The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Dorm Life

Oh man, is this an adjustment. There are the little things like no coat hangers, only one towel, the shower head sprays toward the ceiling...you know, the usual dorm-type issues. And then there are the big ones like sharing a flat with the most irresponsible disrespectful children I have ever come across. (In case you are wondering, we are not talking about undergraduate native Londoners, we are talking about law school students.)

I knew my first night here (Saturday) that we were going to have some issues. I was exhausted and indulging in an extremely peaceful rest (considering my bed is only halfsize) when I was woken to screaming. And laughing. And door slamming. At 3am. Now, I can drink with the best of them, but when you share a space with folks, you should have a little respect, no? Since I had only arrived that evening, I had not yet met anyone in the program and I did not want my first meeting to be while I stuck my head out the door telling them to keep it down. Let's try to hide my age as long as possible, right? So, I laid there getting more and more pissed as they got louder and louder. Ahh, the memories of undergrad. I figured it was folks from my flat and maybe they just didn't know I had arrived. I made enough noise in my room so as to make my presence known. I was greeted with "no idea who you are, but come on out and party!" I retrieved the ear plugs that Air France gave me and tried to get back to sleep. Last time I checked the clock was 4:45am.

I awoke around 9am for the day and headed to the kitchen (slamming every single door on my way:-) I met a girl in there who we shall call New Friend. Since I had yet to figure out how to handle the situation, I coyly said "so, were you around last night?" She gave me an evil eye and said "I was trying to sleep." Oh thank God, it wasn't only me. Looking around, the kitchen was a disaster: used dishes and pots and silverware covered the countertops; the burner on the stove was left on overnight; the microwave was across the room and no longer worked; and the best part...a fuse had been tripped. This fuse went to all the refrigerators and freezers. New Friend had gone grocery shopping the day before and all her dairy had to be thrown out including the French cheese she bought at an open air market. That, my friends, was one pissed of chick. We didn't clean much, figuring whenever the children awoke, they could do it. So, we went out for coffee to figure out how to deal with this.

Sunday comes and the dishes remain. I was in the kitchen unloading my new groceries when a guy came in. We will call him New Enemy. I started chatting with him and immediately recognized his voice from the yelling on Saturday. I asked if the dirty dishes were his "oh no, I've been cooking upstairs." Although this guy is completely obnoxious, he says the dishes aren't his, so I'm okay. There are 7 total rooms in our flat, so New Friend and I begin discussing the dishes with other folks in our flat. We find two others that are just as annoyed with the dishes situation. The consensus is "hey, I did not come here to be anyone's maid, they can clean their own effing dishes!" That's four people we know are pissed about the dishes and one guy who doesn't seem to care, but said he didn't do it.
(Side note: I would like to take a moment to say it's not only about the dishes. New Enemy is still slamming his door 593 times a night and he has also rigged the door to our flat so it doesn't close and all his friends can come in even though the dorm people told us not to do that.)

Monday comes and the dishes remain. I passively agressively put all the dishes on the kitchen table with a note that reads "You use...you clean!"

Tuesday come and the dishes (now in the center of the table in the kitchen) remain. I walk into the kitchen to see New Enemy and Friend of New Enemy. In chatting about the note and the dishes, they laugh saying "you know those dishes are probably going to stay here all summer. We aren't cleaning them." I said "oh, I assure you, those dishes will not stay here all summer. I will throw them out the damn window if I have to." I left. I returned 30 minutes later and all the dishes were put back in the sink and my note was torn up. Now. I'm. Pissed. I left the dorm for the rest of the day but not before I relayed the story to New Friend and she replied with "effing unbelievable."

Later that night, I was awoken around midnight by New Friend (who was quite intoxicated). "Hey, we figured out what to do about the dishes. We're going to wash them" she says. I sleepily retort "I'm not washing the dishes. I will go out and buy an entire new set and keep them in my room before I wash those dishes." New Friend's face lights up with "that's just it, we wash them then we keep them all in our rooms so they can't use them. Whadduya think about that?" Hmmm, drunk New Friend may just be on to something here. Actually, the plan has seemingly been concocted by multiple drunk flat mates and friends. So, I join them in their drinking, which turns into our declaration of a civil war in flat 2-5! Then, we all just start slamming doors for the hell of it. Oh yeah, who are the children now?

Around 2am, there was a knock at the door. If you have been keeping track, we have discussed 6 of the 7 in our flat. Well, who do you think is at the door? Lucky Number 7. He is coming to ask us to keep it down. I am sure you can imagine the reaction he gets out of five drunk girls. "What, you can't sleep? Who cares, we can't make pasta. Why don't you clean the damn dishes!" In chatting with Lucky Number 7, we realize that he was actually not in town when all this went down and is, in fact, a neutral party in our civil war. Well, everyone realized it but drunk New Friend and she just really tore into him for about 30 minutes. We didn't stop her because, it was quite amusing. In the morning, we all made nice with Lucky Number 7, so we are pretty sure he will either come over to our side or remain neutral. Either way, that leaves two of them. It is on now!