Being Roommates with 2012 US Olympic Team Athletes

Being Roommates with 2012 US Olympic Team Athletes

Ryan Lochte doesn’t just not remember to put the toilet seat back down, he actively refuses to do so. He tells you it’s a patience training exercise, and it’s for your own good, but really you know he just kind of likes being a dick. Yet he always manages to make up for his deliberate jerk moves by doing adorable things like wearing only bright orange high tops and a pink speedo around the house and insisting you call him “Mr. Pink Butt.” Or leaving you a custom-made diamond grill by the bathroom sink, with a note that reads “so your teeth can sparkle as much as you do.” He’s like a big Sour Patch Kid, except he doesn’t dissolve when you put him in water. Lochte wishes you guys had a dog named Murray, definitely a rescue dog, but he’s only really serious about it when he’s drunk.

Gabby Douglas really doesn’t like your boyfriend because a) sometimes he talks down to you and b) he steals her energy bars out of the cupboard clearly marked “Gabby’s cupboard, plz stay out!” followed by a series of hearts and smiley faces. She has designated Wednesday evenings as Roommate Time, during which she always asks you how your job is going and insists you guys should go get massages together soon. She always comes prepared to said Roommate Time with a bag of fun size Twix. Gabby leaves sticky notes on the bathroom mirror for you every once in a while that say things like “Go for the gold!” or “I finished the milk, SORRY! I’ll pick some up later xoxo!” Gabby vehemently refuses to clean the bathroom, but she knows how unfair that is, so she always does all the dishes.

Michael Phelps spends on average fifteen more minutes in the bathroom than you do, and sometimes if you stick your ear right up to the door you can hear him whispering things to himself. “Just do it, Michael. It’s not so bad.” “Shhh, shhhh…breathe. It’s fine. It can’t hurt you.” You begin to suspect that Michael is actually terrified of water, but never bothered to tell anybody because he’s 45% dolphin. Sometimes when he comes home from practice he looks sad, and asks you to scratch his hair for him while the two of you watch reruns of Roseanne. If ever Michael accidentally farts while you’re in the room, he apologizes vehemently and feels sincere shame. He’s written “PHELPS” on the bottom of all of his shoes in permanent marker. Not because he’s trying to copy Lochte, but because he realized it’s actually a really convenient way to find your shoes later.

Phil Dalhausser wakes you up every morning at about 3:30 a.m. with his sleep terrors. And every morning you gently shake him and ask him to stop screaming. On weekends he asks you to set for him so he can practice his spikes, and has only pummeled you in the face four times. Maybe five. Once, over a bottle of wine on your porch, Phil confided in you that he’s always wanted people to call him Philip, because it sounds regal, but it’s probably too late to try pushing that now. Phil has gone as Lex Luthor for the past three Halloweens that you’ve lived together. Phil has dedicated one entire kitchen shelf to jars of Jiffy natural peanut butter, but now that you think about it you’ve never actually seen him eat it before. Upon investigation, you notice that all the jars still have their safety seals intact.

Missy Franklin has finally mastered Ludacris’s featured rap in Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” after practicing in the shower every day for the last two weeks. For a while there she refused to answer your questions with anything other than “Don’t need no Starbucks!” and then giggling to herself. She’s inserted the phrase “that’ll cost you the gold…” into everyday events, such as when you accidentally overcook a bag of popcorn or lose your cell phone between the couch cushions. At first you found it annoying, but that big smile of hers really is as endearing as Bob Costas says it is. The two of you can literally watch hours and hours of Spongebob Squarepants and completely lose track of the day. She once spent an entire afternoon trying to get your cat to wear her gold medal.

Jordyn Wieber often forgets to pick up her hair barrettes off the coffee table, but you’re too afraid to tell her. She once walked in on you crying at the end of Return of the King, pointed at you and shouted “NO!” then flicked you in the ear. For your birthday she got you a “Hang in there!” wall poster with a kitten clinging to a branch. She swore you to secrecy after she revealed that Gabby’s nickname isn’t “flying squirrel” because she’s small, quick, and nimble; but rather because anytime she eats anything she uses two hands. Jordyn always pees with the bathroom door open, and will make eye contact with you if you see her doing it. Sometimes you come home from work and Jordyn is sitting on the roof. She’s never explained this to you.

Katie Sisneros