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Dreams Coming True!

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Totally Married Podcast

Episode 320

Elizabeth shares her good work news and talks about the thing that saved her anxious mind while waiting for the news (spoiler alert: It’s OPRAH) Then she and Andy discuss the latex glove mystery of their week before giving their incredibly unqualified advice to listener questions about navigating a tumultuous family relationship especially in front of your kids, how to deal with roommates who agreed to the rules and are now rebelling against them, and how to cope with trying to conceive anxiety as well as baby-name differences? Enjoy!


Rebecca says:

1. Congratulations Elizabeth!!

Regarding the college house parking situation, I 100% agree with Andy. Having a big bedroom with access to a balcony is not particularly
valuable. Having an off street parking spot is so much more useful than having more square footage in the bedroom that it isn’t a fair trade.
The girls did not realize what a nightmare it would be to deal with the parking when they moved in and agreed to the deal. The writer inner should agree
to a parking schedule and the rents should be adjusted based on room size. It wasn’t a fair trade from the beginning.

3. My brother’s sewer line got clogged from not using single ply in an old house (in Webster Groves!) so it does happen.

B says:

The whole name question… if the baby is taking the father’s last name then she should definitely get more control of the first and middle names. It’s not fair for the child to get the father’s last name and first name when the mother really wants her dad to be honored in the name.

toomanybooks says:

Also, if the LW’s dad died and since then she’s always wanted to name a potential son after him, it’s pretty douchey of her boyfriend to be like “well I want to name it after my own self.”

I think this “two strong-willed opinionated people” dynamic isn’t going to help down the line while parenting, and it may be worth couples counseling to figure out healthier ways to make decisions together to prepare for having a kid, before having a kid.

But honestly the guy sounds like he’s being a jerk about it and the letter writer should get to name the kid after her dad.

Steve says:

I have a thought about the dental floss situation:

Get a small wastebasket for the bathroom with a lid and a pedal you have to step on to get it open. While you floss your teeth, stand on the pedal with the lid up and then when you’re done just drop it in. Keeping your foot on the pedal would keep you from wandering over to the toilet.

The lidded wastebasket would also keep the dog from getting at the floss after you throw it away.

Anyway, just an idea.

Andrea says:

OOOOhooo! I have thoughts about the parking situation! I think the writer-inner is completely in the right. The four/five(?) roommates all agreed up-front as to what the situation was going to be. You can’t change it halfway through the lease just because you didn’t think ahead. Sorry ’bout your luck, sisters.

HOWEVER, I also get that the other roommates didn’t realize what they were agreeing to in the beginning. If you really want to maintain peace in the house, and stay roommates for the long haul, you might suggest that you revisit the parking situation next year/semester. Some sort of schedule would work best, I think. First come first serve is a terrible idea because you know someone would just camp out there forever.

Basically, if it were me, I would say something like, “Look, I chose this small-ass room because I wanted off-street parking. I wouldn’t have chosen it otherwise. So I want to keep my parking spot for at least this semester/year. If we change the lease or re-up next year, I’m happy to discuss changing the parking situation so that it’s equitable across all the roommates, but then I think we should pay rent based on our square footage of our rooms.”

I think that’s a good compromise. You get to keep the agreement that was made up front for the time-being and the larger room people will realize they’ll have to give up a little something if they want a little something. You know, like how life is.

AMC says:

For the parking writer inner:

Living in a city where I often have to park 15-20 mins walk away from my apartment if I come home later than 8 pm (more like 4 pm on sundays….), on top of all the other shitty parts of living in a small, overpriced, shitty apartment with bad management (aka living in a major US city), I’ve taken on a complete Every Man For Themselves perspective. You referred to your roommates as just “roommates” so I’m assuming they’re not lifelong friends. If I were you, this would make me feel so justified having made a better decision and taking the smaller room. To the person above who says a smaller room isn’t a fair trade off….obviously you’ve never only been able to fit a twin bed in a room when you have an S/O or not had any closet/storage space or had to do all your work on the floor because you can’t fit a desk. When your living space feels cramped and cluttered it creates low-level physic stress on many people and it can create miserable feeling, just like the parking does.

