Omni Roommate -- semi-rant (long) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-12-2004, 10:57 PM
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Recently, I allowed my husband to allow one of his friends to stay with us for an extended period of time, and he was supposed to tell his friend that the only way I would allow meat in the house was if it went directly from car to outdoor BBQ and I never had to clean up after any of it. I was willing to compromise on the dairy issue and allow that in the house. The friend moved in while I was visiting my mom in California. When I returned, it was really obvious that my husband had said nothing about my kitchen rules to his friend. There were pork chops and an opened package of bratwurst in the freezer (the pork chops were at least vacuum-packed), and there was leftover meatloaf in a Styrofoam container in the refrigerator. The kitchen felt greasy (probably from fried bratwurst), and I just felt totally grossed out. I ended up buying store-brand chlorine bleach (something I never buy), and scrubbing the entire kitchen with it.



Night before last, this guy came home with Stouffer's meat lasagna, which he promptly popped in the microwave despite my offer to cook something else. I had to open all the windows for like two hours to get the reek out of the house. And today, when I opened the refrigerator, there was an open package of bologna on the bottom shelf. I will admit that the meatloaf and the bratwurst disappeared the day after I returned home, and the pork chops went to his sons house for Sunday dinner.



Add to this that my husband is a truck driver who is only home two days a week, and I'm pretty miserable. This is somewhat my fault, because I should have insisted on going over the rules with this guy personally before he moved in. Actually, I should have just said "no" when my husband brought up letting this guy move in to begin with. However, this is an older gentleman who lost his job last year and has gone through all his savings. He finally settled on a low-paying job shortly after moving in with us. I wont be able to expect him to contribute anything to the household expenses, especially if I want him to be able to save enough money to move out within six months. I sure cant expect him to suddenly discover the joys of Vegan cooking or to purchase Vegan convenience meals (way more expensive than the damn Stouffers lasagna).



To complicate matters even more, I work 12 hour shifts at night, and I work from 3 to five nights a week. On those days, Im obviously not going to be able to prepare meals for the both of us. On my days off, I do prepare meals most days, and he will occasionally eat some of what I prepare. He enjoys those meals even. However, some nights, like with the lasagna, he chose to eat the lasagna instead of what I had prepared. Also, I am very active, so Im sometimes not home at normal eating times. Other times, all I want is a hummus sandwich on a pita (I have not yet been successful in my efforts to get him to try hummus), rather than a full dinner.



I dont want to freak out on this guy and look like the crazy Vegan. After all, its better to model positive food choices instead of being the Vegan police. Since my husband neglected to explain the house rules before the guy moved in, I feel that it would be unfair to spring it on him now. Still, Ive gotten very used to having my home as a sanctuary away from the outside meat-eating world, and it disturbs me to be bumping into dead animals when I open my own cupboards. I really feel like this guy is making an effort to get along, and he genuinely has enjoyed the Vegan meals that he has eaten in my home. I dont really think that there is a good solution to this issue, other than to never say Yes to another needy person moving in ever again (this is like the fourth time) and to just suck it up for the six months that it will take him to save enough money for an apartment.
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#2 Old 09-12-2004, 11:06 PM
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Why not just explain it to him the way you did to us? That you don't want to look like a crazy vegan, but it disturbs you having bits of meat around the house. You are being pretty generous, he'll probably understand. How about setting the barbarque up and encouraging him to use it?

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#3 Old 09-12-2004, 11:42 PM
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I'm with Kiz. Just explain to him about why you prefer not having meat all over the place. If he wants his meat, he could probably get some cheap plastic containers and seal it up, and put it away so its not all over the place. As far as cooking it goes, I dunno. I have my own pots and pans here that are forbidden to be used for cooking meat..perhaps he could either grill his food (using foil of course) so that the meat smell isn't in the house. Whatever the case, you should let him know. He probably doesn't think its bothering you. Hmm..i just read your rant over again..(my eyes are tired) and I see you said something about a son's house. How come he can't eat his meat meals there and eat vegan at your house? Just an idea though.
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#4 Old 09-13-2004, 05:53 AM
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Yeah I agree with the other two. Just politely explain your views. Hopefully, he will understand & be respectful. I know it must be extremely difficult to see meat in your kitchen. I understand completely. It's your home & he's a guest. He should be respectful of the way you live. You are helping him out. He should be extremely grateful. If you don't say anything, it's likely to come out sooner or later and later it may be an arguement that won't solve anything. It's your home, not his! You shouldn't have to live that way in your home.
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#5 Old 09-13-2004, 10:24 AM
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My mother solves this potential problem with a "Meat Free Zone" magnet on our fridge.
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#6 Old 09-13-2004, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by shagginabit View Post

I'm with Kiz. Just explain to him about why you prefer not having meat all over the place. If he wants his meat, he could probably get some cheap plastic containers and seal it up, and put it away so its not all over the place.

