Nyssa's Hobbit Hole

Category: opposite-sex friends (page 1 of 18)

Reblog: Mike Pence’s Dinner Rule Is Only the Beginning

Libby Anne writes about extreme religious rules separating the sexes out of fear they can’t control their urges:

I have a problem with the assumption that men and women cannot be just friends, or just coworkers. I also have a problem with the idea that marriage is so fragile that it must be protected by imposing absolute limits on extramarital male-female contact. If the only thing holding your marriage together is never being alone in a room with another person of the opposite sex, there is already something wrong with it.

Perhaps these ideas are a relic of a past where men and women were so socially segregated that male-female contact typically only occurred in a romantic or sexual context. Or perhaps these ideas reflect a sexism so severe that men are incapable of interacting with women as fellow humans. In either case, the rules become the symptom of a larger problem, rather than its solution.

Source: Mike Pence’s Dinner Rule Is Only the Beginning

What she says about Evangelicals doing this, however, seems to be a relatively new development: I grew up in a church so strict that you couldn’t square dance or go to the movies, but we had no separation of the sexes, and women could work.  We could mingle, be friends, date, etc. etc.  And yes, opposite-sex friends were allowed after marriage as well.  I never heard of restrictions like Mike Pence’s until the late-00s.

In fact, when I was first hit in the late-00s with various forms of such rules, and various judgments and scolds and punishments for not following them, it shocked me.  I thought that all went out with poodle skirts and bobby socks.  😛

 

 

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Reblog: “Why No One Should Talk About ‘Emotional Adultery’ Ever Again”

Actually, I’m reblogging two posts by Samantha Field.

As she writes,

If every person on the planet exists in a default state of consent– which purity culture subtly and overtly teaches– and if it’s impossible for men and women to “just be friends” (as argued in a recent Relevant article), then of course bi people will be promiscuous. Duh.

According to many Christians, the only real way to ensure that you don’t have an affair is to avoid deep, meaningful connections to people you might be sexually attracted to (which, for them, is always someone of the “opposite sex,” which erases bi people and non-binary people). To them, men can’t be good friends with women and vice versa, and everyone needs to take super-duper-extra-careful precautions to make darn-tootin’ sure you don’t develop pants-feelings for people. Because, as we all know, once you have pants-feelings for someone you will have sex with them, because consent isn’t a thing.

But, for bi people, the “obvious” precautions in this context don’t make sense. What are we supposed to do– have no close friends? Ever? Never be alone with any person? Lock ourselves in our bedroom, Elsa-style? So, they don’t advocate that. Instead, they either a) refuse to acknowledge our existence or b) call us all sluts.

She also writes in Why No One Should Talk About Emotional Adultery Ever Again,

And, as a bi Christian, I need to ask all of us to stop talking about emotional adultery.

I ran into it yesterday when I was reading Real Marriage, as Grace and Mark reiterate several times how important it is for men and women to only have friendships with people of the [same] sex because the risk of “emotional adultery” is so great, and it makes me feel both anger and despair, because I’ve heard the same message preached from the pulpit less than six months ago, at a church that prides itself on its open-mindedness. It bothers me, deeply, how casual it’s usually presented, too– it’s just assumed by most Christians that this is just common sense. They say things like “be careful not to become close friends with a lady, guys,” as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world, and every time I hear it I want to cry because what they’re saying is:

Samantha, you cannot have any friends.

…If I can be just friends with women, then all ya’ll need to STFU about how guys and girls can’t be friends, and how risky close friendships are between people of the opposite sex. And I’ve been really close friends with some of the most amazing and beautiful women I’ve ever known, and yeah, on occasion wow she is so hot has interrupted my train of thought, but guess what? I’m a mature adult who values my relationships, and so far I’m the only woman in any of my communities who’s been out as queer. I respect my friends and their boundaries and the fact that they’re straight, and they will never be interested in me that way, which is fine.

