It’s really difficult to have beef with people on such a small campus; it’s a lot like hooking up. You’re bound to run into last weekend’s rando and either awkwardly avert your eyes or have an equally awkward conversation. The same goes with hostile ex-roommates, except I have too much dignity to simply look away. Instead, I wince at the first sight of her from across the dining hall, think about something nice to say and attempt to say it in a nice manner. It’s the best I can do.
I don’t even have actual beef with my ex-roommate. We never truly fought or had an outward disagreement. Perhaps even worse, we just spent the year dealing in strictly hostile and passive-aggressive terms. This included subtweets which, might I add, were not written by me.
I don’t want to pass all the blame onto my ex-roommate, though. It was no one’s fault specifically; we are just very different people and that didn’t translate well when locked in a tiny dorm together. At the end of the year, let’s just say we were both glad to go our separate ways.
I thought we were cool, definitely not friends, but completely fine acquaintances despite the fact that she sort of ditched me for the next year’s housing at the last minute.
And then she unfriended me on Facebook and blocked me on Instagram. That changed everything. That told me she had a real problem with me, for reasons I may never know. Now whenever I see my ex-roomie at the salad bar blocking the carrot sticks my heart so desires, I go through the stages others in this situation know all too well.
Stage 1: Fake Happy Hello
“Oh my gosh, hi!” I’m so excited to see her, and she mirrors my excitement. Except that we’re totally not. We both know the true nature of this interaction. We are going through the motions of ex-roommate-ness. I would rather not bother with this fake nonsense and I can tell by her frowny face that she feels the same way. She doesn’t fool me; we lived together for a year and I know her fake smiles from her real ones.
Stage 2: Catching Up (Judging You)
“How is your semester going? What classes are you taking?” These are the questions you ask when you must ask questions, but don’t really care about the answers. I won’t remember what she says after I walk away, for in my mind I subconsciously question why she went so far as to block me on Instagram. Seems like some petty high school BS to me. What’s the point of even asking these questions just to be polite?
Stage 3: See Ya Never
“Okay, well see you around!” More exclamatory remarks to cover up this tired façade. I implant this meeting time in my brain to stay alert the next time I come to Lower on Tuesdays between 1 and 2 p.m. and keep my faux-politeness intact as we say our goodbyes.
Stage 4: To the Moon and Back
Rolling my eyes, that is, and chuckling to myself as I walk away. I think about how our interactions would go if she didn’t delete me from social media. I mean, you have to really actively dislike someone to go out of your way to delete someone. I would probably be much more open and less fake if that moment hadn’t occurred where she said to herself, “I do not want to see Meaghan’s stupid pictures on Instagram or stupid posts on Facebook and I wish she didn’t exist.” Maybe a little dramatic. I wouldn’t doubt it, though.
Stage 5: Other Ex-Roommates, or How It Should Be
I realize that my other ex-roommates still follow me on Instagram and, in fact, actively comment on my posts in between classes together (fellow English majors, unite), the occasional coffee date or passing-by-hello. Just goes to show that ex-roommates can be friends, as long as there’s no passive aggressive subtweeting or unfollowing involved.