Friday, August 10, 2012

The Time My Roommate Openly Despised Me For No Reason


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Sharing a hotel room with someone who clearly doesn't like you for no apparent reason is a fascinating experience. At a certain point in my life it probably would have hurt my feelings and bugged the hell out of me. But I'm more confident now and much less intense. So when it happened recently I found it entertaining rather than upsetting.




I'm a pretty easy person to get along with. I'm not picky about most things. I'm flexible about details like when or where I get ready for the day. It's not a big deal to me. To be honest, I have much bigger fish to fry with my health concerns. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to that feeling. Who has the energy to stress about stupid stuff when you live with a debilitating chronic illness? I know I don't.

But I used to be the kind of person who allowed myself to get stressed out about anything and everything. I was that woman with the clenched jaw and scrunched up neck and shoulders. I wore my frazzled, frantic energy like a badge of honor. A sign I was a serious person with serious business to attend to that required me to be rigidly uptight. It's funny to me in retrospect because I know now that allowing yourself to be a ball of stress has nothing to do with whether you are a serious person.

In the days since I got home I've reflected on the situation quite a bit. Not to torture myself, but rather to see what I can learn about myself from the interactions.

Katie Couric & BlogHer cofounder Lisa Stone.
I've come to the conclusion that I was 100% my authentic self. I put myself out there to get to know her and I can't control much else about what went down. Sometimes people don't like you. And that probably says more about them than it does about you.

However, I do regret that I started to get nasty with her when she got weird about the Hilton New York's errors in splitting the room charges equally between our two credit cards. The hotel completely dropped the ball, but I straightened the situation out. The hotel front desk employee who helped me rectify things printed an updated statement for me and one for her. I left her statement for her with a note explaining exactly what I'd discussed with the hotel employee.

Apparently after she got home she still had concerns (the hotel may have applied additional charges when it shouldn't have, I'm not sure), and she sent me a text message that I took to have an accusitory tone. Actually, let me quote it directly with the dollar amounts removed to protect her privacy:

"Diana,

Did you pay your half of the hotel? There (sic) entire charge plus almost $--- extra for a total of $---.-- was charged to my credit card. When I called the hotel they told me that only my card was on file and that you removed yours. Can you elaborate?"

I was offended. I'll admit it. Not only had she clearly not wanted to be around me during the conference, now she seemed to be accusing me of trying to rip her off.

Why would I go to the trouble of straightening everything out and making sure they credited her back for the mistaken charges, then ask them to remove my card from the room and try to stick her with all the charges?

I didn't respond as nicely as I could have. This conversation came much later than my realization she didn't care much for me, so it couldn't have had anything to do with her feelings about me.

As we left things via text message, she was going to get back to me after she talked to the hotel on Monday. But I haven't heard back. I had told her I'd send her copies of my statements from the hotel showing what I was charged, but my husband asked me not to. He doesn't think it's necessary or appropriate and after reflecting I agreed. Her disagreement is with the Hilton New York, not me.

My husband and friends have all said she probably didn't get back to me because she's embarrassed. I don't really care, and I'm certainly not getting in contact with her. I unfollowed her on Twitter, but I wish her well in life. I just don't need to interact any further with her.

My conclusion is that perhaps it's not a good idea to share a room with someone you don't already know if you aren't the kind of person to trust that most other people have good intentions and aren't trying to rip you off. Not everyone comes at life from the same perspective, and I think it's important to know yourself and your limits.

This won't stop me from having roommates in the future and in no way ruined my trip or my BlogHer '12 experience. But it gave me a chance to reflect on the evolution of my personality and how living with chronic illness has shaped it, and I'm glad for that.

How has living with migraine disease or another chronic illness changed your personality and the ways you interact with other people?

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.