Things I don’t Understand: Female Roommates

Why do they sound so awful?  Okay, I know it’s not true for everyone.  I know there are bad guy roommates and bad girl roommates.  Recently I was looking at a thread on Reddit about what to expect from having female roommates, and it was pretty irritating…mostly because my boyfriend has 2 female roommates, and most of the annoying things I was reading were TRUE.  Why?!  It sucks extra hard because people already expect women to be incredibly demanding and crazy!  Here are some things I gleaned from various threads.

The stereotypical female roommate….

1. Is bad at taking out the trash.

Some women said they find it gross and would even do a male roommate’s laundry in exchange for not having to take out the trash.  A lot of men said their female roommates refuse to take out the trash so they end up doing it.   My boyfriend’s female roommates also suck at taking out the trash.  They don’t do it at all, just let it keep piling up and piling up.  They also don’t seem to remember that Thursday is trash day on their block, and also apparently have no idea how to sort the recycling!  There are only a few categories – paper, plastic, glass, metal.  Is it really so difficult?  What is even more annoying, in his situation, is the trash is near the fridge.  When they don’t toss the trash, it actually piles up and you can’t open the fridge.

I don’t get why throwing out the trash is so disgusting….If you don’t allow the bag to overflow, and USE A BAG (of course, there’s a bag, you’d THINK, but I’ve visited some homes where people don’t use a bag. Now THAT is gross!), why is it disgusting?  There is a layer of plastic between your hands and the garbage.  Another solution I can think of – if it’s getting so heavy and gross you don’t want to touch it, you should get a smaller trash can and toss the trash more often, before it gets a chance to fester and get too voluminous.

2. Makes the guy roommate do all the “guy” chores

Aside from tossing the garbage, this also means the man has to be the resident electronics expert and plumber.  If anything breaks – hardware, software, whatever – the female roommate will ask the guy to fix it.  Women, you are doing the equality movement a disservice!!  As someone who was a lab assistant in college, it was plain to see that most guys are just as clueless as most women are…so quit relying on them to fix your computer and at least try looking up help on your smartphone first.  It just sucks when people throw all their problems at one person in the house and expects him to be their savior.

Now, unfortunately for me….my boyfriend’s roommates (really it’s just one of them in particular who really sucks) are terrible with maintaining the apartment.  He has to fix a lot of mishaps daily, and some of that rolls over on to me, because I figure I can fix it myself and don’t need to ask someone else to deal with it.  I don’t bother trying to deal with [codename] Elle’s rampant computer issues, but I do end up unclogging the toilet after her, even though all I did to the toilet myself was pee at it, unclogging the kitchen drain several times a month, because she throws food and crap in there, and I am responsible for setting up the wireless internet network in their apartment.  It’s pretty awesome and I’m proud of it – there are two different wireless routers connected to the main modem that broadcast wifi, so wherever you walk you get a strong signal!  Sometimes I am so disgusted with how dirty everything is that I end up scrubbing the stove (food splattered everywhere, wtf!) and sweeping the floor (that has Elle’s gross cat litter all over).

You know what I find annoying too…is that I don’t inherently know how to fix or do things.  I learned a lot of it by looking up guides on the internet.  And we all have laptops and smartphones.  What is stopping these people from expanding their knowledge on how to handle LIFE?   I didn’t inherently know how to fix the internet issues in their apartment, but I know there is a way to find out….it’s called GOOGLE.

3. Uses up tons and tons of toilet paper.

A huge majority of posts I saw online about female roommates warned about how women use A LOT of toilet paper.  Some sounded really extreme – 1 roll every two days (of 2 ply paper).  When asked why they used so much, many women responded with, “You don’t understand.  Men only use toilet paper when they poop – we use it EVERY time we’re in the bathroom.  Every time we poop, pee, and even more during that time of the month.”  I read several posts of women who blew through multiple rolls a week, and I would not have believed that was true if dear roommie Elle was not a stereotypical female roommate.  I’m at my boyfriend’s place pretty often….Sometimes a night during the work week, and almost always Friday through Sunday.  So that’s about 3-4 days a week, and I feel like every time I’m there I end up changing to a new roll of toilet paper.  What’s even worse is there are SO MANY TIMES that I go to the bathroom and the other women did not replace the roll.  They just leave the empty cardboard tube on the thing.  Isn’t it common courtesy to replace it if you used the last square?

