Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: The Roommate

Every week, Danny M. Lavery and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: the roommate.

Nicole Cliffe: This made me want to live on the moon like Dr Manhattan

just me on a rock

Danny Lavery: I would like to quibble with your assertion that you are both laid-back

you might be reasonably laid-back!

Nicole Cliffe: AS WOULD I

Danny Lavery: but this woman is not

Nicole Cliffe: no she is a terrifying drama monster who acquires and hoards grievances and then explodes all over you

Danny Lavery: yeah obviously you gotta stop even giving her an inch here

Nicole Cliffe: Just leave.

Danny Lavery: i know you really don’t want to, so like – if you think it’s worth it, just live your life and ignore her

but i believe her commitment to driving you nuts is way higher than your commitment to living in this nice apartment

Nicole Cliffe: I think that’s impossible



“I won’t be IGNORED” gif from Fatal Attraction

She needs to start looking for a place and saving for the move

bc I guarantee this woman is not gonna be “here is your half of the deposit, have a lovely life”

I predict a 40% likelihood of small claims court

Danny Lavery: you can definitely at the least refuse to answer her weird questions about your savings account

Nicole Cliffe: SERIOUSLY

Danny Lavery: but she wants to fuck shit up and you want things to be calm and peaceful

and oftentimes, the calm-and-peaceful person loses because it takes two to produce calm

Nicole Cliffe: It really does.

You can literally put on noise-cancelling headphones and pretend you live alone and she will escalate

And it’s FINE to want a friend-roommate

but that’s why you get a place with a FRIEND

or discuss it from the beginning


Danny Lavery: but when someone goes to places like “I have heard of people like YOU…who merely want to exchange friendly pleasantries with their roommates and keep the kitchen clean…but I never thought I’d actually meet one in the flesh, you Island”

it is a bit much!

Nicole Cliffe: like you’ve heard of the existence of helium gas and then freak out when you see a balloon

Danny Lavery: “Feel free to move out if you think that’s what you need; I’m very happy here” followed by a quick exit to the bedroom is definitely a viable strategy

Nicole Cliffe: also to be BROADLY GENERAL

Danny Lavery: but be prepared for that to fall apart, I think

Nicole Cliffe: more people want to quietly exchange pleasantries as they open the fridge than want their souls to join w someone they met on Craigslist real estate

Danny Lavery: i think that is true

Nicole Cliffe: I think she should do that while looking and saving for sure

Danny Lavery: i do WANT you to get the apartment, obviously

i want you to win this one

Nicole Cliffe: It might even annoy her out

oh I so want that


I don’t have high hopes

People who are willing to bulldoze through the social contract usually get what they want.

It costs them in other ways (people hate them and they miss out on opportunities)

But if you are willing to just yell and push, you WILL get the thing.

My husband used to say this about driving in Manhattan.

That the trick is to look like you care less about the survival of yourself and others than the other drivers.

(Obviously we no longer live or drive in Manhattan.)

Danny Lavery: WISE