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Miss Peach

Like putting a good belt on a cheap dress

You Can Come Back Now, OK?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I have a very, very lucky living arrangement. I randomly found a roommate through a friend nearly three years ago, and she seemed normal enough, and she came with a car. I was just grateful she wasn’t into, like, hard-core porn or heroin from what I could tell, and she seemed reliable. The icing on the cake was the thought of getting the odd free ride to Target.

Turns out, she and I get along really well. Gen is now probably the closest thing I have to a sister. And for an only, that’s really cool. Even though I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by close family friends and cousins and had a shared history with them, it’s not like I ever fought over clothes or complained about how long they took in the bathroom. To me, that’s always been the sort of thing that I never had as an only and that I didn’t think I would ever experience. I’m not saying I yearned for petty spats with a sibling; what I wanted was to be comfortable and close enough to someone to be able to be a complete brat about certain things without fearing that it would actually affect the relationship. (Aside from my parents, of course.)

These are the particular joys of sharing an apartment with Gen. I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but I really don’t mean it as such. I value the fact that I can—without any apprehension—say things like, “Hey, you almost done in there? I’d like to go to bed before tomorrow!” when she takes three years getting ready for bed at night, and she in turn will give me lots of grief about taking long showers. (And rightfully so. But let’s move on, shall we? After all, this is about her.)

Also, like some sisters, we have a slew of inside jokes that don’t always make sense to others. Several of these stem from either Lifetime movies (too many to even begin to list) or Arrested Development (we greet each other with “Hey, roommate” a la Buster, and also routinely inform the other that “I don’t understand what you’re saying, and I will not respond to it.” Also, we have the same ringtone for each other (mine doubles for Darren too), which is “Final Countdown”, G.O.B.’s theme song.)

And then there are the jokes that stem from three years of living together—through leaks that caused the ceiling to come in and the apartment to basically flood while I frantically built a dam of towels, to pigeons attempting to peck through the window, to trips back from Ikea with an enormous armchair hanging out the back of her little bug, to mice infestations, a traumatic move, and weird neighbors of all sorts that pepper life here. We cheer each other on in work and in life, and tend to be around when the crap happens too. A few work situations have come up in the evening that involved people screaming at me for prolonged periods of time well after I’ve gone home for the day. Gen has been around for all of them, and I can’t imagine hanging up and not having her pop up off the couch with a horrified look on her face going, “Who the HELL was that?” And I’m not sure, but I think she appreciates when I get really indignant about the fact that she has no textbooks to teach her students with. None. Zippo. Zilch. I’m sorry, but that’s NOT acceptable.

I often joke that she is half my sibling and half my spouse, and I think that’s the truth in a way. Most of my friends live alone now and couldn’t wait to part with whoever they shared a place with. They were itching to live alone. I, on the other hand, get worried that Gen will decide to move back to her hometown or in with her real sister who lives in the area, and I will be forced to either find someone else (doubtful) or find my own place (likely). I am willing to put up with the small inconveniences of living with someone else that you aren’t romantically involved with to keep hanging out (a lack of equal space in the common closets comes to mind, are you reading this G? I kid because I love. And also you have an appalling amount of seasonal decoration to store, but it is MIGHTY festive at our place for all holidays, so there’s a benefit there too). Because at the end of the day, it’s fun, and we get along, and we tend to laugh really hard together.

As a teacher, she gets the summer off. Usually she sticks around, but she’s been gone since the last week of July and won’t be back until the end of the month. And let me tell you, it was really nice to have the place to myself for the first two weeks. I’m not going to lie. It was great. I lived it up. But the novelty has completely worn off, as evidenced by my forty phone calls to her a day. I’m hoping August races by for many reasons. I won’t be so busy and feel stretched as thin as I do at work come September. Fall will be on the horizon, and as I have only one trip to the beach left, I’m ready to pack it in and start anticipating next year. I’m going to see family over Labor Day, and can’t wait to get goofy with my little cousins and hang out at the pool, having tea parties with my eight-year-old best friend (and cousin) Sophie.

But mostly, it is so that Gen will return and I will stop echoing around our place. I’m almost looking forward to the piling that will occur when I come back, and the fact that I will no longer have control over the music or the television or get to pick the couch or the chair.

Come home soon, roommate! In the meantime, I’m totally having a party AND plan on spreading out my stuff on every. single. countertop. Wheeeeeee!


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