Monday, December 17, 2007

The Printer Debacle

I’ve been learning a lot about people since I started living with two of them. Three teenaged girls sharing a room that measures approximately 13’x18’ can never go well. It can go horribly, it can go badly, or it can go without major incident, but it can never go well.

The three of us are about as different as it is possible to get at our school—one’s a hard-partying artist who sleeps during the day and schedules her classes as late as she possibly can, one’s a quasi-hippie oboist who spends her time talking to her Harvard boyfriend or at swim practice, and one’s me. That Girl.

We’ve rearranged the furniture at least three times, trying to maximize the fung shui (read: trying to get the most available floor space possible). We have a nice room, but the fact remains that there is just too much shit in it—three beds (two bunked), three desks (two against one wall and a third smaller one by the door, where I sit now), a wardrobe (for the unlucky girl who doesn’t get a real closet), and a minifridge add a lot of clutter. It probably doesn’t help that none of us are fastidious about our things, so each area looks like a small zone of organized chaos.

I actually don’t want to rant about my roommates in general—we have our moments, but they’re good people. I’m just amused by a single incident that happened one morning.

Since I’m completely insane, I have classes before 9:15 three out of five weekdays. Monday is my 9:05 class, and I had to print out my final paper to hand in before I went. It was about 8:30, which is admittedly too early to be out of bed, but not too early to be awake in bed. I printed out the 20-page monstrosity, did my hair, collected my work, and slid down the snowy path to the student center so I could get tea before class.

After class, I get back to my room and fall on my bed in the universal “exhausted student” manner, not realizing that my roommate was sitting on her bed. I am startled by a voice descending from the top bunk. The conversation goes as follows:

Hippie Roommate: You know you almost got killed this morning
That Girl: …What?
HR: Your printer is fucking LOUD.
That Girl: I’m… sorry?
HR: Like, I know you probably got caught off-guard or something, but could you not print things before, like, 8AM?
That Girl: (muttering) It was 8:30.
HR: (not hearing) We’ve got the software for Party Roommate’s printer, so you can put that on your computer so you don’t need to have your printer here anymore. It takes up space. And it’s loud.
That Girl: O…kay. Yeah.

Now, am I alone in thinking that this is a weird complaint? That my printer is too loud, and that I should not print things before my class? If I were up all night maniacally printing a copy of the full text of War and Peace while cackling loudly, sure I could see them asking that I don’t do it anymore. But printing a paper at 8:30 before I go to class? Is that so wrong?

Have I lost touch with reality that much?

If I have, I really don’t think I care. Just watch, I’m going to instigate my own little Printer Rebellion. Even when I don’t have papers due, I’ll print them out anyway! I’ll kill the environment, and piss off my roommates simultaneously! EULALIA!

I’d also like to note that they do things that piss me off, too. I just haven’t yet seen fit to sit down and talk about most of them.

For example, Party Roommate just bought a little Mr. Coffee maker. Fair enough, I have an illegal hot pot and make tea about thirty-two times a day. However you need your caffeine, I’m not begrudging you that.

The problem is that the smell of coffee gives me a headache. Especially hazelnut blends.

The laws of irony being as they are, guess what Party Roommate drinks! She doesn’t usually make it until after I leave for my first class of the day, but then I get back to the room and am overwhelmed by a scent that nearly knocks me over.

You know how some people associate pleasant smells with pleasant experiences and sensations—something that reminds them of the beach, or their grandmother’s house? It’s like that, except instead of sunshine, sand, and waves or cookies and love, hazelnut-blend coffee instantly transports me to Hell. I can almost see Satan there, laughing at me as I wince in a haze of hazelnut-blend induced pain.

But I’m not going to say anything, because I’m the nonconfrontational one. I’ll just bitch about it to everyone else until one day, something really trivial sends me over the edge and I’ll be sent off to the psych ward.

At least then my headaches will stop.

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