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Blackest Thumb by Amy Woods

When I first met my roommate, she was a very involved and social person. We were fine for the first year; neither of us was home often, as we kept busy. In the second year, everything changed. She went from being in a sorority, working at the gym, playing soccer at UCSD, and not being home much to almost literally doing nothing but staying home and studying. I never did learn exactly what happened, but all of a sudden she got kinda wacky.

As she started staying home more and more, Sarah started acting as if the apartment was hers. It began when she started making what I call “huffing and puffing” breathing sounds when I walked around our shared one-bedroom or opened a drawer looking for something or did, well, anything. This expulsion of air was her signal that I was distracting her from her intensive studying. It got to the point where I couldn’t even do laundry without the exhalation.

Eventually, even the regular, quiet noise of the bathroom light started bothering her. Seriously, the apartment might as well have been a library; no music or noise allowed. The worst came when I invited my boyfriend over for dinner one night — although we were in the living room, as far from her as possible, Sarah actually asked us to stop talking!

She would warn me 10 to 15 minutes before she was going to bed so that I could “get everything done” (brushing teeth, etc.) so as not to bother her during her sleep. This was fine...until the one time I needed to take a nap. Just as I was about to fall asleep, there was suddenly a ridiculous amount of noise from the living room. I got up and asked her what she was doing. No joke, she said she was “shredding last year’s receipts.”

Out of nowhere Sarah developed an obsession with plants, despite having the blackest thumb you’ve ever seen. Not only did she kill every plant she owned — and there were a lot, one after another — when the plant inevitably died, she would refuse to admit it! When one of her larger plants died on a windowsill — located on my half of the room, by the way — I asked her if she had realized that the plant had died. She shouted, “It isn’t dead!” and burst into tears. The dead plant sat there, curled over its pot, for the next six months. I was afraid to dispose of it.

Sarah would always leave two pieces of toilet paper on the roll so that she didn’t have to replace it. I bought all the toilet paper — perhaps my biggest pet peeve. At one point I noticed the characteristic two pieces short of empty. I was about to go home for a week for Christmas break, and Sarah was staying, so I didn’t replace the roll. Just to see what would happen. When I came home the roll was still empty.

Months later, as we were moving out, I saw a secret stash of toilet paper among her things.

Tell us the story of your roommate from hell and we will publish it and pay you ($100 for 500-2000 words).

E-mail story to
[email protected]
Or mail to:
San Diego Reader/Roommate
Box 85803
San Diego, CA 92186

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When I first met my roommate, she was a very involved and social person. We were fine for the first year; neither of us was home often, as we kept busy. In the second year, everything changed. She went from being in a sorority, working at the gym, playing soccer at UCSD, and not being home much to almost literally doing nothing but staying home and studying. I never did learn exactly what happened, but all of a sudden she got kinda wacky.

As she started staying home more and more, Sarah started acting as if the apartment was hers. It began when she started making what I call “huffing and puffing” breathing sounds when I walked around our shared one-bedroom or opened a drawer looking for something or did, well, anything. This expulsion of air was her signal that I was distracting her from her intensive studying. It got to the point where I couldn’t even do laundry without the exhalation.

Eventually, even the regular, quiet noise of the bathroom light started bothering her. Seriously, the apartment might as well have been a library; no music or noise allowed. The worst came when I invited my boyfriend over for dinner one night — although we were in the living room, as far from her as possible, Sarah actually asked us to stop talking!

She would warn me 10 to 15 minutes before she was going to bed so that I could “get everything done” (brushing teeth, etc.) so as not to bother her during her sleep. This was fine...until the one time I needed to take a nap. Just as I was about to fall asleep, there was suddenly a ridiculous amount of noise from the living room. I got up and asked her what she was doing. No joke, she said she was “shredding last year’s receipts.”

Out of nowhere Sarah developed an obsession with plants, despite having the blackest thumb you’ve ever seen. Not only did she kill every plant she owned — and there were a lot, one after another — when the plant inevitably died, she would refuse to admit it! When one of her larger plants died on a windowsill — located on my half of the room, by the way — I asked her if she had realized that the plant had died. She shouted, “It isn’t dead!” and burst into tears. The dead plant sat there, curled over its pot, for the next six months. I was afraid to dispose of it.

Sarah would always leave two pieces of toilet paper on the roll so that she didn’t have to replace it. I bought all the toilet paper — perhaps my biggest pet peeve. At one point I noticed the characteristic two pieces short of empty. I was about to go home for a week for Christmas break, and Sarah was staying, so I didn’t replace the roll. Just to see what would happen. When I came home the roll was still empty.

Months later, as we were moving out, I saw a secret stash of toilet paper among her things.

Tell us the story of your roommate from hell and we will publish it and pay you ($100 for 500-2000 words).

E-mail story to
[email protected]
Or mail to:
San Diego Reader/Roommate
Box 85803
San Diego, CA 92186

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Comments
1

Does anyone know if this was writen by Amy Wood from La Jolla/North PB, and who had friends from the 1980's named Janet & Nicole, ZACH, Tony, etc. If so, many people who miss her would greatly appreciate her sounding off to this email for a long-planned reunion of all our 1980's LJ/PB friends - here's the email:(volunteer_samaritan(at)live.com) {I omitted the '@' symbol from this post to prevent auto-spamming}. If you know Amy Wood(s) from Windsor? Street (around the year 1985) area in La Jolla PLEASE send an email immediately. Thank you!

Jan. 9, 2009

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