Friday, April 5, 2013

The Roommate Influence

Having lived with roommates for the past six years, I have come to wonder about the kind of impact these wonderful girls have had on me.  I am a slightly different person than I was six years ago. Okay, maybe the change has been a tad bit more than slight.  I'm not as quiet as I used to be.  It's probably a little bit easier to get me irritated now than previously.  Surprisingly, I'm actually more dramatic now than I was in high school.  Most of these changes have probably come about through my interaction with female roommates.  Perhaps the biggest impact my roommates have had on me over the years is best observed in my speech patterns.  It's a well-known fact that when you live with someone over a long period of time, you tend to pick up on some of their behavior.  For example, I once worked with someone who had a limp and, after four months of working with her, I found that I walked with a slight limp whenever I walked beside her.  Weird, right?  The same thing can be said for speech.  There are certain phrases that people employ more than others in their daily speech patterns and, because of their frequent use, they stand out for the rest of us to pick up. I have incorporated many of these phrases into my own speech. 

Here are a few examples.  I'll have to omit some of these little gems as I'm not entirely sure how appropriate they are for the general populace. ;)

"I'm so bitter!" - This phrase is particularly useful when someone has really and truly deprived you of something fantastic or has insulted you beyond words.

"MY LIFE!" - This phrase is applicable in so many scenarios.  If you just managed to figure out a crazy formula on Microsoft Excel, you can proudly and happily exclaim, "My life!"  If you're annoyed that Microsoft Office always auto-corrects when you don't want it to, you'll find that shouting, "MY LIFE!" into your empty bedroom tends to quell your frustration.  If you're irritated that the only guys you ever seem to attract are the odd ducks, you can say, "My life," in a whiny voice.  Really, this is such a great phrase.  It is by far the best and most far-reaching one I've picked up.

"I'm so in love with him!" - Yeah...this is a sentence that doesn't always mean exactly what it sounds like.  It can but not always.  My old roommates (and I) will sometimes throw this out during any stage of the dating/relationship process, ranging from the initial meeting to married life itself.  When this phrase is adopted during the initial phases of flirtation/dating, it's just a girl saying she is interested in a guy in a completely over-the-top and dramatic way.  Saying you're in love with someone just makes the hum-drum single life seem more interesting and exciting.

"Stop. Just stop."  If someone is engaging in supremely annoying activity and you are experiencing mounting levels of frustration due to this person's behavior, employ this phrase when complaining about it to your friends.  For example, "Man, I have this really weird stalker and I can't go to a single regional church activity without him finding me and giving me random notes.  Everywhere I go, there he is.  Every time I change my direction to avoid him, he changes his so he will run into me anyway. Doesn't this guy get it?  I mean, really?  Stop. Just sto-op."

"Crapnaggit!" - This exclamation doesn't require too much explanation other than it's just an edgier way of saying "dagnabbit."  It's for those moments when you're particularly peeved but not peeved enough to swear.

"Dude!" - This is a word I never EVER said in high school.  My prim-and-proper, quiet little self wouldn't allow it.  Now I find myself saying, "Listen, dude," "You're driving like an idiot, dude,"  "Dude, I can't believe you just did that!" all the time.  I don't overuse it like some people do, but I definitely say it more than I want to.

"I look like Satan right now." - For those moments when you wake up, look in the mirror, and wonder how the heck your hair got so frazzled during the night.  For those moments when you just worked out and you are hotter than Hades (in a bad way).  For those moments when you get emotional during an inspirational scene in a movie and later find black streaks of mascara all around your eyes.  (Other variations I've heard while roaming the halls of previous apartments include, "I look like Satan's wife," or "I look like death.")

This is what I have coined The Roommate Influence.  When you live in such close proximity with others, the buck never stops with you.  Supposedly, I have passed along a few things myself, like "I'll be honest," and "I almost died."  So if you have the option of choosing your roommates, choose wisely.  In six years, you could be a completely different person.  :)