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Author Topic: Question for those of you who've had roommates  (Read 188 times)
Silverain
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Question for those of you who've had roommates
« on: September 20, 2007, 03:43:41 PM »

Okay, so I just moved back into the dorm at my good old university.  Classes start next week.  Dorm room looks nice enough, better than the other dorms I've lived in even.

Small problem: I keep a pet corn snake.  I call him Sam.  Actually I'm not sure if Sam is a boy or a girl, but it doesn't really make any difference.  Corn snakes are native to the U.S. and they're no more dangerous than a common garter snake (and about the same size), but they don't happen to live in my part of the country.  Sam is currently about fifteen inches long and as big around as my pinky finger, and he eats frozen mice (I get 'em from the pet store, they're bred for snake food).  His maximum size is around four feet, but he's not going to get that big for a while yet.

Most people seem to find Sam disturbing and/or creepy.  I don't.  Okay, so feeding dead baby mice to my pet is a little icky, but hey, we've all gotta eat something, and there's no shortage of mice in the world.  Humans eat far more intelligent animals, and kill them in much crueler ways.  I've never fed Sam live prey and he seems happy enough to eat his prekilled.  I like him because he's interesting to me, he's quiet and doesn't shed allergenic substances, he only needs to eat once every week or two, and he's just fine with living in a box.  He's pretty much a perfect pet for a college student, with the small problem that most people (females especially) tend to freak out at the idea of living with a reptile.

Needless to say, the dorm doesn't permit pets (except for fish).  I brought his cage in covered up, but at some point I think I need to introduce him to my roommate.  I don't feel right keeping something like that in our room without telling her... and besides, eventually she might figure it out, and there might be a nasty scene.

Therein lies the problem which I'm asking your guys' advice on.  What's the best way to introduce a roommate to your pet snake?  Should I even try to tell her, or just try to keep Sam's existence a secret?  How can I let my roommate know about my little friend without making her think I'm a total freak?  (Since the rules don't allow pets, if she tells an RA, I'm screwed.)  Suggestions would be very helpful.

p.s.  I sure wish I lived with guys, I bet they'd be more chill with it than girls are ... but though the floor is coed, the cluster is not and my room definitely isn't.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 03:57:19 PM by Silverain » Logged

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Juno
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Re: Question for those of you who've had roommates
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2007, 05:35:55 PM »

You have to tell her.  That's just the nice thing to do.  Imagine stumbling on said box and opening it unknowing.  Even if you aren't afraid of snakes... Dishonesty is just never cool.

Now let me tell you about an experience of mine in the dorm once.  Our dorm was the same way.  I bought a mouse because she was about the coolest thing I had ever seen.  And I kept her secretive for a good while.  Till one day I was sick and my RA just walked in and I didn't have time to hide the cage.  They confiscated her and were going to have her taken away by animal control.  Luckily my dad drove 5 hours to pick her up and she was given to a friend.  That was lucky.  My roommate ratted me out (no pun intended :/) and we both got in huge trouble.  And annoying trouble nonetheless.

So granted you can hide your pet be prepared for the day you get caught with Sam.  You may have been keeping him under wraps for years but I'd highly recommend finding an alternative to the impending hassle you're gonna face when you get caught.  Because it sucks.   It sucks to lose a pet in the first place but it's even worse to have one taken away.

Certainly not what you wanted to hear... but that's just my experience.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 05:37:42 PM by Juno » Logged

zizi
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Re: Question for those of you who've had roommates
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 06:59:21 PM »

this is why i absolutely *hate* dorms and the main reason why i chose my university (we get apts). yeah, definitely tell her and ask her honestly if she's comfortable with Sam. i personally don't like snakes all that much but when my roommate got a brazilian rainbow named Skittles, it was the cutest thing ever and very likeable for a snake. just as long as he didn't sneak out ( he always made sure the clamps were on tight), i was ok.

thankfully, i no longer have to live in a 4 bedroom apt and just have to deal with one other roommate (aka boyfriend) and cats.

good luck with dorm life!!
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Re: Question for those of you who've had roommates
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2007, 08:15:40 PM »

Skittles!!  That's so cute!  How could you not like anything named Skittles?  XD

Yeah, luckily my new uni doesn't make freshmen live in the dorm.  Wouldn't that have been awkward?  My first one obviously did.  So I'm with you zizi on hating dorms.

