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Housemate shoved my bag behind a chair, feels like the last passive aggressive straw

  • 26-04-2021 5:35pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    This is going to sound trivial but I have a housemate who insists on everything in the house being absolutely perfect. She didn't used to be like that, it's since a new girl moved in who she's gotten close with and the dynamic has changed.

    I'm a tidy person so having a tidy home is perfect with me but it feels like it's become overbearing.

    I put my bag in our living room and it went missing. It's only a small bag I would've picked up again later on my way out. I couldn’t find it for weeks. I checked my car, my workplace, it was gone. Eventually I found it shoved behind a chair.

    This same housemate occasionally leaves things around, including her suitcase which was in the hall for months. That didn’t bother me at all because it’s her home too.

    But the fact she just shoved my bag away like that has made me so angry as it feels so disrespectful. If I leave a bowl in the sink for a few hours she takes it out and leaves it on the counter to be cleaned. It just seems unnecessary and passive aggressive considering I am already respectful and tidy. A bowl in the sink that I will clean when I get a chance in an hour or two is not a big deal to me. I sometimes don't clean right away as I am currently working and studying full time as well as caring for a sick family member and I'm extremely busy most days.

    The bag behind the chair was the last straw for me considering it had personal belongings in it and I was upset to have lost it.

    So I am wondering, should I say it to her or just let it go for the sake of keeping the peace?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,750 ✭✭✭✭BattleCorp

    Did you not think to ask if anybody had seen your bag?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,969 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to not want dishes left in the sink. It makes it tricker to wash other dishes or fill up big glasses etc when there is stuff there. I also wouldn’t like people leaving their bags in communal places- though if she did the same that sounds hypocritical.

    It’s different when living with friends - people are more tolerant but when it’s strangers living with strangers it’s important to be mindful and respectful of communal spaces.

    Like somebody else said - would your first port of call on the bag not have been to ask the others if they had seen it???

    It sounds like an unpleasant environment to be living in, would it be a lot of hassle to move if you are not able to work things out with them?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,394 ✭✭✭ManOfMystery

    Personally I hate dishes left in the sink, even if only for a few hours. In this warmer weather unless they're fully rinsed there's still usually bits of food left stuck to them which attracts flies. And as said above, makes it trickier to use the sink for anything else.

    As for the bag, it sounds like a bit of communication would have worked wonders. Did you ask where the bag was, and if so, did they not answer? I agree that she shouldn't have shoved it behind a chair, but equally, am amazed it wasn't found for weeks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,677 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    Hi Op

    it sounds petty - shoving your bag out of sight.

    that said communal living allows for many little irritations, and you have admitted to 2 'bad habits' in your short post. You may find it acceptable, but you can understand some people don't.

    that said these housemates are not your friends and don't really owe you. if you want to call out your housemate oer being petty, do it. but be prepared for them to point out your flaws too.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Leaving jackets and bags sitting around when you walk in the door is a peeve of mine so I have no sympathy.

    Cheap your dishes when they are finished with. That's plain rude.

    In the two weeks, did no one clean behind the chair?

    I'm sorry but you actually don't sound like a tidy person. Not a slob either by any stretch but you are clearly annoying these people with your behavior and yet continue

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,788 ✭✭✭ztoical

    Seems very odd that if you were looking for something for weeks you didn't think to ask your housemates if they'd seen it. Maybe they'd intended to move it temporally and just forgot?

    The dishes in the sink thing would bug me too, what if I need to use the sink? what if I'm cleaning my bowl, am I expected to clean yours or work around yours? I get people are busy but if you can't wash it straight away its better to leave it next to the sink rather than in it as it just means other people have to work around your mess if they want to use the sink.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,358 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12

    I think the posts here are way to harsh! When youre living in a house share you cant expect to be perfect all the time, sometimes the odd cup or dish doesnt get washed immediately, sometimes bags, shoes, jackets ect the left behind in a communal area. Its really not the end of the world, its not like the OP is leaving dirty pots and pans lying around for weeks or not doing their fair share and as for 'cleaning behind the chair' Unless theyre doing Spring cleans every week, why would behind chairs and furniture thats never moved be cleaned regularly?

    I think by the sounds of it your housemate is becoming over bearing for you and the house share might not be suitable for you anymore. I couldnt live the way youre describing, im not a messy person but couldnt deal with someone being so passive aggressive and making such a big deal over some minor things.

    I think you can either hash things out with her or find somewhere else as its no way to live imo.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭leggo

    I’d also move stuff out of the sink if I need to use it. It’s not done passive-aggressively because it bothers me, because they’re never not washed within a few hours anyway so it doesn’t. It’s because I need the sink and dirty dishes shouldn’t go there for that exact reason. Wash dishes in your own time by all means but you don’t get to fill up the sink until you do, I think you having that expectation makes you the issue with that one tbh OP.

    OP could it be possible that being locked up for ages with these people is giving you a bit of cabin fever? That’s totally normal if it’s the case. I flatshare and have found myself letting tiny issues get to me where they wouldn’t usually, but I just identify it as such and take a longer view that I’m ultimately in a situation I’m fine with and wouldn’t like to risk that by making issues out of things I can ultimately deal with.