If it were me, I’d just say fuck it, you’re just roommates and once this lease is up you won’t have to ever see them again, and enjoy this one convenience that you’ve managed to achieve in life. Otherwise, I would STRONGLY argue a decent discount on rent.

Martha says:

Congrats Elizabeth!!

For the writer inner with the sister that is having marital problems that are spilling over into family gatherings. I’ve been the kid that was sent to someone’s house when the parents were fighting and it has stuck with me. My sister (who is 25 years old than me) and her husband used to fight (like screaming, knock down drag out fights) when I would visit. I was 11 when this started and my biggest concern was keeping my niece (who was 8 at the time) as distracted as possible. Of course you want your kiddos to spend time with their cousins, but please make sure you chat with them to see if anything in that environment is making them uncomfortable. I think I mentioned to my parents that they argued but they never questioned it further and kept sending me over there to spend time.

Resastra says:

It’s not fair for those girls to get a bigger room and have the driveway whenever they want. They really should have thought about it before picking rooms. I wouldn’t budge on the compromise. They can’t renege on a deal because it’s not working out in their favor.
I’m on the side of the writer inner about naming the future baby after her father. Although it isn’t that difficult having two people with the same name in the same house. My dad was a junior but we all called my brother “junior” and adults called my dad by his first name . I guess it only worked because my grandfather (the original) passed away before any of us were born.

eddie says:

Good point, Andy about the use of the word “dick”. And it was a not an apology, just a list of regrets. Your former guest, Marc Maron had an excellent POV on the whole situation. It’s at the beginning of this week’s show. Recommended listening.

Christina says:

Possible Dental floss solution, what about closing the lid on the toilet and putting the trash can on the lid. You would then have to physically move the trash can and lift the lid to throw it in the toilet. Maybe then there’s no absentmindedly throwing the floss in the toilet.. hope that helps, and is not too involved.

Danielle says:

Regarding the parking spot question Andy and Elizabeth are BOTH right!!

I have lived this: 3 girls, 2 TANDEM spots, and little to no street parking after 6pm. It was HOSTILE! Within 9 months we were threatening to cut each other’s tires and sue each other.

First off – Andy’s suggestion of “first come first park” just encourages college girls to leave their cars parked by either walking or not leaving the house (example skipping classes to maintain a parking spot WTF!). More importantly the roommates that regularly arrive late will need to park on the street at night, which can be (or feel) dangerous especially in some college areas.

However Andy’s prorating room idea is really good. (This is obviously something that needs to be established before signing the lease).

If you know the parking is going to be a problem sell the spaces first between the roommates. If everyone is willing to pay $50 increase the value until only two are willing to pay. Then apply the parking payments to reducing the costs of those that can’t afford the parking spots.

Example: $3000 apartment

12 x12 bed w/ balc & priv bath = $1250
12 x10 bed w/ shared bathroom = $925
10 x 8 bedroom w/ shared bath = $825

Now who thinks driveway parking is worth an extra $50, $75, $100, $200 a month? Find a value that 2 roommates are willing to pay.

If Miss Money and Halfway Harriet want the spots each for $100:

12 x12 bed w/ balc & priv bath = $1350
12 x10 bed w/ shared bathroom = $1025
10 x 8 bedroom w/ shared bath = $625

Frugal Fae wins!

If Frugal Fae ain’t so frugal:

12 x12 bed w/ balc & priv bath = $1050
12 x10 bed w/ shared bathroom = $1025
10 x 8 bedroom w/ shared bath = $925

Miss Money gets her balcony for a steal!

If Miss MONEYBAGS wants both spots EACH for MORE than anyone is else is willing to pay ($300 each). First FUCK HER and her rich parents! But then:

12 x12 bed w/ balc & priv bath = $1850
12 x10 bed w/ shared bathroom = $625
10 x 8 bedroom w/ shared bath = $525

I know this sounds a lot like what you are doing when you bundle the cost of the smallest room with a parking spot. However, you really haven’t established the true demand and thus what the parking spots are really worth. If miss moneybags REALLY wants that parking spot would you be happy with a 1/2 rent payment?

Most importantly once you monetize the parking spots it should feel as unacceptable to borrow the parking spot as it would be to borrow another roommate’s bedroom.

Hope this helped

p.s if your roommates are asking to borrow your bedroom ALL this advice is moot – Get New Roommates!

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