My roommate is a preteen girl

When it comes to roommates, you never know who – or what – you’re gonna get. This year, I’m sharing my room with a 19-year-old sophomore guy majoring in electrical engineering and math. The problem is, he is also a preteen girl.

By that I mean he could very well be one, because his music, film and societal tastes are a part of a much younger demographic – about 10 years younger and female, to be exact. Sadly, he’ll even admit that, although it is publicly evidenced by his “Lizzie McGuire” screensaver and matching posters. But it doesn’t stop there. All of his music comes from the top 40 charts, he owns countless pairs of shoes, tapes MTV when he’s not around and votes for “American Idol” contenders religiously.

My previous columns have been largely sarcastic. This one is complete truth.

Although my roommate carries the aura of a macho frat-boy, he watches sappy chick-flicks every week. Between “Stepmom” and “About a Boy,” it’s hard to say which best represents his idea of a four-star movie. Furthermore, he’s infatuated with teeny-bopper idols. His adulation of Hilary Duff (a 16-year-old Disney star) is almost creepy, but he claims he respects her most for her wonderful talents. He backs that up by playing Duff’s cacophonous album a minimum of five times every day, beginning to end. If you haven’t heard Duff’s music, consider yourself lucky. It sounds like a whiny, gleeful toddler howling monosyllabic lyrics over video game techno songs. His favorite song is a ballad by Duff that’s about being a strong young girl.

Normally I wouldn’t write a column that is strictly “slice-of-life,” but I find that it is the only way to ease the frustration of living with a pop-culture maniac. I suppose some girls would appreciate his feminine tastes, but as his roommate (and as an adult), I have the right to complain. I listen to real music, namely stuff that’s not recorded by little girls. I don’t watch “Newlyweds” or shop for bracelets at Hot Topic. The bottom line, I guess, is that my roommie and I couldn’t be more different.

However, I think diversity is great, and knew before I moved in that I wouldn’t care who I was paired with. It definitely could be a lot worse. He is very tidy and smart. That’s good, right? Plus, he lets me play my music, too. He is finally aware of my avid disgust for all things geared toward budding schoolgirls. Now, every time he watches “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” he’ll politely wear headphones.

And he’s single, ladies! (He told me to write that.)

My situation is annoying, but at the end of the year, I’m sure I’ll miss the guy. He’s always been nice, respectful and understanding. All of his adolescent behaviors and girlish ideals couldn’t cover the fact that he’s a normal guy.

Oh, crap. I forgot about not being sarcastic.

Mat Koehler welcomes comments at [email protected]