It’s October, which means it’s leasing time. All of the cute, frantic, panicked little first years are running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to figure out where they’ll be living, if they can afford rent, who they’ll be living with…yada yada yada. It is an incredibly stressful and totally unpleasant time. As a first year, I had absolutely no interest in putting forth effort into finding a place to live. My best friend, the type-A control organizer freak that she is (Sorry Smegs, I love ya but you’re crazy) was planning pie charts, relentlessly hounding leasing offices and agents, and dragging me along as we toured one apartment after another – all of which seemed to have the approximate dimensions of a matchbox and was still 200 bucks a month over my budget. At the time, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. We would find a place to live. We would figure it out. I realize now that if Megan hadn’t been so crazy I would be kicking it beside the weird guy who sits outside of Dunkin’ Donuts with this dog. So thanks for saving me from inevitable destitution, Smegs.
What I didn’t realize, as a first year, is the incredible awkwardness that is encased within touring an apartment. Because for some reason, I found nothing odd about standing in the kitchen of a third-year stranger as she did her dishes and my future roommates barged questions of water-pressure and utility costs down her throat. It seemed natural. We needed a place to live and standing beside a leasing agent made us abandon all awkwardness.
This is different on the other side. There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING more awkward than sitting in your apartment as strangers peruse around your belongings and pester you about your garbage disposal. Can you not see that I’m trying to watch the latest episode of New Girl? No…I don’t know how many people our balcony can fit…but I do know that you just made me miss the intense moment of sexual tension between Jess and Nick that I’ve been waiting four episodes to see so thanks for that. Also, I constantly feel like my apartment is a disgusting brothel house whenever people come to visit – (obviously it is not. My roommates, God bless them, are all ridiculously tidy people and we do not, in fact, sell sex for profit from the Fred 121). But I feel that it is. Suddenly the Wall of Shame pictures I have hanging in my room of Kindyl and me dancing in the kitchen seem a little less hilarious and a little more embarrassing. Should I not be listening to “9 Piece” by Rick Ross on the subwoofer when they come in? Should I hide the four empty pizza boxes so they don’t think I binge eat at midnight? I find myself obsessively glancing around my apartment, checking to make sure certain mortification isn’t inevitable.
But the worst – the end all be all, the doom of all dooms – is when people just randomly show up to your apartment. There’s no e-mail, no text message from MSC letting me know that my most personal objects are to be harshly judged. No…just ambitious little first years who come knocking on my door, like a surprise bomb attack. No, I am not being melodramatic. This has happened to me on multiple occasions, but one particular moment of shame rings clear in my mind. Of course I’m going to share it with you…don’t worry my little doves.
It was a casual October afternoon, around 3:30 PM we’ll say. I had just gotten out of my Business Ethics class after taking what was probably the most boring exam of my lifetime. My neck hurt from constant craning and I wanted nothing more to eat froyo in my apartment without pants or a bra. These are the little pleasures I find in life. Now, let me digress for a moment so I can explain a critical point in the story to you. No one knocks in my apartment. We don’t knock on the front door, we don’t knock on the bathroom door. We don’t knock for anything. We just walk right in. Why wouldn’t we? We’ve been living together for a year and a half now, there’s really no point for privacy. The only people who ever come to our apartment are the same 10 people who have been there 8,935 times. Formality is not necessary in the Fred. So when people do knock, we get highly irritated. Knocking precedes a door being open and an invitation being offered. These two things require us to cease whatever we’re doing (which 9 times out of 10 is making a grilled cheese or watching Sex and the City reruns) and tend to them. We do not like to do this.
So, on this particular afternoon, I was comfy and curled up in bed with my two favorite men – Ben and Jerry (jeez get your minds out of the gutter) – when there was a knock at the door. My roommates and I, in perfect unison, shouted “COME IN.” The door didn’t open. No one came through. We tried again. “DOOR’S OPEN.” Once again, no one came. Kalene turned to me and said with irritation dripping in her voice…”Jesus, what kind of idiot do you think is at the door?” Naturally, I was the one who got up to investigate. Did I bother to put on pants? No. Did I check my face to make sure that the Ben and Jerry’s that I had just been ripping into wasn’t painted all over my face? No. Because at four o’clock with a splitting headache after just taking a demoralizing and soul-crushing midterm, absolute zero bothers are given. Therefore, pantless and careless to the door I went.
To answer Kalene’s question, when I answered the door it wasn’t just one idiot, it was four idiots. Four idiot first year BOYS to be exact. There I was – sans pants and sans dignity. And I continued to stand there, face deep in my pint of ice cream to try and escape the shame, while they poked and prodded me about homeowner questions, which I never cared about nor knew.
And to be fair, was it really my fault? Am I not allowed to be pantless IN MY OWN HOME? And is there really that much shame in eating a whole pint of ice cream by yourself? Well…yes, it probably is shameful but that’s beside the point. I have now learned my lesson. I will continue to fight against the oppression that are pants, I will continue to eat my weight in sweets and hate myself for it later, but now I will never, ever answer the knock.