The Etiquette of Kicking Out Roommates, Kissing When Sick and Other Questionable AdviceS

Welcome to Thatz Not Okay, a regular column in which I school inquiring readers on what is and is not okay. Please send your questions to caity.weaver@gawker.com with the subject "Thatz Not Okay."

My current roommate and I have been living together for one and half years. This guy keeps to himself, and increasingly treats the house like it's his studio apartment with maid service. I want to lie and tell him my boyfriend is moving in so I can throw him out. It that okay? My boyfriend and I don't want to move in together yet, but I'd like a new roommate.

Thatz not okay.

A small amount of lying between roommates is necessary to preserve the harmonious environment of a communal living space.

"My eyes are very sensitive to ultraviolet light; would you mind keeping your black light and its accompanying posters in your room?"

"I am not operating a puppy mill out of our shared kitchen."

But, oh, what a tangled web we weave when too cheap we are to pony up the security deposit on a new place.

So we're clear: I'm operating on the assumption that you have already voiced your concerns to your roommate and found him unresponsive. If this is the case, that's frustrating, but also part of the gamble you make when you live with another human being. If you haven't had a discussion with your roommate about how you feel, put the breaks on your Machiavellian scheming and do that first.

Now. From a moral perspective, I'm wondering why you feel entitled to throw someone out of shared living quarters. Perhaps you are a Millennial who grew up with parents who told you constantly that you could grow up to evict anyone you put your mind to. Perhaps you are a child still, and the "roommate" in question is your new baby brother, whom you do not much like. If so, I recommend this self-help book by Dr. Kevin Henkes.

If both your and your roommate's names are on the lease, "throw him out" all you want. Chances are, as long as he's paying rent, he's under no obligation to leave, and now you're living with a person who knows you tried to evict him from his home on the grounds of "I'm not your maid, mister."

In any event, you certainly owe it to the human being with whom you have shared this most intimate of spaces for a year and a half not to (try and) abruptly throw him out under the pretense of some half-baked lie. (On that note, why didn't you try to find a new roommate after the first year was up? Hadn't you noticed, in the first twelve months of cohabitation, that this guy had a tendency to be a little messy?)

From an etiquette perspective, you're stuck with this guy (and he with you) until your lease ends. When the subject of renewal comes up, explain that you're ready for a change and will be looking for another roommate. If you've already made your displeasure with the current living situation known, this announcement shouldn't take him completely by surprise. Do make sure to give him ample time to work out a new arrangement for himself.

Incidentally, maybe the reason your boyfriend doesn't want to live with you is because he's scared you'll one day evict him on some trumped up charges of "being annoying," or, as it was known in the olden days, "heresy."

Is it ok for my boyfriend of a year to come back from a weeklong business trip and then tell me not to pick him up from the airport because I'm sick? While I understand that he doesn't want to get sick, at some point in the relationship my cooties are his cooties. What if we get married one day and, God forbid, I become sick again? Is he going to quarantine me in a corner? I wasn't planning on licking his face or sneezing on him...

Thatz okay.

Calm down, girl. First of all, your boyfriend's only been away for a week. He didn't trudge off to the Great War six years ago, abandoning you to a creaky English manor house with only your memories and inner demons for company. He's been gone seven days. The episode of Parks and Rec that was new when he left has only just become "last week's episode" of Parks and Rec.

Now, let's consider for a second the possibility that your boyfriend figured he was doing something nice for his sick girlfriend by not forcing her to drag herself to the airport to pick him up. No one likes to pick people up at the airport. Not even healthy people like to do that. Now he doesn't seem like such a bad guy, right? Even if he is cheating on you with a girl he met at the airport when you didn't come to pick him up.

Moving on.

"My germs are your germs" is the kind of thing your mom says to justify taking a lick of your ice cream cone, getting her germs all over it OHMYGODMOMYOURGERMSAREALLOVERITSTOP. It is not hard science. It is still possible for a mother to catch a cold from (or give a cold to) her children, even though they lived inside her for nine months like an alien in a pod.

The idea that you and your boyfriend must share all things, including germs, because you are dating is weird logic for a relationship. What if you had rabies? "My rabies is your rabies"? Thatz not okay.

Your boyfriend doesn't owe it to you to put his immune system at risk. A cold caught from a girlfriend is not a badge of honor, unless you are 12 and the cold in question is mononucleosis, or, as it is known on the playground, "The Pimp-Playa's disease." Kissing a contagious person is not proof of love.

(On that note, don't request or accept kisses from people if you are sick. If you simply must experience the lips of another on your body, settle for a chaste forehead peck. The courteous thing to do when you are ill is request that kisses be blown. Catch these, then place them in your pocket for safekeeping.)

Since you raise the issue, it's perfectly reasonable for your boyfriend to want to quarantine you if you are contagious. He should hang a yellow tanktop from your mailbox to alert other ships in the harbor. It would be irresponsible of him to get sick if he could prevent it, especially since his job, which requires week-long business trips, is probably cool and important. (Drug smuggler?)

He should give you the run of the bedroom, if that's where you'll be the most comfortable. He should offer to pick up medicine and soup. He should check on you to make sure you're not gravely ill.

If your boyfriend doesn't want to spend time in close quarters (like a bed, or car on the way home from the airport) with you, it's not because he's rejecting you personally. He's protecting himself against the risk of illness.

And also he probably has plans with another girl.

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