Today was roommate reunion day! At 11AM I got a call from Katie the Newly Married Lady, who I lived with for a year in 2006-2007. But I've known Katie since I was 19, when we worked at Liberty Bay Bakery together for a summer in Poulsbo. We went to lunch and split a burrito, then wandered around Weaving Works fondling yarns. Katie and I got a chance to catch up and chat in a way we haven't since she moved to Israel. It was certainly a delightful use of my lunch hour and a vast improvement over eating ramen by myself in the windowless breakroom.
On my way home on the bus I received a text message from Jill, who I lived with for a year in 2000-2001--my last year of college at UW. She took me out to dinner at Piecora's, where we got all caught up over pizza and beer (Boundary Bay Scotch Ale, which you should try as soon as possible because it is ambrosial--hints of caramel, but not too sweet). I haven't spent much time with Jill since last spring, and it was good to talk to her. Like lunch, it was an excellent use of my time, mostly for the company.
It seems strange to be on such good terms with my former housing companions, especially considering my personality. I know I can't be the easiest person to live with. Example one: I don't pick up on subtle hints. I expect my roommates to actually tell me if something I am doing is bothering them, otherwise I'm going to assume all is well. Example two: I want things my way and find it difficult to compromise sometimes, whether it be over how the bathroom is organized or how long it is reasonable to ignore the housework. Example three: I occassionally need to be left alone to putter around the house or read, without any conversation--including an explanation about how I'm feeling that day. It can't be much fun to try and chat with your roommate when she gives monosyllabic responses for no apparent reason.
And Katie and Jill and I not only survived living together with our respective friendships in tact, but we share the special bond that only people who have cleaned one another's hair out of the shower drain can form. So going to a meal with these people seems like a special treat, because they are sharing their lives with me still...even if they're not sharing the dishes.