did something wrong!
THIS ISN’T YOUR ROOM! She repeated, at the camera.
I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS! she thought.
Natalie spent less and less time in her surveillanced dorm bedroom, even though she learned how to exit out of the webcam program.
It still didn’t make her feel comfortable, and she started throwing a T-shirt over the little camera just in case.
When Natalie moved off campus the following semester, she no longer kept in touch with her old roommate.
No word on whether Bryan used his skills to become a private investigator.
Or a porn producer.
p.s. Ben still wins the award as the worst boyfriend of a roommate. Ever.