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Roaches, standards and being too picky

What is the difference between having standards and being too picky? Where do you draw the line?

I had an experience this weekend that made me ask that question. Did I have high standards, or was I simply being too picky? I’ll let you be the judge.

After searching for a new place to move into, I finally found one that had all the requirements I was looking for. Cool roommate, ideal location and affordable rent price. When I checked out the place 3 weeks prior, I did notice something that alarmed me. I saw three dead cockroaches on the kitchen counter tops. I asked the landlord/ potential future roommate if he had a roach issue.

The guy said no, and that he started noticing a few here and there only weeks ago. He said not to worry, because on move-in day they would be completely gone. He promised to clean up the house and get the roaches exterminated himself.

A few days later, I decided to take the room. I put down my deposit, shook his hand, and proceeded to wait for 3 weeks until move in day.

Finally, move in day arrived. I showed up to my new apartment, with my belongings, excited about the next few months. When I walked in I noticed something that got me worried.

I saw a few dead roaches scattered around the living room, and much much more in the kitchen. I even found two alive in my empty bedroom. I asked him what happened to his promise.

He said he had been working on spraying the house, and that they were dying. In my opinion, the issue looked significantly worse. WAY worse. I tried to remain cool and stated that we could work on it together and spray the house with Raid until they were completely eliminated (deep down inside I’m hesitant that it’ll be enough).

I walked into my new room, for a closer examination, and noticed that it was dusty and dirty. I decided that I should clean it up before bringing any of my belongings inside. I drove off to the local Target, only two miles down the street, to purchase some cleaning supplies. I bought a 3-pack of roach fumigation canisters, 2 Raid spray cans, disinfectant spray, and Swiffer wipes (he already had the mop).

I got back to the apartment and my future roommate was gone running errands (he had told me he would be gone). I unlocked the door and the place was completely dark (it was already dark outside). I turned on my phone’s flashlight, and proceeded to walk into the kitchen (the only light switch I knew of). To say the least, I didn’t like what I saw.

My flashlight poured onto the counter tops and I saw ROACHES EVERYWHERE. Easily 20 to 30 roaches. When I turned on the kitchen light most of them scattered out of sight. I went to grab a Raid spray can and sprayed those that were still in sight.

I noticed a huge roach scatter, and climb into the toaster. WTF.

I noticed roaches crawling all over the fridge. Again, WTF.

I thought to myself, this is not good. At this point, I was definitely worried. How was I supposed to cook and eat everyday when the roaches were all over the toaster, fridge, dishes and stove?

I walked back into my room after spraying roaches, for a few minutes, in the kitchen. I noticed three new roaches inside. I looked at the hallway walls and saw a few roaches there too. I walked into the bathroom and noticed roaches in there too. Three in the bathtub to be exact.


I asked myself, “am I being too picky or do I have certain standards? Am I exaggerating the issue or am I simply too afraid to live outside of my comfort zone?” You can be the judge of that.

At this point, I’m was not excited anymore. A feeling of dread was creeping in. I felt like leaving and calling it all off. This was NOT what I was looking for.

But again, I said to myself, you shouldn’t be afraid to get outside of your comfort zone.

I know I’ve seen tons of comfort zone related pictures on Instagram. Is this what they are talking about?

I began cleaning my room. Dusting, sweeping and mopping. I even sprayed the perimeter with Raid. Around 80% through, I decided, that I didn’t care about stepping outside of my comfort zone, and into this specific situation. I know comfort zones are not ideal, but I didn’t care about exploring this zone.

I was not going to live comfortably. Period. Roaches were even crawling on the walls. It seemed out of control to me. It was clearly an infestation.

I texted the guy, asking when he would be returning. He responded with 15 minuets. I stepped outside to think and stood by my car.

I decided, that I didn’t care if I was being too picky. It was my money and I would have never agreed to this.

The guy finally comes back and we stepped into his apartment to chat. I told him that the roach situation was exaggerated. As we talked, I kept interrupting him by pointing out new roaches. I asked him, “How many roaches have you sprayed in the 10 minuets that we have been chatting?”

He said, “10 to 15.”

As he said that, a huge roach crawled next to him on the sofa. He flicked it off and sprayed it.

Roaches were even on the SOFA.

I told him that this was not what I had agreed to. He tried to convince me to stay for at least one month while he searched for another roommate. He assured me that the roaches would be completely gone in two weeks. Even if that was true, which I highly doubted, was I supposed to deal with roaches in the toaster and on the sofa for the upcoming two weeks?

I can’t. He said, “In that case, I’ll be forced to keep your deposit.”

“That’s understandable. Good luck with the roaches and finding a new roommate,” I said.

That’s the end of my experience, and the story.

Would you judge it as a standards issue or being too picky? When do you draw the line between the two?

Is this a case of being too hesitant to step outside of my comfort zone?