AdviceHey, Bonita!

My Roommates Eat My Food

I feel like I just can’t get a break. I live in a three-bedroom house in a decent neighborhood. I’m also the leaseholder. The problem is that I only seem to attract pure trash for roommates. My roommates are always dirty, loud and THEY EAT MY FOOD. I am seriously on my fourth roommate in a row that eats my food and leftovers out of the fridge. This guy is 21 years old and claims that he sleepwalks/eats. He also keeps letting my two cats outside.

I don’t know what to do. It’s been a solid year of struggling for me: struggling to get my rent paid, since I can’t ever seem to find a third roommate; struggling to keep my second roommate—they usually just dip out randomly, since they aren’t on the lease; and struggling to keep it together, then my boundaries are disrespected because of people eating my food. My roommate recently ate ALL of my birthday dinner leftovers and HALF of my birthday cake!

I also wanna add that I’m vegetarian and really into clean eating, so petty retaliation in the form of eating my roommates’ crappy food is not an option. I’d love to find a quiet, clean vegetarian or two with no pets and their own food budget to live with. I even put this in my Craigslist ads for roommates, but I never have any takers or even serious interest. So, I take what I can get, which is PURE GARBAGE PEOPLE.

I just need the universe to lighten up on me. Having such a shitty home life just seems to magnify everything else, especially that I’m underemployed. I post on Facebook asking friends for job leads, but nothing ever comes to me. I recently got fired after two weeks at a law office job, because I got sick and missed a few days. I just don’t understand why I keep having such terrible luck with what feels like everything in my life. Any advice?

You’ve been dealt a bad hand, but you’re still in the game. You feel like bad things come to you and that people mistreat you and you have bad luck, but you’re not a knot on a log. You’re not helpless, and life is not hopeless. I know that can be hard to hear or believe when things keep going wrong, but you have tons more control over your life than you think.

When it comes to roommates, you really need to level up. Stop looking on Craigslist, and stop settling. There are housing groups on Facebook, as well as apps for house-sharing, and there you will find much better people to live with. You’re attracting some real transient types, so I advise you to focus on getting students as roommates. They come with their own sets of problems, but they usually don’t include jumping the lease or bailing on rent. And don’t settle for the first person to come to you with a security deposit—seek out those who are looking to put down roots in town, at least in some fashion. They will be more invested in making a home with you and more likely to respect the space, your property, your pets and you.

I think you’d benefit from working on your self-image. You seem very convinced that life has it in for you, and that’s not true. Look at all the good stuff you’ve already accomplished in this not-ideal life. Your roommates suck, but you have a credit score that allows you to be a leaseholder in 2019—not a small feat for a young person. You are underemployed, but you are not unemployed. You are a good person for refusing to eat your roommates’ food in retaliation and sticking to your vegetarianism. Your credit is good enough that I’m sure you could find a smaller place and have just one roommate, or maybe even none at all. Getting fired can be devastating, but losing that job has created space for you to find something more to your liking.

These aren’t necessarily silver linings, but they are tools that you can work with to see some positive change in your life. Hold your cats close, be kinder to yourself, and kick those roommates out.

Need advice? Email, use our anonymous form, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.