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Lucy Truman

One of my roommate’s friends moved in with us, and, unfortunately, they are both avid singers. They sing almost constantly. We’re talking top-of-the-lungs opera, show tunes, etc. Apparently, neither seems to think there’s anything wrong with it. I can’t even watch TV anymore without their singing ruining the show. I don’t want to be “that guy” who confronts them openly. Any ideas?

S.M. / Newton

Sugar, if there were ever a problem that was made to be solved with the magic of song, this is it. Your roommates need to be negotiated with, and approaching a negotiation in the native language of one’s interlocutors is always a wise diplomatic move. Call a house meeting, cue up Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and let ’em have it:


OMG this life

Like a ‘Glee’ TV fantasy

Caught with my roommates

No escape from melody

Open your ears

Look into my eyes and see

I’m just a poor boy, I need some quiet, see?

When you sing, I must go

Singing high, singing low

Gospel, pop, or show tunes, they don’t charm me, charm me.

Roomies, just hear my plea

Kill the earworms in my head

End the singing, make them dead

Roomies, the workweek’s just begun

I can’t endure your cheerful harmony

Roomies, oo-oo-ooh

Didn’t mean to be That Guy

I know singing brings you joy not sorrow

Carry on, carry on, between five and seven every day.

But when the night has come

And there’s ‘Game of Thrones’ and beer

Can we have some quiet here?

I like living here and I don’t want to go

But it’s time to open up and tell the truth

Roomies, ooh, when you sing “Let It Go”

Inside, I ugly-cry

I love you, bros, but please stop the talent shows!


Alternately, you can print out this column and tape it to the house refrigerator with a note reading: “Ha-ha-ha. No, seriously guys, this is us. Cut it out.” Your call.

Miss Conduct is Robin Abrahams, a writer with a PhD in psychology.