I know it's too late now but does your Uni have other housing options?
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Silverain
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Re: Question for those of you who've had roommates
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2007, 10:05:24 PM »

Quote from: Juno on September 20, 2007, 08:15:40 PM
I know it's too late now but does your Uni have other housing options?

Kind of.  I spent the summer in an off-campus apartment for university students.  It was quite nice but somewhat more expensive and required a half-mile commute (which may not sound like much but it's an extra 20-30 minutes each way when you have to walk or take the bus).  We weren't really supposed to have pets there either I think, but it was an apartment, I had my own room and there were no RAs buzzing about to bother me.  The other girls in the apartment were aware that I kept a snake, and they weren't delighted, but Sam stayed in my room and they never saw him, so they didn't complain.  (Plus they spent much of the summer away on vacation.)

I may move back to those apartments at some point, but obviously that's not happening this quarter, since I already paid my housing bills and stuff.  I'm bloody sick of moving anyway, and I already have at least one more move on the agenda before the end of this year, which would make seven moves in about 19 months.  I've bounced from rental house to parents' house to dorm to apartment, and I'm getting real sick of it.  The rentals around here mostly suck, because the housing market in this area is always hot and even when losers haven't trashed a place, the landlords don't bother to fix stuff up nice because they know we poor students have to take what we can get.

Sometimes I think I'd rather be homeless and live out of a car, but that's not too practical.  My family would be appalled.

My backup plan, if I get caught by an RA or my roommate absolutely freaks on me, is to try and find a boy's cluster to board Sam in.  (Still against the rules, but like I said I think guys would be more cool with having a snake around.)  Failing that, I know a girl who lives off campus that would be willing to let his cage sit in a corner of her place.  But that'd be a pain in the ass, and I wouldn't get to see my own pet very much.

My roommate is moving in tomorrow, so I guess we'll see how it goes ... I have to be away Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, so my plan now is to keep Sam covered up until at least Sunday.  Ideally I'd like to be living here for a week or so before I reveal him, because I don't want my roomie's very first impression of me to be "weirdo girl who keeps a pet snake."
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 10:15:00 PM by Silverain » Logged

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Silverain
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Re: Question for those of you who've had roommates
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2007, 12:58:56 AM »

update:  Well, a few days ago I introduced Sam to the roomie and it went over well.  She was a bit weirded out at first but she calmed down fast and even expressed interest.  They all were curious about him, as long as he stayed safely in his cage.  So that was fine...

... until the RA walked into my room uninvited this evening, and I tried to shoo her out but she insisted on a "private chat" with me.  We talked for several minutes and at first I thought she hadn't noticed the snake ... then she made me go talk to the residence somethingorother on an unrelated matter, and it turned out she had seen the cage, so I got a double round of questioning and now I have 24 hours to get him out of here.

They were nicer about it than I expected, but I'm royally upset.  He's not hurting anyone, why can't I keep him?  I could probably try to hide him again but it's not worth the risk; if I get caught a second time the consequences might be severe.  My brother, who has an apartment, agreed to take him temporarily but I have to find him another home fast.

remind me why I'm living in a dorm, again?  The food is lousy, the prices suck, and they won't even let me keep a tiny pet.  (Oh yeah ... I live here because the only other housing options I could find were worse.)

craptastic.
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Re: Question for those of you who've had roommates
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2007, 01:25:18 AM »

How are these RAs just walking into your room whenever they please?  All my doors lock, the door going to the walkway locks, my bedroom door locks, and well, my suitemate is my RA....but he never just walks in and checks out my room.  That's messed up.  What if you weren't dressed(your RA being the same gender is no excuse)?
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Silverain
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Re: Question for those of you who've had roommates
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2007, 12:14:12 PM »

well, the door was open a crack, she kinda poked her head in, and I tried to get her to leave but she insisted on having a "private chat" with me about something, so I couldn't get her out of the room until it was too late.  Believe me, I tried to get her to leave without looking too suspicious, but it didn't work.
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