LAS CRUCES, NM—Dave Beckman, the newest tenant of a three-bedroom apartment in the Lincoln Crest complex, has offered numerous redecorating tips "to make the place more livable," long-time inhabitants Andrew Kiely and Marcus Linkater said Monday.
"Dave's only lived here six weeks, but he's had lots of ideas," said Linkater, who has lived in the apartment with Kiely for three years. "Like, he brought in this glass-topped coffee table to replace the old one from my parents' rec room. Other than the wobbly leg, the old table was fine. But I figured, if it mattered so much to him, so be it."
Linkater and Kiely said that Beckman has been very aggressive about "fixing the place up a little."
"Dave painted the bathroom orange," Linkater said. "We were fine with it, because he bought the paint and did all the work, but now he wants to paint all the rooms. He keeps saying, 'If we all pitch in, we can get it done in a weekend.' Yeah, that's true, but I don't want to waste a whole Saturday painting the stupid apartment."
Added Linkater: "One weird-colored room is fine, but doing all of them is just fruity."
Beckman has also nagged his roommates about replacing the weathered leather couch Kiely found on the curb three years ago.
"Dave said he saw this red-velveteen couch at Goodwill for $75 that he wants us to check out," Kiely said. "I keep telling him that the couch is fine. It sags a little, but we could stick a piece of plywood under the cushions, and it would be like new. This couch has history. I don't want to give up the place where I made out with Katie Linnon."
According to Linkater, Beckman began scoping out potential redecorating projects the day he moved in.
"I caught him staring at my Alice In Chains poster in the living room," Linkater said. "He said, 'Do people really care about having that poster there?' He said he had some artwork his friend Meg did that would look great in the living room. I've had that poster since I was in high school. I like it just where it is."
To date, Beckman has suggested numerous redecorating tips, including installing track lighting in the dining room, outfitting the toilet with a cushioned seat, fixing the hole in the hallway wall, and replacing the freestanding bookcases with wall-mounted shelves.
"Yesterday, he was talking about taking out the carpet," Kiely said. "I'm not spending a fucking week ripping up perfectly good carpet just because Dave thinks hardwood floors are the thing to have. Basically, we'd be working for our landlord for free."
Last week, Linkater and Kiely came home and found their dishes sitting in boxes outside their bedroom doors. According to Linkater, Beckman said his dishware "matched," unlike Linkater and Kiely's diverse collection of plates, bowls, and plastic containers. Beckman also replaced the coffee maker and the toaster with newer, more expensive models.
"So what if his stuff is better?" Kiely asked. "It's a dick-move to stick our shit in the hall without asking."
Beckman's most grievous suggestion to date involved the house's "Szechwan Horror Night."
"Every Tuesday, Andrew and I get takeout from Szechwan Gardens and watch horror movies," Linkater said. "At first, Dave thought it was fun, but the last two times, he suggested we try this new Cajun place. We've been getting Szechwan Gardens for two years. Why would we switch?"
"He can put candles on the end tables and hang posters of French movies in the bathroom all he wants, but you don't fuck with tradition," Linkater added.
According to Kiely, while previous roommates have been friends, Beckman was only a "friend of a friend."
"I know I barely know Dave, but the guy's kind of a jag-off," Kiely said. "We let him move in, and now he tries to give our apartment 'more character.' If I knew him better, I'd tell him to fuck off and that would be the end of it."
"I'm drawing the line here," Linkater said. "I'm not putting up with any more of his 'Wouldn't this look great here?' shit."