Friday, January 20, 2012

Bonding with the Roomies

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single gal in possession of a grueling masters program, must be in want of some awesome roomies.

As it turns out, I do want to spend time with my cool roommates. However, our studies have made it difficult for us to have any prolonged interaction with each other until now. Also, people complete their degrees at different times. The roommates I have today may be gone next semester.

After the unfortunate realization that I had left my apartment keys in a sock drawer at home in California, I desperately pounded on my suite door hoping that someone would be there. At 10 PM. In New York City -- the city that never sleeps.

Luckily, one of my five roommates happened to be home and has supersensitive hearing. My obnoxious knocking didn't need to be so dramatic after all. She kindly opened the door for me, and we proceeded to chat. Evidently, we had a lot to talk about -- conversing until 1 AM.

Then, something equally unexpected happened. A few days later, I awoke to find three of my roommates gathered around the kitchen table hanging out. Groggily, I swayed back and forth, unsure if I was imagining things. This was new. Did they usually hang out...without me...and I only just found out?

"Do you want to try some of the food I made?," Liz asked. Of COURSE I want to try the food you made!, I thought. It was as if I suddenly had the Golden Ticket to Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory. I was an official roomie, now, with access to other roomies' food and conversation and new friends! My nerdy inner self felt exuberant.

I sat down to sample Liz's culinary creation. I don't know if there's a name for it, but who cares?? Under the neatly wrapped, steamed cabbage lay ground beef, white rice, and sauerkraut. I love beef, I love rice, I can eat cabbage, but I need time to warm up to sauerkraut. Interestingly, the sauerkraut held the meal together. Its jarring flavor jolted my taste buds, but the beef and rice rounded it out.

Much like my relationship with the roommates, I needed to take small bites at a time before I could fully stomach it. Naturally cautious, I know exactly who my friends are and take a while to really invite new people in. Once I do, I find out they enrich my life in surprising and kind ways. I hope I may do the same for them.

Bon appetit and here's to a fun, final semester with my nice roommates!

-- Michelle

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