It started off as a simple argument about the dishes and ended with my roommates hoarding toilet paper in their bedrooms. Sally hasn’t left her room in two days except to refill her water bottles and use the bathroom. But she only does that late at night when she knows we’re all asleep.
In our group text thread, I’ve tried sending them funny gifs, invitations to watch movies with me, photos of huge bowls of popcorn that I can’t eat myself, and in a moment of desperation, a picture from when we first moved in. In the picture, we’re all gathered around Amanda, who’s holding a 24-pack of toilet paper. We look so happy. That 24-pack, it was ours to share. We were going to have a rotation on who would buy more when we ran out, and that rotation was going to last forever — just like our friendship.
Of course you make plans to buy the 24-pack. But then the honeymoon phase ends. You all get used to each other. And one day, out of laziness, you bring home an 18-pack. “This was all they had today. They must’ve sold out,” you say, lying between your teeth. A couple of months later, someone comes home with a 12-pack. No one says anything about it, but the tension is palpable. Eventually someone comes home with a 10-pack. Before you know it, everyone’s buying those single rolls made of the thinnest paper you’ve ever laid your hands on. You think, well, it can’t get any worse than this. How wrong you were.
Vanessa texted me privately and said she would consider putting some of her rolls back if Amanda and Sally did as well. So I pitched that to them in a different group thread. Neither responded. The only confirmation I received that either of them even read the text was Sally’s phone going off and then her hammering her fist on the floor four times in a row, which I’ve come to learn means, “No, I’m not hungry right now,” but in this context probably meant something different.
I tried doing the right thing. I bought 8-packs and 10-packs and left them in the bathroom, where they belong. But Amanda said that encourages even more selfish behavior from the other two girls and that I always do this, I always defend them when they don’t deserve it. Vanessa was just confused as to why I’d willingly give up so many rolls of good toilet paper. I might as well throw them in the trash, she said, or douse them in oil and set them on fire in front of Sally’s room. That last part she said loud enough for Sally to hear. Sally banged on the floor in response.
Obviously, I want everyone to get along again. This stage of living with roommates is always the worst. My apartment before this, it wasn’t the exact same situation, but it did end with us having one less roommate, and what brought us together ultimately was the funeral. I don’t want that to happen again…
Vanessa and Amanda have both expressed frustration with me over not picking a side. And earlier today Sally hammered out this really intricate rhythm on the floor that could’ve only meant, “Choose me, and together we will rule this apartment with a soft, two-ply fist.” Since each of the girls has a different brand of toilet paper, if I pick a side, I’ll be limiting myself to one brand for the rest of our lease. What if I come to not like that brand anymore? What then?
I need some advice before this gets worse. If you’ve ever been in a similar situation, please reach out. And if you have strong opinions on the softest brand of toilet paper, my options right now are Charmin, Quilted Northern, and Angel Soft.