I live in an expensive city where housing is scarce, but I’m fortunate enough to own a home. I offered the second bedroom to my friends “Courtney” and “Ross.” They’re a couple who share a room, pay half the expenses, and do half the housework. We share meals and food costs. It’s great, but I am expected to be ready to teach at 7 a.m. (so I can’t eat my breakfast at work) and have a 40-minute commute. Courtney works 9–5 at a nearby bank, and Ross works an afternoon shift; they’re both “night people.” The house is large and echo-y, and Courtney, a delicate sleeper, is easily disturbed by the sounds of me preparing breakfast. She requested that since I work a “nonstandard” schedule, I eat breakfast out each morning so as to not wake her. I agreed but soon realized that it costs me an extra $50 per week to eat out while still paying for one-third of the groceries. I suggested that this cost be added into our weekly food expenses, but Courtney balked. Was I being unfair to ask this? Can I insist? Other than this, they’re great roommates.
—Nonstandard Schedule Standards