In all my years of renting—this was back in the late ‘80s, when the first President Bush and the Cosby Show ruled the land—I had just one really nice apartment. It was a duplex, with a spiffy metal spiral staircase and big windows that looked over a leafy yard. The catch was that the only way I could afford it was to share it with a series of roommates. My roommates and I mostly got along, though we did have the occasional blowup over such issues as the proper disposal of toenail clippings. But I suppose if you throw two or more post-collegians together out of sheer economic necessity, hijinks will ensue. Sure enough, there’s now a book for everyone who has ever had to deal with roommate conflict: “I Lick My Cheese and Other Real Notes From the Roommate Frontlines.” It’s a collection of the kinds of pissy missives roommates leave for roommates out of frustration, anger and sheer passive-aggression. A short item about the book in The New York Times quotes my favorite: “Why is my bed damp?” On the book’s companion site, I found a photo of a note left atop a plate of desiccated beans idling on a kitchen counter. “Three days!!!” it read. “It’s the principle of the matter.”
In retrospect I have to consider myself lucky for never having to leave or receive such a note. And if any cheese-licking went on, I don't want to know about it now.