July 26, 2010 | 9:16 pm
Posted by Merissa Nathan Gerson
Several months ago I had a new roommate move in. For the most part things are great, we’ve had a few minor arguments but mostly it’s been smooth sailing. However there is one issue. About once a week her boyfriend comes around and they follow a routine that I have come to know and dread. They park in front of the T.V. consume two or more bottles of red wine and mosey upstairs.
Once in the bedroom they begin a series of activities that are unlike anything I have ever heard. The sound is something like a mixture of a cardio-kickboxing class and a ritual sacrifice. There intimate sessions are so exuberant that they shake my bed at the end of the hall.
How do I bring up this issue without creating a huge wedge of awkwardness between us? It is somewhat more difficult to bring up because I am a guy and she is also nearly ten years older then me.
I asked two people for help with your problem. The first was a man sitting at the Chabad Shabbat dinner table. He said he once had Danish roommates on a Kibbutz in Israel back in the day who partied loudly every night. He asked them to be quiet on numerous occasions so he could sleep, but they ignored him nightly. Every morning he had to be up at six am to pick bananas and it was torture.
One day he had had enough so he went to the fishpond and picked out all the dead fish. He chopped the fish and put it in trash bags and then threw all the Danish guys’ sheets and clothes and blankets into the bag, mixed it up, and skipped town. That’s right, he never looked back.
This is the worst advice on the planet for a number of reasons. One, he never got them to shut up and two; he wasn’t even around to witness the revenge plot.
The second person I asked, a la Santa Fe, was a woman hanging upside down from some straps doing yoga in my living room. In her heightened enlightened form, she yielded stellar advice.
She said you need to address the topic gently with your roommate. Approach her and just say something simple, like “I am a light sleeper and have been waking up when your man comes over. Could you just keep in mind that I am down the hall in the future?” Each member of a household has a few basic rights: privacy, quiet after midnight, and so on. There is nothing wrong with attempting to preserve this space for yourself.
And then, a few things could happen.
A) Your roommate curbs her enthusiasm.
B) Your roommate ignores you.
Basically, in situations like these you first need to attempt to voice your concern and communicate, and then watch and see how the other party involved addresses your concerns. If they ignore you and disrespect you, then that’s it. Why bother attempting communication when the person is actively shoving cotton in their ears?
If she ignores you and keeps slamming her boy toy, then get out. This is simple. For many years, we the roaming twenty-something population have the ability to sublease our Craigslist apartments and seek new, more ecumenical homes. Try this and see. If all else fails throw some rotting carp in her bedroom while they are going at it.
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