in , ,

Woman Stunned After Roommate Forbids Her From Showering Because The Noise Upsets Him

Gary John Norman/Getty Images

Some of us have serious horror stories or at least funny anecdotes about a time when we had a roommate that we didn’t see eye-to-eye with.

But at least in most of those cases, we couldn’t say that our personal hygiene was impacted by living with this person.

That would be significantly going over the line, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Be that as it may, Redditor Mediocre-Course8572 recently found herself having to fight for her right to be clean after work, all because of trying to accommodate her roommate.

But when he continuously pushed back, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if enough would ever be enough.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for calling my flatmate (19 [male]) out for forbidding me (21 [female]) to shower?”

The OP’s flatmate was easily bothered by noise. 

“My flatmate started to complain about headaches and insomnia and blamed it on the heating unit in his room.”

“(FYI: the heating unit is used for hot water for showers, so when we use it, itstarts to make a humming sound, he knew about this before moving in.)”

“The noise was stressing flatmate out so much, he needed to check in with a doctor to check if there wasn’t something else.”

“The doc said it could be stressful to hear this sound while sleeping, so we agreed to turn the unit off while nobody is using it under one condition: I am allowed to turn the unit on to go shower anytime.”

The OP needed to be able to shower after work.

“I work as a logistics operator for a grocery delivery service.”

“As I’m physically working, moving pallettes around in a small storage, I like to shower after my 8- to 10-hour shifts.”

“I am always given the shifts nobody wants, which means I’ll get a late shift (3 pm to 12 am) and the day after I’ll get an early one (6 am to 2pm).”

The flatmate confronted the OP about this.

“A few days ago, flatmate told me he needed me to stop shower after my shift as he might end up in hospital because of the stress the noise and waking up while I go to turn on the unit causes him.”

“I told him I need to shower after work and that if I could change something about it, I would, but I would not sacrifice my hygiene for him.”

“I understand that this is stressful for him but I can’t change my schedule as I am new to the company and I need the money desperately.”

“He got mad at me and raised his voice, even though I just explained myself calmly.”

“He repeated that he might end up in the hospital and I could go shower in the morning.”

“I asked him, ‘What’s the difference between me showering at night or in the early morning if you still wake up?'”

“He couldn’t give me an answer to that and said, ‘You know what, I’m just gonna rent a room at a hotel then. You never listen to me anyway.'”

“I was furious after hearing that and repeated (this time p**sed, but as polite as possible) that I would not give up my personal hygiene in an apartment where I pay rent just as he does.”

“I also mentioned that I’m regularly waking up because of him screaming at 3 am even though I told him many times to keep quiet.”

“I am willing to find a compromise if possible, for example letting the unit run for one night or so, but he can’t forbid me to go shower.”

The argument didn’t end there. 

“The argument started again as I came home today, I had an early shift and came home around 6pm.”

“I knocked and after his response, I came in and said that I’ll shower.”

“I went to turn the unit on and he told me, ‘If you really have to.'”

“I said, ‘It’s 6pm, I think that’s a reasonable time to go shower.'”

“He argued, ‘I’ve been working all day, and just wanna sleep.'”

“I told him that I just tried to accommodate to him as much as I can and that I’ll be quick as I am tired myself.”

“He didn’t seem satisfied, but I left and took my shower.”

“Now every time we cross each other’s paths, he doesn’t look at me or respond to me greeting him or asking him how he’s doing.”

“AITA?”

The OP also added in a comment

“The heating is fine, we had several professionals take a look at it and the model just runs with that noise. We’re not allowed to change to a newer, more silent model due to the landlord.”

“We also can’t switch rooms as mine is turned towards a much used main road and his is turned away for less noise…” 

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some recommended the flatmate do something to cancel the noise out. 

“Sounds like the flatmate is going to have to suck it up then. Noise is just something that goes along with living in an apartment with roommates.”

“I have sleeping problems due to having a sensitivity to noise as well and it sucks, but he can’t use his problem to make living in the apartment uncomfortable for you.”

