The Summer Roommate

About a month ago I made probably the best purchase of my life (aside from my selfie stick) and that was a window unit air conditioner for my bedroom. We have central air but my father has the same method of using utilities in his house as Scrooge from A Christmas Carol did. Whenever we would complain to him about how it was too hot in the house growing up he never had much sympathy.

Me and my siblings: Dad it’s so hot can we please turn the air on tonight?
Dad: Oh you kids these days are a bunch of sissies. If you go five seconds without air conditioning you act like you’re going to die. Back when I was growing up we didn’t have any air conditioning! AND we only had one fan for all 9 of us kids to share!
Me: Why didn’t you guys just buy more fans? Those box fans are like ten bucks at Target.
Dad: Because we were too poor!
Me: You know, I think I’m going to start taking violin lessons so I can follow you around playing my violin as you tell your sob story to everyone.

Because of this, I was worried my landlords would not approved my purchase request. Surprisingly, though, they approved it right away so I immediately went out and bought an AC unit before they changed their minds.

Once that window unit was in, my room was as cold as it is in the wintertime when my Dad refuses to turn the heat up. Ahh, it felt great. Unfortunately, though, since this is America, when you have nice things other people like to try and use those nice things of yours for free. Yes, sadly, this wonderful AC unit put me in a situation where I was dealing with a squatter. A squatter who happens to be my younger sister, Jane, home from college for the summer.

Although we always shared a room growing up, the plan was for Jane to move into my brother’s old room when she came home from school. With our three older siblings moved out and two now empty bedrooms, there really wasn’t a reason for us to share anymore. Until the AC unit came into play. Every once in a while Jane will say something like “Ok, this weekend I am going to start moving my stuff into Michael’s room.” or “Next week I am going to look for a comforter for my new bedroom.” All empty promises, of course. But at this point I’ve come to terms with the fact that she doesn’t really plan on moving out, and I am ok with that now.


Me and my summer roomie back in the day. Mom, I know you’re reading so just want to reiterate the fact that I was way too old for you to be dressing me in the same outfits as my little sister. You only got away with this because I always looked younger than I was.

Jane never liked the idea of us separating rooms. She would get upset when the subject of moving rooms was even brought up because she is sentimental like that. I, on the other hand, have no feelings or emotions so I had no problem trying to kick her to the curb. I liked to joke with her that one of these days she is going to find all of her stuff boxed up in the hallway outside our bedroom and that I was going to change the bedroom lock. She didn’t think it was very funny.

Sharing a room again has made us closer, actually a little too close now that we’ve actually begun to act like an old married couple-we spend a lot of time together, sometimes bicker, and even plan out when we are going to bed.  Our before bed conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: Ok, I am going to bed.
Jane: Ok, when you say you’re going to bed does that mean you are like going to sleep right away or are you going to read for a little bit? Because if you’re reading I’ll go up and read too but if you aren’t I’ll just read downstairs.
Me: I am going to read a little bit but probably only a chapter or two.
Jane: Ok then I will go up and read too.
Me: Wait, but like how long do you plan to read? Because I don’t want to finish reading and then have to lay there trying to sleep while the bedside table lamp is still on.
Jane: Well can’t you just put your pillow over your face to block the light while I finish reading? That’s how you usually sleep anyway.
Me: Whoa, whoa whoa. What, are you watching me sleep now you creep? Well if I can do that why don’t you just read with a flashlight then? How about that?
Jane: Ok, fine I will just read a chapter or two, I’m pretty tired.
Me: Ok, either way it’s your turn to turn off the bedside light.


Throwing it back to when we had to wake up and bury our dead goldfish. By the way, what kind of sick person takes pictures at a funeral, MOM. Side note: seconds after she took this picture the dead fish fell out of my had and landed on our dog’s face.

In all honesty, the only annoying thing about sharing a room with Jane is how fast she can fall asleep. Most nights it takes me forever to get to sleep but Jane passes out practically before her head hits the pillow, as if she has Benadryl pulsing through her veins. And once she is asleep she might as well be in a coma because there is no waking her up. Since I don’t think it’s fair that she falls asleep so quickly I usually try to keep her up by talking or acting like a goof. My favorite game to play is the “Does it look like I’m in my bed?” game where I flatten myself out as much as I can and situate my blankets so it looks like no one is in my bed. Gets her every time.


This is me killing it at the “Does it look like I’m in my bed” game. Spoiler alert: I’m in there.

Once we are done with that we gaze up at the glow in the dark stars on our ceiling (it’s like camping really) that will forever be there (since they take pieces of drywall with them every time we try to take them down) and then Jane falls.

Luckily, we don’t work at the same place so we have about 8 hours of separation. But after work I like to make Jane come on errands with me even when she doesn’t want to.

Me: Jane want to go to Target with me?
Jane: Ah no not really thanks though.
Me: Oh my gosh you are literally so selfish. You know I don’t like doing things by myself. Typically youngest child.
Jane: I was just at Target an hour ago.
Me: Oh come on I want to go to get one of those giant soft frisbees. And we can jam out to music on our way there.
Jane: You go out and buy the weirdest stuff.
Me: You know the hard plastic frisbees hurt my hands. I can’t play with those. It’s not my fault my hands are softer than a baby’s bottom.
Jane: Ugh fine, I’ll go with you.

