Q: One of my friends is my roommate this year, and because neither of us had a television or could afford one separately, we decided to buy one together. She offered to pick up this TV we found online for $350 because she lives in a nearby state and has a car, so I sent her my half as a check. We just moved in and the TV is perfect, but the other day when I was cleaning up I found the receipt for the TV she picked up and the actual cost was $249 because it was on sale. She hasn’t said anything about it and I don’t know how to nicely bring it up when it seems like she never was going to mention the price difference. I want my $50 back, so what do I do?
Chick: Because she’s your friend and things always get a little hectic when you just move in, we could give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she simply forgot to tell you that she scored a better deal on the TV. (This mentality only works, though, if you’re good enough friends with her to know that she’s a trustworthy and honest person, and perhaps even a little forgetful). The other option is that your roomie unfortunately decided to take advantage of you and keep the extra cash for her own private shopping spree. Either way, the best thing to do is play dumb – next time she comes into the room pretend that you just found the receipt while cleaning up and tell her that you didn’t realize she scored such a deal on the TV. Then whether or not she forgot or planned not to tell you, she will probably apologize profusely and give you back your $50. So the good news is that you will be reimbursed, but the bad news is that only time will tell if that apology was sincere or fake. In the meantime, don’t go Dutch on anything else with this girl.
Dick: You only have one choice and that is to confront her now. Otherwise you will whine and complain and nag all your other friends for the rest of the year anytime a television, a show or your roommate are mentioned. That is a lot of whining. So you should do the rest of your friends a favor – confront her now and settle it.
Q:My boyfriend “Ian” and I have been together for eight months now, and we were friends even before that. I thought I knew him really well, so I was surprised when we went out the other night and he confessed that he didn’t think it was fair to continue dating me until I knew that he was bisexual. Then he told me he loved me and wanted to stay together and so I just smiled back, because I really had no idea what to think. I feel horrible, but the fact that he’s bi has kind of weirded me out. I love him, but I feel awkward around him now. Help!
-Stuck in the Middle
Chick: First of all, don’t kick yourself for feeling weirded out about Ian’s sexuality. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re homophobic or a horrible person, it just means that someone you thought you knew really well caught you off guard with a confession, and that is enough to weird anyone out. Only you can decide how awkward this situation has to be, however. It took a lot of guts for Ian to tell you that he’s bi, and so he’s probably feeling very vulnerable right now, especially because you never really said anything after he told you. The decision is up to you now – Ian already told you that he wants to stay with you and so it’s your turn to think things over and decide if you feel the same. If you think that it will really be too weird for you to be happy with him, then be fair to Ian and break up. Or decide that you feel flattered that he chose you over everyone – boys AND girls – and that even if this takes some getting used to, he’s still the same Ian that you love and have happily been with for eight months. Just be honest with yourself and things will work out.
Dick: I think there are two ways of looking at your predicament. The first is that he just doubled the number of people he can cheat on you with, before you only had to be worried about him checking out girls. The other way of thinking about it is that it really isn’t cheating if he does hook up with a guy. It’s kind of like being in a different zip code. By the way, since we are talking about rules, a good thing to remember is GW dorms are one zip code and off-campus dorms another. So that means if your guy/girl lives off campus and you hook up, say in Thurston, then its OK since you aren’t in the same zip code. But back to the bi guy, I guess all I have to say is that you should have known what you were getting into when you started dating an “Ian.”
Q: I’m a freshman and I just moved into a double. My roommate seems nice enough, but she arrived half a day earlier than I did and has done the room up all cutesy and pastel. My taste is the exact opposite – I like bright, bold colors and funky lamps and things, and I’m annoyed that she would just decorate the entire room without waiting for me or asking what my taste is. How can I keep the peace in our room but tell her that I hate her style?
Chick: Unfortunately, there’s no way to keep peace in a room by telling your roomie you hate her style. As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey, so I recommend that you tell her that it was nice of her to decorate everything, but the room won’t feel like home unless you hang up your bright red Indian blanket and throw your tie-dyed pillows around – you get the idea. This is a double after all, and so technically you should be able to decorate half the room. So whether your room is half princess pink and half rainbow, or you two can compromise and decide that a pastel chair goes best over a brightly striped rug, a half-way point is the answer. Lastly, make sure that you get to put your two cents in without using the words “hate” or “sucks” in reference to her style.
Dick: I hate it when my roommate leaves his pastel shirts lying around the apartment, I prefer when it is my bold colors strewn across the floor. It’s almost as bad as the pulp/no pulp orange juice battle. These are the types of things that don’t just make living together difficult, but breed serial killers. My recommendation – throw her pastel shades off your side of the room and start fresh. Just remember in all the hysteria, that really the only thing guys truly care about is if the curtains match the rug.