Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ten Years and One Day

Ten years - and one day - ago my parents loaded up the Ford and moved me to Purdue on my 19th birthday. That day, I got a roommate named Krista with whom I became lifelong friends. Because of her, it was a year of change and excitement that I'll never forget. 

Ten days - and one day - ago I got another kind of roommate. 
A little less temporary.
A little more forever type of deal. 

I didn't know it ten years ago, but Krista would go on to teach me more about life skills than anything I saw on a powerpoint in Lilly Hall. In fact, many lessons that she taught me I think I can go on to apply to this new "roommate" I've (thankfully) acquired. 
I think. 
We're only eleven days into this deal and the honeymoon ended two days ago. 

I'll try, anyhow.

Roommate Lessons, Ten Years Later:

1. Accept Others' Passions and Time Involved: 
We all come from different backgrounds, different lifestyles and different ideas of fun. I never understood how Krista could spend entire weekends watching loud tractors pull weights on a county fair dirt track. Likewise, she never understood how at home I felt when I saw the green shavings of the N.A.I.L.E. and smelled final bloom. She didn't ask questions; I didn't either. We just went with it and assumed the other would be back to the dorm in time for class Monday morning. 

2. Choice In Music Is Important:
I can't imagine living with someone who didn't appreciate Merle or Waylon. Lucky for me, Krista basically had their lyrics memorized before she knew the Pledge of Allegiance. I know for a fact that other gals on our floor thought we were straight outta the hills of West Virginia.  Ten years later, Cody and I's second dance (yep, we had two) was Waylon's "Good Hearted Woman In Love With A Good Timin' Man". It's just us. Through the laughter of that dance, I knew my first roommate would be proud. 

3. Avoid Buffets:
Krista and I learned this one the hard way. We took full advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffets that Purdue's dining halls offered, especially after a late Saturday night. But buffets are sneaky. You spend less than an hour there, then work several hours trying to undo what you just did. And while they seem like a great idea at the time, they stick around to haunt. Where it counts. 

This is going to be a hard lesson to adhere to with Cody, as his former judging team students report that he consistently has a keen eye out for a good Pizza Hut buffet. I will try hard. But my diet tends to start the day after tomorrow

4. Telling The Truth:
Krista and I also learned this one the hard way. And this goes right along with the buffet idea. It takes a  special kind of roommate to try to console/lie to you when things don't go your way. 
Like jeans. 
And how they fit.  
I remember well asking Krista if my jeans looked too tight before I headed to my math class.  She (acted as though she) looked and told me they looked fine. They felt weird after seven straight buffet Sundays? 
I didn't make it to the top floor of the Class of '50 building before I heard the loudest RIIIPPPPP of my life. 
From then on, lesson learned. Honesty in the dorm room accounted double for humility in public. 

This can be tricky with a husband, and I'll leave it to his best - like, very best - judgement. 

5. Laundry: 
Sometimes it is best to do your own. My dear friend Krista thought she was helping me out by washing the sequined (dry clean only) top laying in the middle of our 3' x 3' dorm room. And looking back at photos, I guess she was. I never had the opportunity to wear that deal again. Thanks for trying to save my fashion reputation, K!

The night Cody and I got home from our honeymoon, I was trying to be a W.I.T. and threw a load of Cody's clothes into the washer. 
I used bleach. 
I learned. 
Story over. 

Really, it doesn't matter if you're 19 or 29 - living with someone new can teach you a lot about yourself, and them - all while testing your boundaries. But embrace it. 
You learn. 
You adjust. 
You grow. 
Unfortunately sometimes, even in the waistline. 

Let us go back to roommate lesson #3. 


  1. Beautiful! I think that your life lessons have you well on track to a happy healthy marriage. I am proud to call you friend. You will get all the laundry/house sharing/communication/buffet (lol) things figured out in term. Change does not happen over night and if Cody is a good man, which I presume he is, he won't expect it!

  2. Great one!! xo Tara Wildman