It’s the same with all the guy friends I’ve had, too– and I’ve had a few really close friendships with guys. I don’t know what I would have done without those friendships, as they were the people who kept me going when I just wanted to give up, who showed me what love and acceptance looked like. But, even though we’ve spent a lot of time together– even alone– and even though they’ve been my emotional rocks through some pretty wild life seasons, it doesn’t mean that I was doing something “risky.” I was just being a friend.

Also in the comments, readers call it controlling and isolating believers and separating them from their support group, which also is a red flag for abusive relationships and cults.  Maracae Grizzley wrote,

I can still remember the day I remember I first heard about the very *concept* of “Emotional Adultery” and I thought it was absurd even then. …

She then goes on to speak of how abusers use this to control, through requirements such as no other friendships, giving your spouse all your passwords for “accountability monitoring,” etc.

 

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Pregnancy Scare–for real this time–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–November 1994, Part 6

Along with Mike, I liked Peter’s former friend Randy, and wondered if he liked me.  As for Phil–I didn’t like him all that much.  I hated him, in fact.  It would take a lot for him to get me back, if he were to try.

I couldn’t wait to go home for Thanksgiving Break and get away from all this, all these problems.

I had the same comfort as during the Peter-situation long ago–that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, NKJV).

On the 18th, Dad was to pick me up to take me home.  He wasn’t supposed to arrive until about 6pm, so I asked Mike to study with me for Intro to Christianity.  Can you believe we had a test on the 28th, the first day of class after Thanksgiving Break?

When Mike showed up, he brought a high school friend, Brent.  He was all excited because he finally had a male friend again, not just us girls.  (I guess Phil no longer counted as his friend, after the way Phil treated me.)

I think Dad arrived more than ten minutes after Mike did.  Mike cried, “Hello, Nyssa’s dad!”  He amused my dad with his usual silliness.

Catherine later said that everyone in the world was destined to meet Mike, since he seemed to know everybody we ran into out and about.

I hoped to finally type up much of my novel/Senior Writing Project on the computer while at home for Thanksgiving.  I planned to do some major typing then and over Christmas.

I couldn’t get enough chapters to Counselor Dude because I forgot my Jerisland discs (3 1/2 discs, which the young people call old-fashioned, but we called newfangled).  I couldn’t type up the files for the first few weeks.  I was also still writing the novel.

Counselor Dude understood; he said we’d get the project done a little late, especially since he still would have to read it and it was big, but I would get a grade.

Writing the last chapters during the fall semester was burdensome and melancholy at times, but at the same time, a way to get away from the Phil-situation.  I could escape to the island.

While reading shelves with Sharon, not only did I find some interesting books on marriage and Egyptian hieroglyphics, but also Darwin’s book on coral atolls.  This was the book referenced by Collier’s Encyclopedia in the article “Atoll,” which I mentioned in the February 1994 chapter.

I also used my Botany books to find the identities of the trees and plants, which the article only called by their scientific names, and which were in no other books I could find.

And now, as of 2007, I can just plug any of these names in Google and find out what they are!  I love the Internet!

Benny was now brought home and put in my younger brother’s old room, where he eventually became my niece’s toy.  For several years, looking at this stuffed rabbit made me sad, even after moving on, and even though Peter’s presents no longer bothered me.  That’s how bad an impression Phil made on me.

Some songs from the time: “Vaseline” by Stone Temple Pilots; “Verse Chorus Verse” by Nirvana; “Love is Deeper Than Touch,” a Christian song from the summer by Andy Landis; “Over You” by David Meece; Gary Chapman’s “Heal Me,” which I could identify with.  (Check out these lyrics.  And that was long before the well-publicized divorce from Amy Grant!)

On the 20th, I spent many fun hours with my high school friend Becky.  It was good to enjoy myself and get away from the problems at school.  She’d had guy problems lately, and said I was better company than a guy.