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Thanks Dad! We hardly feel any bumps when we are driving around in your car!

Sharing a room isn’t that bad when you’ve done it your entire life and it’s all you know. I will miss her when she leaves me to go back to school. I think the thing I’ll miss the most is this amazing hairbrush she brought home that I like to use when I get out of the shower. It’s a brush specifically made to use when your hair is wet. I can’t explain it but it makes my hair just feel so healthy. I really hope she considers leaving it for me. All joking aside I will be lonely when she leaves me and it’s just me and the baby boomers again. Although her big move to my brother’s bedroom was supposed to happen this summer, it looks like that will be postponed a while. Target move date: Summer 2030!





23 Going On 83

One day last week, I was not having very good luck. First, while brushing my teeth before work, I was rinsing my mouth when a drop of water escaped the palm of my hand and rolled right down my arm into my sleeve. I shutter to think of it even now. There is no feeling worse than that. Then I found out we ran out of Triscuits. What the Hell am I supposed to bring for my afternoon snack then?! But I powered through because that is what you do when you’re a grown up. Then, while at the office, I was catching up on some 3 hole punch work when this happened:

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Oh. My. Gawd.

Calm down, I thought to myself, I can still make this work. I can still safely secure this piece of paper into the binder with 3 holes punched into it. So I tried again. And this happened:
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Is this some sort of sick joke?!

“Oh no. This is my nightmare” I said out loud. There is literally no way this paper can be properly secured into this binder. What am I supposed to do, tape the paper back together?! What do you want from me 3 hole puncher?! What have I done that is so horrible that I deserve this?! Then I just lost it. I knew being in the working world wasn’t going to be easy, but I never imagined it would be this hard.
In the little over a year since I graduated college I have turned into an old lady. I used to be a party animal in my college years. Going out on a Wednesday or Thursday night is easy when you have your alarm set for 11:30 a.m. the next morning. Now if someone asks me if I I’d like to get drinks during the week I’ll still agree-just as long as I am home in time to watch the 10 o’clock news and be in bed 10:30.(The weather comes on at 10:20 so I have to stay up for that, it helps me decide on an outfit for the next day). These days the most excitement I have during the week is when the Amish people come to the train station in the mornings and pass out free donut samples and sell baked goods. (They really are quite delicious so I have reason to get excited)
When you’re in college, weekends are for fun. Once you’re in the work force they are for errands and doing all the necessary things that you had no time for during the week. Go out on a Friday AND Saturday night on the weekend? No. One of those nights has to be used for lounging and catching up on sleep. Needless to say because of this I don’t have much news to report to my coworkers on Mondays:
Coworker: “Kathleen, how was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?”
Me: “Oh man yea it was insane! Friday I did laundry-was able to squeeze in a load of whites AND darks before calling it a night, so I’m quite pleased with myself. Then Saturday went to the eye doctor and got my eyes dilated so that was pretty trippy. I stayed inside most of the rest of the day after that since my eyes were so sensitive to the light. Then I went to Target to pick up some deodorant, lotion and a new toothbrush. It took me a while to find one approved by the American Dental Association but I was in no rush so I found one. How was your weekend?”
This summer working in the city has been especially tough for a 23 going on 83-year-old such as myself. The sidewalks are overcrowded with slow walking tourists and their wheely suitcases, strollers and worst of all-children. As if the sidewalks aren’t already crowded enough during the year with slow walkers and all the what I like to call “Horizontal Arm Swingers.” These are walkers who take arm swinging while walking to the extreme, using their arms like helicopter blades instead of keeping them a proper distance from their side making them impossible to pass. When attempting to pass these people I have to ask myself many questions before making the move. Many things go through my mind: “Can I squeeze through the opening between the Horizontal Arm Swinger and that gigantic potted plant?” “Is there enough space for me to zip by? What is my waist size? Wait, I have a purse on my shoulder so the circumference of that needs to be factored in.” Every day is a struggle. Don’t even get me started on rainy days when everyone is walking with an umbrella! I just really can’t stand it when I’m out on my lunch break and hangry (Hungry therefore angry for those of you who aren’t familiar with the word). I have no patience for these people. Don’t they know that I am in a rush to go sit on a bench and eat my lunch by myself?!
The warm days bring all of those meddling high school kids from the suburbs to the beaches downtown. Thus, overcrowding my train ride home. Is it so much to ask to want to sit in my air-conditioned train car and look through Buzzfeed on my phone without having to listen to those brace filled mouths chatting and being obnoxious?! Sheesh! Why don’t you go get a summer job so you can support your Limited Too and Claire’s spending habits you children!
My building at work actually overlooks Lake Michigan so I can see all the beach-goers having their fun. It’s a nice view, most people think it’s peaceful watching the sailboats on the lake. But for me it just makes me confused. “Don’t those people have jobs?! Why are they out sailing on a boat in the middle of the work week and I’m in here?!” Life just isn’t fair.
Upon reading this you might think I’m an old grouch. I swear I’m not. And if I am I’m only grouchy the five of the seven days of the week I work so it doesn’t really count. Plus this whole work thing is only temporary-only about 30 more years until I can retire. Let the countdown begin!