Julian LaRosa is a Columbia University student and U.S. Army veteran who lives in a university-owned apartment. All was right in the world until Columbia assigned LaRosa a new roommate, a graduate student at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. LaRosa emailed him to let him know he would have a fellow veteran visiting soon, and the man replied with a list of roommate rules:
I’m [Redacted] come straight from Shanghai, China as SIPA student. Nice to meet you. Because I study in SIPA and need to be at school early, I will need the bathroom to be available from 7-8 AM. I’m totally fine with your friend staying if he is your old friends and just wanna to explain that I really don’t like my room mate sublease our common area to other renter. I hope guests aren’t regular in the home, and I prefer that overnight guests are trustworthy. Because of this, it seems fair to tell you expectations I have. I cook most nights and would hope that the kitchen is available and clean at 6. If it’s not a problem for you, I would be thankful if you can keep noise down in the night time, so no music that I can hear. It distracts me from my studies. And I’m sorry, but as I understand the bathroom is between our rooms, I would be thankful that you refrain from late showers as well because of the noise. I would very much like to keep an organized house as well. Normally clean on Sunday and Wednesday, so we can split that between us.
Thank you for understanding,
Seriously? Cleaning schedules, bans on guests, and demands on when people can’t use the bathroom or kitchen do not make a good introduction.
LaRosa responded appropriately, with his own epic list of way better house rules:
“Official House Rules:
1. There will be no more than five words spoken without the use of profanity.
2. Don’t touch my things. If I’ve claimed the space. It is mine. Move on.
3. You are not allowed to take a shower without serenading me to the sweet sounds of the Backstreet Boys (I’ll settle for Prince).
4. All music must be listened to after 10 PM, have a guitar, and preferably be played at high volume.
5. You’re not allowed to use the kitchen at all. What do you think we are? Working class? Order delivery.
6. There will be no pretentious art house/indie films. It better kick ass, or you have to clean the hurricane in my room.
7. Guests are welcome at all times, but only if their host is home. I don’t want your strange friends putting their grubby hands on my things. I will end their life.
8. There is no walking, only dancing. The same applies to speaking. If you have something to say, you better goddamn sing it.
9. I expect this house to be vice free. The only acceptable substances are marijuana, meth, cocaine, prescription drugs, and other legally prohibited substances. In other words, no smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol.
10. Rules are made to be broken, so fuck you and your fascism.
All broken rules are punishable by fines up to a maximum of ten punches to the face per offense (depending on severity).”
The man replied with a one-line email, “That seems fair. If common area stays clean and guests not too disruptive, should be no problem.”
That’s probably how he should have started.