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Ask Amy: I caught my roommates snooping in my locked room

4 min

Dear Amy: I am a college student living with college-age roommates in a four-bedroom, one-bathroom house. We each have our own room and we share common living spaces.

A few months ago, I started noticing my locked bedroom door mysteriously unlocked and wide open, exposing my belongings to the rest of the house. I promptly put up a security camera in my room. Sure enough, one day, I got a notification of a person breaking into my room. I saved the video and anxiously pondered what I should do.

I decided to do nothing and see if it would happen again. Again, I received a notification that a person was in my room. This time all of my roommates were in my bedroom — scoping it out (it’s a tiny room). One of the roommates spotted the camera and immediately exited the room. On the tape I heard him state to the others that they should say that the reason for forced entry was to shut the open window.

I am furious and conflicted on what I should do. Should I file a police report? Confront them? Or should I, again, do nothing?

— Locked In

Locked In: This is creepy. You have video (and audio) of all of your roommates snooping through your room. They are also now aware that you have a camera, which should work as a deterrent against future raids.

In the short term, I don’t think it’s a good idea to confront these people, because you don’t seem to have any allies in the house. Before going to the police, I suggest that you contact your landlord, report what has happened, and ask for a deadbolt lock to be installed on your door. Also review your lease agreement, and start looking for other housing.

Yes, I do think you should go to the police, but it might be wisest to wait until you have secured other housing and moved your things out. This is trespassing and these people should be called to account.

Dear Amy: I have a new grandson who was born prematurely; he is in the NICU. This has been an extremely stressful and emotional time for our family. This is our first grandchild.

Recently, a good friend returned from her winter in Florida and called me. She asked how we were doing, and I gave her a very brief description of what was going on. Her responses were rushed and uncomfortable, and she couldn’t wait to get off the phone. She does not have grandchildren, so maybe that explains her response?

I’m kind of puzzled, as she is usually a very kind friend. Any thoughts or advice?

— Puzzled

Puzzled: Your friend might have seemed rushed and uncomfortable because she was upset by your news and wanted to make sure that she didn’t keep you away from your family.

Yes, this response was unexpected, but this is a great example of the truism that we often simply don’t know what other people are going through.

When you’re baffled by someone else’s behavior, anchoring to this perspective can prompt you not to take things personally — until you are given just cause.

It is possible that your friend had a previous similar experience that your story triggered. Or she was taken by surprise, messed up and disappointed you.

Dear Amy: I’m responding to the question from “Cleaning in Culver City,” who was downsizing. This person had decided to send correspondence that lifelong friends had sent over the years back to the original writer. “Cleaning” was surprised that no friends had thanked him for this gesture.

You thought this was a “very thoughtful” thing to do. As the recipient of a similar packet of letters and photographs that I’d originally sent to my aunt, I can offer my own reaction. I felt sadness. It seemed like my aunt was divorcing the family (similar packets were sent to other family members).

Time has granted me a kinder reaction as I realized that her intent was to share. She wasn’t rejecting us; she was just downsizing. I think I would’ve liked to review a well-written sentimental note or two, but I wish she’d just disposed of the rest of the letters and photos if she didn’t want to keep them.

— Dejected, not Rejected

Dejected: Dozens of readers have responded — all saying that they would not appreciate receiving letters and photos they had sent to someone else.

Your description of how it felt to receive yours makes perfect sense.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.