The Shrinking Box

Last spring I spent the semester in New York. I’ve been asked what I learned during that experience. Typically people would say, “Oh, I learned the meaning of hard work,” or “I learned that if I can make it here, then I can make it anywhere (Jay Z was right!).”

I, on the other hand, learned that people are not meant to live in a box and certainly not with another person.

This surprised some people, but not most. I mean, there are plenty of homeless people who live in boxes. That breaks my heart, but I didn’t live in a box. No, no. I lived in something much worse than a box… something that will smother you and leave you for dead…

A dorm.

I know what you’re thinking… you’re in college, get over it! The truth is, I couldn’t!

Now, I lived in a dorm freshman year and I did just fine. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that this feeble satisfaction was only because I was blinded by the excitement of college. I was so naive at 17. What person in their right mind thinks that a dorm is anything close to a sufficient living environment?

These feelings were only exacerbated by my experience in The Big Apple.

Picture this…

Alarm goes off. Wait, correction. That’s a firetruck going by. Eyes open as you roll over on a mattress that’s the equivalent to a bail of hay wrapped in a slip ‘n’ slide. The morning came sooner than you expected. Oh wait, the roommate was up until 5:30am… which means you were too.

As you rise and take a step forward, you immediately step on a pile of your roommate’s clothes. To avoid trampling them you step to the left and bump right into her bed. She groans and rolls over emphatically.

The box just got smaller.

Two steps further and you’re standing in front of the bathroom. You step in and wiggle yourself between the door and the toilet to get to the sink. You squint looking into the spit-splattered mirror. You’re roommate was supposed to clean that, remember?

Finally, you step into the shower. Just when you begin to relax and breathe in the sweet aroma of your Tahitian Renewal body wash, a puddle begins to form around your feet. Yes, that would be your roommate’s hair plugging the drain.

The box shrinks a little more.

The thought of trying to be quiet quickly escapes your mind and you begin slamming everything you can and want while you finish getting ready. At last, you’re on your way to work.

Work flies by, as all things do when you’re having fun!

After grabbing dinner and heading home, you walk through the door only to find that your roommate has yet to budge from her slumber. At last she wakes to have her first meal of the day (dinner) and complains that she is tired.

Still shrinking.

You head to the gym to blow off some steam and when you decide you want to go to bed before midnight, she decides that she’s going to settle in to watch TV and Skype a friend. You toss and turn and then surprise, surprise, it’s morning again; the process beginning all over again.

That box is now a thimble.

All that being said, you would think that my problem was not the room, but the roommate. I thought this myself, but in actuality, I think my roommate and I could have had a better relationship if we didn’t live like Thumbelina.

Now, back in Texas, I’m embracing my townhouse. I have a roommate, but I also have my own room (and the whole upstairs to myself). It’s sheer bliss. Oh… I’m also embracing my height (sorry, Thumbelina).

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One thought on “The Shrinking Box

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  1. I said Thumbelina half way through, funny. Great story sounds like you had a small room but who doesn’t in NYC except Yoko.

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