And I don’t get it…..I grew up with 2 other women in the house (my sister and mom) and we never changed toilet paper this much.  Even when we used 1 ply.  A big reason I have to unclog the toilet at their place is because SOMEONE keeps throwing huge WADS of balled up toilet paper in the toilet.  Now, I am probably a very conservative person when it comes to using toilet paper, but you seriously do not need to use that much when you go….and this is coming from someone who has a 10+ day period.

Here are some toilet paper conserving tips! I can’t believe I am writing this out.  You would think the fear of clogging the toilet and inconveniencing others would bar you from wasting TP.

  • You do not need to wrap TP around your hand several times for a wipe!  What you need to learn is how to FOLD toilet paper.  With 1 ply, I get away with 4 sheets then a fold, with a 2 ply, just 2 sheets.  That stuff is dense, you don’t need tons of it, that’s the whole point!  Just fold it to a thickness that won’t rip.  So easy.  If you are ripping it, there is also a chance you’re wiping yourself wayyyy too hard.  I mean, if you’re just peeing, you just need to pat dry.
  • Flush poo TP and period TP.  That stuff smells and is gross. There is nothing wrong with tossing pee TP in the bathroom trash.  It doesn’t smell.  Not mine at least.  If your pee smells bad, hopefully you just ate asparagus.  If you didn’t, maybe see a doctor…D: It also shouldn’t be a dark yellow, that’s a sign of dehydration or something else that’s wrong….but this isn’t supposed to be a blog post about health…just etiquette critique…
  • Get better at pooping.  Okay, at the risk of being TMI….well screw it, it’s my blog!  Don’t “snap it in half”, and it takes exponentially less wipes to get clean!  If that didn’t work, to avoid rubbing yourself raw, wet the TP in the sink or keep baby wipes in the bathroom for this occasion.  It takes way less wipes to get clean this way.  The rest of the world uses bidets for a good reason!  Also, if you have your period….having wet wipes or water and a ladle is way more gentle on your sensitive skin than constantly rubbing yourself with toilet paper…..

I realize that some of my advice about toilet paper conservation is kind of 3rd worldy, especially with the water and ladle bit.  It’s perhaps telling of the culture I grew up with, but being in the US is no excuse to be wasteful.  Also, I don’t want to clog people’s toilets so I refuse to flush tons of toilet paper.  This has worked out extremely well for me so far.

I do think it is very courteous for roommates to leave the fresh rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom, because it really sucks if you’re in there and you run out before you’re done.  Luckily, my boyfriend’s roommates have finally gotten that down.  Especially since I end up being the person who has to change the empty roll left behind by the previous occupant.

4. Sheds hair EVERYWHERE.

Okay, you got me on this!  This definitely happens.  Humans, both men and women, shed ~100 hairs a day.  The trouble with women is the often have long hair, and it is therefore way more visible and obtrusive than your typical guy’s hair.  Thing is, if you sweep or vacuum once a week, this shouldn’t be a huge issue.  I have hair past my shoulders and it’s not an issue in my room….but if you’re living with more than one woman, I can see how the hair can really pile up.  I admit I do find hair in weird places and crevices that make me wonder how the hell my head-hair got there.  But yeah, routine cleaning of your apartment generally takes care of this.  I’ve been to some women’s homes where it seems like they haven’t cleaned in a month, and you definitely walk on a web of hairs…it’s gross.  Filters over shower drains are a must, and even though it doesn’t seem like the people at my boyfriend’s apartment sweep as much as they should, at least they don’t leave their hair on the shower walls and in the drain.

Also, there are bobby pins everywhere.  EVERYWHERE!!!  I wish mine were everywhere, I have no clue what happened to the ones that are supposed to be in my apartment.  At my boyfriend’s place, I count the bobby pins I find on the floor there while I sit on the toilet.  Some guys may expect to find long women’s hair down their pants, with no idea how it arrived in such a place.  Also between their butt cheeks.  Don’t ask me how that happens.

