Letter from a narcotic

June 12th, 2007 · 52 comments

This ranks right up there with the notice from an aspiring personal-injury lawyer as one of my favorite roommate notes of all time.

Gillian in Albany, New York points out that the malapropism here (“I am the narcotic one”) was actually deliciously appropriate, because “she cleaned exactly like cocaine.”

Obviously things have been weird with us lately and I have a hard time talking to us and I don't know the right way to approach you or how to say what I want to say to you without hopefully not hurting your feelings. But we're both mature individuals, so I figured the best way for me to communicate what I have to say to you would be through a letter.

related: This room is protected by the Constitution

FILED UNDER: cleaning · college life · fun with malapropisms · garbage · money · New York · roommates · runaway run-on sentences

52 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Iszi

    That’s a nice one. I wonder if Danielle wasn’t trying to make a subtle statement with her double-negative:

    “I don’t know… how to say what I want to say… without hopefully not hurting your feelings.”

    Jun 12, 2007 at 5:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Mrs. Sara

    I’m the narcotic one, too.


    Jun 12, 2007 at 6:53 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Jessica

    maybe it’s because i am passive-aggressive and just don’t realize it but this letter didn’t seem so bad to me. i’ve lived with my share of disgusting, lazy, cheap college roomates and after a while their crap can take the nice out of anybody. so good for this girl for actually saying something instead of doing something more direct, like putting the week old bag of garbage on the offenders bed.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:09 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Jay

    I wonder what word she was trying to use. I love the switch from “hopefully not hurting your feelings” to “I am not a loan officer” to “I appreciate you reading this.” Danielle has a bright future in middle management writing evals.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   T. D.

    Finest example of passive aggression ever! She thinks she’s being so smart by using a nice “tone”, but the anger just seeths through the whole thing! I love how she threw in that she likes spending time alone. Ya think? She’s going to make a lovely wife someday :)

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Shannon

    I can’t figure out what word she wanted to use in place of narcotic. Thats an odd mistake.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   CD

    neurotic perhaps?

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Merriam

      or psychotic?

      Apr 9, 2009 at 12:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   I Zimbra

    Yeah, this is a really great one. She gets to feel like she vented and was “not hurting anyone’s feelings” when in reality, she’s really pissed! She really let it all hang out when she mentioned that something was “fucked up”. I’d like to see more swearing from Danielle, especially since she’s already planning to move out. Let the shit fly.

    In my opinion, it’s never, ever more mature to write a note to your roommate than to talk to them in person, (future “wife” or not – ugh).

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   bethany

    my favorite part is that the letter is the “mature” way to address this. Nothing says maturity like a passive-aggressive note!
    (although the double-negative is also amazing).

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   lowercase L

    Danielle seems like a smart girl, so I’m guessing “narcotic” was the result of a hasty spellcheck choice, probably from misspelling “neurotic” phonetically as “narotic”. (When the word “narotic” is typed into MS Word, the first spellcheck choice of correction is “narcotic”)

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:56 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   rroseselavy

    I don’t think it’s all that bad, either. Some people just express themselves better in writing than in talking, or prefer to take the time to make sure it comes out the way they want to. I think her roommate is taking complete advantage of her.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 8:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Hoyt Pollard

    The masterstroke is the “I appreciate that I am welcome to your food, but obviously I don’t plan on taking advantage of that.” Ouch.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 9:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   dew

    Do people not know what passive aggressive means? This letter is aggressive.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 9:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   AHFB

    @Hoyt: two points for using “masterstroke”

    And I just wanted to second the fact that this is totally not a mature note at all. If you’ve got this much to say, you should be able to say it in person, not distributing to someone you live with in a memo.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 10:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   AHFB

    @dew: read the “WTF?” site description at the top of each page:

    “truly, some of the notes found here aren’t really passive-aggressive even by our generous standards. some are really more aggressive in tone, and some of them are more passive — polite, even — but they all share a common sense of frustration that’s been channeled into written form rather than a direct confrontation.”

