One summer during college, we had a sub-letter in my apartment who had ringworm. She slept every night on my actual roommate’s mattress with no sheets. Just slept on the bare mattress — which would be gross under any circumstance really, but with ringworm it was particularly upsetting. And of course, I spent the next six weeks feeling perpetually itchy. But as much as I hated it, it felt like a rite of passage. I had been really lucky with roommates up until then. It was only fair that my luck would run out. Because everyone has a terrible roommate at some point.
I had one friend whose freshman year roommate only listened to very loud renditions of popular songs played by marching bands. Often at 7am. Another, who had a roommate who would steal her bras and wear them in front of her. And one friend who had a roommate who would get so drunk he would pee in the room….usually on my friend’s bed.
While, these stories are funny in hindsight, they’re awful when you’re living through them. But at least, you have a hilarious story to share forever. And the comfort in knowing you’re WAY better than those weirdos. At least, that’s always what we thought. WE WERE THE NORMAL ONES DESTINED FOR SUCCESS!
Sadly, that smug satisfaction is about to evaporate like so much drying urine. According to science, it may be that all of those terrible roommates who will have the last laugh. Because studies have shown that all of those bad roommate traits like being messy and sleeping all day….those are the traits of a total genius.
So if your roommate or terrible neighbor has any or all of these inconsiderate traits, you might want to invite them for a drink sometime. Because while you’re working full time at a restaurant at 27, and wondering if going to grad school in humanities would be worth the crippling debt, they’ll be flying overhead in a private jet and wondering if they should get a second home in Paris.
Here’s what to look for in your next genius roomie:
They’re perpetually unemployed.
Being a genius can make it extremely hard to find conventional employment. People who are brilliant in one area often don’t have the patience or ability to work with others less sure or as intelligent as they are. And they can be risky hires as their creativity may make them unable to follow directions or conventional rules. Often they’re more successful when they create their own companies or work environments. Sometimes wildly rich and successful.
So while your terrible roommate may not be able to pay the rent right NOW, in a few years, they might own the building. So instead of turning off their Buffy marathon and insisting they move out, maybe you should spot them the funds. They could buy you a mansion someday to say “thanks.”
Or they’ll move back in with their parents and you’ll never see them again. One or the other.