X is for X-ample of roommate etiquette

It was about 10:45 p.m. when I got the call.

My roommate of two years and friend of mine had just gotten off of the phone with his girlfriend … Well, I should say his former girlfriend.

Sam was distraught. He wanted to meet.

I was at my girlfriend’s on Green Street— “Gossip Girl” was on and her roommates, their boyfriends, she and I were watching.

However, something slightly more important had come up.

I had to go. I suggested Starbucks, open late and a convenient halfway point between apartments— gotta love Green.

Here’s a tip when dealing with a roommate who’s just gone through a life-changing event. Be calm and, above all, be understanding. When you’re dealing with someone who’s whole world has changed, don’t be stupid. Let them talk. They need to get everything out and they’ve come to you. In fact, that’s part of “good roommate” etiquette: roommates should be like family. You should support them, you should care for them, you should respect them.

So, when Sam had officially lost the love of his life (up to that point), I did what I was compelled to do.

As an aside here: I should note that I was compelled more by the fact that my best friend was in a great deal of emotional pain than by the roommate code that people who live together share, but that’s beside the point. The compeller was there.

At Starbucks, we sat in silence for a while. Eventually, I finally asked what had happened.

Sam said the talk had been terrible. At this point, he and his girlfriend had been broken up for about a month. She did it on his birthday.

But, it was this point that he had finally come to terms with the fact that this was not just a “break” from the relationship. She wasn’t coming back, even after he had finished asking her.

We talked for a good hour and a half, until the baristas started mopping the floor and putting chairs on top of tables. My favorite little bit of irony was when R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” came on about half way through the conversation. I remembered Dwight in an episode of “The Office” blasting that in his Firebird in the Dunder Mifflin parking lot. I couldn’t help but laugh, and neither could he — a good sign.

Eventually good ‘ole Sam left the Starbucks on Green and trekked back home.

I went back to my girlfriend’s apartment to tell her the story.

I can just see the movie shot of us going our separate directions on Green, me east, him west.

Sam had a few rough months. A two-year relationship is a hard thing to get over once you really realize that it really is that: over.

Oh! Something funny I forgot to mention— a friend of mine had told me once that it took twice as long to get over a relationship as you were in it. At least, that’s what I thought she said.

Really, what she said was that it would take half as long to get over a relationship as you were in it. But I told Sam the former. He wasn’t happy when he found out I was wrong.

Tip to the potential roommates out there.

Be a friend. Everyone will benefit. And if there’s signs of a relationship problem on the horizon— without fail, always have your roommate’s back.

I’d like to throw out there that Sam is a jazz guitar major and can serenade you to your heart’s content.

Mark Rivera is a junior in Media.