I lead a charmed life.
Sure, I have plenty of problems. Some of them are even major issues, things so serious that I’ve been praying about them for years. But the hard times are more than compensated for by the blessings I’ve received.
One of those has been the number of amazing roommates I’ve had. During my years at FSU, I heard many of my friends complain about roommate problems. I was always left marveling at my good fortune.
That “luck” (if you want to call it that) started with a game of roommate roulette prior to my freshman year. I was late in applying for housing and didn’t know anyone to ask to be my roommate, so I allowed Florida State to pair me with someone. That “someone” was Alison, a reserved girl from Gainesville who thought I had fun taste in music and didn’t mind when my milk spilled all over the fridge (even though she was a vegan). Despite our differences, we got along fabulously. We loved creating jokes that drove Heather crazy, and we respected one another’s space. Our giggles carried into the next several years – we remained roommates until I left Tallahassee in December 2002.
During the summer between our first and second years, I subleased an apartment with Apryl. We bonded when we lived diagonally from one another in the dorm (Heather was her roommate). The six-week summer session was filled with visits to Stetson’s, dinner parties and dancing in the rain. Apryl and I will probably never live together again – our living preferences are completely different. But we walked away from that summer with new memories that continue to bring laughter even five years later. (And Apryl continues to tell those stories to everyone we meet! ;))
That’s Apryl on my right.
Alison and I were reunited as roommates when the fall semester started, though this time we lived down the hall from one another in the townhouse we shared with two other girls. I’ve already mentioned Heather, with whom I have spent countless talking till four a.m. Those two shared a bedroom, and I roomed with Paula on the other side of the apartment. The four of us moved across town to a four bedroom house in August 2001. Some of my favorite memories of those years come from the hours we spent in the living room, talking about everything and nothing or watching (and mocking) Paula’s soap operas. Heather and I were able to spend some quality time with Paula several weekends ago on the evening before her wedding. It was so much fun to watch one of my roommates walk down the aisle and begin a new chapter of life!
Me & Heather hamming it up – as usual!
After Paula and I graduated, Heather’s little sister Erin and my little sister Cristin moved into the house. (Yes, she was so… so PAULA that it took two people to even begin to fill her space! ;)) That was an experience! They are both very dramatic – we used to describe them to people as “imagine us, only on speed.” They too were a bit messier than I prefer, but we had some great times belting out “How the Other Half Lives” in the living room.
When I moved to Alabama, I found a place to sublease using a roommate Web site. Even then, the girls I ended up with (Lauren and Sarah) were good roommates. We weren’t as close as I have been with the others, but we enjoyed one another’s company and even spent some time together outside the apartment. (And more importantly, Lauren was even more of a neat freak than I am! I felt like the sloppy one!)
Today marks the end of an era, according to my current roommate. I half laugh whenever Alisa utters that phrase; though I agree with her, it seems an era would be so much longer than the ten months we’ve spent together. I believe it was on my first night in San Diego last summer that I prayed about the friendship that would grow as we were roommates. I had prayed about it before (hey, pray without ceasing and all that jazz!), but it wasn’t until then that I considered how little time we had actually spent together. I suspected that we would have a blast as roommates, but we had only met once before. I suspected that the next two weeks (in which we would hang out in California and then drive across the country) would reveal a lot about how we would get along in the months to come.
I was right.
We had a blast on that trip – I couldn’t have asked for a better time! We’ve learned each other’s quirks and know how to read one another’s behavior. She knows what it means when I’m eating too much popcorn, and I have the freedom to tell her when she’s overthinking. We’re not embarrassed to dance around the apartment like fools… or to dance in public like fools. We can have a great time taking pictures around Tuscaloosa (at least once a month!) or simply sitting in the apartment discussing theology.
She’s been my closest friend in the state, which has been especially significant in a time when such friends were few and far between. I’m going to miss her when I return in August (heck, I’m going to miss her when I drive away today!), but that’s the beauty of these deep friendships. They don’t just fade away unless you give up on them. I’ve always thought that a roommate is a special kind of friend. It’s almost like having a twin sister – someone with whom you’re so close that you can express your thoughts with minimal words.
San Diego 2005? Here’s hoping!
And I will pay no mind When it won’t, and it won’t, ’cause it can’t, It just can’t (It’s not supposed to).