Is my flatmate using me as a scapegoat?

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Is my flatmate using me as a scapegoat?

Postby Flowerpot » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:11 pm

I’m a final year university student, and I’ve recently moved into a house with four other girls (all final year students too). One of them is a girl I lived with last year, (I’ll call her X) so I know her well and we’re close, and another of the girls is a friend of hers, so I know her fairly well and she seems nice too. The other two girls are on the same course as X, so X obviously knows them and that’s why they’re living with us too. However, I’ve been hearing things through X that one of these girls keeps moaning to her about me leaving my pots in the kitchen.

This is the first time that this girl has lived in a place with other students since being at university, so I’ll accept that maybe it is a bit of a shock to her that the kitchen is not as tidy as it might be at her home. But the thing is, it’s not like I leave my pots for a whole week before washing them; if I don’t get them washed one day I’ll definitely do them the next day, and since being in this house I never have left washing my pots for more than a day. For example, at the weekend I went to stay at my boyfriend’s, so I made sure I had washed up and put away all my pots before I left. When I came back the next day after having lunch at his, I made some pots in the afternoon and in the evening from tea, but felt too tired to wash them that night so I left them until the next day, washing them in the afternoon after I’d made some pots from breakfast and lunch (admittedly I could have washed my pots up a bit earlier than this, but I was doing uni work all that day and didn’t want to get distracted from it).

Also, I’m not the only one leaving pots by the side to be washed later; sometimes X leaves her pots too, especially if she has to leave something in soak (so I don’t know if this girl moans to one of the other girls about X’s pots too). Plus it’s a bit hypocritical of her to be moaning about my pots when her frying pan has been left on the side (covered in oil) for the past two days now, and she has two boxes of takeaway on the side, which, like X said to me, she should either throw away if she doesn’t want anymore, or put it in the fridge. Also, she’s constantly making cups of tea and leaving the teaspoons in the wash bowl to just pile up, and every day she stays in bed until about 4 in the afternoon, so why should she care about the state of the kitchen?

During my first year when I lived in halls I had to put up with a flatmate who would cover our dining table with her dirty pots from the week, and even go home for a weekend (and even longer) without having washed her pots before she left. The rest of us in the flat would complain to her about it, but most of the time it fell on deaf ears, so we’d just stack her pots up for her to eventually wash up. Compared to that, our kitchen this year is a paradise (and I wish I could show that to this girl that keeps moaning). And surely most kitchens do have some dirty pots left on the side, whether it's a house where students, or a family, or a working couple live?

It’s like this girl expects me to wash up after every meal. The reasons I don’t do this are:

-It’s my final year-I have far too much work to do to keep washing up after every meal
-I don’t make many pots from having one meal, therefore I couldn’t justify filling a bowl full of hot water just to wash a couple of pots, but I hate just “washing” pots under running water, so I’d rather save up my pots and have a big wash up with a bowl full of hot water later
-We often eat our meals at different times in the house (and I have little snacks in between meals too), so I usually take mine up to my room (which is up three flights of stairs). I’m not coming down all those after every time I’ve eaten just to wash my pots up


Apparently (so X told me) this girl wanted to invite her mum round, but decided not to because the place looked too dirty. Again, I heard this from my flatmate, the person in question had never said anything-otherwise I would have played my part and washed my pots up. Also, it’s only me and X who ever actually clean the kitchen, like wiping the worktops, kitchen table and hob, plus other parts of the house like the front room, and the other weekend when my parents came round I just went round the kitchen giving it a bit of a clean, because I felt like it was my responsibility given that it was my parents coming round, and any pots that weren’t mine that were left on the side I just left, because I don’t think it’s a crazy idea that parents would expect a few dirty pots in a student house.

Like I mentioned earlier, it could be that this girl is not just witching to X about me, but she’s also witching about X to one of the other girls, but I can’t help but feel like her scapegoat. I feel like she took a dislike to me ever since I moved in, because I’m not at all like her and some of the other girls in the house, because I don’t smoke (but I have to put up with her and one of the other girls smoking in their rooms) and I don’t like to go out at night and drink. My main priority is getting through my final year of university, which is going to require a lot of time and hard work, therefore the last thing I want is for all this bitchiness to linger in the house for the whole year. So I guess what I’m really asking is should I just have it out with her? And what is the best way to do it, because I don’t want it to just turn into a slanging match or erupt into a massive row.

I’m sorry to disappoint her, but I know that once I’m back into the swing of uni properly there are going to be evenings when I don’t wash my pots up because I’m too tired, or I need to get work done. Admittedly X could be being melodramatic about what this girl has actually said to her, and maybe I could make a bit more of an effort, but I still don’t think it is anywhere near as bad as this girl is making out (and if it’s such a problem, why does she keep moaning to my housemate about it and not coming directly to me?)

Thankyou in advance for anyone who can give me any advice!
Flowerpot
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Re: Is my flatmate using me as a scapegoat?

Postby Lilacarn » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:46 pm

Have you thought about asking the person outright if there is a problem with your pots? Maybe if you talk it through with her this can be resolved. This can be scary if you arent used to doing it, but if you can do it in a friendly and non confrontational as possible that might resolve the issue.
Maybe start having house meetings so that everyone can vent any issues they have. This should be done in a constructive way though, with a set of ground rules - which you can draw up together.
Living together isnt easy, but its important that any minor issues are ironed out early on to prevent them being blown out of proportion.
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