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25 September 2012 @ 06:30 pm
eyerolls will get you everywhere  
My housemate rolled her eyes at me today because I asked her if she'd clear the entire dish drainer out more often than she has been doing.

You see, no apartment in Japan has a dishwasher. Or, ok, no student housing. Just like we don't have ovens. So you're hand washing all the dishes. I don't mind this - even my place in LA doesn't have a dishwasher (that's because it's cheap! yay cheap housing!).

Anyway, rules of the road in my LA place are (and this is living with two different people): if you're doing dishes, you try to clean out the dry dishes first. Of course it doesn't happen every time or anything. But if you start putting one dish away it's easy enough to put all the rest of 'em away (dish drainers aren't that big after all).

Current housemate wants to leave her dishes in the drainer and never put them away. For her it's a perfect system - from drainer to table and back again. EXCEPT, LO, I USE DISHES TOO.

And I realize what the fundamental problem is here: she's not used to living with other people. I know for a fact she's been living by herself since she's been in LA (which is two years or so), and she doesn't talk about past housemates, so I'm guessing that she lived by herself or with parents (a whole different set of compromises).

But eyerolls?

So, flist, give me your advice? Eyerolls really piss me off. I want to open my bedroom door and ask her to please refrain from rolling her eyes at me when I'm trying to calmly bring up something that bothers me. Even if she thinks the subject is closed, if it bothers me, I'd appreciate that she give me the courtesy of taking me seriously as her housemate. Even if she chooses not to compromise with me, I'd like her to acknowledge me in a mature way.

Actually, I can guess what you're going to say - I should ignore it, because confronting her isn't going to make it any better. But goddamn i hate it when I get made to feel absurd and like i'm an ass because I asked someone to do *exactly* what I'm doing every time I put away the damn dishes -- just meet me fucking halfway.

also posted to dreamwidth | you can reply here or there | um, but don't worry, i'm still an lj girl
seldomifeverseldomifever on September 25th, 2012 07:10 am (UTC)
She sounds like she's kind of a dick. I'm so sorry this is your living situation in Japan. Is there no way to find someone else or are you just stuck?
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on September 28th, 2012 10:03 am (UTC)
thanks for the commiseration lady. and sadly it would be really fucking tough - first cuz our program guaranteed our housing, second cuz i couldn't afford a place on my own, third cuz places in japan don't often rent to ppl for short term like this unless it's special short term housing, and then it's really expensive.

sadly i'm sure this won't be the last time i post about her, but i'm trying to hang out with other people so that i'm not getting her full strength all the time.
your royal pie-nessentrenous88 on September 25th, 2012 09:10 am (UTC)
I think you're well within your rights to bring it up. I'd just say, as she appears to be dismissive and defensive, try to do it more casually. I really like the import of what you want to say to her, but I have a feeling the more formal language is going to make her eyeroll all the harder.
my monkied brain: _nihon-flowerkatekat1010 on September 28th, 2012 10:04 am (UTC)
i think the problem i'm having isn't so much the dishes as the dismissiveness - that's what bugged me so much. but yeah, the tough part about doing all that mediation stuff is that i approach things in a formal way when they get my goat, you know?
Vertigo: pic#107251979akavertigo on September 25th, 2012 09:43 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, there's no way to force someone to act decent. What you can do is make your stance clear and solid with her; in a situation like this boundaries have to be set early - and enforced fairly. Your best bet is to get her to recognize a certain set of rules. I did a similar agreement with my roomies a while back when we were having friction over cleaning times. Two of us work together and thus have nearly identical schedules, but the third had completely different hours. Ironically, she was the "neat one" and insisted on following a set schedule. Unfortunately, when we weren't around to adhere to the schedule she'd go ahead and do all the cleaning herself - and then sulk about having to do so. The other roommate wasn't sure how to handle this; she'd never lived on her own before and hates, hates, confrontation. So she mostly hid in her room, which was not that helpful. I eventually dragged everyone into the living room and pretty much announced that we were going to break up the rooms for cleaning, with everyone promising to do it within the allotted week whatever the day. It wasn't a pleasant moment but it was better than having people who share a kitchen hide from each other (seriously, that sh*t was ridiculous, wtf) and it stopped grudges from festering.

Hi, I'm Lena, and the I'm the "mean" roommate. Nice to meet'cha!
my monkied brain: _nihon-flowerkatekat1010 on September 28th, 2012 10:13 am (UTC)
the tough part is figuring out the rules - it appears that there are a variety of things we both feel are kind of no-brainers but that we're entirely opposite on. leaving windows cracked for air; living entirely via air conditioning; this dishes thing. your cleaning thing sounds like an absolute pain in the ass, and i think the worst part is the sulking thing. i'm all about actually being up front about this stuff so there isn't sulking going on.

that being said, i'm hanging out in my room because i can have the environment the way that i want it - she has a reason for all of her objections to my adjusting the environment in the living room that seem to be inarguable points: allergies require windows remain closed even when she's not home, and when she is it's too cold outside, she turns the fan on above the oven but closes the window that i opened to let some of the hot air out of the kitchen, etc.

and dude, i am totally the mean roommate if mean means willing to work it the hell out in a compromise! (besides, i think you're actually 'the one who actually deals with the shit' roommate, which is not mean at all)
literate and stylish: buffy/willow mew!mishloran on September 26th, 2012 01:09 pm (UTC)
Oh yes. We had that Conversation many times in Cambridge. I will always /try/ to put the dry clean dishes away, but sometimes I forgot. Male Classicist Housemate would NEVER put dishes away, but always put wet ones on top. Used to annoy Female Housemate to no end!

That and leaving tea-towels scrunched up around the kitchen.
my monkied brain: _nihon-flowerkatekat1010 on September 28th, 2012 10:15 am (UTC)
hey, i count trying as something!! male classicist housemate though would drive me batty, probably.

i also wonder if perhaps someday i should just live alone so this whole thing becomes moot, you know?