An Old Boy (alumnus) who is about to start his final year at university recently shared this dilemma with me:
“I was the first to move into the house we’ve rented at school, and because I got there first, I took the best room. Of course, right? I admit I felt just a little guilty, so I texted my housemate and said that I had taken the big room but was flexible.
When I came back to the house later that same day, I discovered that he had moved ALL of my stuff into the smaller room, and when I confronted him, he just said, ‘Hey, you said you were flexible.’
It was like a scene right out of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.’
Before I knew what hit me, I was saying things like, ‘Of course I SAID I was flexible, but that doesn’t MEAN I’m flexible. I was just trying to be decent.’
And his response was — as you would predict – ‘So am I supposed to guess that even though you SAID you were flexible you weren’t REALLY flexible? Am I supposed to be the grand interpreter of all things you say?’
‘Exactly’ I responded.
The Old Boy asked for advice, and I suggested they either recalculate the rent or split the room by term. But he isn’t sure that he even wants to bring the subject up again.
“I’m just so ticked off, but at the same time, I don’t want this to ruin our friendship or ruin my final year.”
After he hung up, I found myself thinking that this is exactly why we send our boys away to university. Even Larry David might agree.