Over Break I read Clotel: Or The President’s Daughter by William Wells Brown, the first novel written by an African-American black person, for American Lit.  The cover said it was “written and published by an escaped slave in 1853.”  Clotel was part black, the child of Thomas Jefferson.

She had a spiritual marriage with a white man.  This was the only way she could marry a white man, or marry anyone for that matter, since even slave marriages weren’t legally recognized.

The novelist considered her spiritual marriage a true marriage, and when the man left her to marry a rich white woman, he called him an adulterer.

I looked at this and saw my own situation: deserted by a man who said he was my husband.

I also considered Phil to be an adulterer if he ever slept with or married another.  This has since changed, of course, though I still consider him my first husband.

Thursday, November 24, Thanksgiving.  I was so looking forward to Thanksgiving week, to being home and away from all the crap going on at school.  But since I got home, I kept remembering Phil being there, living with my parents and me.  This saddened me.

I kept wondering if I was pregnant, looking in Dad’s CD-Rom encyclopedia for definitions of “common-law marriage,” how I could tell if I was pregnant and what the baby would look like now if I was pregnant, reading medical journals, and wondering if it would harm the baby to sit in front of the computer too much.  This all saddened me.

And on Thanksgiving I saw my brother and his wife–still together, of course, having gotten married that summer while Phil and I were engaged.  Even seeing their happiness while I was so sad, saddened me.  I wondered if I’d ever be in their place.

This sucked.  Now I just wanted to go back to school, and was glad I soon would.

My period started on day fifty-three!!! of my cycle, the latest I’d been in the past calendar year.  My usual cycle was about thirty-five days long, so you can see why this made me so anxious.  It turned out to be a normal, five-day period.

No, I didn’t try to get pregnant.  I would never have done such a thing just to keep Phil in my life.  And I’d had a period since the last time I was with him.

But you can imagine that skipping a period makes you anxious, makes you wonder if you had twin eggs and only one came out as a period, makes you wonder if it’s possible to have a period while pregnant.  And, well, it has been known to happen, especially in the first trimester….

And, well, fraternal twins with different fathers also happen for real.  And I heard twins were in my family, and knew nothing about hormonal imbalances.

So it was within the realm of possibility for me to have had two eggs, one which was fertilized, the other not.  Or for me to still have a period while pregnant.  My fear was justified.

On the 21st, I wrote in my diary:

I think I might be pregnant…this is the 15th day–two weeks–since my period was supposed to start.

And, according to Becky, it is possible to have at least one more period while you’re pregnant, and she knows people who’ve had several.

It’s usually due to birth control pills, but her mom had gone off the Pill and still had several periods before she knew she was five months pregnant with Becky.

Pregnant with the child of the husband who deserted me.  What am I supposed to do now, if I am?  I don’t want to miscarry–I hope I don’t.  Unwanted pregnancy or not, a miscarriage is so sad.  And I certainly wouldn’t abort it.

On the 25th, I wrote:

My period finally started about ten minutes ago.  I did a bunch of research into the subject this week [ online and on the computer ], trying to see if pregnancy was possible or not, and could only come to the conclusion that maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t.

If I was, it was a twin; if I wasn’t, psychological stress pushed off ovulation.  [ I didn’t yet know about the hormonal imbalance which actually has caused me many period problems over the years. ]

On Sunday, November 27, my parents and I returned to Roanoke.  On my way out the door, I stopped at the top of the basement stairs and looked down to my little kitty Hazel, who sat and stared at me from the foot of the stairs.

(We now used the door there as a main door instead of the back door, because my parents put a new carpet in the family room and didn’t want it to get dirty.)

I felt I’d never see her again.  Was I going to die from sadness or in a car crash that day?

Back at school, I mentioned the feeling to Sharon; she said maybe Hazel was going to die.  As it turned out, Hazel and I both lived to see each other on Christmas Break, but after that, I never saw her again.

She died of an undetermined illness which made her bald and skinny, possibly diabetes.  (She did love those Twinkies, after all.)