I agree with this! My roommate in New Orleans, if he had meat, was always wrapped up really well or placed in containers.



I'd at least tell him you don't want smelly meat cooked while you're in the house. Tell him that while you're home it's bologna only! :-p
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#7 Old 09-13-2004, 12:36 PM
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This is somewhat my fault, because I should have insisted on going over the rules with this guy personally before he moved in.



I think that pretty much sums it up. I'd be pissed if I moved in with someone and then they were like "Oh yeah, I forgot to mention you can't do that."

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#8 Old 09-13-2004, 12:42 PM
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I think that pretty much sums it up. I'd be pissed if I moved in with someone and then they were like "Oh yeah, I forgot to mention you can't do that."

Fault or no fault, it's also her fault if she lets it continue to happen.
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#9 Old 09-13-2004, 01:09 PM
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I'm sure he feels slightly embarrassed being a grown man and having to live with a friend and not being able to pay rent. It is wonderful that you have taken him in to help him out. However, if I were him, I'd be so grateful that you let me stay, that I would follow every rule of the house to a tee. I imagine he is very grateful. So I think it is very reasonable for you to tell him how you feel. If he feels offended that you are compromising his 'freedom' or being 'bossy', then he should get the hell out of there.
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#10 Old 09-13-2004, 01:21 PM
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However, if I were him, I'd be so grateful that you let me stay, that I would follow every rule of the house to a tee.



Sure it's nice. But it should have been done before. You don't do someone a favor and then tack on a bunch of stipulations afterward.

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#11 Old 09-13-2004, 09:02 PM
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It would be pretty rotten to have to depend on someone for a roof over the head - but it would also fail miserably to realise that I'd offended the person who'd been kind enough to provide the roof.



Perhaps you could talk to him about it and then provide a few cheap and easy vegan recipes, like curries, that he could cook?
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#12 Old 09-13-2004, 10:41 PM
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The other side of the coin....



Having been in this sort of situation, I have to say that you (as the person living in someone else's home b/c of financial troubles) are embarassed enough as it is, only to then have a bunch of rules tacted on after the fact. It makes you feel unwelcomed. It's bad enough that you automatically feel that way whenever you live off the good well of another person that you aren't sleeping with or related to. It doesn't make you feel "bad" that you offended the person you're living with. It makes you feel like yet another failure, yet another place in your life that you suck at, and yet another place to be unhappy at.



Just the other side of the coin.
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#13 Old 09-14-2004, 10:31 PM
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I actually have a friend living with me to help me pay the rent. I made it clear to her that dead animals were not allowed in my house. I did allow her to bring dairy in the house. It's my house and I couldn't stand the sight of a dead cow in my house. I think your friend ought to be grateful and it is worth a conversation. Although I do see the other side of the coin about him not knowing this before he moved in, I see nothing wrong with a polite conversation about it. "Hey xx, I guess my husband didn't talk to you about this before and I wish he had. You know I"m a vegetarian and it actually really bothers me about the dead animals (okay say meat to be nicer) in the house. I don't mind if it goes on the outdoor grill, but it's really hard for me to be here and smell it and see it." Any reasonable person will recognize that you're doing him a favor and it shouldn't be a big deal for them not to bring it into the house.
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#14 Old 09-20-2004, 12:14 AM
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Thanks for all the great advice. In the end, I just couldn't bring myself to "lay down the law." What I have done (and this has worked amazingly well) is to cook more and make sure to always let him know that he can always share in anything I cook. Since he has very little money, he really isn't in a position to be picky, and he's been eating the vast majority of what I cook.



Also, now that he's working full time, he isn't home as often, so there's less of a chance of him cooking something that makes me gag. I did ask him to please refrain from bringing ground beef into my home, since I consider ground beef to be about on the same level as toxic waste. I apologized for not bringing it up earlier, and he was very receptive about it.
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#15 Old 09-20-2004, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by shagginabit View Post

If he wants his meat, he could probably get some cheap plastic containers and seal it up, and put it away so its not all over the place.

Yep, dark colors. Out of sight, out of mind.



Sounds like you've come up with a good partial solution though. I hope it's going better for you now.
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#16 Old 09-22-2004, 09:05 AM
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My current roommate always loves to blame bad smells on my "health food". Every friggin' time we leave the trash in the room a little longer than we should have, she's like "it smells very NATURAL in here" (referring to my food). I'm like, "listen, it's not my food. It's either the trash or the fact that you only wash your hair every 2 weeks" (she really doesnt wash her hair for 2 weeks. She is African, so I understand that they don't have to wash their hair as much...but, still...2 weeks?) She always buys these stupid cans of chicken that don't need to be refridgerated, so God knows what is in there to keep it from rotting. She eats it straight from the can and makes me want to barf.

She's always bringing up my veganism, saying that my teeth are going to fall out and dumb shiz like that. She's starting to make me angry. But, whatever, you just have to deal with it. Sorry you're not happy with your living situation. Good luck!
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