Monday, October 11, 2010

The Oldest Resident

When I was in my mid-twenties, I moved to my younger sister's college town. I had recently graduated from another school myself, and had talked her into letting me stay at her place while I looked for a job.

My sister lived in the dorms.

She was a RA- a Resident Assistant. You know, the slightly older college student who decides to babysit 28 freshmen girls in exchange for free room, board, and sanity? Well, as part of the contract she also got her own room- and I got a free bed. For the students, it was a campus, for me, it was a homeless shelter. Pass the soup and head full of lice.

Some might think that a 24-year-old living in a college dorm with her younger sister and a herd of freshman girls is pathetic. But those are people who have things like dignity, self-respect, and class. Luckily for me, I posses none of those qualities and was quite comfortable with the arrangement.

I admit it was odd in the beginning. I would wrap myself in my terrycloth robe, gather my toiletries up in my plastic hot pink shower caddy, and shuffle to the bathroom.
"So, your sister is the RA?" One girl asked me, as we were simultaneously brushing our teeth in front of the bathroom mirrors.
"Yeah, my apartment is getting painted," I lied, spitting into the sink. "So I'm crashing at her place for a while."
"You DO realize her 'place' is a dorm room," the 17-year-old questioned me, wise beyond her years.
"I know, right?" I mock rolled my eyes, like I was annoyed, and then changed the subject. "Ugh, did you eat the fried chicken last night in the cafeteria? SOOOO gross."
"Oh my god, SO gross," she agreed, flossing her teeth. "You going to Matt's kegger tonight? 3rd floor."
"I will SO be there," I said, excited to be included.

"I can't believe I slept with him," Madison moaned, sitting on the floor of her dorm room. I was behind her, on the bunk bed, braiding her hair and chewing gum.
"Well, we were totally wasted," I giggled, enjoying her company and the feel of her soft hair between my fingers. "I cannot believe Dakota made us do those shots," I continued, glancing at Madison's roommate, who was on her computer writing a paper.
"Oh my god, YOU are the one that started prank calling Madison's ex-boyfriend," Dakota protested from her desk, still hungover. "And now I can't even think straight, and I have to finish this assignment."
"TELL me about it," I said, twisting a hair tie around Madison's braid. "My boss wants, like, two or three deliverable, integrated solutions for this major account to leverage our overhead so we can avoid outsourcing," I moaned, referring to my corporate job.
"Oh my god, SO annoying," Dakota said, as Madison nodded in agreement.
"Oh my god, I KNOW," I complained, and cracked my gum. "Hey, wanna watch 40 Days and 40 Nights?" I asked. "Josh Hartnett is SUCH a hottie- and I've got some leftover pizza in the fridge."
"Totally in," Dakota said, as Madison nodded once more in agreement.

"You are getting out of control," my sister complained, as we were settling into our twin beds in her dorm room, the mattresses on the beds about as thick as a Kotex Maxipad.
"It's not my fault Taylor got us all drunk and made us streak through the front lobby," I protested. "Plus, I have a HUGE crush on Josh- you know, from room 406? He was there and is SO hot- I wanted to hang out with him."
"I'm going to have to write you up again if you're not careful," my sister warned, referring to the previous weekend, when she caught Brianna and I taking bong hits in the shower stalls. "I mean, what, you're a college kid now? What's next, you're going to get a butterfly tattooed on your lower back?"
"," I said quickly, silently reminding myself to cancel my Saturday appointment with Devil's Ink.

My sister kept trying to bait me into tattling on my new friends.

"Does Rachel have a bunch of candles in her room?" My sister asked suspiciously, eyeing me. "You know that's a fire hazard." We were in the university library- she was researching something for a paper she had to write and I was sniffing her highlighters, trying to get high.
"What? No...." I fibbed. Rachel and I had lit enough candles in her room that night to send Smoky the Bear himself over to our room for a well-deserved beating. But Rachel and I were trying to create a sexy atmosphere so we could make out- because word on the street is that you're supposed to 'experiment' in college. And really, when you're that drunk, does it matter what gender is groping you?
"You already went to college," my sister hissed. "Like, two years ago."
"You don't need to be rude," I complained.
"You have fine lines, for fuck sakes," she answered.
"Now I'm hurt," I pouted.

The semester ended, and eventually I had to say goodbye to all my dorm friends and the college lifestyle I had (once again) enjoyed so immensely.
"Now you're going to have to be an adult, find your own place, and pay rent," my sister said, as we packed and loaded up my posters, lava lamp, and twin sheet set into my car.
"I'm actually spending the summer at Dakota's beach house," I replied, slamming trunk of my car shut. "Her parents are letting us crash there- we're going to get lifeguard jobs and work on our tans for the next three months."
"There's no hope for you, is there," my sister said. It wasn't a question, it was a statement.

I almost said something snarky back, but you know what? I didn't want to get written up again.


  1. For the first time ever I am really wishing I had a sister.
    Good times.

  2. I've had to stay with my sister before when my ex and I broke up. I slept in a room that used to be a kid's play room. Once in a while I'd wake up with a toy stuck to my ass.

  3. I agree with Sara...amazing with a capital Z ("Zed" cuz I'm Canadian).

  4. Dakota? Taylor? Madison? Chuck in a Jess and a Courtney and you have half the kids I teach.

  5. Okay you might be the funniest person ever.
    Love the blog

  6. maybe if i lived in the dorms again as a non-student i'd have more fun than i did the first go around. i spent the absolute least amount of time on campus as i could while i was in school. by my sophomore year i had scheduled my classes for just tuesdays and thursdays so that i could leave thursday night for home and return late monday night.
    no wonder i was always so popular.