Who did my parents and I see at Marc’s Restaurant in S–?  Persephone and her parents!  (They also would have been returning from Indiana.)  The wait staff seated us just a table or two apart.  Persephone and I looked at each other and laughed.

So now my parents knew what she looked like.  At least she was just with her parents, and not with Phil.  However, the sight of her reminded me of the pain I was going back to.  By the way, this Marc’s soon became Annie’s Restaurant.  I don’t know what it is now.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

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I return Phil’s things and he skewers me; consolation from friends–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–October 1994, Part 3

On October 2, I went to Immanuel Bible Church with Pearl, driven by a middle-aged (or older) man who went to the church.  We were to go there several times during the semester.

It was far too conservative for me, though I had no idea until reviewing the website just now, just how conservative it was.  I would have–metaphorically–run screaming if I’d known!

I wanted to go to the Evangelical Free church, but our driver had graduated.  So I went wherever I could, whenever I could–that is, until I got too used to sleeping in.

Once, possibly this first time we went, we passed Phil on the road as we left Roanoke.  He saw me, and I think he smiled at me.  I just sat there, stunned.

****

I started putting Dolphin Philosophy, complete with my usual drawing of a frolicking dolphin, on the message board we had by the bathroom door.  I wrote this on 10/2/94, which the dolphin Darwin said on SeaQuest DSV: “Darwin scared.  People bad!”

In a return to sophomore and junior year practices, I also started drawing little beetles on the board as well, every now and then.

Around this time, I’d look around at couples who’d been together a couple of years, and wonder, Will I ever have a lasting relationship, one that won’t fizzle out before the end of a year?

I’d look at people who were engaged or married and had been together for several years or more, and wonder, Will I ever last in a relationship long enough to get married and spend most of my life with a guy? 

We had Cinemax and HBO in the apartments.  But then at the general meeting for all the apartments, the meeting in which our Resident Assistant (RA) gave us cleaning supplies, somebody mentioned we were getting Cinemax and HBO.

The RA told us not to tell anybody from other residence halls, or they’d get jealous and complain.  Soon after, the cable guy hooked up our bedrooms so we could get cable outside of the living room.  (Without cable, not one channel came in on campus.)

We discovered that Cinemax and HBO were now scrambled.  We feared this would happen!

****

I found one of my small packing boxes.  I put in it the game “Crack the Case,” some mementos and pictures of Phil that he’d given me, and the porcelain bird.  (I kept very little.)

I was glad to include that game, which reminded me of him verbally abusing me and making me feel stupid whenever we played it.

I also put in the books and pencils he left behind that night he made the final decision to divorce me, and the bowl and spoon he left behind on the previous weekend.

I had cleaned them; I may have cleaned them before his final decision.  Otherwise, I probably would’ve been tempted to keep them dirty.

I put in a note that said simply, “These are some things of yours.  I can’t keep the bird anymore.”  I found our marriage contract, ripped it in two, and put it on the top.

I sent these to him through the campus mail.  I remember packing the box in the living room by the TV, and Sharon might have been there.

Sharon thought sending the bird back (and the ripped-up contract) was a good move that showed him I was breaking with him. 

He told me to keep the bird.  I’d been tempted, even encouraged by my friends, to break the porcelain bird, but a dream told me I’d regret doing this.  Instead, I gave it back to him, getting it off the living room shelf and out of my life forever.  It’s sad that that woman’s piece of art ended up meaning what it did to me.

Phil found me the next day, probably around the fifth, on my way back to the apartment after lunch.  He mentioned the “torn-up paper” and had a long talk with me.  He was civil, though he wasn’t kind.

He seemed offended by the torn-up marriage contract, even though he had been the one to nullify it.

He told me he was interested in doing something with Persephone.  He said he was going dancing on Saturday night in Fond du Lac–which we had planned to do together–and he was going to take her along instead.

