Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Roommate's "Unique" Boyfriend Irritates LW

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My roommate, “Josh,” is seeing “Ray” since last Halloween, when they met at a party. Josh wanted to take it slow, and they did, until Ray practically moved in around Valentine’s Day, and somehow ended up largely sheltered in place with us throughout the pandemic lockdown.

It isn’t that Ray’s a bad guy, but he likes to think of himself as kind of “unique,” so he does these really odd things, like garnish his meals with foul-smelling “unique” spices, and putting on aftershave that’s a little too exotic for me — as in open the windows immediately exotic. He brought in this weird houseplant that was flown in from an Amazonian rainforest, which is now taking up a quarter of our living room.

I’m usually pretty chill, but I’m beginning to feel like Ray is taking over our home, and not only doesn’t he pay rent, but apparently feels he has the right to help himself to anything we have, including linens, kitchen items, and some toilet paper, which mysteriously went missing at the beginning of the big shortage.

I like and respect Josh, but this guy he’s so hooked on is not so much “unique” as weird, and I don’t like the way he’s edging further and further into our home. I want to say something to Josh, but don’t want to upset him. Any suggestions? --- NOT LOVING UNIQUE

DEAR NOT LOVING UNIQUE: It’s a delicate balance between being tolerant and being put-upon, and it sounds like the scale’s already tipped.

Since the romance is still somewhat new, your roommate may as yet be in the “love is blind” stage. If that’s the case, your next step might be to gently, and privately, break it to him that some of his new guy’s habits are not what you’re used to, and you aren’t sure how to deal with them.

Unless you’re in a position to find somewhere else to live, it might be a case of your putting up with some of the oddities. However, the disappearance of commonly-owned or purchased household items is different, and certainly worth openly bringing up, even if Ray is visiting. That way he’s been put on notice that not everything in his boyfriend’s apartment is up for grabs. If he’s becoming part of the household, he has to contribute something material to its running — other than an Amazonian wonder.

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