Now before I get to the meat -n- potatoes of this post, I need to be clear about something. Although I never got along with this person myself very well, it had much more to do with our obvious personality differences and not because she was a bitch. She was not a bitch then, she’s probably not a bitch now.
She’s a nice girl, just not my kind of girl (do I ever really like nice girls?).
When it came for my time to choose a college to attend, because I am highly unoriginal, I chose the same school. A couple of months before school started, I got a letter in the mail that was decorated with butterfly stickers and written partially in crayon. Figuring it was from my young cousin, who shares a name with me and at the time thought that I was perhaps the coolest person on the planet (she has since wised up), I tore it open.
It was not a letter from Rebecca, no, it was a letter from my future roommate in college, whose name meant butterfly (if you really are dying know her real name, go check the last two entries and/or the comments. I don’t really want to broadcast this, as this is the first time I have broken my “let’s not talk about people who don’t read this rule”). She lived somewhat locally and suggested that we meet up for lunch at some halfway between us location.
I sent a perfunctory reply (without the stamps or crayons, of course) and we eventually settled on meeting at a Friday’s. To make it a little easier on my nerves, I dragged my friend Evan along.
At the appointed time and location, Evan and I showed up and took a seat. A couple of minutes later, it means butterfly arrived and sat down with us. I can only remember two things about this meeting:
1. She smelled like raw meat
2. She had the sort of personality that is really sweet and nice superficially, but you can see underneath that there is something…else, underneath. Like she might bite you or something if you fucked up.
This was not perhaps the most encouraging meeting I’ve ever had with someone I was about to share a shoebox with, but hey, she didn’t seem like a serial killer, which I considered a bonus.
Several months later, the time to pack up and leave for school dawned upon me and I shoved everything I was going to take with me into my friend Scott’s purple Neon and he drove me downtown and helped me move in.
The weekend that I moved in happened to be one that it means butterfly was gone, presumably back home, but she’d already moved in. This afforded me the chance to snoop through her stuff without her there.
What I found….disturbed…me.
She was an absolute girly-girl, and although I have a tendency towards being slightly girly, underneath that I’m all dude (without the dangly bits). I’ve been called affectionately “a dude with boobs” and I think that fits. Her side of the room was covered in what later I learned was colorful plastic table cloths, and over that were some poster-boards covered in magazine clippings.
Like phrases and stuff “Play With Fire, Skate on Ice.” And pictures of hot hunky guys. Cut from magazines. I knew this because I’d done the same thing to decorate my locker in Junior High, before I realized how dumb it looked.
But there were 5 different poster-boards strewn about the room, hanging from walls, hanging from the ceiling, hanging everywhere and annoying me. Then I saw that the back of the door was covered in what looked like cellophane but more iridescent and sparkly, and upon closer examination, realized that she had started to write cute little phrases on it. Quotes from Jewel–the singer not the store– mainly about love and happiness, kittens and puppies.
Her desk had a calendar on it that, I shit you not, had Precious Moments people-creepy-things on it. She was obviously a 50-year old trapped in the body of an 18-year old.
I was quite underwhelmed and a little bit nauseous.
At this point in my life, well before I had kids, well before I was a mother or a wife or a homeowner or a nurse or even your Aunt Becky, I was probably more of a rocker chick than anything else–minus the minked hair and gravelly voice. I smoked often and happily, drank whiskey, and was known to dabble in The Pot.
It became excruciatingly obvious that she was nothing like this. And yet, in the tradition of making people who have nothing in common, live together in a teeny room, she was to be my roommate.
“Shit,” I said to my metal friend Scott, “FUCK! What now?”
He looked sympathetically at me, put his arm around me paternally and said, “Vodka. Lots and lots of vodka.”
That night we drank to my new roommate and the disaster that we both knew lay before me.