Dear Future housemates,

I’m new here to Victoria. Maybe you are too, or maybe you’ve been here all of your life. Anyways, I’ve had roommates/housemates before, and to be honest, I only really liked one of them, and merely tolerated the rest. I hope this isn’t the case for you, I hope we can respect each other. But in order for this to happen, I would like to make a few suggestions of behaviours to avoid or emulate, so we can get along splendidly. If you follow these, our chances of having more than a grudging tolerance of each other, or you being under the delusion that I like you while I’m secretly plotting on scrubbing your room to death with baking soda.

So, here are these suggestions:

+ Please, shower at least every other day, and when you do shower, clear the drain of that yucky clump of hair at the bottom. Yes, that is yours, I am a brunette, that hair is blond, it’s your responsibility to clean it out. My sister shaved her legs today after six months of not shaving, and her neglect in this step required an emergency bottle of Drano to fix. If you don’t shower frequently, I can smell you, and I don’t want to be your friend if I can smell you.

+ On that note, please refrain from using any Glade scented air fresheners, spraying the room with Febreeze, or putting on copious amounts of perfume or cologne. Especially if said perfume/cologne is AXE, or is named after a celebrity. I assure you, it isn’t alluring, it makes you smell like moulding fruit and a chemical burn. If you have a problem with the way the house smells, maybe it’s time to do laundry or clean the house, which I will be glad to do.

+ Please, when doing laundry, clean out the lint trap every time you do a load, otherwise you will find me on my hands and knees cleaning it out with a Q-tip and a vacuum hose. I have an irrational fear of dying by fire, and one of the most frequent ways a house catches fire is by a build-up of lint in the hose of the dryer, so I try to keep that clean. Do your part to keep me from indulging in my paranoid phobias. Also, please try to do your laundry at least once a week. I have spent the last three nights at my sister’s house, and her socks and underwear are left on the floor after use, and they are crusty, yes, crusty, from never being washed. Don’t even get me started on the smell.

+ If you must bring home your significant other, or a one night stand, please, notify me in advance so I can go to the library or my girlfriend’s house.

+ For the love of all that is magical, please flush the toilet!

+ If your significant other and you are having a fight, or there is some neurotypical “drama” going on in your life, do not involve me under any circumstances. The closest I will come to getting involved will be to call the police if you turn particularly loud or threatening. Don’t ask me to offer my opinion or take your side in a conflict, because it is none of my business. If you have to involve other people, chances are you are the one who is at fault.

+ No politics. I guess this will be less of a matter in ultra left-wing Victoria, but in Missoula, I got mighty sick really quickly of my last roommate trying to drag me into political discussions when she clearly just wanted to badger me for being left wing when she was conservative.

+ Here’s a tip: If you’re cooking fish in the kitchen, fill a stovepot with water, lemon zest and cinnamon sticks, and you will eliminate the fishy odour that is produced by cooking the creature, and I will be much happier.

Right. That’s all I can think of at the moment. Yes, I am difficult to live with, but I am sure you have your own set of pet peeves you want me to refrain from poking and prodding.


Leah Jane