5. Engulfs the bathroom and other shared living spaces with lots of stuff.

Because of my lack of knowledge on how to style my hair and such, this is not an issue for myself personally.  But I do see this to be true in a lot of other women’s homes.  The most shocking was in my California cousin’s house, where he has a double sink…and the entire counter surface of that double sink was filled, edge to edge, with PRODUCTS.  Face care, skin care, hair care, multiple brands to deal with similar purposes.  I was in awe.  My boyfriend’s bathroom is not as bad, but the entire area above the toilet is definitely stacked with stuff belonging to Elle.  S (roommate #2) is a pretty good girl and just has her corner of the tub filled with what you would expect — shampoo, conditioner, two mysterious bottles that I assume are body and face wash.  Most of Elle’s stuff by the toilet looks like it’s collecting dust.  I don’t know why it’s there and not in a drawer instead.

I got to admit, this is one thing that I partake in the most.  Not to the extent of my cousin’s wife, but I do have a corner of my boyfriend’s shelf in his room, for my argan oil, face moisturizer (which he also uses), bottle of make up remover, and a stick of deodorant.  I also have a drawer in which I hide pads, liners, and tampons, out of sight.  If we lived together full time, this is the category I would be most afraid of becoming.

6. Is more territorial with their things and food than male roommates.

I’m not sure how true this really is.  It may be a side effect of passive aggressiveness and cattiness.  It may be because the girl is on some kind of diet, and if you eat her yogurt she will have nothing left but crap to eat and she’ll be pissed.  I have no idea what the situation is.  But I saw this bit of info come up several times in various “female roommate” threads.  I feel like if I were someone’s platonic roommate, I’d probably be really territorial with my food too.  I buy things I like, I try to stretch what I have, and if it’s gone that throws my food plans to the wind and I hate that.  If I trusted my roommate a lot and we previously established how food sharing will work, I would be way more okay with it.  If it’s my boyfriend taking the food, I would be ok with it too, because he’s generous with his food towards me, so it’s only fair.  This is all very situational and really depends on how food sharing rules were set up in the household.

I don’t know what rules they are following in my boyfriend’s apartment, but Roommate-S seemingly doesn’t eat at home – all she tends to have in the fridge is a pitcher of ice coffee.  Roommate-Elle packs the fridge with a lot of stuff, some of it takeout/leftovers, and I have no idea what is what. It’s insanely hard to put anything in to the fridge without something else falling out.   As far as I can tell, my boyfriend has half a shelf in the fridge, and people seem to have their own drinks.  No one shares their Coke, juice, seltzer, milk.  Raw ingredients are not shared but they do offer them to each other from time to time.  I think my boyfriend is actually the more territorial one when it comes to his cookware – because he has a higher standard of care that Roommate-Elle does not adhere to.  She scratched up his favorite (and expensive) pan.  I’d be pissed too.  Actually I’d probably act way worse than my boyfriend and resort to hiding the pan in my room, so that no one else can use it.  Yeah…this is where I can very potentially be a bad roommate.  You ruin my stuff once, I will be paranoid forever!!!

But I also have never had a roommate I wasn’t related to.  So maybe I’d get over my territorialness, given the chance.

7. Suck at washing dishes.

I don’t understand this one.  I saw one person mention it, out of all the threads I saw…BUT, I deem it necessary to mention on my list because Elle is also the WOOOORST at washing dishes.  I don’t know why.  Is she weak?  Does she have bad eyes and can’t tell there is grease on the plate still?  She often leaves pots and plates out for days, so they crust over and are hard to clean.  But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you just put it in the dish rack.  A lot of the cups also kinda smell and have something gross at the bottom.  She seriously sucks at washing dishes.  You only are finished when it is clean!!  Maybe she always lived in a place with a dishwasher before coming to NYC.  I have no idea, but it’s still no excuse for lazy dish washing.  Pet peeve: I bought rubber, elbow-length dish washing gloves for their kitchen.  She keeps putting it in weird places or crushing it in a cabinet door, where it doesn’t dry for days or gets stuck together and then rips.  Seems to me she doesn’t know how to deal with dish washing gloves, so yeah, maybe she never washed dishes before coming here??  Although i know a lot of people don’t use gloves.  But gloves are awesome.  Without them, the soap makes my skin crack painfully.  And having gloves makes unclogging the kitchen sink – after she clogs it with food and crap!!! – way less gross.

I wonder if other women suck at washing dishes.  In a way that kind of breaks a female stereotype ;) You’d think women would be great at it.