    Jun 12, 2007 at 10:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   dew

    Ohhhhh I see! Thanks for clearing that up.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 10:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   joebec

    all that over a stupid garbage can? and if you want to spend time alone then get your own place! god, whiner!

    Jun 12, 2007 at 12:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   rrpa

    I disagree. If you really have that many issues with your roommate, writing a letter isn’t that bad of a choice. A note over one thing, such as the garbage issue, is immature. A letter over multiple things (as compared to running a laundry list of grievances in person), is not quite as immature.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 1:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   eh

    TEAM DANIELLE!!! I hope you get your money back!

    Jun 12, 2007 at 1:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Anna

    I agree with rrpa above.

    I wouldn’t have handled it that way personally, but it seems to me like Danielle had her fair share of grievances!

    Jun 12, 2007 at 1:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   melinda


    Have you guided your future exroommate to this page?

    As for being neurotic about the trash, if she has a problem with it, she should take it out. What might bother someone, someone else might not care.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 2:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   jaime

    This is a very well-crafted passive-aggressive note. I especially like the way it becomes increasingly aggressive. At one point you can actually see Danielle’s head about to explode; it happens around the sentence that starts “I think it’s kind of fucked up…”. But then she catches herself and is certain to end the letter on a more positive, passive note with “I appreciate you reading this” in hopes that Gillian will not totally hate her until the end of time. She loses points for not using “let’s” in the entire note, but still I would give her an “A” for effort. Well done, Danielle!!!

    Jun 12, 2007 at 2:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   janine

    Someone should spend less time alone nursing her anger…

    Jun 12, 2007 at 3:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   Susan

    Gillian sounds like an inconsiderate, slobby douchebag.
    But, hey… that’s just me.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 3:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   pierre

    WHO lends money for a makeover?
    Danielle, you are sad and deserve to be Gillian’s housekeeper…nice note though, the: “I am not a loan officer” part…touché.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 4:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   Nick Phillips

    Simply hilarious :)

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #27   S.S.

    I’m always surprised at how many people side with the offenders. Yes, a note might not be the best way of settling a dispute, but inconsiderate lazy asses deserve no consideration, either. If you’ve ever had bad roomates you should understand that sometimes an “insignificant” thing like the trash can become a huge deal because. Usually, the trash is really just the last offense in a long list, if it bothers someone that much…just the drop that tipped the glass.

    I side with the note-writer. I hope she takes that trash can and empties it on their beds.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #28   S.S.

    I just looked at all those typos. Sorry, lack of sleep.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 7:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #29   April

    Yeah, I’m kind of on Danielle’s side on this. It sounds like she has been trying to be nice, trying to not make a fuss even though she’s irritated, and then finally just had it. Living with another person takes compromise, and it sounds to me like she was trying to do that but Gillian was being an unabashed slob.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 9:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #30   Shannon

    How can anyone even take sides? All we are seeing is one note from one point of view. I wouldn’t want you people on my jury if I ever was tried for a crime lol.

    Jun 12, 2007 at 11:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #31   Sj

    i am also on Danielle’s side. i hope she gets her money back, and finds a better place to live. And as long as she doesn’t marry a lazy freeloader, she may make a considerate wife, too!

    Jun 13, 2007 at 3:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #32   Psipsina

    Readers who take sides are missing the beauty of this site – the drama that ensues when you take two people who are unaware they share a planet with more than 6 billion other people and ask them to share space with each other. Gillian should be more considerate about cleanliness and money, and Danielle needs to grow a spine.

    Jun 13, 2007 at 7:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #33   Nunya

    I am a witness that a bad roommate will drive you to do things you never thought you would do. Those of you who’ve never experienced this should just consider yourselves lucky. I never loaned money, but I typically was the one who did most of the cleaning and took out the trash.

    The final straw was when I came home from a long day at school and found the apartment reeking of old trash. My clueless roommate was lounging on the couch, and had the nerve to comment “I was wondering what that smell was!” when I asked her if she didn’t notice that the garbage needed to go out. She had been sitting her trifling azz there smelling that trash all afternoon!

    Jun 13, 2007 at 10:34 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #34   hopefulgirl

    I just really like the tone. It starts out so sweet, and then she throws caution to the wind and comes right out and says it.

