This handy flowchart (click to enlarge) predicts whether you'll irritate your roommate by having noisy sex, failing to pick up after yourself, or stealing his or her groceries. Note: Failing to annoy your roommate in any way isn't really possible.
Roommates I have had (this is all between the ages of 18 and 23):
- Very, very spoiled, very wealthy girl from NYC. First year college roomie. Quickly got a boyfriend who had the male version of her name (Dan/Danielle), who was also a sexist prick and a huge snob. Nasty attitude and penchant to gossip. Couldn't bring herself to do things such as cleaning, would take her trash and put it in my wastebasket when I wasn't home, in the hopes that I wouldn't notice. Compulsively lied about me to other people (who, thankfully, weren't fooled) and about herself. Luckily, she moved out 2/3 into the year.
- Girl who was otherwise alright, but constantly spoke as if acting in a Shakespeare play (not the language, but the tone of voice - deep, theatrical, weird emphasis on random shit). Liked to come out when I had people over and read her poetry out loud. It was not good poetry. Also had a habit of turning around and just... staring at me. I don't think she realized she did it. It was SUPER creepy.
- One year I was the "house mom" of a 9-BR townhouse. Roomies included the formerly homeless 43 year old dude who I banished to his room after a few months due to his thinking sexual jokes about 14 year olds were funny, and who I had to have a physical confrontation with due to his trying to steal items from housemates while moving out. He also liked to drink warm Ice House that he stored in his room, and pretty much never had a job. Then there was the crazy guy who could never keep a job, who seduced another roomie (my friend) one night over several bottles of wine, then proceeded to write her several scary love letters in the form of blueprints covered in writing that would strongly suggest something like schizophrenia or some manic psychotic disorder. Also the guy who didn't have rent on time and tried to give me 2 huge blocks of opium instead. And the girl who was afraid of everything and taught trumpet lessons out of her room.
- A guy who lied about me constantly to the landlord, saying I never cleaned and was up all night being loud, when in fact I not only cleaned all the time but also reorganized the landlord's garage full of stuff. He also had serious anger issues and worked at a knife store, and slept with a machete next to his bed.
- A lady in her 60s who lived in a trailer in the backyard. At first she seemed awesome, but eventually we all realized she was manipulative and crazy. She would pick fights over everything, insisted that we sweep/mop/dust every single day, would lie about things and try to turn us against each other, insisted that we were all conspiring against her, really unstable personality. One time she kept trying to argue with me, even though I repeatedly asked her if we could talk another time, since I was busy chopping veggies to make soup. She wouldn't take no for an answer, so we argued, and forever after, she would bring up the time that I "was waving a knife around" at her, and that I was "dangerous".
Hm. Suddenly, my current roommate's habit of not leaving a fair share of coffee in the morning... doesn't seem that annoying.