Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My College Roommate

I think about my old college roommate a lot. For the longest time I felt sorry for her for getting me as a roommate. She was like someone from a sweet novel or TV show. She came from a little town in the mountains of Virginia and her mother had attended the same college. She had been a cheerleader and was voted "Best-All-Around" and was probably class president. She had a boyfriend that was a year or two older that was in a Virginia college and they exchanged letters almost every day. She was always buying stamps from me. I can't remember why I had so many stamps. I don't think I ever wrote to anyone. On the other hand, that would explain why I had so many stamps.


I usually just gave her stamps, but if I was out, she would leave change and a note in my desk. And I always needed change to feed the Pepsi machine. She was the most polite and sweet and neat person. She didn't have a single flaw. She talked in her sleep sometimes and instead of being annoying, I thought it was hilarious. Sometimes she said random things and sometimes she practiced French.


In the picture above, she is the one on top of my old mail jeep. I'm the one in red. I once brought a La-Z-Boy recliner to school in that jeep and she and I, alone, took that thing up three flights of stairs to our room. That sealed the deal for our room to be the hangout. Everyone wanted to sit in that thing. All the rooms had for sitting were wooden desk chairs and beds. Sometimes someone would wander in after a tough day of classes and ask, "Can I just sit here for a while?" I could also get by with leaving my jeep parked there for a little while because I think campus security thought it was a pizza delivery vehicle.


For the first several months I pretty much spent all of my free time with my high school boyfriend who lived in the dorm next to ours. I broke up with him just after Thanksgiving and we finally started to get to know each other. Although I felt all grown up, I was not mature enough to realize that I could have anything in common with someone so different from me.


We were like night and day as far as life experience went. She was a non-drinking virgin that had never even tried drugs. She had early classes and studied all the time or was writing letters. I slept in, went to class and then went to a bar or arcade or was out throwing frisbee or watching "M*A*S*H" in the student lounge. And oddly, although she seemed so classy middle class and I probably seemed sort of white trash, I had lots of money and she was always broke. She was uncomfortable borrowing money from me, so I started borrowing a lot of her clothes and told her that made us even. And I really liked her clothes.


Once the HS boyfriend was out of the picture I became more of a part of campus life and got to know all the friends she had made. We were a motley group that went to dinner together every night and did some special game/dinner nights in the dorm kitchen. I was the only one with a car and we would all pile into my jeep and go to the mall sometimes. Oddly, two of our group were girls I knew from high school but hadn't really realized were there before. They didn't join us for dinner as often and would donate their meal cards to us for the "special dinners" where you couldn't get seconds.


Once my roommate and I relaxed around each other, we discovered we shared the same crazy sense of humor. We laughed all the time and a few times I even talked her into joining us at the bar for Wednesday night nickel beer night where we played drinking games. When she lost, instead of drinking, she donated a nickel.


I felt really bad once our friends started looking at dorms for our sophomore year because I knew I wouldn't be coming back. I doubt she was surprised when I told her. I went back for the Halloween party the next year and she seemed happy with her new roommate. I don't think I ever saw her after that. I hope she's happy.


Before I started this post, I googled her old high school boyfriend and it looks like they are still married and living in their old hometown. I wrote her number down. I think I'll giver her a call.


Jammie J. said...

La-Z-Boy recliners are just the best, aren't they? You can recover them (or have them recovered) and they last for another 20 years. Here's a funny random thing ... my green La-Z-Boy is actually a twin to one my ex has (or had). He was going to buy one for just himself and I was all, well hell with that, I want one too! So I bought one.

Your roommate kind of reminds me of me at that age... "She was a non-drinking virgin that had never even tried drugs. She had early classes and studied all the time or was writing letters. " Yep, definitely me. :D

Scarlet said...

What a sweet post. I love how you gave her a chance and realized you had some good things in common. She sounds like the kind of friend one could have for life. I REALLY hope you reconnect and hopefully see each other again sometime.

I love the photo, btw. I need to dig up some old high school pics, but do you really wanna see me with big mall hair?? I don't think so. :(

Jazz said...

What a great post. Have you looked for her on facebook?

Carole said...

Gee, this is such a sweet post, and the funny thing about your writing is that you paint such a good picture, that while reading this I am actually seeing a desk with stamp money and note, and a "homesick" recliner in your dorm room. Homesick because everybody who wanted to come sit in it probably got a little feeling of home while sitting it in.

I know she'll be happy to hear from you and I think it's fun that you're going to call her.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Loved this post. Learned a lot about you. I do hope you get to have a fun re-union. I like looking up old friends.

Violet said...

This sortof makes me wish I'd had the college dorm experience.

I often think of old friends and then wonder if they ever think of me - and what they are thinking. Not enough to contact most of them though. This contact is one that might be very interesting for you both, though.

XUP said...

Great story! I love the jeep. What happened to it? I hope you'll tell us a bit about your conversation with your old roomate. But I really want to know about the jeep

geewits said...

~~That thing was quite hardy. For some reason it seemed harder to get it back down the stairs at the end of the year than to take it up.

And you're still that sweet girl, I think.

~~Yes I guess the things you learn in college are not just from the classes. I DO want to see your mall hair.

~~Yes. She's not on facebook unless she's one of the ones with no picture and no location.

~~That's good. I guess it was a homesick recliner.

~~It may have been your travel post that made me think of all that.

~~I wouldn't trade those 9 months for anything.

~~I'm guessing the jeep went the way of my Mustang. I would fly back to live in Texas and Dad would let my brother have the car and he would wreck it. I do have some funny stories about that jeep.

rajeshoms3 said...

Call 1-800-364-4144 to have a trained specialist match you with the perfect roommate. Our roommate finding services help straight and gay roommates finde rooms for rent all over the country.

Anonymous said...

Hi I'd like to thank you for such a terrific quality forum!
thought this is a perfect way to make my first post!

Johnie Maverick
if you're ever bored check out my site!
[url=http://www.partyopedia.com/articles/construction-party-supplies.html]construction Party Supplies[/url].