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Ask Judy, May 2011
My roommate consistently passes out on the stairs leading up to his room fully dressed. Right before this he calls all of his friends multiple times and all the girls he has had multiple flings with. Does he have a drinking problem or is this just college shenanigans?
Concerned At UConn
Well, if your roommate’s behavior is indicative of a large number of students at the university, then an awful lot of students have drinking problems. In fact alcoholism studies have been done with college students and the findings are not valid because the rate of “alcoholism” is so high.
Predictably, when the students graduate and get jobs, the alcoholism rate goes down. This is called “age stage behavior” and the change in the behavior called “maturation”. Hopefully your friend will “mature” over time, and cease his shenanigans. Until then he is risking his reputation and behavior by “drunk dialing” and saying things that are likely inappropriate and embarrassing to himself and others. He must not care if he keeps doing it.
I would mostly be worried for his safety. (What if one night, he falls down the stairs?), and if the behavior were to continue after college, in which case he probably does have a full blown drinking problem. Have you asked him if he thinks he has a problem? It would be interesting to find out if he has any insight. Obviously you do. Keep me posted..
I am a middle aged man who just met with my female physician for my annual physical. Unfortunately,she will be leaving the practice soon. During the exam there was the routine prostate check in which she embarrassing put her finger where the sun doesn’t shine. Then there was the hernia check where she asked me to “cough”. When I coughed I passed wind and it was not particularly aromatic. I didn’t know whether to say anything or not, but did. I asked her if she “was going to miss this part of the job.” She laughed. Do you think it was wrong to say something?
Passing the gas in Putnam
Dear Passing the gas,
I think this is a pretty humorous story. I think it’s always awkward when bodily noises steal the show and in this case, in an embarrassing and already awkward situation, they did. I think NOT saying anything in this context wouldn’t have been worse; sort of the proverbial elephant, (or elephant’s fart) in the living room. Your quick response diffused the tension for both of you. Of course since she’s leaving you, she’ll always remember you in this context, but she has a great story to tell. We can’t control our bodies sometimes. It’s not shameful, though we may feel that way. Good of you getting it outside of yourself.
I live with three other girls. We all have cars. I have a job and one other roommate has a job. Out the four of us we only have 2 parking passes we all pay for. They want me to park down the street even though I have to leave early and work many hours. They only go to the grocery store but want their cars parked right outside ready so they can go. I am taking a full courseload and working 30 hours, to support myself. I have to keep up my grades to maintain my scholarship. I think it’s unfair they don’t see how difficult it is for me, when they are opting for convenience. What should I do? I think they’re very unfair.
Stressed in Simsbury
You state your case well, although there are obviously two sides to the story. You do sound like you have more need. We are talking about meritocracy versus democracy. From a meritocracy standpoint you would be in the right because you have more merit in terms of your need for the parking space.
Unfortunately, you all are paying an equal amount for these passes so, from a democracy standpoint you all are equally entitled to the spaces. I think coming up with a rotating schedule would be the answer. Have you considered that?
I think young people also have a tendency to think of themselves first, so although you want them to understand how hard it is for you, they may not unfortunately relate to it. Narcissism and self-absorbtion are hallmarks of youth.
You could choose different people to live with in the future, but it sounds like you are experiencing one of life’s basic lessons…not being fair. I hope you can find a way to share the spaces and not end up enemies. Good luck.