It’s August, which means it’s the dreaded back-to-school time. I don’t have to go back (thank God) but it got me thinking about the dorm and the hilarious and frustrating things that happened there. I wasn’t too fond of my Junior year roommate and ended up hating her by the end of the year and Senior year I got along great with my roommate. We lived our separate lives and respected each other’s space. That’s how it should work. But it was Freshman and Sophomore years that were the most eventful in the dorm. That’s probably attributable to my roommates those two years, Kaylee and Rebecca.
Kaylee was, quite simply, a man-eater. When she came to college she was going with a boyfriend from home, Bryan. He was going to a college not far away and would drop in from time to time. I didn’t mind. He was a nice guy. Except for that time I came back to the room planning on doing some homework and heard Kaylee talking in the shower. Then I heard Bryan. I left and came back later. Kaylee and Bryan eventually broke up and it wasn’t long before other guys were hanging around our room a lot. Actually, guys were hanging around before Bryan’s exit. These frat boys seemed to fall in love with her and she would just hang out and then move on. The next year there was a whole parade of guys. She was even still seeing a guy from back home. He was in the Navy and he and two friends came to the school to take, Kaylee, Rebecca, and me to the Homecoming Dance and then the game on Saturday. The dance was pretty fun actually. They were a bit immature though. They illegally slept in our room and I woke up on Saturday morning to find a bunch of condoms framing our TV screen. They were from the communal condom bucket in the hall kitchen. At least they were colorful.
Each spring, Kaylee got invited to a fraternity mountain weekend by one of the brothers. And she went whether she was with someone at that time or not. There’s a lot of responsibility that comes along with the mountain weekend. Each brother’s date has to decorate a cooler for him to take on the trip so they can store all their booze in it. So every March The Cooler took over our dorm room. It would sit in the middle of the floor in various stages of completion surrounded by paints and other art paraphernalia for at least a month. Then one day it would disappear and Kaylee would return without it and most of her memory from the weekend.
It has taken me a long time to make peace with this part but I realized the other day that I can laugh about it now. It is because of this that I know college students come to school utterly incapable of taking care of themselves. I believe Rebecca was the main culprit. Kaylee and I were roommates Freshman year and Rebecca was our suitemate. We had separate rooms and shared a Jack and Jill bath. Rebecca’s roommate left around Christmas and she had the room to herself. It was always a disaster area but I didn’t mind because it was contained on her side. Kaylee left things lying around but it wasn’t excessive. It wasn’t until Sophomore year that the mess escalated. The three of us moved into a quad room with a girl named Lindsay. This room was set up the same way with two rooms and a bathroom in between but it had one door that opened into one room and then you went through the small hallway to the back room. We moved the two bunk beds into the back room and made the front room a common area. It worked out well. The problem was, now Rebecca’s disaster wasn’t in her area anymore. It was everywhere. And it turned out that Lindsay had the same tendencies. And it wasn’t just clutter. They never changed their sheets, they left dirty underwear all over the common room floor, they would leave a cup with just a little bit of whatever beverage left in the bottom on the bathroom sink and it would grow mold on the top. I was the only one who ever cleaned the bathroom or bought more toilet paper. We had maintenance out several times to unclog the sink because Lindsay kept washing oatmeal down the drain. I finally told them to knock it off and have a little respect for other people when I came in one day and there wasn’t a clear spot on any surface in the entire place including my bed and desk. There was a pile of clothes at least a foot and a half high in the middle of the common room floor with one of the desk chairs on top of it askew. How does that even happen? I was afraid to ask.
The Disappearing Roommate
We saw less and less of Lindsay as the first semester went on and by December Kaylee, Rebecca and I actually asked “Has anyone seen Lindsay?” It had been at least two weeks since any of us had seen her in the room or on campus for that matter. Her things were mysteriously leaving the room and then one day she stopped by to get something and we asked her where she was staying. Apparently, she was crashing on the futon in a room down the hall. She crashed on that futon the rest of the year. I didn’t miss her. The mess got better once she left. And I didn’t find her flat iron on inside the bathroom drawer anymore or her vomit in the trash can on a Saturday morning.
Most of Lindsay’s possessions eventually disappeared but she left the TV. It had a DVD player built in, which was a nice feature. But she had lost the remote at some point before it got to the dorm, making it impossible to navigate the DVD menu. I’m not that big on Friends but I guess everyone else in my generation is. Someone had a set of the DVDs and they would put a disc in the DVD player. It would start automatically and play all the episodes on the disc. You might think that’s a good thing because we could still use the DVD player without the remote. It wasn’t. Because they would leave the same disc in there for weeks and when they got bored, they’d just “turn on Friends” and the same episodes would play over and over. I eventually got fed up and brought a cheap DVD player and told them, “Please, for the love of my sanity, don’t lose this remote.”