Hey, Bonita!

New Roomie Worries

Hey Bonita,

I’m staying in town for the summer, and I recently got a new roommate for the summer and fall.  He doesn’t move in until mid-May, but he already paid his deposit and even volunteered to transfer some of the utilities into his name. Which is great! But over the past couple of weeks that we’ve been following each other on social media, I’ve started to get nervous. His politics are fine—he seems apathetic overall to be honest, which I prefer to someone who’s militant in either direction. He just seems to have some very particular interests that are weird to me. He’s active on sites that I’ve never heard of and on stuff like Twitter and Instagram—it’s definitely wild stuff.  Just crazy deep fried memes and lots of fan content for kids cartoons and stuff. I mean a lot! It’s not all kid stuff, but it definitely makes me think he spends a lot of time on the internet. There’s some sex stuff with furries and anime girls, but most of it is memes and not just like racy pictures. I also found some pictures of what I think is his current bedroom, and it’s a wreck, which definitely makes me even more anxious about living with him. What if he’s a total mess and trashes the living room and kitchen?

I’m not sure if I’m truly intimidated or worried about living with this guy, or if he’s just into stuff that’s way left of what I like. He just seems really different online from the person he presented himself as when he was looking for a place to stay. I definitely feel misled, and yeah I guess I am worried about living with him. I know I would feel terrible if I rescinded the offer just because his Instagram is strange to me, but I think the dishonesty might be what’s bothering me more.

Hella Nervous

Hey there Hella Nervous,

I think you can relax, for the most part. I understand your reaction to the idea of living with someone who might be your total opposite in taste and lifestyle, but you haven’t described any interests that I find particularly alarming. There’s plenty of kids’ content in the world that adults also love, and I don’t think there’s any shame in enjoying Spirited Away into your twenties—it’s an absolutely amazing movie, after all. Furries are popular meme content right now for the reaction that their art gets out of squares, and babe, I think you might just be a square. I don’t mean that as an insult in the least, but I do recommend that you look past your initial shock and remember that the purpose of posting memes on social media is to get a reaction out of others.  Your new roomie may just have troll tendencies or a twisted sense of humor. And if he IS into fursuits and such, what does that have to do with you? There’s no need to assume anything nefarious about a person who participates in a subculture that you don’t. You wouldn’t freak out if you found out he was into historic reenactment or birding, would you?

You’re right to be concerned about the messy room, but here’s where communication comes into play. You need to establish expectations of cleanliness and cooperation as soon as he moves in, and make sure he understands them and is down to abide by them. Whatever a roommate has going on in their bedroom is their business, but it is appropriate to expect functional common areas in a shared home. This is actually a conversation you can start having now, before he moves in.I don’t think this guy was misleading you by not showing you deep fried memes during the roommate interview process. I think you’re just seeing part of him that you didn’t before, and you’re reeling a little bit. That’s diversity, pal, and I think you should wait until he actually does something inappropriate before deciding he’s not roommate material. He does seem like a “very online” type, but that means that he will probably spend most of his time in his room with headphones on, so good for you.

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