My Roomie, Rita

This afternoon friends are coming to spend the night with us. Rita was my college roommate. She is the only person from my long ago past that I remain connected to. I give the credit for this lasting relationship totally to Rita. Once a friend of Rita’s always a friend of Rita’s and she takes the responsibility to reconnect when time passes for too long a stretch.

I had a roommate before Rita. She was a Jesus freak and she would lecture me as we lay in our bunks at night about my need to repent. I got very depressed and eventually asked for a different roommate. She was devastated. She had no clue that she was hurting me. In her mind, she loved me and just wanted me to be saved.

The new roomie assignment was Rita. She was my second roomie and I was her second, also. We liked each other from the start, though I cannot for the life of me understand our attraction. Rita was not very studious. She gave her attention to being Miss Sociable. I was struggling in school but working hard and somewhat anti-social, my esteem level being pretty low. Rita was a neat person and I was a slob when it came to our dorm room. I have improved my living habits over the years and she has not because there was really no room for improvement. She was always at her peak of neatness and cleanliness. You could have drawn a line down the middle of our room. My side was “before” and  her’s was “after” if we could have been in Good Housekeeping Magazine.

Rita introduced me to Bernie. In fact, she was dating him when I met him. How I won that contest, I don’t know. She was a really good catch. Bernie, quite a storyteller, loves to talk about how we came together through Rita. “Rita dated everybody,” he says and she always laughs when he says it.

Tom is the guy that finally got her. We love Tom as much as we love Rita. They are coming because they have handed their house over to their daughters who are getting together with cousins for a girls weekend. Imagine that. Rita isn’t invited. I get it, though. I wasn’t invited to any of my daughters’ bachelorette parties before they married. There is something stifling about the presence of mothers.