When you’re having a bad day, go to Winnipeg Airport

Last week was a bit of a struggle when it came to coming home at the end of the day and relaxing in my apartment. The reason being that my apartment is shared with the worst roommate in the history of roommates. Before moving into this place, I was living solo with my two cats, who, though occasionally would engage in such un-roommate-ly behaviours as throwing up and not cleaning up after themselves, were generally pretty good company and didn’t cause much trouble at all. I took my current roommate in on my couch after finding out he was living out of his car, having been kicked out of his parents’ place. After a month we agreed to find a place together – it’d be cheaper for me, and he’d have a proper roof over his head.

Things started off okay, and then true colours started to show. I should’ve realised when he was kicked out that he had no possessions. This was good in my last place, because he had nothing with which to clutter up my old living room, but in the new one, this translated to using all my dishes and cutlery, hoarding them in his room to fester and mold, and me having to go in there a week later and clean, just so I had something to eat breakfast off of. The pattern continued: no possessions meant no CDs or DVDs, so I would come home to find piles of them scattered across the floor, and various albums missing, having been taken into his car without asking so he had something to listen to. This behaviour continued; living in filth behind his bedroom door, taking things, and generally not cleaning up after himself. Not to mention my food and drink being consumed without permission and empty boxes left in their place in the cupboards. Having exhausted various attempts at rational conversation, notes left when he hadn’t been home, I finally called his father and asked for his help as it was becoming unbearable. Soon after this, the family went on holiday to England, so I had the place to myself for three glorious weeks. It was wonderful. He came home, apologetic for having been a bad roommate, and said he was going to change.

I didn’t realise he meant for the worse.

The first incident I had to deal with last week was him stealing money from my purse. It was only $6 or so in change, but it was going to be my breakfast that day before work, so definitely set the tone for a bit of a sour day. I had a lock installed on my bedroom door and spoke with my property manager, who said they couldn’t do anything else. A day later, I came home to find my TV, internet and phone had been disconnected. Now, he had always been in charge of paying the bills – I would give him half and he’d take care of it. Or so I thought. It came to my attention that for the last 3-4 months, the money I’d been giving him had been spent on booze and weed, and MTS hadn’t seen a penny of it. So naturally they’d disconnected us. This happened right at the point where I was designing an important poster that had to be sent to various newspapers and print companies the next day, relying on an internet connection to have photos and other info sent to me. The nice man at MTS said yes, I could get an account completely separate from him – but only once the bill had been paid, since it was going to the same address. Roommate has been found out – and has proceeded to avoid confrontation by not coming home since.

So I called Shaw, they set up my own account, and I now have a nice Gavin-free internet connection which I know will be paid every month. I also have a lock on my door so I can keep my personal belongings safe, and hopefully he’ll continue his pattern of avoidance so I don’t have to deal with him. As long as he keeps paying the rent, I’m just fine with this. The end of my lease cannot come soon enough…

But I want to end this on a positive note. Last night restored my faith in Generally Being a Decent Human Being. I spent the whole day over at Sweet’s house with his family while he was out in Montreal with the Bombers, which was just wonderful, and at the end of the day I went with his mum to meet him at the airport. Waiting for his arrival, I was reminded of the opening scene of Love Actually:


Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that love actually is all around.

I saw families overjoyed at seeing loved ones coming through those gates. I saw wives eagerly anticipating the next person to walk through those gates. I saw a little dog jump straight up into his owner’s arms as soon as he walked down the stairs. And then I saw my Sweet, all dressed up with the rest of the team. Our eyes met, and I smiled the biggest smile I had all week.

I like airports.


  1. Holy crap! I’ve had an AWFUL roommate previously, to the point where if I start talking about her, I will also start hyperventilating. But THIS is beyond. Hope the lease ends soon! I had to wait a year and a half!

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