I think he was going there with a group.

He also said, “It was never ‘us.'”  What a cruel thing to say!  And what was it supposed to mean?  To discount the past eight months, to discount our entire marriage,  like they meant nothing!

I don’t think I said much to that.  We also talked about how maybe in the future we’d be ready for each other, and I said I just wondered, how long?  (At the crack of doom, I guess.)  I came back in the apartment and cried.

I later got the impression that he and Persephone went dancing in Fond du Lac all the time.  It seemed like dancing in Fond du Lac was popular with S– young people.  It seems odd, because Fond du Lac kids talk like there’s nothing to do here.  And I believe the dance place where everybody went is now something else.

****

I traded a shift with Dirk, 9 to 11 pm in the library.  I sat folding Roanoke folders.  I kept one for myself because they were free.  Some guy dropped off these folders for us, just as he did the year before.

I liked them, but one of the librarians hated them.  She didn’t like how they were made, that they were unsolicited, and that since they were dropped off in the library, we student workers had to spend time folding them.  They were then left in a pile on the desk for anyone to take.

I liked mine, and later on in Winterim class, I decorated it with Celtic drawings and markers.  I ended up storing in it some papers I wanted to keep.  So she complained about them, but I loved mine.

Working at that time of night was scary, especially in what could be a haunted library.  And even if it wasn’t haunted, it was still scary to be out and about on the campus at night.

I was alert to shadows and bushes as I walked home, as I often would be that late at night, watching for guys who might want to jump me.  I didn’t use to be so jumpy at night on campus, until the rapist sophomore year put the fear of darkness into all us women without even stepping foot on the campus.

****

October 7-8.  I went to the InterVarsity Lock-in at Mike’s house.  It was held in the basement, which was made up into a rec room, and in one corner was the door to Mike’s bedroom.

It was nice to be there with my friends and not see Phil at all, but I was also depressed.  Persephone was there, and once asked me, “Is something wrong?”  I didn’t tell her it was Phil.

Guess what?  Phil dropped her off!  She apparently considered him weird, and just thought of him as a friend, but he insisted and she thought, Okay, whatever.

I tried to enjoy myself as best I could.  After all, many of my friends were there, and especially Mike.

While standing around the pool table eating and watching people play, Persephone’s roommate Trina said to me, “Right now, P is in his room having sex with a girl who Phil and I both think isn’t that pretty.”

This girl, apparently, was considered a slut, who all the guys (except Phil and, I hope, Mike) were hot over, and other girls didn’t understand why.  I didn’t know her, and didn’t know what she looked like, so I could say nothing about her.

As for P, a freshman, he had a girlfriend, but was known as a womanizer.  The girlfriend wasn’t on campus.  (Shortly before the end of the school year, according to Pearl, he said that his girlfriend taught him the value of a relationship without sex.)  In her absence, he slept with whomever he could find.

Spring Semester, Charles kept going on and on about him–P did this, P did that, P is so funny, P is so cool–so Pearl began saying, “I think Charles is in love with P.”  We’d laugh, especially since Charles was very much heterosexual.

We watched the Saved by the Bell movie which aired that evening, in which the blond kid married his girlfriend, the girl with the lovely, long brown hair (which she later cut off!  ergh!  when she went to 90210).

I didn’t watch the show myself, but some of my friends did.  I didn’t like watching someone get married, though, after my own marriage to Phil broke down before we even had a public wedding.  But I forced my feelings down so my friends could enjoy the movie.

We spent the night camped on sleeping bags, blankets and pillows on the floor in the basement.  Once I got up to go to the bathroom, stepped around my friends, and reflected on how life went on without Phil, that I was doing this apart from him and still having a good time.

Mike’s mother made us breakfast pizza the next morning.

****

We had made Mike an honorary woman and Phi-Delt because he hung around with us instead of guys, and acted “womanly” at times.  He loved the distinction.

