The End of an Era

I moved out of the apartment a few days ago. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about people in the past year and a half living with my great roommate.

I’ve learned that everyone is different – my roommate and I clearly have contradicting ideas of what is fun, healthy, comfortable, clean, and what times are good for sleep. In the end, this doesn’t really matter. He’s happy, I’m happy, we’re both alive and striving to get settled in our our lives.

I’ve learned what a mechanical keyboard is – the sounds tapping throughout the day from his room will mean I can recognize these keyboards from a mile away!

I’ve learned to not be easily surprised – and to roll with whatever I might see upon returning to the apartment or upon waking up.

I’ve learned to be very direct in my communication – and realizing that somethings may not be so obvious (See: Man Cookies).

I’ve learned that trends do not last – even food that is said to be real delicious or awesome gets old real fast.

I’ve learned the meaning of independence – having a distant roommate, who continually displayed his definition of independence, has redefined social dependence for me.

I’ve learned that my roommate doesn’t have to be my best friend, and vice versa.

My roommate and I have had our differences, but as this blog shows, he’s given me great inspiration for many stories which I can share and that I’ll remember distinctly. He may not be my best friend, and I probably will not ever be his roommate again, but I certainly hope he remains a friend regardless of where we may be living.

What not to say….

Early on in my time living with my great roommate, I had a girl come over after dinner and my roommate decided to come out and greet her. I didn’t think much of it, but perhaps I should have been slightly worried about what he says.

The conversation went something like this:

“Hey, so, this is ___,” I say. “___, this is my roommate.”

They shake hands and my roommate doesn’t do much else. She stands around waiting for us to wrap up our conversation.

“Yeah, we just came back from dinner down the road. Great restaurant,” I might have said.

“Oh, great. I’ll have to check that out sometimes,” my roommate responds and starts to turn away. “Anyways… I’ll leave you guys to it.”

The look on her face was priceless.

And yes, later, I told him that goes on the list of what NOT to say.

I had a more regular visitor later in the year. She was very understanding as I warned her to expect strange things to be said. Although there were some interesting conversations between them, their interactions weren’t as awkward.

So I guess he also learned a little more of … what not to say.

Cookie Monster

I recently was given a boxful of cookies by a certain special someone. “Man Cookies,” she called them, for their effect on men. She wanted to test this theory out with my great roommate, since he’s a very tough critic.

The box held twenty of these delicious blueberry jam-filled thumbprint cookies. I had a few, offered some to my roommate, and was about to bring them into my room for the night when she says “you don’t have to bring them in here”….

With hindsight that was a huge mistake.

I really should have known better having lived with this guy for over a year. As I was about to fall asleep I noticed the lights go on in the living room and the sound of a tupperware box being opened… and then closed. We wondered how many cookies would be left the next morning.

When the next day rolled around I went to survey the scene, and impressively only a few cookies had disappeared. I was starting to think it might be okay leaving them out after all.

I was wrong.

I returned home to five cookies that afternoon. I complained, but she was pleased. I guess they are “Man Cookies” indeed.

UPDATE: Trends

So I wrote a few months ago about the Trends of Food of my roommate. Well, I’m here to update you on what is currently trendy here in our apartment.

The hotdog phase is out, that’s so February 2014… The last batch of hotdog buns sat on our counter for over a month before being disposed. He didn’t even notice when I fed some to the pigeons on our street!

Frozen Chinese food was next, but this was short-lived. He discovered that for about the same price he didn’t need to cook – he could just buy Chinese takeout. He found a nice takeout place on the way home from work and said, “for $8, I don’t have to cook.” I guess that’s a good point… but not so affordable, nor healthy.

He realized this, after some parental encouragement, and revisited Subway to do so. This lasted a week or so before he decided to cut the bread together buying salad from the supermarket to eat with dressing and cold cuts.

I don’t expect this trend to last, though… the signs aren’t good. He already said a few days in that “thousand island dressing is the bane of my existence…!”

Computer Mobility

You might be wondering why this blog would ever talk about technology, but in this case it relates to my great roommate. Living with him for the past 7 months, I’ve realized a number of things about what computers say about the people who own them.

Early on in our time here, my roommate would regularly go visit his parents and stay home during the weekends. His parents live less than an hour away and it was a short trip to enjoy his mom’s home cooking (understandably), and he liked that they filled his gas tank for him as a bonus.

Then something changed. He stopped going home at all, or he’d tell me he would be away, but then change his mind and stay. Or just never wake up to leave. While I didn’t mind, it struck me as strange… but perhaps he just wanted more independence and may not enjoy his parents’ company as much now.

Only when I spoke to him a few days ago, did I realize the reason was much simpler.

After fighting Comcast to get a decent internet connection at our apartment, there is no reason for him to go enjoy the steady network he has at his home. And after purchasing a desktop computer and relegating his laptop to the ranks of the unused, he can’t move much from his bedroom here.

This made me wonder if it was possible to tell how outgoing people are based on what device they used. Maybe those that used iPads and Tablets for their primary screen are the most outgoing, able to move their lives on the go without much hassle. Contrasting my roommate who is tethered to the many cords and cables in his bedroom.

My trusty laptop and I have moved around a lot during the past few years. I enjoy taking my computer out to a park, a coffeeshop or on trips while remaining with all my files at my fingertips. I can determine where I want to be when I access this virtual world and screen that is the computer and the internet… not the other way around.

Same Place, Different Worlds

Despite us both living in the same apartment, I feel like my roommate and I live in different worlds. I live in Baltimore… he lives in this apartment and online.

It’s amazing how differing lifestyles affect how you see and learn about a city. My lack of a vehicle has meant I’ve explored various parts of the city on foot, learning street names, bus routes, and what the city has to offer. I’ve been to Federal Hill, to the Harbor, to Harbor East, Fells Point and really come to appreciate this city.

My roommate… hasn’t been to the Harbor. He would be having the exact same lifestyle if he lived somewhere else.

With the snow that we’ve gotten these differences have been very pronounced. I just strap on my boots and go for a walk to go about my day. My roommate wouldn’t even know it were snowing unless the weather site on his computer told him so!

Now I understand that everyone is different, and I shouldn’t judge someone on their lifestyle. You can do whatever you choose.

It’s just amazing to me, that if you ask us about living here you’ll get amazingly different answers about our experiences these past few months.

Who are you more like?

Trends of Food

My roommate is very trendy. He makes his own trends, which soon become fads and even sooner becomes left behind.

These trends are with food. Last semester it was with sandwiches. Two loaves of bread disappear within a few days if he eats 4, or 8, sandwiches a day. Bacon, too, as the sandwiches aren’t complete without bacon to make it even more unhealthy. Now the bacon is untouched… so more for me!

This spring (or winter) the new trend is hotdogs. Cheap 24-pack hotdogs made from 60% pork and 40% chicken meat, all for under $4! It started off in early February, he came back with a pack of these and 16 buns. I ate a couple thinking there’s no way he can eat all 24 within the recommended time, stated on the package, of a week. It became his lunch, his dinner, his late night snack… and a few days later he was out of buns, and I had to suggest to him to try it with just bread. Sure enough, soon he went back to buy more.

But his time, like the healthy vegetables and fruit in our fridge, it sat untouched by my roommate.

The buns reached its best before date and only I had opened the pack to have a two for my own lunch. Today, over 10 days later, they are still sitting there on the counter. Like fashion trends… left behind, seldom used.

My roommate has proven to me that even the things we find so great can be driven to its death by overuse…

I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.