8. Will be passive aggressive, catty, and cause a lot of drama.

I read some posts where people complained their female roommates were like this.  One girl brought a female friend home, who made a comment about a brand of hairspray in the bathroom, and the other female roommates talked bad about her for days because of that comment.  To use some examples from my boyfriend’s roommates….well…S is pretty good.  She’s barely around and I don’t think anyone has issues with her.  But Elle?  She is the Hellmouth Incarnate.  Slept with the previous roommate of theirs (who was a guy), lots of drama stemmed from that because that guy was afraid to stand up to her about apartment things.  He ended up moving out to get away from her.  Elle bitches about my boyfriend to people, including to ME….which is ridiculous, I mean, I’m his girlfriend.  You can’t call my boyfriend an asshole and expect that not to get back to him.  She blames a lot of stuff on his dog, even if it’s her two cats that caused a mess or a rank smell.  Those things are awful, they barf on everything, wtf!  She’ll text my boyfriend and pick a fight in the middle of the day while he’s at work.  I remember one was about the dishes.  She said he needs to do his dishes, which have been laying around for weeks in the kitchen.  Now, when me or my boyfriend do the dishes we do everything that is in the sink, regardless of who put it there.  Apparently what Elle does is pick out HIS dishes, put them aside, and only do her own.  She did not tell anyone she was doing this until that point where she complained his dishes were still in the sink.

I’m starting to get suspicious that Elle is wrecking his favourite pan on purpose, and playing ignorant each time.  She can’t really be stupid enough to make the same mistake every other week.  If I were her roommate, one of us would be gone at this point.  My boyfriend seems to have a much higher tolerance than I do….it took him months before he confronted Elle about throwing food in the sink.  As soon as that happened the first time I was pissed at her already. So…..Elle confirms this stereotype of the passive-aggressive, catty female roommate.

9. Will have her boyfriend over constantly and will be having loud sex, 24/7.

The first part of this is overwhelmingly true, from my anecdotal experience.  A looot of women in their 20’s~early 30’s have guys they are sleeping with, be it boyfriend or otherwise.  And they’re over a lot.  Elle and S are no exception to this, and it’s kind of nice that they sequester themselves to their rooms…..or don’t come home at all.  I don’t know how prevalent the loud sex part is.  All their other issues aside, my boyfriend’s 2 female roommates are NOT loud sex people, yay!!!!  Or perhaps they’re just good at covering it with an even louder action movie blasting on their speakers.  I’m cool with that.  But I thought this was an interesting mention in threads, because a lot of posters wanted to believe having a female roommate means you’ll meet a lot of her single, female friends.  Seems to me that more often than not, they don’t bring a lot of their female friends home.  They bring home their boyfriends! Surprise! :D

10. Is going to be terrible during her period.

Examples of being gross include – leaving bloody tampons and pads in the trash.  Ew!  C’mon, at least wrap it in tissue before you toss it, NO ONE wants to see that, not even other women!  The stereotypical female roommate will clog your toilet with flushed tampons.  Well, that really shouldn’t be going in the trash, and your mother should have told you that…or the numerous signs in public restrooms that advocate against flushing tampons.  That thing is intended to clog your pipes, if you get my meaning.  I also saw some posts advocating a male roommate should keep ice cream and chocolate around the house during these times – this is a weird thing to do.  Now…if a guy did that I probably wouldn’t refuse the offer of ice cream and chocolates, but it’s just weird.  That’s more a boyfriend thing to do.  And why, in an advice thread, are people advising platonic male roommates to buy their female roommates sweets and painkillers?  They always say don’t sleep with your female roommate, but then they advocate doing boyfriendy things.  It’s mixed messages, and a girl who is old enough to move out of our parents’ house is old enough to handle her period without a guy’s help.

That’s all, folks!

This list got super long, but I just had to rant a bit.  I know I’m not fully exempt from the bad habits of a female roommate that I listed above.  Thankfully, I did see a good number of posts by guys who have had female roommates, and they noted female roommates were basically no different from having guy roommates.  There are sane women out there; this list just exemplifies the bad, discourteous ones who suck at living with others.  Since one of my boyfriend’s roommates is like this, and her issues fall on to me sometimes, I just had to get all this off my chest.



