By my junior year of college I was finally living off campus, ready to have the type of obscenely cool apartment you see in all the movies (you know, the kind you don’t realize you can never afford until you’re living on your own).
Instead, I ended up in the crumbling, dilapidated living quarters of my sorority house (they’re currently having a fundraiser and calling the apartments “unlivable,” and I can’t help but agree).
Before I moved in, I had only seen the apartment briefly, and it seemed far superior to my tiny shoebox of a dorm room that was stuffed with my clothing. In fact, it was more of a closet than a dorm, because even the XL twin bed was covered in every outfit I’ve ever owned.
What I didn’t realize was how truly disgusting sorority girls could be. While the downstairs seemed lovely enough, the crumbs everyone left on the floor after weekly lunches and dinners led to lots of little critters.
I chose to live with a sorority sister who I was friendly with but didn’t know all that well. It made perfect sense at the time — rent was dirt cheap, and she seemed pretty normal, so I didn’t think I had anything to worry about (oh, how wrong I was).
If when you think “sorority house” beautiful white antebellum mansions with columns come to mind, think again. Unlike state schools, this was a ramshackle house in New Orleans that barely had room for two girls, let alone an entire chapter.
There were supposedly strict rules, but they weren’t enforced -- no male guests, we couldn’t take people into the ritual rooms (sounds way creepier than it is, I promise no goat slaughtering was going down), and no drinking (despite the fact that we were both 21).
My new roommate was perfectly lovely by day -- quiet, a little bit on the nerdy side, and prone to spending time alone in the living room, Facebook stalking (you know, all normal human activities). At night, however, she was someone else entirely. It seemed like she had two speeds -- sober or beyond black out, with absolutely no in between.
It didn’t really bother me, because we went out with different people and I only heard about her antics in the morning. The only reminder I had was a bulletin board in her room, covered in wristbands from bars she went to. One night, after increasingly insane stories about her night’s out, everything changed — because I experienced it personally.
I came home early from a night out because I had to be up for my sorority’s founder’s day luncheon in the morning (I was Vice President at the time). I figured it would be better to show up showered, instead of reeking of cigarette smoke, so I went to bed. Around midnight, I heard something that sounded like shouting.
It seemed like my roomie had brought home a gentleman caller, which was slightly surprising because she was openly holding onto her V-card and didn’t usually have late night visitors.
I heard them talking, and then it was quiet… until I heard him go into the bathroom, which was attached to both of our bedrooms. There were more loud noises, and what sounded like someone (or something) falling down.
It was unclear what was happening in there -- it sounded like more damage was happening than just your run-of-the-mill awkward limbs everywhere shower sex, and even stranger, it sounded like only one person was making all those noises.
I tried to ignore it and go back to bed, but it was ridiculously loud (and I say that as someone who lived on Greek Row and was used to ruckuses regularly, from my neighbor having a threesome in his Jacuzzi to finding vomit on the front law in the morning).
Sometime later I went to the bathroom -- and it looked like a war went down in there. The shower curtain I had painstakingly picked out was torn down, all of the toiletries were on the floor… and there was feces in the bathroom.
Now, normally, that would be normal, but it was in the shower, on the shower floor. My roommate’s gentleman caller went #2 in our shower, because somehow, in our tiny bathroom, he couldn’t find the toilet hole.
While I hoped it was a mirage, I couldn’t exactly get back to sleep with thoughts of the phantom pooper lingering. When it was time for me to head to our sorority luncheon with all of the alums in town in one place, I smelled like smoke and still felt shocked.
At the luncheon, I was told that I was supposed to give a speech on the state of the sorority, with virtually no time to prepare. While it wasn’t the State of the Union, it was something that should’ve been ready for, but instead I was caught yammering to a bunch of pearl-clutching fifty-somethings while still in a smoky haze.
It was like the nightmare where you’re at school and there’s a test, but you’re also naked — only it was real life, and even once I was done there was no place to go -- after all, my home was now a toilet.
I texted my roommate that someone had gone to the bathroom in our shower, and asked her to clean it up (girlfriend wasn’t big on cleaning, but there was no way I was handling that hot mess). She responded that she’d be sure to Swiffer it.
While I’m no expert on cleaning supplies, I feel sure that Swiffering a giant dookie in your shower won’t exactly make it sterile.
When I returned home, the dump was gone, but not forgotten. I wore shower shoes for days, unable to actually feel clean in that place.
Unfortunately, things only went downhill from there. When I asked what happened, she responded that she wasn’t sure if the mess had come from her or her special friend. I assumed it was his, because I doubted that my tiny roommate could’ve completely destroyed the bathroom, no matter what her level of (literal) shit show was at the time.
From there, our relationship became a little bit strained. It escalated when her messiness took a new turn -- she never put food away, which led to a rat infestation, the likes of which our exterminator had never seen, and that’s saying something.
While I decided to spend as much time as possible away from the apartment, whenever I came home she was sitting in the same chair, right by those rats. I couldn’t help but wonder if she had adopted or befriended them, becoming some kind of blotto Cinderella.
Her life took a turn, too, and she became extremely religious after graduation, getting married almost immediately. All I can hope is that her new husband wasn’t our phantom pooper.