    Jun 14, 2007 at 9:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #35   Meeg

    I like the “without hopefully not hurting your feelings part.” oy!

    Jun 14, 2007 at 2:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #36   BoggyWoggy

    We’ve all had roommates like this, haven’t we? Both sides, I mean.
    I hate notes. They make my stomach ache. I also hate confrontation about things that are really, really obvious to me, but completely foreign to the other person. However, I think, instead of writing the note, she should have started emptying the garbage in the roommate’s closet. Oh, wait, that’s really P-A, isn’t it? OK, how about putting an anonymous note in the hallways outside the door that said, “I was walking by your room and it really stinks. Doesn’t anyone take out the garbage in there?”

    Jun 14, 2007 at 5:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #37   angiedmann

    Is no one else stunned that this dipshit is in college? While I have sympathy for her situation, I’m a floored by her inability to construct a propper sentence.

    Jun 14, 2007 at 11:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #38   KAB

    Does anyone want to take bets to see if she gets her money back? Hmmmm, a note that tells you that your lazy and you apparently buy yucky food and then asks for repayment. I’m thinking she isn’t seeing that $ ever again.
    A Face to face would have been much better. I love that this note starts off about the trash and then she just starts to go off about everything that bothers her.

    Jun 15, 2007 at 6:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #39   PFG

    This is a complaint. Stating complaints isn’t by defition passive aggressive. The “sanctity of the sink”, now THAT’s a much better example of a passive aggressive personality/note.

    Jun 15, 2007 at 11:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #40   Erin

    I have done the “waiting to see if you will ever take the garbage out” experiment many times with roommates and it never works. One person is always going to be bothered by something that never bothers their roommate. Fortunately now I am living with a significant other and I can ask him point blank to take out the garbage and walk the dog while he’s at it. He does not mind as he is the man of my dreams.

    By the way, this is my new favorite blog; never have I loved a blog so much that I felt compelled to read all the comments on each entry. The best part is that although the subject is aggression, the commenters are remarkably polite to one another. Team Commenters!

    Jun 19, 2007 at 8:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #41   *marcia*

    @ angiedmann: I’d say she’s in college to learn english… You probably have to go there too… English isn’t my mother language, but “propper” really hurts when i read it

    Jun 20, 2007 at 4:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #42   Crysilla

    Post No. 24 and 27 FTW!
    Go Team Danielle!!

    Jun 25, 2007 at 3:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #43   malone

    Just found your site a couple of days ago, and love it. Glad I never had to share a flat with anyone except my wife, it sounds like a good way to develope an ulcer!
    Some of the responses remind me of the old joke about the school report: “Billy’s improved handwriting reveals an utter inability to spell and punctuate.”But they’re still fun to read

    Jun 25, 2007 at 9:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #44   RaggDolly121

    That’s it. I will never live a room mate.

    Jul 3, 2007 at 9:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #45   sispille

    needs more snark.

    oh, hi – new here. love the site!

    Jul 12, 2007 at 3:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #46   Jen

    *marcia*: I believe angiedmann was being sarcastic.

    Jul 12, 2007 at 4:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #47   TelepathicParrotMindControl

    She probably typed “Neurotic” incorrectly, and spell-check made it “Narcotic.”

    Jan 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #48   TelepathicParrotMindControl

    Stating complaints to someone with whom you LIVE, by NOTE instead of CONVERSATION is passive-aggressive, kind of like using CAPS in EMAILS or COMMENTS.

    Jan 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #49   your new best friend

    [...] related: letter from a narcotic [...]

    Apr 8, 2009 at 8:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #50   dj rockstar

    she says she really appreciates her time alone

    is she subtly saying that she wants alone time for masturbation?

    May 8, 2009 at 5:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #51   Ari

    I’m so glad I’ve never had to have a room-mate other than my husband. I mean, he bugs me sometimes, too, but I can just tell him instead of feeling so desperate that I need to leave a note.

    …plus he’s the “narcotic” one. XD

    Jul 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


Comments are Closed