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July 16, 2008

The Roommate Heave-Ho

three people watching scary movie on couch

Photo Credit: Somos/Getty Images

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We were a threesome out of a sitcom, all inside jokes and good-natured snark. Two girls, a guy, an apartment. Friends lite.

I had no idea how dependent I'd become on two acquaintances, their opinions and approval, or how quickly a financial arrangement would evolve into friendship. So it hurt worse than a botched love affair when I learned after two years that they were about to dump me.

"It's a contingency plan in case you move in with your boyfriend," they explained (I'd discovered the plot from a mistakenly forwarded e-mail). But when I called their bluff, they stood firm. I was out.

So, I hid in my room developing elaborate revenge fantasies: Maybe their credit applications for a new place would be denied, or I could move out under the cover of night and take all the furniture. But the anger was just a mask: I was mourning the loss of my urban family.

Then it hit me: They weren't family; apparently, they weren't even friends. We'd come together to share cutlery and split the cable bill. Beyond that, there was no loyalty, no love. They'd just grown tired of my zeal for home administration (collecting the rent, monitoring the milk levels, enforcing the thermostat setting) and moved on. I needed to do the same.

Within six months, they had a cozy two-bedroom, and I had the deed to my own condo. Now, two years on, I hardly miss them, instead relishing solo luxuries like vacuuming at 3 a.m. and dirtying every fork. I'm the star of my own sitcom, and this time, there's no one to write me out of the script.

Click here to learn about alternative roomates ... the pug, the bird, the Chia Pet?

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