Also, my friends and I recently went to Country Kitchen.  We were Tara, Pearl, Sharon, Astrid and me.  I don’t remember anyone else being with us.

I think that was the time I had a strange desire for the car to crash and I’d die (because of Phil), but I fought it off because that was so awful and would kill my friends as well.  I get thoughts like that when severely depressed.

There, we had ice cream desserts, and somebody asked who of us had crushes on Mike.  Astrid didn’t like admitting it, but we discovered or knew that she did or used to.  Sharon did or used to.  And I did.  Pearl thought Tara did, but she didn’t.

We wondered why so many of us liked him, because he was basically a dork (we meant that in the best possible way; we liked him the way he was).  We wondered if we didn’t have a big enough circle of guy friends, and that’s why we all kept falling for the same guy.

Of course, it could also be that he was one of few truly nice guys on that campus, not a drunk, druggie or out for all the booty he could get.

This may have been the time when a waitress kept banging drawers and snapping at us, so we thought she was having a nervous breakdown.

I don’t think it was anything we did or said.  Working at the S– Country Kitchen at night was said to be very stressful because of groups that come in and sit and have something to drink but nothing more, making the place very busy but with small tips.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

 

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I’m ecstatic to be back with my friends (the ones Phil hates); I meet Charles–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–The Long, Dark Painful Tunnel, Part 3

On Monday, it was finally time to move my stuff into the new apartment on campus.  After I got my key card, Phil and I started unloading the minivan.

The doors were supposed to stay shut even while people moved things in or out of the building, and were not to be propped open (all the residence halls had signs posted saying this).  Since the doors had automatic locks, I was forced to unlock the door each time we brought something in.

So, naturally, I would go on ahead with whatever I carried, and try to unlock the door before Phil got to it.

But he actually snapped at me for not waiting for him before going to the door!

I said, “I have to go before you do so I can open the door with the key before you get to it!”

But he wouldn’t listen to reason.  I seethed inside.  It seemed no matter what I did or didn’t do, in his mind it was just cause to yell at me, even for being considerate and practical!

Sheesh, what a jerk.

But other than that, it was fun to see my friends again and hear their jokes as we went in and out of the apartment.  Mike was there, being his usual muppet self: bouncy, goofy, weird, loud, childlike, sweet, outgoing, hilarious.

(He danced like a muppet, and “muppet” just seemed to fit him in general.  Still does, 20 years later, especially since he loves posting muppet videos on Facebook.)

After we finished moving my stuff into my room and the living room (my room was too small to hold all the boxes), Phil may have left again for a little while.

Dirk lived in the same apartment building.  At one point, Phil and I walked away from the apartment, possibly going to the Campus Center.  Dirk yelled to us from his basement window.  (These windows were on the upper part of the lower-level bedroom walls; once you found something to stand on, or if you were on an upper bunk, they easily cranked open).

Phil talked to him through the window, and Dirk was surprised that I now had a fourth-level bard in Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).

I spent some time with my roommies and Mike.  We discovered the vents in the bedrooms were good sound conductors.  You could hear practically everything from the upstairs apartment.  Mike yelled up the vent to our upstairs neighbors, who were Phi-Delts we knew, and they yelled back.

We thought these vents could be a problem, because how much of our everyday lives and conversations would our upstairs neighbors be able to hear?  I don’t know if they even noticed, but I was often paranoid about this during the year.  And I think that, in my room, we did sometimes hear voices from their apartment.

It would be fun living there with my new roommies: Tara, Sharon and Pearl.  (We called each other roommies no matter who shared a bedroom with whom.)  I was happy to be back and with my friends again.

Phil and I had once spoken of marrying halfway through the year and then living in our own apartment on campus, since he heard they were supposed to be for married as well as regular students.  When my roommies-to-be and I looked at the apartment the year before while it was being built, I thought I would live with them for only part of the year.

But now, I wanted to spend the whole year enjoying life with my friends.

