Wednesday, April 4, 2007

it’s like i never left high school

While working at the Crap, it felt like high school every day. Hiding in a corner of the store, I would use folding with a co-worker as an excuse to privately talk about how shitty the store manager was or the bad choices a co-worker was making about her boyfriend. Yeah, I probably wasn’t setting the best example. But there was just something about that place that fostered immaturity.

That’s not the say that I’ve outgrown such behaviors now that I’m not there. I occasionally regress to high school. Like whenever I email a friend and I don’t hear back from her in a timely manner, I start to freak out and wonder if I had done or said something wrong. Or whenever I refuse to talk to someone I am mad at instead of tackling the problem head on. Maybe some of us never leave high school.

I took a major step back in my journey to adulthood the other night. Jesse and I were on our way home from the Christina Aguilera concert. At Metro Center, we had been waiting for 16 minutes for an Orange Line train and as soon as it came, I rushed in for a seat (hey, I stood for that entire concert so my feeties were hurting). I looked up in horror to see one of my ex roommates walk into the same train car and sit across from me. Like I explained on Monday, I had lived in this very non-committal rowhouse on the Hill. The roommate turnover was crazy. So I’ve had my fair share of roommates. However, this one was notorious for several reasons:

  • The girl had lots of ‘friends’ and constantly invited them over with no regard to the other roommates. This was constant and it just so happened that whenever I had a major paper due, the girl was throwing a party (which would’ve been ok on a Friday except they were on Tuesdays).
  • The girl wasn’t very bright. And that’s a compliment (meaning I could’ve been meaner in my description).
  • The girl had a best friend who once said of my gay friends that he met at a party we threw: “Hey, your friends are pretty cool, which is surprising considering they’re gay.” Needless to say, he could never really redeem himself after making such a statement (I heart my gays). And frankly, I hated him for it.
  • And (this one is my personal favorite), the door to the girl’s bedroom was a revolving door. I’m not quite sure what the appeal was (oh wait, I know, she was easy) but there was a different guy every week. The girl had two requirements: the guys had to work on the Hill and they had to be of a particular faith/ethnicity. And that meant only one thing—her net was cast very wide.
Obviously we were never friends. And there she was, sitting across from me on the Metro. I hid behind my hair at first (read I overflipped to the side). “Oh my God, Oh my God,” I said under my breath. Jesse looked at me like I was crazy. And then I explained, “My ex roommate is sitting over there and I don’t want her to see me.” Yeah, except we were sitting across from each other so it was highly improbable that she had not seen me already.

So I did what any 16-year-old would’ve done in my situation—I pretended that I hadn’t noticed her. I needed to get my mind off of things so I could appear as cool as a cucumber. I took my camera out of my bag and showed Jesse the pics from the concert. We talked about the show. And when I was done, I quickly peered over at the ex roommie and realized that she was still here. Darn it. Ballston couldn’t come soon enough.

Next, I tried to hide behind Jesse. Maybe, by some act of God, she hadn’t noticed me yet. If I could just hide my face behind his arm (sure I have a big head but he has nice, big, muscular arms so this could work), I could avoid having to talk to her.

At this point, Jesse was probably embarrassed to be seen with me so I turned to the one person that I knew would understand how I was feeling right then (and who was most likely to be awake)—Shell. I texted Shell and told her what was going on. And she made the train ride bearable. I stopped hiding and focused on texting Shell with updates as I eagerly awaited her witty commentary. And then I looked up and the ex roommate was gone.

Had I been more mature, I would’ve realized that acknowledging the ex roommate and maybe making civil, small talk wouldn’t have been so bad. Sure it would’ve been annoying, but it would’ve been a minor inconvenience. And I wouldn’t have looked so ridiculous.

Guess I’ve still got a long way to go on that journey to adulthood.


mm said...

We all do the hide and ignore move every once and awhile. It's not a very adult behaviour, but it gets you out of what could be an extremely awkward conversation.

Anonymous said...

one time I went to a community play with a friend and saw and ex with whom I had parted on not so happy terms. Anyway I saw him walking up the aisle (I was still sitting with my friend) and realized we would make eye contact any minute. What did I do? I threw myself on the ground between the seats so he wouldn't see me and to make double sure I pulled our coats on top of me. Your roommate story didn't even make me blink. sorry! --erika

lizzie said...

mm--you're right. but i can't help thinking that if i had been a little more mature, i could've just acknowledged her as she sat across from me. granted, she could've done the same.

erika--wow, you definitely trumped me with that story. that's hilarious!

Shell said...

The only way this story could have been better about an ex-roommate encouter would have been if it was klepto girl...wearing your jacket and listening to my cd's!! :)

DCWeddingPhotog said...

ah yes. this happens to be all the time. with a lot of old classmates from college. it's annoying. i always just try and hide, too, but i know they always see me. but then again, they didn't say hi either. but we should say hi soon! maybe after i get back from my business trip next week we can chill!

lizzie said...

Shell--oh my god, klepto girl! that just brought back some memories...not good ones, but still.

MK--you're right. i'm slightly comforted by the fact that the ex-roommate didn't say hi to me either.

i'm all for chillin' together. let's make plans when you get back!