4 thoughts on “Things I don’t Understand: Female Roommates

  1. Honestly, I wish I had read your blog and this article before moving into a shared living environment. As a female at least I would have been prepared. From the three female housemates I have had, the trash seems to be a problem, the hair is just disgusting (sink, floor, tub, are they blind?), and most recently the tampons in the trash. Did I mention the trash which they seem to think magically throws itself away. My new room mate will not touch the trash, except to toss things out, doesn’t mind she leaves enough hair around to knit a hair scarf, doesn’t seem to care if we all see her monthly (this is why my face is so badly broken out) evidence in the trash (she doesn’t like to throw out), and has arranged all of her bathroom products in every corner of the tub. Oh well, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one and that this seems to be a common pattern among females.

    Just makes me wonder though, why I replace to the toilet paper, keep my bathroom items in my room and take them with me, throw the trash out when it’s my turn or when it’s full or stinks, clean up the tub and sink behind myself, sweep occasionally and wash any dishes, glasses or anything else I use. Maybe it’s just being considerate. Just do not touch my food!!

    • That’s sooo disgusting, I wish you the best of luck in surviving all of this :( Have you thought about looking for a new place to live?

      The trash thing boggles my mind; it’s not like you ever touch the trash with bare hands so I don’t get why people have such an issue with it! Recently, I took out the plastic bag from the trash bin in the bathroom to throw out…then I went to get some lunch. When I came back, the other roommates had been tossing MORE trash in the un-bagged trash bin! It’s so easy to put a fresh plastic bag in there first, but they apparently cannot be bothered?? Crazy.

  2. Wow that’s crazy! I’m a freshmen and I started living on campus the summer of 2015. I really wish I read this blog BEFORE I moved in! It’s basically the four of us girls and most of the things you mentioned on this thread are 100% true.. ESPECIALLY the trash and toilet paper issue.

    My summer roommates used a large plastic bag to dispose trash but HARDLY took it out. And when they ordered a large box of pizza with wings, they leave the empty box next to the already filled up trash bag. I literally had to take it out it was too gross to look at. One time the trash was so filled up that it left a huge stain on the floor. If it weren’t for me, the trash would NEVER be taken out. They hardly did the dishes too. But at least they re stock on toilet paper often.

    My current roommates on the other hand….. Are far worse. They waste toilet paper like crazy. They even stopped putting toilet paper in the bathroom. I just take mine with me and walk out with it. We all wash our own dishes though. But the thing is, I SHARE a room. So there has been drama over petty petty RIDICULOUS things smh. But the thing that grinds my gears the most is how they WILL NOT TAKE OUT THE TRASH. OMFG. Basically, whoever came in with the trash can is responsible for taking out the trash. I bought a small bin for the bathroom and that thing gets filled up like crazy every single day. And once it’s filled up, they won’t take it out. It’s mainly the other roommate who fills it up with her crap because she has piles of trash bags filled with trash in her room and she is just too lazy to take it out. She doesn’t even CLEAN around the dorm during inspections. One time, someone took out the trash and didn’t put a bag in it. When I opened the cabinet, I saw an empty chef boyarde can in there WITH NO BAG IN THE BIN. She saw the angered look on my face as I had to put a bag in the bin. That literally is the stupidest thing someone can do. You know you wouldnt dare do it at your mother’s house so why do it here??? I can’t wait till I move out this semester. I only like one of the three roommates because she never causes or starts trouble. Thankfully I’m rooming with her for next year!

  3. I’ve had a female roommate for 5 years now(3 years too long…) I also live with my wife and guess what?….it’s her best friend. As far as relating to what the 10 things are, I would agree to all 10 except the sex thing, there is cobwebs down there. However she did feel the need to bring my wife’s ex boyfriend over often just to get our relationship off to a good start, cause let’s face it I stole her best friend. We had a break from her for 10 months while we planned our wedding and she left to go “find herself” but had no problem leaving all her shit there. I can’t hold out on saying my wife clearly was enabling this behaviour cause I wasn’t aloud to voice any opinions?? Living in my situation could have been a lot worse but also a lot better, I would recommend that if you are thinking of moving in with the love of your life….don’t let the jealous best friend stay cause it was a constant battle and I don’t know why I put up with it for so long.

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