My roommie-roommie was Sharon; my roommies in the other bedroom were Pearl and Tara.

The visiting custom of the apartments was the same as for the suites: Anybody, anytime.  The only rules that applied were the ones your apartment-mates agreed on.

One rule we eventually made was that if someone wanted to let a friend/boyfriend stay overnight, she had to ask everyone else for an OK.  The friend would sleep on the couch and not with one of us, but it made people uncomfortable to walk into the living room in a bathrobe, and discover someone sleeping there.

A dorm newsletter stated what we Krueger residents knew last year: The cold in the dorm was not our imagination.  The newsletter read, “Last year the temperature in Krueger…Remained below 55 degrees during January.”

The windows were replaced, the steam heating system was repaired, and the floors were carpeted, all adding warmth to that cold dorm at last…after I moved out, of course.

Phil and Dirk discussed playing D&D that night and ordering a pizza, but I hadn’t decided whether to join them.  At first I wanted to, but they were already playing D&D, we had no directories yet, and I didn’t know where to find them.

So instead, I settled down to a fun evening with my new roommies, Astrid, and Mike.  Clarissa wasn’t there, because it was a day before move-in day.  Mike lived nearby in H– and the others were to be freshman orientation leaders, so we were all early.

We sat around the big, fake-wood dining table in this small but lovely apartment.  We played games, such as non-alcoholic Spoons.  I had never heard of it before, but was told it was a drinking game.  Our punishments had nothing to do with drinking.  I forget what they were; maybe you were “It” or something like that.  I also don’t remember how the game was played, just that it involved spoons.

Phil had made dirty jokes all summer and, with his influence, I had joined in on some of them.  Some were in-jokes triggered by certain words or phrases.  I heard some of these words while with my friends that night, but said nothing.

I noticed that Mike made few or no dirty jokes that night, and I found it refreshing.  I admired him for it.  (Not that this state of things lasted–Mike actually does make such jokes, especially now that he’s married–but this made my heart go pitter-pat.)

Finally, Phil came along and tapped on the glass doors, and we let him in.

I realized, as I later told Phil, that I was glad to be there instead of playing D&D with him and Dirk.  My friends had been my family at Roanoke, longer than Phil had been with me.  After dealing with Phil’s drama all summer, it was a relief to be with my friends again.

Maybe that night or the night before, Phil told me his mom made him give his summer money to her.  He’d saved up all summer to buy my engagement ring from a catalog for $300, but she used that money on Phil’s car payments!  We were both furious.

Phil told me to “Stay with your friends tonight” instead of going back with him to his house.  At first I wanted to go with him, figuring I would miss him.  But I soon changed my mind.

Before he left, I told him I needed a ride to go to the store and get milk and orange juice, since I had a box of cereal and would now be eating breakfast in the apartment.  I didn’t have to go to Bossard for a normal breakfast anymore, because we had a kitchen.

All the rooms had white plastic wire towers with drawers.  One wire tower was in the toilet room of the bathroom, and each of us took a drawer for various personal items.

I call it the toilet room because the bathroom was actually three separate rooms.  In the main room were two sinks; to the left of them was the bathtub with its see-through glass door; to the right was the shower room; and across from the sinks was the toilet room.  This was the handicap suite because of Pearl, so we had a huge bathroom.

Some time that first week, probably right around Tuesday, I discovered Hot 102 (dance) had turned alternative, so that quickly became my favorite station.

Of course, I recognized almost immediately that Chicago’s Q101 was much better, and that Hot 102 (now New Rock 102.1) was copying it.  The signal for Q101 didn’t cut out until we got close to Milwaukee, so copying it was easy.

New Rock 102.1 used the same terms and did the same shows as Q101.  Example: The Retro Flashback Lunch.  Another example: “We give the name and artist of every song we play.”  (That was a wonderful perk, but they stopped doing it in about 1995.)

