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Alethea & Athena
Crushing souls and taking names 
22nd-Feb-2016 03:49 pm
Today has been pretty bizarre. We've been having trouble running a program that we need to run in order to work on certain projects, and most of our attempts at resolving the problem involve us getting the computer to do something, and then killing time while it works on that. Earlier we went to the store, and now we're updating LiveJournal. Tadah. I feel a little bad that we didn't solve this problem sooner, but we haven't exactly had time to work on it, so today's the day. And that means getting started on this project a little late, which is especially annoying because after wrestling with computers all day, work is the last thing we want to do, but them's the breaks, I guess. (Interestingly, Chrome is not telling me that "them's" is misspelled.)

Things are kind of a flurry of unresolved issues at the moment, actually. We'd been hearing rumors for...months, I guess, but possibly longer, that someone we know in Fresno is going to want to come be our roommate after she graduates high school this year. We've never had great luck with roommates, so we were never too keen on this plan, especially because we really don't know this girl very well so we have no way of knowing if she'll be a good roommate or a bad roommate, and we don't want to get stuck in a bad roommate situation without at least having an exit strategy. On the other hand, it's all part of her plan to accomplish her dream, and who are we to stand in the way of people's dreams? It could turn out to be like giving her a leg up, but back to the first hand, it could turn out to be like us forming a human bridge for her to walk all over.

So here we are with our misgivings about the whole situation, not wanted to risk being walked all over but also not wanting to crush people's spirits. In the meantime, graduation is only getting closer and it's time for this girl to call us and tell us herself, for the first time, that this is what she would like to do. The phone call came last night.

We were honest with her--we said we weren't big fans of the idea, but we weren't 100% against it just yet. I listed all the issues that would need resolution before anything was determined for sure, including our tiny refrigerator, the fact that we have Gaston come down and use the room she wants to live in, and most importantly, we use that same room quite a bit because it's our office. In fact, I'd say we spend at least half our day in this room even on days when we're not constantly working overtime.

Her pitch seemed to be geared toward winning our sympathy. She wants to follow her dream, and it's so very expensive to live in Southern California (tell me something I don't know), and she'll be a full time student, but she'll do everything she can to be the best roommate ever--she'll cook (she really doesn't know us very well), she'll clean (we actually might be interested in this one), she'll pay rent although she's not sure how much she can afford. And we can go to Disneyland together! (Because we've definitely been lacking in ill-advised trips to Disneyland lately.)

She did seem to emphasize the fact that she won't be able to make very much money, which only really raised a red flag because, although this is the first time she's approached us about the matter, we've heard about it from a third party with who had been following the developments as she discussed them with another mutual acquaintance. Of course, the information is third hand and completely biased, so we don't know the validity of the report, but we're told that the would-be roommate is hoping that, out of the kindness of our hearts, we'll say, "Aww, that's okay. You don't have to pay rent!"

And the fact is, we really don't need help with rent (which is one of the many reasons we don't currently have a roommate) and we only care about money insofar as it can get us other things we want, like manga and trips to Japan. But what really makes me wary about this is the idea that she might be coming into this whole thing with the express purpose of taking advantage of us, and I'm really not okay with that.

So basically our opinion on it is we'd really rather not have a roommate, but we're keeping an open mind, and there's still time before graduation for her to figure things out. And that's what I thought I told her, but maybe I didn't get all the right words out, because this morning we got a call from our original source, saying that the girl is now crushed because we said no. I'm pretty sure I didn't ever actually say no, but it's also possible that I never managed to get out any of the important phrases like "but we might be able to work something out." The girl was very nervous and so quick to reply to me that I didn't always get a chance to finish.

And basically what it all boils down to is we feel like we personally would be happier if this roommate issue never happened, but we didn't want to go crushing anybody's souls. Oh well.

