I get a package in the mail from Allie – my college roommate of four years at Monmouth. She told me it was coming, but it’s taken a while and it was sent back to her because of an address problem, so there’s a wrapped Christmas present inside along with a card. The card makes me laugh – and there’s a magnet inside. It says “Friends Forever” with a picture of poop and toilet paper smiling and hugging each other. The gift is a T-shirt that says, ‘My Mom says I’m a Catch’. This is somewhat of an inside joke, but seriously, I am a catch. I wear the shirt that night.
Allie is my best friend from college – besides McConville – but Allie and I roomed together for four years. My coach set us up together because we were both from the same area – she went to Glassboro and I went to West Deptford. Our schools weren’t rivals because we weren’t in the same Group, but we did play Glassboro on occasion. So we have a few phone conversations in the summer and decide to meet up before we go up to Monmouth. She sounds like a little girl with a high-pitched voice on the phone and she’s super, super nice and friendly. I’m not sure what to expect when I meet her and I’m a little nervous. I agree to come to her house, and we’ll go out to lunch somewhere. As I walk up to the door I see her. We make eye contact, and I can see in her eyes the way that I feel – we know each other, and we don’t like each other.
Going into my senior year at West Deptford, I went to a summer camp at Rowan. It was the first time I went to a field hockey camp in the summer, ever, because I was only allowed to go to one summer camp so I had to go to basketball. That’s another story, though. I digress.
At this camp, there were mostly younger girls there. I was one of the few older girls and roomed with Woody, a girl on my team. This one girl would walk around at night and call lights out or something. She was the same age as me but ‘in charge’ of the floor. This was Allie. Her coach was in charge of the whole camp, so she must have asked her to help out. Fair enough, but I didn’t like her telling me what to do. During the day, in tournaments and whatnot, I always felt like we were against each other. Competition. I didn’t like her.
So I walk up to her door, and we recognize each other. We then proceed to have the most awkward conversation at Chili’s or Applebee’s or someplace like that. We have absolutely nothing in common. She likes rap and pop music: I like classic rock. She loves broadway shows and musicals: I love to read. We continue this conversation to try and find something we have in common, but there’s nothing. It’s not that I don’t like her at this point. Now, I just have nothing in common with her and it’s weird.
Freshman year is pretty bad. There are three other freshmen on the team living in a different suite than us and we don’t seem to fit in with the ‘clique’. It’s always a clique when you’re on the outside, even if it’s not. Allie and I naturally gravitate to each other, but I still don’t like her. This is where Allie gets mad when I talk about this stuff. In the beginning I didn’t admit to how much I didn’t like her, but as we became best friends I felt like I had to be honest with her. I can tell her anything, and I wanted to. That’s just how I am with my favorite people. It came time to figure out what I was going to do sophomore year. I spent many a phone conversation with my Mom. Mom, I am NOT rooming with Allie next year. Seriously, I don’t want to. Mom tried to rationalize with me. “You might not like her, but you know you can live with her.” Mom’s are always right.
You get lottery numbers when you live on campus. Somehow, for once in my life, I got a good number – and so did Allie. We could very easily get a nice room in one of the nicer buildings, OR we could get a normal suite of eight people and pull people in, thereby living with eight people we want to live with. I want this; Allie wants the latter. I want to bring a bunch of my girlfriends into our living situation, but Allie doesn’t really know them, so she’d rather live in a nice place with just the two of us. But I am me and Allie is a pushover and I win. We live with Mego, Meg, Kate, Mo, Jess, and Erica, and it’s honestly the best year I have at Monmouth. So many good times with these girls.
It’s during this time that Allie and I really become best friends. We’re so different but now that is something that I cherish about our relationship. And of course, we do find things in common – we absolutely love making videos. We make so many stupid music videos that I know she still has saved. She’s always honest with me, in a way I feel like no one has ever been. She takes care of me when I get hammered and I look out for her when she makes stupid mistakes with stupid boys. We eventually just get each other and I can’t imagine getting through college without her.
Allie never knew what she wanted to do while we were in school. I didn’t know either, but Allie would cheat for me. Seriously. Like, I would have to make a storyboard for a commercial and I’d show it to Allie. She would fix it and make it amazing, like amazing, and I knew I’d get an A. She was always so crafty. I told her she should be a professional scrapbooker. I guarantee people do that for a living. It wasn’t until long after college that Allie realized she wanted to be a nurse. Makes total sense and she’s going to be great once she finishes school, but you never know when you’re going to figure out what you want to do.
I don’t know when my parents fell in love with Allie, too, whether it was before or after I did. Probably after since once I did, she really opened up to my parents. This girl is the best story teller. Whenever she’s around, my parents don’t seem to stop laughing. She would go out and tell me what happened and I’d feel like I was watching a movie. Literally, I cannot watch horror films, but I feel like I’ve seen Saw and Texas Chainsaw Massacre through Allie’s reviews.
It’s crazy how you meet people, but I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason. We were forced upon each other, and I got a best friend out of the deal.
*The Starting Line