Incidental Amusements

Did I ever tell you about the first time I met my freshman roommate?

Go back in time with me to August 2008: It’s hot, I’m nervous and at some point between waking up and getting into the car, I decided that my first step toward adulthood should involve pigtails – really frizzy, multicolored pigtails.

I stand in the Wayne Hall loading dock, looking swanky in all my fluffy, pigtailed adorableness and supervise my family as they unload my excessive mounds of stuff onto a rickety cart when I spot the girl who is to be my stalwart room companion for about the next nine months.

It was beyond terrifying. I don’t know if you’ve gathered it from these columns, but I am a supremely awkward human being. Like, randomly dressed up as a pageboy in high school and ripped my pants along the crotch level of awkward. It is an ongoing question as to why my housemates continuously agree to live with me.

But at that point, this roommate had never met me. It was my chance to make a clean break from my dorky past, to start anew as the cool kid on the block. And so, my pigtails and I squared our shoulders and sidled on up to her.

She smiled at me. Like this could potentially be OK, and I felt OK; I felt ready. I felt like I could make a real connection with this stranger who I’d thus far only known through overly scrutinized email exchanges.

Then my dad approached her and said, “You know, you look nothing like your MySpace picture.”

She deleted her MySpace after that.

But she stayed my roommate for the next four years. As to why – well, that question was never answered. Trust me, the years didn’t get less uncomfortably bizarre.

There are so many stories I could tell you: my mental breakdown during a beetle infestation, the social analysis of my first and last house party, the year where a jacket almost scared me so badly I fell down the stairs. I have happy stories too, sad ones, weird and wise ones, ones that are barely concealed bitter rants wrapped in humor.

And, of course, there are complaints. I will always have something to complain about.

You’ll never hear any more of it now. Freshman year with all its awkward penguin tragedies was four years ago, and while I’m far from grown up, I’m officially no longer going to be a college student.

I’m entering the real world and my future is a giant blank waiting to be filled, and while I’d love to hang back and shoot the fat with you forever, I can’t anymore.

You’ll just have to fill in the blanks yourself.

So get to it, Geneseo. Fill the blanks with your own awkward tales, your squirrel-laden catastrophes and your drunken shenanigans. Fill them in, and wherever I am, maybe I’ll read them.