Friday, February 23, 2007

pronuclear

i think i may be one of the most morally reprehensible individuals strolling stern's dormitory corridors, and this is why: i hate people.

now, this isn't to say i have nothing going for me at all. some women are men haters. some women are women haters. i hate indiscriminately.

yet the fact remains: when i found out my roommate, the one i davened for daily all summer, was flying out of town for three days, i celebrated secretly for weeks.

i cannot even pretend to understand it. the girl is probably the closest thing to a sister that i'll ever have (er, besides for my actual sisters, who don't count for obvious reasons.) i am continually amazed by her propensity to live with me, unphased by my questionable neuroses ("i have to eat now so i can do aerobics in seven hours"), my complete lack of patience ("are you ready to leave yet? how about now? ok, i'm going to the elevator without you...i'll meet you in the lobby..."), my tendency to nag ("did you remember to eat breakfast? did you remember we have cereal in the kitchen? did you remember that your milk is spoiled? are you going to take a jacket?") and - the mother of all horrific roommate qualities - my crippling and sadly hereditary Bathroom Anxiety. besides for all of which, she is sweet and fun.

nevertheless, from the moment she started engine-searching airline tickets, i conducted a private countdown in my head. one more week till i can go to sleep and wake up whenever i want to! five more days till i can work in complete silence! three more days till i attain Unlimited Bathroom Access! one more day till i achieve TOTAL ISOLATION!

i felt like i had won the jackpot. like the richest of all men. and simultaneously, of course, i was ashamed of myself. so i tried to pretend that i didn't really know when she was leaving and didn't really want her to go. and the countdown rolled on.

she was supposed to leave on a thursday night, right after school. she packed her suitcase in the morning and told me she wouldn't see me again until tuesday. my other roommates go home on thursday night as a rule, so i started prepping myself. seven more hours, i thought. seven more hours and i can go directly to sleep and stay up all night writing feature pieces and watching sixteen candles! hurrah!

and then, the minute before i left for school, i heard her laugh: "silly me. the flight doesn't leave until tomorrow."

a feeling of doom descended upon me. "tomorrow?" i said, turning around in the doorway. "you mean, friday?"

"that is tomorrow," she agreed.

"but...what time?" i said, trying desperately not to let my Morally Reprehensible emotions taint my expression.

"11:30."

now, i am not the expert flyer that many college students are. however, i know enough to have zero to no faith in friday flights, particularly in the winter, particularly at 11:30. i cannot in fact remember knowing anyone who has successfully flown five hours before shabbos. i saw my freedom crumbling before my very eyes.

"what time are you going to wake up?" i asked her warily.

she shrugged. "eight or eight-thirty."

GAH! went the voice in my head. NOT FAIR!

i went to school and again attempted unsuccessfully to pretend that this too was a good development in my life. i can totally handle this, i told myself, wallowing miserably through my philosophy class. she is my roommate and i love hanging out with her. i have hung out with her continually for a significant portion of my away-from-home life. shabbos is going to rock. we are going to party.

yet alas, it was all in vain, because there was that secret pronuclear part of me going: unlimited bathroom access denied. do not pass go. do not collect two hundred dollars.

there was only one thing to do, i resolved. i could Not Let Her Miss That Flight.

and then i REALLY sunk to a new level.

"what time are you going to go to sleep tonight?" i asked her, following her around our dorm room, wringing my hands. "are you all packed up? is your alarm set? did you pick the ringtone that wakes you up? i know you're exhausted; why don't you go to sleep now? are you ready to go to sleep yet? why don't you wake up really early tomorrow? do you want me to go to work in the hallway so you can to sleep now?"

"perel," she said, "i'm fine."

i subsided nervously, taking my work out with me anyway, hoping she would listen.

but at 1:30 i stepped back into our room and she was only just coming out of the shower.

"you're still awake?!" i cried, exasperated. "you have to wake up early tomorrow! and you didn't sleep last night!"

"relax!" she said. "i have my alarm set!"