Today I'm thankful for mostly resolving our computer issues, our grocery store sill have heart-shaped boxes of chocolate available for purchase (I wanted to buy one last Monday, but our shopping was cut short because Gaston was suddenly in town, so I'm really glad they still had some today), having a lovely time watching Muppet Treasure Island last night, getting our grocery shopping done, and it being time to take a break.
22nd-Feb-2016 10:07 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. My first thought is if you've only got two bedrooms and one is your office, that legitimately counts as not really having a room available to rent out for the long term (as opposed to overnight guests). My second is, even if it's not a lot and you don't need the money, a roommate should pay some rent, if only to learn Valuable Life Lessons. Especially if this isn't really someone you know well; it might be different if you were family or something. Going into this kind of thing reluctantly probably isn't a good idea (and finding out that the situation isn't workable after she's here would be bad for everyone), but if you're examining the matter from all sides and determine that this is something you can be happy with, then by all means make someone's dream come true. But I don't think you're being unreasonable or selfish or dream-crushing if you do say no.

One other thought: if you have a roommate, would that also mean opening your home to her friends? You may not want to be tyrants about that, but I could see myself being uncomfortable with this part even if I did get along with the girl herself. ...one of the many reasons I don't currently have a roommate either :) I like being social when I choose to be, not when it's chosen for me...
22nd-Feb-2016 11:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the validation. We agree, rent should be paid whether or not we need it; if she really cares about doing something, she should be willing to work for it. I guess that would be where the cooking and cleaning come in, but we have more than one experience with roommates (family, even!) telling us about all the awesome things they will do/help us do when we start living together, only to have them totally bail on us once it happened. And since we don't know her very well, and we don't trust anyone, we don't know how to make sure she upholds her end of the bargain.

The friends thing did occur to us this morning when we were talking to our original source, but she (our source) tells us this girl is more the type to go out than the type to host parties herself. We're totally with you on being social, though. It's nice when we choose to be, but not so nice when we don't get a say in the matter.
22nd-Feb-2016 11:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah... Unless she's a certified shoujo manga heroine, it's hard to know how well she'd actually keep up with the offer of cooking and cleaning :) Even with the best intentions, people get busy and let things slide, so an unquantified offer of compensation would be hard to stick to.
23rd-Feb-2016 02:34 am (UTC)
Having been in a few roommate situations where cooking and cleaning were offered, it rarely actually happens. I second the validation of not wanting to have a roommate pretty much for all the same reasons lyschan offered.
23rd-Feb-2016 02:49 am (UTC)
We totally believe that. And one of the previous cases I referred to was of something as simple as just getting a ride to the grocery store when we needed one. We just can't trust people. And we just don't like them enough to want them around anyway. We are very jaded.

Anyway, thanks for the support!
23rd-Feb-2016 02:47 am (UTC)
Haha! You make an excellent point about how only shoujo manga heroines are really that domestic.
23rd-Feb-2016 11:18 am (UTC)
Thought: Is there anyone you know through church who might have an open room or place available for this girl? You could ask around for other options for her (or, like, if there's a way to put out a "help needed" notice; we do this in our sunday morning bulletins with the worship service's program; there's a section for announcements and stuff. maybe there's a central office you could call to make the need known?)—maybe a family or an empty-nester couple or something? I know families at my church who host exchange students, and one whose nephew lives with them while he attends college. Some people are more inclined toward opening their homes to people anyway, so it could be a good fit.
23rd-Feb-2016 01:41 pm (UTC)
No one we know for sure, but we told her we'd ask around. That's a good idea, putting it in the program. We agree; there might be somebody else down here who would be a great person to put her up.
23rd-Feb-2016 06:48 pm (UTC) - This is Sarah. It isn't letting me sign in.
As far as dream following goes, I am sensing too much Charlotte and not enough Tiana.
If you are willing to work things out, it might seem extreme to her but I suggest some kind of roommate contract.
If not, you are definitely not a soul crusher.
23rd-Feb-2016 06:52 pm (UTC) - RE: This is Sarah. It isn't letting me sign in.
Also, even if she did do all the work, it would be nearly impossible for her to find a place before she is 18. If you are feeling generous you could give her until her birthday as a trial period.
23rd-Feb-2016 07:58 pm (UTC) - The internet can be so picky.
Those are both really good ideas. We thought of the contract before (a written agreement seems like the best grounds we have to kick her out if things get really bad), but we did not think of the until-birthday trial period...but we might have to start it a couple of months after graduation. Thanks for the suggestions and validation!
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