However, New Rock didn’t play the same songs as Q101: I greatly missed “Millennium” by Killing Joke and “Insanity” by Boingo.  But they did have “Undone (The Sweater Song)” by Weezer and “Snail Shell” by They Might Be Giants.

Now to give you the view from my window.  The apartment was on one end of the bottom level, which was partially submerged by ground on one side (hence the high windows).  My bedroom was on the submerged side.  From my window, you could see the new parking lot for the apartments, a sidewalk, and the edge of Muehlmeier.  Venetian blinds probably covered the window.

On the opposite side of the apartment, by the living room, there were glass, sliding doors and a view of the lagoon, the geese, the adjacent apartment building, and the courtyard.

Our side of the building was next to the other building.  If you faced these glass doors, to your left was the wall we shared with the next apartment.

To your right was the kitchen and the back outside door.  The outside door led to a ramp-like walk which curved to the right, up the hill, to the sidewalk leading to Muehlmeier and the Campus Center.  Pearl kept her scooter inside this door.  From this door, we could see the woods on the outskirts of the campus.

We had another door, which led to the apartment mailboxes, the little laundry room, and the next apartment.  We went upstairs to get outside.

As I already mentioned, the door locked automatically and had to be unlocked with a key card.  We weren’t supposed to leave this door open, but during move-in days, people often propped it open anyway with a heavy-duty floor mat.

The place had that new building smell.

Pearl put her new stereo system in the living room for us all to use.  It had a radio, tape player, five-disc CD changer, and remote control!  Everything you could wish for–well, except for a record player, but none of us brought our records anyway.  Records were too hard to transport safely.

But the antenna was weird.  It was this black, plastic, boxlike thing connected to a couple cords.  I don’t know why it wasn’t the usual metal pole.  By second semester, there were five discs in the CD changer at all times, so we could turn it on and play whatever came up.

On Tuesday, September 6, it felt weird doing my natural family planning in the apartment.  Before, I did it secretly so my parents didn’t know about it, but Phil knew I was doing it.  Here, nobody I lived with knew about it.  I took my temperature while still in bed when Sharon couldn’t see, and stashed other tools in the toilet room in my drawer.

I set up my work schedule: On Wednesday, I started work, from one to three p.m.  Once again, I kept my weekends and evenings free from work, just as I always avoided 8:00 classes.  This left weekends free for laundry, cleaning, homework, relaxing, and sleeping in.

Junior year, Sharon got five hours done on Saturdays, but I preferred to spread out my ten hours over the five weekdays.  Sometimes I had to do, like, one hour one day and three hours the next, but my ideal setup was two hours a day.  It all depended on class schedules and other workers’ schedules.  The librarians wanted only two people working the desk at one time.

I soon gave a class and work schedule to Phil.  This is important later, because in my innocence of what was to come, I let him know where to find me all semester.

I didn’t know what time Phil would show up at the apartment that day, but I knew he would.  I wanted to see him, and knew he wouldn’t want to go a whole day without seeing me, his beloved wife.  Not only that, but he knew I needed milk and orange juice, which I couldn’t get on campus.

This new guy named Charles came to visit us, and sat in the living room while I unpacked boxes.  He was loud, tall and huge.  I didn’t know why, but I felt this strange attraction to him.  He wasn’t handsome and I didn’t know him very well, so that wasn’t the reason.

He said proudly that he was of Sicilian ancestry.  He had a strong, aquiline nose.  He was  24 but a freshman, having been in the Air Force.  He had a girlfriend named Trina, another freshman.  My friends probably met them in orientation.  Charles and Trina had only just met, but were already dating.  Trina was about 18 or 19.  She had glasses and dark, shoulder-length, kind of feathered hair.

Since many of my boxes had been put in the living room for lack of other space, I unpacked them within the first few days so as not to annoy my roommates.  To my surprise, everything fit neatly in the closets and wire racks.  I unpacked the porcelain bird as Charles watched, and told him, with a big grin, that it was my engagement ring.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

 

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