Ever the font of forehead-smacking horror stories, XoJane has introduced us to a whole new source of Craigslist roommate anxiety with an article entitled, "Worst Roommate Ever: He didn't even mention his pregnant girlfriend until he moved the baby in." The situation is exactly what it sounds like, which is to say an unmitigated disaster.
"We’d been in the room for about a month when Bobby’s girlfriend, who lived in New Hampshire, came to visit. I answered the door for her and almost blurted out “PREGNANT,” but stopped myself because a) that’s rude, and b) surely he would have told us if he and his girlfriend were expecting? Maybe she just carried a soccer ball everywhere under her sweater? [...] She brought up her due date, confirming that she was definitely preggo. Then she revealed that she’d been living in the apartment before we moved in, and he’d forced her to go live with her parents when she got pregnant because he “couldn’t handle taking care of her all the time. Huh.”
Then the baby came. Suddenly, the girlfriend and baby were in the apartment all the damn time. They would show up unannounced and stay for up to two weeks, sometimes more. If you’re doing the math at home, that means me + boyfriend + other roommate + Bobby + girlfriend + baby divided by one bathroom equals often going to work without showering or brushing my teeth. I started keeping my toothbrush in the kitchen, and one memorable morning I had to lean up against the back of the house to pee. (Our backyard was fenced, but still.)"
Unsurprisingly, the new parents in question "fought like snakes," and after months of screaming fights, eventually moved out with virtually no notice, leaving the author with another, more typical roommate problem: her former roomie had been collecting everyone's Con Ed checks but never actually paying the bills, leaving everyone else holding the bag (to the tune of $300) when the company eventually threatened to shut off power.
The lesson here? Where to begin? First, insist on having utilities and the lease transferred to your name after a roommate moves out (and vice versa if you're the one leaving early). Also, while it doesn't sound like the author overlooked any major red flags—which makes this whole thing even more disturbing—keep in mind that if you're chatting up prospective new roommates (especially if they're Craigslist strangers) you've got to ask a lot more questions than you'd think, albeit within the bounds of legality. And still, you might want to come prepared with earplugs (and an extra toothbrush).