I had my fair share of luck when it came to roommates in college. Friends of mine were not so fortunate, especially my buddy Jared. Freshmen year he roomed with a kid affectionately known as Ninja Bill. Bill did not actually possess a black belt except for the dress belt he purchased at JcPenny’s for the one actual date he went on while at college.
The nickname came from a night where both Jared and Bill were locked out of their 4th floor dorm room. While we waited outside the door for the Resident Assistant to let us in Bill suddenly disappeared. When the RA opened the door, we were shocked to see Bill relaxing in his bunk bed. We determined the only possible way he could have made it into the room was using secret ninja skills to scale the building and open the window.
Unfortunately, this was the only spectacular thing Bill did his entire freshmen year. Unless of course you count the fact that he was “that” kid who always wore shorts no matter what temperature it was or how many of inches of snow were on the ground. What made Bill a horrible roommate was his tendency to go straight to bed after getting all stinky and sweaty while playing basketball. Showers were few and far between for the Ninja. No matter how many bottles of Febreze Jared went through the stench covered every inch of the room. To put the funk in perspective, half way through the year we moved dorm buildings and within a few hours the stench had consumed their new room. Jared had to figure out a way to deal with the Ninja and all his issues.
What do colleges do with those roommate questionnaires anyway? I am convinced the Student Affairs department plays something akin to 52-card pickup by throwing all the questionnaires in the air and letting the ‘cards fall where they may.’ If a file happens to land on another then those two poor unsuspecting students were meant to be together. You cannot honestly tell me that some administrator feels the home schooled girl who leads a such a sheltered life she makes members of the Amish appear hip would be a perfect fit for the Goth chick who frightens Marilyn Manson. Where is the logic in thinking that the farm boy from Middle America and the kid straight out of the hard inner city streets would get along like peas and carrots? It’s as if the Student Affairs department serves as a part time job for the producers of the Real World. They are simply creating drama for drama sake.
When it comes to college roommates, conflict is almost inevitable. Unless in the future you are able to head off to university and room with your clone, there will be differences that you have to work through so you are not dividing the room in half with duct tape.
In a lot of ways, marriage can be similar to adjusting to having a college roommate. If opposites do attract then it means a wealth of issues you are going to have to confront. How do you deal with differences in personal preferences, rituals, habits and taste? A wife can fall into the toilet only a few times before she goes ballistic about her hubby not putting the toilet seat down. Don’t even get her started on why it is so difficult for the hubby to “aim.” What about the husband who is always on time being married to the wife who moves through life on her own schedule? For most issues, over time you adjust or compromise with your significant other so peace will rule the household.
At night is when I am most confronted with the fact that God has a great sense of humor. This is where the differences between Jenn and I come to a head. Faithful readers know all to well about my attachment to Lumpy, my body pillow. I am the quintessential night owl where Jenn can be out like a light before the sun sets. She needs absolute silence while I cannot sleep without sports talk radio playing in the background. I like to crack the window when it is snowing while Jenn wraps herself up in a cocoon of blankets in the middle of summer. Putting her needs first means a drastic lack of shuteyes coming my way. Loving Jenn this month very well means I am going to be a walking zombie with bloodshot eyes. Insomnia for the next 30 days means true love.