In between our in-depth conversations about “if New Jersey is the armpit of America, where is the clitoris?” and giggle fits about Mary Kay Letourneau, I cannot help but wonder whether my roommate harbors a secret repulsion towards the disgusting standards by which I live my life.
It’s not what you think. I’m not the roommate that comes home drunk and turns on the lights at four AM or uses up all the ink to print out pictures of my imaginary someday-cat during midterms week right before her big paper is due. I might be the roommate that forgets to fill up the water pitcher.
I am the smelly roommate.
Look, I want you all to know that I’m not that bad, it’s just that every Foul Bachelor Frog joke ever is based on my daily decisions. For example: Instead of showering I tell myself I’m going to the gym and there’s simply no point. Instead of rolling out of bed and trying to make myself look more like a member of this species, my weak-willed sleep haze hits snooze until the choice becomes should I wear a douchebag hat today or walk in late again? Instead of doing laundry literally right now I’m writing this article. You are reading the confessions of someone who has attended formal chapter in black sweatpants and a “white” t-shirt and who has shamelessly told her boyfriend while cuddling to please don’t smell my hair.
Why haven’t I chugged bleach yet? Because PWild has ruined my hygiene forever and ever. Every semi-legitimate validation of my sanitary practices refers to the fact that once upon a time three years ago I was way grosser and came out of that experience with friends, probably. Haven’t showered since Saturday? Well, I did that for a whole week on PWild! Wearing the same holey socks from yesterday’s run? Again, the eleven other insecure stankiepanties didn’t have a problem with it. Dishes piled on the side of my desk need a powerwasher? After ingesting meals that consisted of whatever we made just then plus hours-old breakfast oatmeal and some of last night’s rice clotted to the sides of a mess kit, I look like fackin Martha Stewart. But I don’t actually look like Martha Stewart, I look like Who The Hell Let The Homeless Chick In The Sorority House. And I’m not sure which is worse.
Here’s the thing: if you tell people you’re aware of your shortcomings, they are often more forgiving. The kid in high school who ate his earwax probably wasn’t aware that it was socially unacceptable. You know how when you touch someone’s butt by accident and you’re not tight enough to have it not matter, but you don’t want the awkwardness of, “Did she just…?” to hang in the air, so you politely say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I just touched your butt.” It’s like that. If I tell you I am both aware and ashamed that I’m wearing Eau de I Forgot Deodorant, it’s all better, right?
Honestly, I know I shouldn’t accept this. I shouldn’t sacrifice that morning shower for sleep two days in a row and then have to maintain a two-to-ten-foot Danger Zone and apologize to anyone who steps within it. I shouldn’t get back from running a half marathon and NOT SHOWER IMMEDIATELY. I shouldn’t casually inform people who tell me they like my creative outfit that I’m not trying to look fashionable, I just have no clean jeans. I should pluck my eyebrows more often and not do my makeup in the dark and remember to shave before I look like if Frieda Kahlo was a radical feminist in the 60’s.
But you know what? Today’s downpour counts for a shower. And I’m going to the gym now, so there’s simply no point.
Sorry, Roomie. You’re the best.
 Because there’s just no cleansing the filth inside.
 Dear other camping peoples: I asked the bus driver on the way home whether he needed an inhaler yet, and he said all he could smell was the campfire smoke. We’re in the clear.