General Question

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Is This Normal College Guy Behavior?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6824points) April 21st, 2009

…or should I have a talk with my roommate about this?

I rent a room in my house and my roommate eats almost all of his meals in his bedroom. He will leave plates with food on them, styrofoam boxes open with food in them, and crumpled pieces of trash like napkins, food bags, etc. on the floor. I have told him once that I am not trying to attract roaches or ants into my house (a problem here in the south)! Should I lay off it and accept this as normal college guy behavior or do I have the right to bring this up with him? I just do not leave food out and think it is disgusting, but I don’t want to nag him over something that shouldn’t be a big deal or over react.

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22 Answers

DrBill's avatar

This guy is disgusting, I would dump the dude.

Your house, your rules!

augustlan's avatar

Even if it is normal college behavior (and I wouldn’t know), it doesn’t matter. You are entitled to set the rules for a minimum standard of cleanliness.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Now I have to come up with a way to explain why I looked in his room… but it’s like, “What am I going to find today?!” because every time is something gross. Once one of my utensils (turned out to be a fork) was so caked in spaghetti sauce that I could not identify it!

jlm11f's avatar

Does he leave this open food in his room? I ask because my roommate does that too. I personally find it disgusting, but as long as she doesn’t do it in the public space (living room/kitchen), I won’t say anything about it. Of course, the difference also is that I am the one who moved in with her as opposed to your situation. As to answer the title Q, it is not necessarily “normal college guy behavior” but it is normal behavior in some people, many of which happen to be college students (gender doesn’t matter) ;)

asmonet's avatar

It’s gross. I do it sometimes, but it is gross and it’s your house. You set the rules.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

…and was dried up and crusty, might I add. It appeared to have been there for days.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@PnL yes the styrofoam boxes will be open, or just a plate sitting out with food on it.

augustlan's avatar

Tell him you smelled something bad, and traced it to his room. Messy is one thing, but old food is a hazard and likely to attract insects or rodents.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Would I be out of line to ask him to eat in the kitchen only?

jlm11f's avatar

This is what I would say: “Hey man, please don’t leave food sitting outside for hours on end because it attracts roaches and insects and I’d rather my house wasn’t infested with that. Plus, it grosses me out since its really not hygeinic and leads to a breeding ground for disease. You can do that in your own room if you want, but then I will have to charge you for pest control at the end of your rent term.”

Edit – I don’t think you should ask him straight up to only eat at the kitchen. That would seem a bit dictatorial to me. And this is coming from someone who freaks out if people take food to her room.

augustlan's avatar

I think making him eat in the kitchen is a little much. You should just tell him that he must not leave food/dirty dishes in his room (or maybe not for more than 1 day).

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@PnL and @augustlan Ha ha I’m glad I asked then! I can get a little bossy sometimes without realizing it… that’s why I like to consult Fluther! lol

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I like PnL’s suggestion!
And are these your dishes and silverware? It seems draconian to tell someone where they can eat, but if it’s your stuff he’s leaving in his room, that’s really not fair to you, aside from the bug issue.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@La_chica_gomela Yes my dishes, and thanks!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

In that case, normal or not, I would definitely say something. He can do whatever he wants with his own dishes in his own room, but no renter would be keeping my dishes for weeks on end, and if a bug problem did develop, his deposit would be mine.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

That’s disgusting. Yeah handle that business now before it get even more out of control. It’s about 1000 times easier to prevent a cockroach infestation than it is to get rid of one. He’s going to leave eventually but roaches are more stubborn.

If your roommate can’t follow your house rules which are very reasonable, then maybe your home isn’t the place for him. It’s his room but he’s renting it from you and he needs to respect you.

Fieryspoon's avatar

Yeah, that sucks. Really rude on his part.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

College is no excuse to be a slob. It’s one thing if there’s an occasional party and stuff gets left strewn all over.. but on a normal, every day basis.. food being left all over the place is just disgusting. This guy needs to grow up or move out imho.

qualitycontrol's avatar

I’m a college guy and I don’t do that (although my major is food science and sanitation)

Darwin's avatar

Of all the many roommates I have had (in eight years of college, several years of which I lived with three other people in an apartment) only one lived that way. Unfortunately I shared a room with her and all I could do besides request a different roommate the next year (which I did) was make her keep it on her side of the room.

Other roommates might not have everything put away all the time, but none of them left food and dirty dishes in the room like this one woman did.

The guy is a slob. This is not normal college guy behavior. In addition, this is your house, your dishes and your rules. You need to discuss with him basic sanitation, perhaps giving him a covered trash can just outside his door that can be emptied frequently, and definitely giving him an ultimatum in the form of expected hygeine and the date beyond which his current behavior will no longer be tolerated. Then you need to enforce it.

As to why you looked in his room, I would suspect the answer would be obvious and two-fold: 1) you couldn’t find any dishes for your own use, and 2) the smell of rotting food.

Good luck! Sounds like you need to draw a line in the sand, and possibly find a new roommate.

mamabeverley's avatar

I agree with DRBILL. Nasty!! Sounds like his mom was always picking up after him. I live in TN and the ants get to be a problem in spring and summer. If he can’t pick up, kick him out!

RedPowerLady's avatar

Simple solution. Get an easy to use trash can (no lid) and put it on his side of the room. Literally within arms length of where he typically eats his food.
Ask him to use it for his food. If he doesn’t then pick up his food right in front of him as it is likely to cause a bit of guilt on his part. Leaving food on the ground is typical college guy behavior (or in my case college gal behavior) but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable.

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