"but you sleep through your alarm!" i wailed.

"not when i really have to wake up."

i shook my head. i had been planning to sleep in the other room so i wouldn't wake up when she left, but i realized now that this was folly; i would never be able to sleep until she left anyway. i climbed into my bed, wrapped myself in a blanket, and sat there, watching her, watching the clock.

i must have drifted off eventually, because the next thing i knew her alarm was going off. i squinted at the clock, fumbled for my glasses. seven-twenty. i cast a sideways glance at her in dread. sure enough, she silenced the alarm and turned right over, like it was any other morning.

do i wake her or not wake her? she wanted to wake up at eight...i think that's too late...if she wakes up at eight, she won't be out of here till nine...it's rush hour...she'll miss her flight...i won't get my vacation...

"wake up! wake up! get out of bed! your plane's about to leave!" i blurted.

she sat up, squinting at me.

"get out of bed! you're going to miss your plane and be stuck here for shabbos!"

she squinted at the clock. then she looked back at me. i gestured wildly with my hands.

"i'm not moving till i see you get a move on."

"perel," she noted tiredly, "i'm up. i'm FINE."

it was only after i had witnessed her rolling her suitcase down the hall that the larger, perhaps even more disturbing truth dawned on me. for you see, i know of only one other such person: a person who can stand even close relatives for only a short period of time, a person who develops homicidal anxiety about missing your mode of transportation, a person with a bathroom in the basement.

i am turning into my grandmother.

16 Comments:

Blogger RaggedyMom said...

Okay, this post makes me feel like we are definitely related.

Don't worry, you're not the only one who hates everybody. My best friends and beloved family members start to irk me after an alarmingly short time.

I was a bit nervous when RaggedyDad an I got married that it would be grating and weird to have someone around all the time. Luckily, he's the one person I can stand in large doses (it helps that he does a big share of the parenting when he's home).

I grew up one of 3 kids, had my own room as the only girl, and generally got a lot of alone time growing up. Your experience must have been very different. You probably need your alone time way more than I do!

Enjoy your solitary bliss!

7:53 AM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

"And as I put down the phone it occurred to me

"She'd grown up just like me

"My girl was just like me."

Oh well.

8:55 AM  
Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

lol... well enjoy whatever alone time you have!

i totally understand... i'm overseas now, staying with people and it's so hard not having my own space. and like raggedymom, people irritate me too, depending on who they are and what my mood is!

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I realize I called during this fiasco... did you resent me too?
-puff

9:57 PM  
Blogger fudge said...

how should i know? you're anonymous.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just because I don't have my own blog, doesn't make me unknown to you.
-grass

12:22 AM  
Blogger tuesdaywishes said...

Try to channel your other grandmother, the one who is so relaxed she can live with a man who find it necessary to label 'Keys' on the box he has kept his keys in for over 30 years.

7:01 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

how should i know? you're anonymous.

At least he/she is not a gun, or a tank, or a monkey, or a lizard, or a toddler.

7:00 AM  
Blogger fudge said...

apparently, he/she is a puff of grass. like THAT is a convincing metaphor.

7:03 AM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

It's not easy being a nonymous.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"apparently, he/she is a puff of grass." Or "Puff, the Magic Dragon." Weed, maybe? :) (Sorry, when it comes to me and puns, "Resistance is futile.)

4:57 PM  
Blogger fudge said...

oh no, he's been found out.

5:34 PM  
Blogger fudge said...

oh no, he's been found out.

5:34 PM  
Blogger outofAMMO said...

oh no, he's been found out.

8:15 PM  
Blogger outofAMMO said...

just what have u got against tanks anyway?????

8:15 PM  
Blogger .30cal said...

turning into grandma? more like turning into the psychotoddler. i remember when i had my friend over for shabbos, and she tiptoed right up next to him before shul and shouted "BEEEEP!!! BEEEEP!!! BEEEEP!!!! GET UP!!!!"

10:00 PM  

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