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Ginger Mixed with Spice Is Not Very Nice

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Ginger Mixed with Spice is Not Very Nice

When I found out last spring that I would be spending my first year at Southwest Minnesota State University in Sweetland Hall, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. Can you blame me? With bigger rooms, air conditioning, an (almost) private bathroom, and an awesome roommate, Jane*, Sweetland seemed like the ideal place to be. Unfortunately, the reality of what I was about to get into slapped me across the face the day I moved in. It wasn’t the roommate (Jane is fantastic), it wasn’t the air conditioning (can’t complain about that), it wasn’t the bathroom (it’s an almost private bathroom!), and it wasn’t the bigger room (you can always use extra space). It was one of the girls who shared the bathroom with us, our “bathroommate.” She was a little bit, well, psychotic. Obviously I didn’t come to this realization on the first day, but it didn’t take very long before I was convinced that the girl needed professional help. For starters, she called her mom…every hour. And it wasn’t a quick “Hi/Hello” deal. No, she would have extensive, loud, and unnecessary conversations with her mom at least seven times a day. How do I know this? Well as I previously stated, Ginger* was very loud; I’m pretty sure you could hear her shrieking voice anywhere within a five mile radius. Because she was so loud (and because I have a slight eavesdropping problem), Jane and I could hear the content of her conversations. At first they were about the room, freshman activities, canned peaches (she had a strange obsession with them), etc., but as the weeks progressed, the discussions with her mom became less about college life, and more about her sophomore roommate, Alyssa*. Ginger talked about how Alyssa stole all her food, constantly had strange boys in their room, and wasn’t welcoming. All the aforementioned are fallacies. My roommate and I had socialized with Alyssa on many occasions and we concluded that she was one of the nicest people anyone could know. She would never steal food, she was on a “man diet” and she took all three of us on a tour of the campus the second day we were here. So why was Ginger saying these things about Alyssa? I should let you know that we hadn’t gone out of our way to listen to Ginger’s conversations until they became about Alyssa. Then we deliberately listened, sometimes even in the bathroom separating our rooms. Call it immature, but we had to know what Ginger’s affliction with Alyssa was. So there my roommate and I sat, on the cold tile floor, listening intently to Ginger’s conversations with her equally crazy mother. Alyssa began spending less time in her room, and Ginger was using the opportunity to take over. She used Alyssa’s things without permission, had friends over often, and had no problem degrading Alyssa to her face. Ginger yelled at her on a regular basis and muttered profanities under her breath whenever they happened to meet in the hallway. She even tried to move Alyssa’s furniture to make room for her own. One day Alyssa came back to the room and found a sticky note on her desk reading, “Move your fridge BEFORE Tuesday so I have somewhere to put my chair.” She also told Alyssa that if she wanted to do homework, she would have to find somewhere other than their room to do it. Somehow Ginger had developed this false entitlement that she controlled Alyssa and their room. It was really beginning to wear all of us down.
It got to the point that Alyssa rarely exchanged words with Ginger and even more scarcely spent the night in her room. Since she was never there, Jane and I had no reason to go to their room other than for random (but necessary) things such as, “Ginger, it’s your turn to clean the bathroom,” or, “Ginger. Did you overflow the toilet?” She never cleaned the bathroom. Jane and I occasionally held off cleaning it just in case she might volunteer, but it would become so gross that our only options were to clean it or use the bathroom in the lobby. Several different times we asked/told her to clean the bathroom, but her automatic response was always, “Sure, I’ll do it this weekend.” There was only a small problem with that; Ginger went home every weekend.
When she wasn’t in her hometown, Ginger could be found in her dorm room watching television. Every day after her one class, she would return to the room and watch hour’s and hour’s worth of television programs. Every time she watched TV, she would pop a bag of popcorn, so everyday our bathroom reeked of burnt buttered popcorn (although she claimed it was kettle corn). Because Ginger felt that for whatever reason she was superior to Alyssa, she had no reservations about moving Alyssa’s TV wherever she wanted. Alyssa told us numerous times about walking into their room and discovering Ginger had moved her TV to her desk or bedside table, essentially wherever it was convenient for her.
The main issue with Ginger is her obliviousness to reality. She isn’t capable of making rational decisions as a result of living a highly sheltered life and buying into all of her mom’s bull shit the past eighteen years. It’s sad in a way, but also incredibly obnoxious. From what I gathered over the few times I’ve met her mother, she will do anything to protect Ginger. It’s not necessarily a bad thing until you start telling your child that they are the center of the universe, they have to eat all the time to help regulate their pancreas, and that the opposite sex is the devil.
Ginger told us she had a boyfriend once, but because she feared her mother’s wrath, they kept their “love” a secret. I still haven’t decided if I believe her or not. However, I did believe her when she told me her mom checked her text messages and phone records at the end of every day. Her mother monitored everything she did. Alyssa called Ginger this past summer to discuss living situations before move-in day, and her mother answered the phone. She started yelling at Alyssa saying that she and Ginger were going to be friends and she had to “show Ginger the ropes” of college life. If I were Alyssa, I would have requested a new roommate right then and there.
She got there eventually. By the third week of college, Alyssa was setting up appointments with our housing director, George*, and going through the roommate reassignment process; not that it did any good. I don’t know how he got that job, he didn’t do anything! The plan was to get Ginger kicked out of the room so Alyssa could stay. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. Alyssa, Jane, and I took our turns going to his office and telling him how unsuitable a roommate Ginger was. George didn’t listen to a thing we said; he just talked over us. After a few days of getting nowhere, Alyssa gave in and said she would be the one to move out. She packed up her things, and just like that, she was gone.
Alyssa moved into a huge room with no roommate, and it was conveniently located right next to one of her best friend’s rooms. Even though we only saw her at dinner every night, Jane and I were happy for her. She didn’t have to put up with Ginger’s little antics anymore, and she could finally enjoy her sophomore year of college. Sadly for us, we still had a maniac next door and a bathroom that smelled like burnt popcorn.…...

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