My dad is trying to get me to move out. I know this because today he put a bucket of meat in the kitchen so that I would see it when I got home. We’re not talking about fresh meat from the store or Costco. We’re talking about chopped up cow placed in a bucket. EWWW! They butchered two steers today. Who doesn’t butcher cows on a Tuesday? It’s perfectly normal, right? Um… I hope not! So anyway, after I saw the bucket of bloody body parts in the kitchen, I wouldn’t go back in there. I needed to wash my clothes, but I wouldn’t go through the kitchen to the garage because I didn’t want to see this stuff anymore.
Note to my brother Ben: If this butchering date was your attempt to get me to move out of our parents’ house, it almost worked. What would work better would be if you could suddenly have an in with a community college or university where I could work with communications or teach English composition classes. Nice try, though. You put in a solid effort.
If I had ever been good at saving money, I wouldn’t currently have my parents as my awesome roommates. I would have saved money for college and I would have saved money for traveling and to help me find an apartment in the city. But saving money was never my thing. I’m great at traveling and I’m also great with spending money on those travels. Before I studied abroad in Oxford, England, I worked to save money tuition and travel. When the money ran out, I had a few weeks left in England and my mom had to start supporting my weekend outings to London and my kebab habit on the way home from the Bodleian Library. My parents just… support me. These days, I think they like having me around because I do the housework and I make them laugh and teach them about popular TV shows and stuff. They know that I’ll leave soon enough. They just like having me for the time being. I don’t think the meat bucket was an actual attempt to make me move out.
I should know about trying to get a roommate to move out. I had a roommate during my freshman year of college that for some reason, I just wanted to get to leave our room. If she left and demanded her own room, I reasoned, I wouldn’t have to pay, thus leaving me with my own awesome room for the entire year.
I don’t know how it started. Maybe it was that she said my Harry Potter books were demon possessed. Or maybe it was that she didn’t like listening to Christmas music in August. Whatever it was, I just couldn’t relate to Doni. When I look back on it now, I wonder what was wrong with me. Back then, I was a bit homely: I had bad hair, tacky clothes, and a retainer with a fake tooth in it. I was not exactly the beauty queen she was, but I had that great personality (or so people told me). Doni was outgoing and funny and she loved watching Moulin Rouge. She flirted with all of the boys. We even had a faux wedding for she and Sam Fleishmann our freshman year near the chapel building. (I got to be the flower girl.) We really had some great times, but when I look back to time in our Ford Hall dorm room, I am always baffled. We should have been the perfect roommates. We should have been able to become the best of friends. But we didn’t.
In the years after freshman year at NNU, Doni and I became better friends. We realized that we had some funny things in common. We are the type of people who appreciate and understand one another’s sense of humor. We like chocolate cake and sometimes snort when we laugh. These are the good things. These are the things that make friendships.
I think freshman year at Ford was just an awkward year. I didn’t want to grow up and yet it was time to go to college. I didn’t even organize my stuff in my dorm room, my older sister did that for me. (She was a major neat-freak back then.) I hadn’t experienced my rebel teenage years. I’d been the good kid all the way through. I suppose living with Doni brought out the rebel in me. She thought Harry Potter was demon possessed. Now I’ll read it when I’m supposed to be at church! She and the girls talk about how it’s sad that my sister’s having a kid before she’s married, I’ll spend all of my free time hanging out with said sister. If I had perhaps figured out how to manage my actual appearance and get rid of the stringy hair and retainer, I may have been the sort of “rebel” that I am these days.
These days… I’m just content to be around. Things aren’t perfect. My hair isn’t as pretty as it was last year in Ternopil (those bucket showers must have actually helped my hair or maybe my memory is just fading). And I’m never sure what kind of mood my roommates will be in when I get home from work from whatever temp job I have that week. But at least I have people right now. I can handle the moods and the Recearilla jokes as I do the dishes and clean both bathrooms. I just hope they’re done with the meat buckets.
Note to Doni: You are awesome, roomie!