    Like someone said, you could’ve just asked if anyone had seen your bag and you’d have known, so this one is kinda on you. If she’d have lied and told you no, different story, then she’s hiding your stuff. But for now she’s just moved it, which is fair to do if someone leaves stuff around in a communal area. If you want to have a place where you can leave stuff wherever you want, get your own place. Can’t afford it? Then you’re going to have to deal with sharing and the little compromises that comes with it including not leaving your stuff around.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,732 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken

    Id be unhappy with the fact that her behaviour seems to have changed with the entry of another person.
    Things like this, while small and petty can easily get out of hand.

    If you feel you can talk to your housemate without things escalating then so but be prepared for God only knows what to get whispered in her ear by the other person.

    Maybe it's time to start looking at moving if only for the sake of peace.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    It doesn't take an hour to clean a bowl. There's no reason why you can't spend five minutes after you eat to clean your dishes. There's no excuse for that behaviour.

    Had a housemate who would come home and claim the living room in the evening with her handbag. I have no issue with stuff being left around but they would go off to the kitchen, cook their food, and not clean up after themselves or take out a bin. It was very rude to use the kitchen, not clean up while at the same time claim the living room with their handbag. Their handbag wasn't an issue, nor is spending time watching TV. It was the lack of housework from them while also being so rude and claiming the living room as theirs while using the kitchen.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 31 RebeccaK21

    OP, I disagree with a lot of the replies on here, they're quite harsh imo. I get that the things you've described here are quite trivial on their own, but I know how tiny niggling things like that can be really irritating and make you feel like intruding in your own house. Small and petty things like this can start to escalate and I don't think that it's worth chatting to your housemate about because given some of the responses here, I think that when you point out some of the things that are bothering you like you did in your post here, they're all things that can be argued against individually. I think you need to have a think about if its worth an argument, or moving out over.

  • Administrators Posts: 12,875 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    What do you want to do, OP? Do you want to say it to her? Or do you want to let it go? I think this is one of those times where you're just going to have to decide for yourself and the posters of PI aren't going to be of much assistance.

    Unless of course you're just looking for a consensus that she's right, you're wrong/you're right, she's wrong.

  • Registered Users Posts: 598 ✭✭✭Magicmatilda

    In my last house share we had a girl move in who would make food and not tidy up afterwards. It was the final straw for me and I moved out and got my own place, thankfully I could afford the rent. I could never understand how someone could make a sandwich and not wipe down the countertop after them. Or leave their plate and not wash it. It really takes a couple of minutes to wash up, its a matter of respect for fellow housemates. But look you brought that aspect in so at least you are aware of it, maybe it is something you can work on.

    Regarding your bag, is it possible that someone was tidying or hoovering the sitting room and moved the bag out of the way? As others have mentioned did you ask where it was, if not then you really don't have a valid argument.

    Probably best to have a chat and get things out in the open. Maybe be honest about your shortcomings as you have here and say you will work on that and then bring up the passive agressiveness. Or ask if they have anything they want to discuss. As someone said COVID living is probably adding fuel to the fire here.

    The other option is to move but as long as you have housemates you will have these niggles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,636 ✭✭✭✭Graces7

    OP I understand . and sympathise

    And that you are at the end of your tether on this. That there may be other tensions between you?

    And this is your HOME not a hotel showplace. A bag left out? Comeone folks !

    Washing up before you eat or drink? Cold food? Eat then wash up. Leeway needed.

    All of which is why I would never ever again share.

    And if I had to would stay in my room with a kettle and/or microwave

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,788 ✭✭✭ztoical

    RebeccaK21 wrote: »
    OP, I disagree with a lot of the replies on here, they're quite harsh imo. I get that the things you've described here are quite trivial on their own, but I know how tiny niggling things like that can be really irritating and make you feel like intruding in your own house. .

    Small things like say one person leaving their dirty dishes in the sink for an hour+ can be really irritating.

    They describe the actions of the flatmate as passive aggressive yet they couldn't find their bag for weeks and didn't ask their flatmates? The OP doesn't give enough details on where the bag was, was it on the couch, the floor, a table? Maybe someone moved it behind the couch as they were using the space thought it would be safe there and meant to put it back and just forgot. I shared a flat with a girl who did yoga in the sitting room and move all the furniture against the wall so anything left on them she'd move out of the way and on occasion she'd miss putting something back. The OP doesn't even say they confirm if it was the flatmate that moved it, they just assume.

    And I'm sorry but the dishes thing would annoy me, people can argue on how long it takes to clean dishes but regardless don't leave it sitting in the sink as that means everyone else has to work around your dirty dish to use the sink, that's just inconsiderate of other people. Quick rinse and place on the draining board until you've time to wash it properly, at least then its not in the way.

    Sounds like the OP and this housemate just aren't compatible as they have different expectations of what they want in a houseshare. Options are sit down and agree a standard everyone can live with ie don't have to wash dishes straight away but leave them on the draining board not in the sink. If you move something in a communal area because you need to use the space put stuff back where you found when you are finished etc etc If they can't find a middle ground then the OP is best looking for a new place as everyone will just become more and more petty and everyone will be miserable

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭PoisonIvyBelle

    I dunno... if I was sharing and someone left a dish or 2 in the sink, I'd just wash them with my own stuff. And the other person would do the same in reverse. It's only a big deal when it's an issue building on a list of other issues. It sounds like you're ultimately just not happy there and she's not happy with you being there.

  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 22,828 ✭✭✭✭beertons

    I moved into a house like that a long time ago. House was spotless when I moved in. After 3 days, I saw the recycle behind the kitchen door, just thrown there. This is where they were put. I felt I was the only one who wiped the counters, swept the flood and binned everything left behind the door. I lasted 3 months.