“Maybe ask him to pick his poison on room noise? The traffic noise might be easier to drown out than the hum.”Hopeful_Avocado_300

“If all noise stresses him out that much, he needs to move. The accommodation for people that can’t handle a normal amount of noise (so, nothing so loud that you need to raise your voice) is NOT that everyone in an apartment needs to be silent, it’s that they either need to block the sound (earplugs, headphones, white noise machine, fan) or find somewhere quieter to live.”Glittering_knave

“I lived right by busy train tracks for a while. After the first week or so it just became white noise- actually, a bit soothing. If this guy can’t handle city noises (busy road, appliances) without having to be hospitalized, he really shouldn’t be living in a city…”bottledhope33

“On a side note I would say learning to sleep in earplugs has been one of the better decisions I’ve ever made. Even if you are in a quiet area weird stuff comes up and you’ll have a couple of nights of noise, I can just pop in earplugs and sleep great whereas my wife suffers the entire night because she never learned to be able to sleep in earplugs.”liesaboutkiwis

“I bought a sleep mask with headphones about three months ago and they have been WONDERFUL! While they’re not noise-cancelling they do cover my ears pretty thoroughly and the music drowns out anything else. Bonus – they’re synced to my phone, which is my alarm, so i get my alarm piped right to my ears in the morning.”SuperElectricMammoth

Others said that somebody needed to move out. 

“NTA.”

“And… like… why exactly is he screaming at 3am?!?!”

“I’d move out, he seems selfish and unreasonable.”

“Your home should be your sanctuary.”ShotPaleontologist88

“NTA he needs to move out and see his doctor. This is just weird and not your fault at all.”Cherrygrove-elk

“NTA sounds like he needs to move into an apartment on his own.”

“Can you move out? I wouldn’t even tell him. I’d just pack my s**t and leave then he can deal with paying, etc.”

“He cannot dictate when you can and cannot shower.”

“Now on to being helpful.”

“Tell him if he wants the noise gone (speak to landlord for the go-ahead).”

“He can build a small stud wall around the box and put some soundproof insulation and soundproof plasterboard and it should make the noise practically disappear and he would lose about 5 inches of space (he would need to contact the landlord though as I don’t know what system you have and this could shorten its life.”

“However, if it were my house, I would do that to get the noise gone.”gymlol1586

“NTA. Honestly, if this is such a big issue for your roommate, he should find another place to live or at least propose to change bedrooms with you.”

“What he should not be doing is preventing you from showering. That’s ridiculous of him, and I would move out of the place if I were you.”WannabeWriter5

Some simply assured the OP was not wrong for wanting to shower after work. 

“No. You’re NTA. You cannot ask people to stop washing themselves after work because the noise bothers you. Washing is a basic need. I’m sorry if this is harsh, but he needs to find somewhere else to live if he finds it that bad.”StellarManatee

“NTA. You have a right to your personal hygiene, but either trade bedrooms with him or someone needs to find another apartment.”

“I suffer from chronic migraines and have for over half my life, so I know that pain. I doubt he’s going to end up in the hospital, he’s being unreasonable. Get him noise-canceling earplugs. Listen to music while he sleeps.”

“If you can then try tacking carpeting up on the wall to help dampen the noise. Something. The world does not end for a water heater or showers”19GamerGhost95

“NTA. You’re his flatmate, you’re not family or a couple, and tbh (to be honest), you don’t even sound like friends, so you don’t really owe him anything except basic courtesy.”

“I feel sorry that he has such health problems, and if you were denying him of other demands I would have found that toxic of you, but he can’t just demand that you don’t shower after work, that’s a pretty big demand, and frankly kind of gross.”therickestofnonrick

Though the OP thought she might be somewhat at fault because of the roommate’s condition and reaction to her wanting to continue showering, the subReddit felt exactly the opposite. Being clean is one of our most basic of needs, and no roommate should be able to take that away from us.

If the OP and her roommate cannot come to some sort of consensus, the subReddit also indicated someone should move out for better living arrangements away from one another.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.