The third and final installment in my blog series on nightmare roommates is devoted to Lorraine, a woman with a whole host of mental issues, a nasty attitude, and a sense of entitlement the size of Texas. When my other roommate Myra (who is incidentally the best roommate I have ever had, and a very dear friend) and I met Lorraine, we could see that she was pretty dramatic, but we both attributed it to the fact that she was a professional dancer. We all seemed to get along nicely though, and Lorraine moved in.
About a month after Lorraine moved in, a bizarre incident occurred. Myra and I were in the kitchen chatting, and at one point I opened up the freezer to get a bag of shrimp out to thaw. When I did so, I noticed that two bags of ground coffee which I had bought had been opened. I pulled them out of the freezer and noticed that one bag had about 2 tablespoons left in it, while the other had just over a teaspoon. I asked Myra if she had opened up the bags of coffee, and she told me that she hadn’t, to which I replied, “Ok, it had to have been Lorraine. I’ll talk to her later about it.” Myra and I continued to chat about other topics, and I started the thawing process on the shrimp.
A few minutes later, Lorraine stomped down the stairs, looking very angry. She said, “Oh my God, so you’re talking about me behind my back?” Myra and I just looked at each other, because we were both so taken aback by Lorraine’s accusation. I told Lorraine, “Oh not at all, I just figured I’d talk to you about the whole coffee thing, because the coffee which is in the main tin is what is community property, not the unopened bags I have in the freezer.” Lorraine immediately retorted, “YOU said the coffee was for EVERYONE. Well, you know what? I won’t touch ANY of your stuff ever again!”, then marched back up the stairs and slammed her door. Two minutes later, her door opened, and she came down the stairs with her phone in hand, yelling to the person on the other line (turned out it was her grandmother) that she couldn’t take it anymore, that she had just been disrespected, etc. She went down to the first floor, slammed the front door, and was gone for several minutes. Then she re-entered the house, still on the phone, still yelling at her grandmother, went up to her bedroom on the third floor and slammed the door. This pattern continued for another 15 minutes or so, in which she would come up the stairs, slam her door, then walk down the stairs and outside repeatedly.
Lorraine refused to talk to Myra or me for a couple of weeks, then she sent a series of text messages to us both in which she apologized profusely for her outburst, told us she loved and respected us both, and wanted good blood between us. I was startled by Lorraine’s complete change in behavior and began developing a mistrust of her behavior, especially because she would often burst into the house yelling at someone on the phone. She suffered from severe depression and also developed some strange physical symptoms which she was sure stemmed from some deadly and incurable disease.
Incident number two occurred several months after the first one. Lorraine had informed me that the latch on the sliding glass door which led to our balcony wasn’t working, and she asked me to look at it when I got home. I had been working all weekend at a fitness expo and had gotten into a heated argument with my booth mate during the drive back, so I was in no mood to repair a sliding glass door latch. Nevertheless, Lorraine chose to ignore the fact that I was in a bad mood, and badgered me to take a look at the latch. I fiddled with the latch for a couple of minutes but was unable to fix it, and I told her that I would look at it later. Lorraine promptly started screaming, “WHAT? WHAT? That’s unacceptable! You don’t talk to me like that!”, and I was completely stunned by her outburst. She ran upstairs, slammed her door, then opened it a couple of minutes later, stormed down the stairs and out the front door, her phone in hand, yelling at her grandmother about what a bitch I was. She continued this up the stairs, down the stairs ritual numerous times in the span of about ten minutes. Once again, I got the silent treatment from Lorraine for about two weeks, followed by a stream of apology texts.
The third time Lorraine went off on me was after she had been living in the house for over a year. I had returned from a trip to Denver late at night, and I was exhausted. I was at the kitchen sink washing cat dishes, when Lorraine entered the house, walked up to the second floor, and with a flourish, said “Hello…” (her typical tone when she was begging for attention), to which I replied, “Oh, hi.” She said, “What are you doing?”, and I replied that I was washing cat dishes, that I had just gotten home from a trip. Suddenly, she said, “No NO NO! I don’t like your ENERGY! I don’t have to put up with this bullshit!”, and she clumped up the stairs. You guessed it, Lorraine made a phone call, rushed down the stairs and outside, then continued the sequence a bunch of times before returning to her room and slamming the door.
I went upstairs to my bedroom around 11 pm and crawled into bed. Around 12:15 am, I woke up to the sound of Lorraine’s hair dryer, so I texted her with, “Hey, I’m trying to sleep. Would you mind not blow drying your hair so late? Thanks.” I immediately got a nasty response from her in which she stated that she had the right to do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, that I had no right to just text her, and that if I had a problem with something, that I should speak to her in person. I told her that since it was so late, and I was IN BED, that speaking to her in person didn’t seem feasible.
Lorraine didn’t speak a word to me for 5 weeks. Then one day, she texted me, saying that she wanted to check in with me to see what I wanted her to do with catsitting (I had a 14 day trip to Japan approaching), and that she was delighted to do whatever I needed her to do. By this time I was so terrified of her and so accustomed to walking on eggshells whenever she was around that I didn’t even know how to proceed. I haltingly agreed to let her catsit, and never addressed her outburst from 5 weeks prior.
Finally, after over a year and a half of living with this woman, she submitted her 30 day notice of vacancy. The weekend that she entered the house to remove her belongings, she became hostile towards me and even threatened to punch me at one point. I was already at the point where I was totally willing to call the cops, and I told her so, which convinced her to rethink the idea of assaulting her roommate. She made such a mess on the walls of her bedroom that I had to have the entire room repainted, an expense which was covered by a portion of her security deposit.
I truly hope that I never have any more awful roommates, because I have paid my dues by enduring unacceptable living situations with some pretty messed up people!