Brandy Jensen, The Outline’s associate editor, has made a lot of mistakes in her life. Has she learned from them and become a wiser person as a result? Hahaha oh gosh no. But it does leave her uniquely qualified to tell you what not to do — because she’s probably done it.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my housemate had members of his family stay at our place. It’s a spacious two-story with three bedrooms and two bathrooms that is shared by three people in a neighborhood that could be considered a destination spot. My housemate notified us of his family's intent to stay at our place with one evening’s notice. Fine. Who might his family consist of? A married couple, of whom the wife is pregnant, and their two-year-old son. And for how long? Eight fucking days. A baby and a pregnant woman invaded my house for eight fucking days.
As a late twentysomething, I understand the importance of family more and more each day. With the turning of each sun, I reflect on my own humanity, my path, and my personal goal to always have empathy towards others. That said, the pregnant woman, her husband, and their toddler also happened to be some of the rudest people I have ever met; they were completely unable to engage in basic polite conversation, left messes in the common spaces every day, and consistently gave me the “what are you doing here?” look in my own home. Bitch, you're in my fucking home. GTFO. On top of it all, my housemate's parents stayed at a local hotel (thank god), but spent all day eight fucking days at my house. The whole family was intolerable to be around, and showed no thanks (over Thanksgiving!) for the hospitality I've shown them.
I can't help but be hurt by the sheer disrespect for others someone (or a whole family) can have. It has been an impossible situation to maneuver and my housemate has been weak-willed in allowing it to get so out of hand. I feel bad that he doesn't even know how shitty his family is. I’m on the verge of lighting all of his things on fire and I need to be talked down. What do I do? Do I break one of his prized possessions in the night and blame it on a raccoon? Or do I let it go? (Don't say let it go.)
One Hurt Housemate
Oh my god, a pregnant woman??? Those are so much worse than regular women! And a baby who fails to make polite conversation over breakfast! Truly, these fantasies of arson are very normal and justified and I am so glad you wrote in to me so I too, could seethe with rage and rend my garments over this intolerable imposition. A pregnant woman and a baby for eight fucking days — this is the shit Greek tragedies are made of.
Look, was it rude of your housemate to not give you more warning? Yes, absolutely. He is definitely on the hook for a night of drinks for you and your other housemate (of whom you, notably, make no mention here). This is a problem with him, not his messy two-year-old nephew. You need to discuss rules for having guests at your place — how much notice is required, how long they can stay, etc. But raging at the behavior of a pregnant woman and a child is probably something you want to do in the safety of your own head.
Nobody likes feeling like they suddenly live in an Airbnb. And trust me, I love a petty grudge. Anything I have ever accomplished in life was fueled in no small measure by spite. But you very sincerely need to calm the hell down, as this level of vitriol is a touch unhinged. You may also want to consider why pregnancy bothers you so much, but that’s one for a real therapist rather than an advice columnist who drinks a lot.
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