Prior to move-in, I learned that my roommate had a boyfriend. Not a big deal, really; so did I. She had a dog and a sister-in-law (who she wasn’t too fond of—the meddling type), too. So how was I supposed to know that it would be the boyfriend that would be such a problem?
[love]I thought nothing of it at first, but while many out-of-towner freshmen were meeting other out-of-towner freshman during Welcome Week, poor ole Angela chose to sit on her pink comforter watching Dawson’s Creek with the stuffed animals on her bed. Occasionally, she would hop up to answer a phone call from her family or boyfriend, but that was the extent of her social life.
It was like that for the first few weeks. I’d go out for class, to the cafe, or to visit some friends. When I came back home, there was Angela, in the same spot on the bed where I’d left her. It was August, and she was still holed up in our sweltering room. She said she felt an obligation not to do anything, ever; if she didn’t go out then neither would her boyfriend, she assumed. This would limit the amount of people, especially of the opposite sex, that the two of them would meet. There would be no reason for jealousy or to think one was cheating as a result of such limitations. It sounded crazy to me. Eliminating all other relationships just to maintain one?
I would subtly mention events going on around campus to try to break her loner shell, but she didn’t. I thought she would grow out of this phase and eventually venture outside to meet new people, at least within the dorm. She didn’t. She stayed in the room. Always in the room. I made it a point to learn her schedule, to see when the cruel forces of fate would deign her appearance in class. I would race home to relish the ten or twenty minutes of privacy I could get. Though she didn’t go out, she did go home more often on the weekends.
Then her boyfriend came to visit for the weekend. The whole weekend, Friday to Monday. When he came to visit, I would shy away, ironically, so they could have some privacy. His trips started becoming more frequent and lasted even longer. I found it difficult to spend so much time at my boyfriend’s, at friends’ and at the library, not to mention the time I’d need to spend planning my weekends. When he was there she spent every moment she wasn’t in class with him.
Sometimes I couldn’t plan my weekends just right, and I’d see my roommate playing hostess. She would serve him college staples like mac and cheese or Ramen noodles with a Big K pop. And after he was done with his meal, she would clean up after him. They hardly ever ordered food, eating whatever was in our refrigerator. Goodie boxes, compliments of my mom, full of sweets and snacks were gone in a matter of minutes. They stayed to themselves in the room, not venturing out to socialize with others. Great, I thought; now I live with two Angelas. They’d entertain themselves with the computer, T.V. or watching DVDs. And at the end of their busy, busy day Angela, the hostess, would pull out her blow dryer to inflate an air mattress the size of a queen size bed. It just barely fit below our loft. When I was climbing up or down the ladder to the loft in the morning, I had to strategically turn my feet so they faced opposite of each other, similar to that of a ballerina, to squeeze through the narrow space between my desk and the mattress. He would stay in the room while my roommate and I went to class. We would leave with him sprawled out in his pajamas sleeping on the giant air mattress. When we returned around noon, he would be eating our cereal, flipping through channels with dead eyes, all the while sprawled out on the bed (which stayed blown up for the duration of his stay) in his pajamas.
All I could thank them for was that I never heard the awkward breathing and rustling of bed sheets that some other roomies end up hearing during peak hours of the night. At the end of the weekend, late at night, is when my roommate began to cram, trying to compensate for not studying during the week.
Around November her boyfriend’s excessive visits were weighing me down. I had begun to feel like I was in the relationship as well. I saw the two of them more than I saw my own boyfriend. But after hearing so many horror stories of other roommates bitching about “petty” issues, I wanted to be the roommate that brought no problems.
One night I was at my desk surfing the internet, the TV playing softly in the background. Angela and her boyfriend were exchanging quiet mumbles, as usual. *CLIP* I stopped my internet browsing wondering what in the heck that noise was. *CLIP* I turned around, and then my mouth fell wide open. *CLIP* Angela was clipping his toenails! *CLIP* Curled up like some twisted yin and yang, they paid no attention to my shudders of abject horror. *CLIP CLIP CLIP* How many toes does he have?
I jumped out of my chair, knocking it down as I ran from the horrible sound. I found refuge in the courtyard, far from the infamous toenail clipper. At least I thought I had, but the sound of clipping toenails haunted my thoughts. It was like “The Tell-Tale Heart,” but I hadn’t even done anything bad! Yet. At that moment, I decided. I had to move out second semester.
In one conversation – just before I was getting ready to leave out for a party while she was about to go to bed one Friday evening – she said she would hate to have missed out on having fun her first year of college only to find out, by the end of the semester, that maybe being in that relationship wasn’t worth it. It’s kind of sad that while many of us gained so much from the fall semester of freshman year, Angela only learned what the classroom was able to teach her. I don’t keep in contact with her as much anymore, but I happened to check out her Facebook page before the summer began. There she exclaimed, “I’m single biatchhhhhhhes!!!!!!!:-P”
Strangely, my own relationship is beginning to parallel Angela’s. No, it can’t be that bad. I currently see my boyfriend only Monday through Friday from about 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., but we spent some of that time sleeping. Sure, on Saturday and Sunday I spend all day with him, with the exception of the two hours I spend at home to take care of errands. But to spend every minute that I’m not in class with him would be ridiculous! And I’m only going to go so far as to give him a foot massage, absolutely no toenail clipping.

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