It was the summer before my senior year in college. I stayed in the
area for a summer job. Three friends and I agreed to go in together on
an apartment for the summer. We thought we had one lined up, but a
week before we were to move in, it fell through. So we were
scrambling. For the few weeks until we could find another place, I
negotiated with several families to trade my babysitting services for
room and board. During that time, one of our roommates dropped out.
Bear with me here. These details DO pertain to the story, I promise!
So we found a sublease on an apartment at the nearby seminary, and we
moved in. But we still needed another roommate to help make the rent.
We advertised in a local paper, and there was just one response — from a girl
whose boyfriend lived at the seminary. She thought it would be fun to
live close to him for the summer. She was a college graduate living in
the area, and I still have no idea why she was interested in a
two-month rental arrangement. It seemed strange. SHE seemed
strange. But, like I said, she was the only person who answered the ad.
So she moved in.
Her boyfriend was in and out some, and my other two roommates and I all agreed that he was, um, a little different. Nice guy, but, you know, different.
After a few weeks, they started telling me that I should date this
guy’s roommate. I couldn’t help but wonder what sort of strange bird
the roommate would be. I pretty much ignored their attempts to set us
up. Evidently they were bugging him about me too.
At the beginning of August, I got a phone call.
"Um. This is your roommate’s boyfriend’s roommate," said a male voice on the other end of the line.
"I guess that would be Paul," I said.
"Yeah." Swallow. "So. I was wondering if you’d like to go out to dinner this weekend."
I figured, what do I have to lose? I didn’t exactly have men beating down my door. So I said, "sure", and we set a time.
My roommate was ecstatic. She assured me he was
good-looking and nice and fun, and even admitted to a small
crush on him at one point. That did little to instill
The night of the date arrived. He would pick me up at six. I rushed
home from my babysitting job, arriving home at 5:30 after a day at the
beach. I jumped in the shower and got ready in less than 30 minutes. I KNOW! Remarkable, isn’t it?
remember what I wore — a white t-shirt and my favorite red
gingham miniskirt. I thought it was adorable. But years later, my husband
would tell me all he could think of when he looked at it was a
picnic tablecloth. Fortunately for him, he waited until after we were married
to make this pronouncement.
When he knocked at the door that night, my roommate introduced us. He was a
welcome surprise — tall, dark and handsome and not a bit different.
We went to dinner. Afterwards neither of us wanted to go home, so we
decided to see a movie. We continued dating throughout my senior year
of college, which was also his final year of seminary.
When it came time to graduate, I wasn’t sure I was ready for marriage,
so we went to our respective homes — him to Pennsylvania and me to
Virginia. After being apart for a month, I knew I didn’t want to live
another minute without him. We got
engaged in September and married the following August. And here we
are, 13 years and 3 kids later!
So today I thank God a) for the apartment that fell through, and b) the first
roommate that dissed us, and c) that we only got one answer to that ad in
NOTE: My husband would tell you that his two roommates had been bugging him all summer
to call me, and he wasn’t interested in dating anyone. He was immersed
in his seminary studies and working full-time as a security officer.
When he finally made the call, he said it was basically to get them off his
back. So I’m also thankful that d) he had two really annoying roommates
who basically goaded him into calling this mystery girl.
ANOTHER NOTE: The roommates got married as well. We still hear from them occasionally.
Originally posted 9/12/2006.