The roommate, the boy, and the wardrobe

February 7, 2008

Fresh from the shower and clad only in a towel, I saw that one of my apartment-mates had opened her door, so I knew she was awake. I immediately walked into her room and, still dripping, launched into my interrogation. I had gone to bed before she came home, and all I knew was that there was a boy involved. She began her story as she tried to print a paper using my computer and her printer. After a few unsuccessful attempts, we migrated to my room to use my printer.

Still listening, I started to get dressed. But an urgent question caused me to interrupt; a somewhat lengthy discussion of whether or not a certain pair of underwear could be worn on weekdays followed. In the end, I decided it was a little too Saturday night for a Wednesday, even though the roommate correctly noted that no one would see it.

My second roommate came home from breakfast to discover me in a bra and underwear with my hair in a towel. And I wasn’t convinced that the bra was appropriate for a weekday. (The male conception that girls walk around in our underwear is apparently true, especially in our apartment. Pillow fights are significantly rarer.)

Roommate 2, who has had wardrobe struggles of her own, attended to Roommate 1’s more urgent clothing crisis as I flipped through the clothes in both of our closets. At this point we gave up on closed doors and wandered freely from room to room. “What is the emotion we’re going for?” I heard Roommate 2 ask. She is very much a character dresser; she is constantly inquiring as to the emotions of our outfits.

She returned as I triumphantly held up a black shirt, seeking approval. Then I realized I had worn black on Monday. Was that a problem? Her look of disgust was answer enough. But then Roommate 2 chimed in with the admission that, “I’ve worn these jeans for the past four days, and I don’t really care,” and I felt much better about the black shirt.

Roommate 1 returned fully dressed in a perfectly mediocre outfit. “I’m dressed as l’as de pic,” she complained. The roommates and I do not limit ourselves to English, and I have learned that looking like l’as de pic is not a good thing.

Having finally gotten dressed, I moved on to the next stage of beautification. “Oh crap,” I said while popping in my contacts. “Jewelry.”

“Are we supposed to feel sorry for you?” Roommate 2 demanded as she tried to determine whether her bra was visible through the sweater she had just put on. (It wasn’t, but the sweater was rejected for other reasons.)

“Hey, wait,” I called to Roommate 1, who was now trying on every tank top and sweater combo we collectively owned. “Are you even going to see him today?”

“I sometimes run into him on Wednesdays. My classes are near his.” Right.

Roommate 2 had to leave for work, so her outfit would have to do. By now, my hair was blown dry and Roommate 1 was almost completely dressed. I walked into her room to help her find a good jacket and accessories. While she rifled through the options, I played with my hair. I showed her a new hairstyle I wanted to try someday. Upon her rather unenthusiastic agreement, I stressed that it wasn’t for today.

She pulled on her leather jacket and asked if it was trying too hard. I’m a little in love with the jacket in question and think she should wear it always, so I told her it was wonderful. A quick weather check—the internet augmented by a text from Roommate 2—confirmed the need for a scarf, which Roommate 1 pulled from underneath a mountain of the morning’s rejected clothes.

She left for the library. Soon after, I left for class. None of us were wearing exclusively our own clothes. You probably saw us that day. You probably thought, “Wow, she looks beautiful in a completely casual and effortless way.” At least we hope you did.

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