the five kinds of terrible housemates

by rowena grant-frost

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Rowena Grant-Frost reviews five different poeple you'll meet in a sharehouse. (Only one of them isn't awful.)

terrible housemates inside
Snap by Lukasz Wierzbowski

THE SMOOTH CRIMINAL You might not recognise a Smooth Criminal at first: they’re clever and kind and funny and smart. But then, one day, you end up paying their half of a bill because they’re a bit short. They promise to pay you back and you believe them, because they are clever and kind and funny and smart. Time goes on. You start noticing you’re going through food faster than usual – and you still haven’t been paid back. You knock on the SC’s door. You want to ask a few questions. The SC opens the door, wearing your hat, drinking your tea and holding your laptop. You don’t say a word. The answers are right in front of you.

THE CRIMINAL The biggest difference between Smooth Criminals and regular Criminals is the former seem to be completely unaware of their casual criming (“I was just borrowing it, man, you’re too uptight!”), while Criminals are very, very intentional; they also don’t care very much. They might nick your bond money, they might deal drugs, or they might have a big party, punch holes in all the walls and bail one night, leaving you with the mess. Criminals are not very nice to live with. Unsurprisingly, they are usually very bad at doing things like chores or cleaning up their crusty old bowls, probably because they’re planning to burn the house down once they’re done with it.

THE DEMENTOR Oh, hello. Were you having a nice day? Did you allow yourself to smile? Well, I’m here to tell you that everything is pointless, life has no meaning, and Zac Efron is over 30. Bye! You’ve just met the Dementor: the housemate who has a very amazing skill for sucking any happy or bright feelings out of space and time, and transforming human contact into something that feels negative, exhausting, hostile or futile. Dementors are terrible to live with, because they are basically just human plugholes who suck everything into the damp and miserable sewers of pessimism.

THE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE WHIRLWIND OF FURY Do you enjoy having honest conversations with people? Do you ever think to yourself, “Oh, I must discuss this issue with my housie openly, by using my lips, tongue and face in a pleasant example of human communication?” Yes? Then you’re probably not passive-aggressive. Well done – you’re also not three years old. I once lived with a person who was so witheringly passive-aggressive that she coldshouldered me for a solid five months. When I finally found out what was bothering her, it was this: I always ordered the vegetarian option when we got takeaway. Horror! Let me say this honestly and openly: I don’t miss this person at all. I only feel sorry for her current housemates. (And I still order vegetarian pad thai, so there.)

THE SPOUSE One day, something magical might happen, if you’re lucky: you will meet your house spouse. And they will make your heart so full, and fill you with such joy, that you fall in love with them, in a way, and the life you live together. Living with your house spouse is easy: you have conversations about house things where you treat each other like equals. You share chores and responsibilities equally. You forgive each other if anything goes wrong and respect each other’s space and your separate lives, but also delight in the time you spend together. Years later – when you’ve both moved out and away – you’ll still feel a small pain in your heart whenever you open your front door and remember that they’re not home.

This rant was originally published in the pages of frankie 72.

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