How would you feel if you were just giddy as a school girl about living with a bunch of young’ns? Yeah, me too. I was both nervous and excited about returning to reside on campus this year. I had survived campus housing last year and although it wasn’t all that I had imagined, I had a decent housemate and managed to get a lot of work done over nine months. I know you are wondering how it is that I was able to avoid getting into the sort of shenanigans that normally materialize in my presence, so here is where my story begins:
The intended housing scenario of my imagination included a dorm-type venue populated with lots of twenty-somethings and then maybe a handful of us more “seasoned” broads. I envisioned a hot pink front door and exotic animal print curtains. Stray toothbrushes in the common bathroom, beer and bacon lined up in the refrigerator. Nag champa and patchouli incense wafting through the air intended to neutralize the smell of stale weed and dirty tube socks. Perhaps the occasionally random overnight guest wandering about looking for his dignity in the morning … I had fully intended for my studies to suffer because of my frequent inability to prioritize academics above hangovers and pregnancy tests. I pictured my desk littered with books and papers, crumpled cocktail napkins stuck to the bulletin board holding meaningless bits of existential conversations jotted down while at the local watering holes. I aimed so high, I was certain to be the poster child for Texts From Last Night.
Much to my chagrin, the *actual* course of events went something more like this:
Last year’s sole housemate was not fresh out of high school. In fact, she was not any closer to the definition of “fresh” than I am. She was, however, a damn good-looking woman a few years my senior. She had raven-black hair, a slammin’ body, and appeared to be single. I was soon to discover that even full-time college students should not judge a book by it’s cover. My housemate didn’t care for beer or bacon. There was no Eau de reefer or essence of testosterone on the horizon. She was, however, partial to sage. As for visions of young sugarplums – turns out she was not particularly interested in the same flavor of candy that I was partial to. The pink door and exotic animal prints would have to be filed away for future reference because it was going to be a long, cold winter.
Returning to the crime scene, it is my senior year and I am once again moving to campus housing. I am feeling good about this year’s housing arrangement because I am fairly confident that I am the oldest person living on campus and am hoping to get housed with a bunch of baby-chicks so that I don’t die alone of some rogue geriatric ailment. I unpack all of my worldly goods – some of which include the pink door paint, leopard curtains, and zebra throw pillows. I can feel it with my keen animal instinct: The Cougar Den is going to happen after all.
And. then. she. walks. in. She looks old enough to have been a waitress at the Last Supper. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating – but she is definitely NOT Cougar material. Nonetheless, we old broads got to stick together and I am searching her hands for a wedding ring or a rainbow tattoo. Everything looks pretty hopeful so I chat her up to see how she feels about wild animal prints and late-night party games that might include bail or alibis. She is cheerful, but strangely aloof so I crack out the whiskey and offer her a welcome cocktail, to which she politely refuses. Damn, I can’t figure her out. She mentioned her daughter and an “ex” so I think she is straight. She definitely puts the vag in vague, so what gives?
It all comes together the next day when she knocks on my bedroom door and invites me into her room-slash-sanctuary to check out her gallery of Galilee which is plastered in various scenes referencing the life and times of a certain religious figure. Her mouth curls into one of those peaceful smiles that announce a snow blizzard in her head, and I excuse myself from her room because there is a little bit of throw-up in my mouth.
Apparently, there is a moratorium on the wild cougar. It appears that I will graduate with honors this year. Does anyone need any curtains or throw pillows?