the new girl

About a couple week ago, Annie Stamell tweeted the following:

Living with 3 dudes is either going to turn me into a huge tomboy or I’ll be awesome & know the secrets to everything.

My thoughts, exactly.

In my case, turns out its a mixture of both of these scenarios. Ok here’s some background: Three weeks ago I moved to Chicago (The Windy City, ya’ll! I’ve made it!). However, I didn’t have a a home yet so my dear friend Jeff offered me an air mattress and a room err… ‘nook’ at his house. I wasn’t TOO worried, however, because I figured I had a pretty good idea of what living with Jeff would be like. In college at the University of Missouri (Go Tigers!), in a magical slum land called East Campus, Jeff and I’s houses backed up to one another. Jeff would frequently stop by with wine and/or diet coke, I would cook, and he would comment about how my wardrobe of leggings and oversized flannel shirts made me look like the most recent victim of a horrible breakup. And thus, a friendship was born.

Despite knowing Jeff, I had a few concerns about living with him and his two roommates.

  • Bathroom rights. I grew up with 4 sisters, OK? Sharing a bathroom with 3 boys in their 20s is a terrifying thought. Am I right?
  • Looking less like Zooey Deschanel in “The New Girl” and more like this chick.
  • Being “that girl who lives with boys.” Come on, you all know what I’m talking about. I’m moving to a new city here and I have lots of first impressions to make.

Even though some of these concerns were FOR SURE warranted (boys are just dirty, ya’ll), I learned some valuable life lessons from Jeff, Matt, and Luke:

  1. Giving someone a place to sleep is often the greatest act of kindness you can extend. These boys always have people staying with them: college friends, grad school study partners, stray family members…you name it. I was always sharing the living room with someone new, which I absolutely loved. I made a ton of new friends, heard stories, and bonded over the fact that whoever was staying there was briefly homeless like me. These boys were incredibly gracious about who they let stay with them, which is a trend I will carry with me to my new home.
  2. Sometimes silence is the best mode of communication. Real talk: I’ve lived with girls my entire life. And something about girls is that they do not shut up. Ever. We feel the need to verbally process everything, talk through our days extensively, and discuss the color of that one chick’s bridesmaid dresses late into the night on a Tuesday. Not so with boys. Besides a 2 sentence synopsis about how their days were, I often got no information about their coworkers, boss, or their long commute. At first I tried to fill the silence, but then I just embraced it and started cooking for them instead. One Saturday early into my stay Luke and I watched football (in silence) for about 6 hours. Then after that we were friends. Just like that.
  3. Passive Aggressiveness is not the way to get what you want. Girls, stop being passive aggressive towards your roommates. It will NOT have the desired effect. Something I learned from the boys: If someone has something you want, just ask them. It’s that simple! Who would of thought that a straightforward “Bro, you owe me 20 bucks for the electric bill. Pay up.” would work? I know, its crazy, really.
SO, I didn’t become complete tomboy (although whiskey and football have become staples in my life) and I didn’t figure out the secrets to everything (just some things), but I did have the best time. Maybe that is why I moved literally a block away from the boys. Hey guys, can I come over and watch football this weekend? I’ll cook.

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Filed under fodder for our memoir, katie

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