Roommates

...now browsing by category

 

Best Cousin Ever

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

I met my friend Nicole several years ago at the wedding of mutual friends. We bonded over gin & tonics, and stuck close together since we didn’t know many other people there. In the four busy years since we met, we’ve managed to get together a few times a year for drinks and gossip – and for being someone I see so infrequently, she’s still one of my favorite people.

A few weeks ago, we were texting back and forth, just catching up on life. Nicole mentioned that she’s dating someone, that she’s had a recent career change, and that since I’m single and fabulous (obviously), she wanted to set me up with her cousin. I trust her judgment of men, so I gave her the green light. She said she’d make the introduction.

Fast forward to this weekend. Nicole and I had made plans to meet for brunch, and as we texted about the time and place, she mentioned, “I know Chris wants to meet you too. Can we work him into the plan?” So on Saturday morning, I walked to Sassafras to meet Nicole and her cousin.

Nicole is the kind of person who sets everyone at ease, and Chris immediately struck me as the same. Conversation between the three of us was easy and pleasant, and I had the thought, “Everyone in their family must be so nice.” Nicole told me that Chris had moved into her house, which sounded kind of fun – because as a woman, what better roommate to have than your male cousin? He could reach the top shelf in the closet and lift the heavy things. They even bought new couches together – a true sign of a combined life, probably because Nicole is sweet and generous and wants him to feel at home, I thought. Chris told me that ever since moving in with Nicole, he’s become a runner; Nicole and all of her friends are marathoners, and if he wanted to join that group, it made a lot of sense to me that he would take up the same hobby.

Admittedly, I had never known cousins this close. It sounded like they do everything together, which felt a little odd. But just because I’m not as tight with MY cousins doesn’t mean that others couldn’t be – so I just accepted the fact that they’re best friends and ate my eggs.

Chris was good looking and interesting and quick to smile and so, so nice. But I wasn’t really feeling any kind of vibe between us, which was fine since we were all just having a casual brunch anyway. I was happy to have found a new friend, if nothing else.

About an hour into conversation, I realized I hadn’t heard about Nicole’s boyfriend yet. So I turned to her and asked, “Hey, aren’t you dating someone?”

She looked at me blankly. “Dating?”

Pause. Wrinkled forehead.

And then, with a quick shake of her head, like she was trying to rattle her thoughts into place, she gestured to Chris and said, “I’m dating Chris. This is CHRIS.”

And in that moment, all of the air sucked out of the room.

I looked down at my plate. When I lifted my eyes, Chris and Nicole were staring at me completely flummoxed. There was no getting out of this one, no way to gracefully play it off. Time to face the music.

“I’m sorry, I’m so confused,” I awkwardly blubbered, the red creeping up my cheeks. “I… I…”

“Oh my…” Nicole broke in, eyes wide, the realization suddenly all over her face. “Did you think this was my cousin?”

And we all died. Right there in our chairs, every one of us died a thousand deaths. I don’t know that I’ve ever laughed so hard – while simultaneously wanting to, you know, crawl underneath the table. While Nicole had been introducing me to her boyfriend, now she knew I had been SCOPING HIM OUT FOR MYSELF. No wonder I wasn’t feeling a vibe – the only vibe at that table was between Chris and Nicole. Who are not cousins. I wanted the chef to hit me over the head with a frying pan; please put me out of my misery.

Revisiting Nicole’s text, I realized that she had never said her cousin was coming to brunch – she said Chris was coming to brunch. And isn’t it just like a girl to make that mean whatever she wants it to mean? We then relived every twist and turn of the conversation up to that point, all of which added up to a weirdly intertwined cousin relationship, including a trip to Mexico – which I assumed was a family vacation? We laughed so hard we cried. And maybe I just cried.

Chris and Nicole say they’re going to get T-shirts that say “Best Cousin Ever.” As for me? I’ll go with “Moron.”
best_cousin_ever

When words won’t do, post pictures

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Mankind, sit up and take note.

With one seamless effort, I have – once again – proven myself the best parallel parker in the universe.  Gold medal, AP.

– – – – – – – –

Here are Julie and Mel, my former roommates who were bridesmaids in a friend’s wedding last weekend.  They are stunners.  I miss them so much I can hardly breathe.

(Also, check out Mel’s ring – bow chicka WOW.  Guess who’ll be a bridesmaid in Nashville come New Years Eve?)

– – – – – – – –

Speaking of weddings and photos, my brother and sister-in-law are blowing the house up (is that a term? Can we make it a term?).  I was at back-to-back weddings with them in September, and I think you should check out the pictures from Josh & Meg‘s and Kyle & Emily‘s weddings.

I will never have roommates again.

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

And no, not because it’s been so awful.

Only because nobody else could ever, ever compare.

jam2

jam1

j_a_m

jam4

jam5

jam6

I will always be a JAM girl.

And now, excuse me while I go weep.

Keepers

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

If eyes cleansed with tears see the most clearly, then today, I have perfect vision.

Sometimes, I think that I’ve gotten really good at confessing my tiny faults in hopes that no one will ever suspect nor discover the big ones.  But lately, I’m not very good at hiding them – and as a result, have been pummeled with my rather large, rather imperfect, imperfections.

I guess that’s bound to happen when you exist in relationship with other humans.

We are messy creatures.  I am a messy creature.

And sometimes, it brings a lot of tears.

But I’m learning that the people who stay – the ones who don’t run away when the going gets tough, the ones who listen without trying to fix, the ones who forgive ugly words and flat-lined attitudes and the same old shit that you carry around no matter how your life changes or morphs or moves – are worth anything and everything it takes.

Communication.  Honesty.  Vulnerability.  Compromise.  Effort.  Forgiveness.

I am learning a lot.  And I don’t call them my “starter husbands” for nothing.

– – – – – – – –

My friend Heather (SHOUT OUT) recently told me that this blog is the only “Dear Diary” blog that doesn’t make her want to vomit.  Well, that kind of made me want to vomit, because wait – I don’t write a “Dear Diary” blog, do I?

Who am I kidding.

Enough about my feelings.  I’m changing the subject.

I woke up this morning with 7 spider bites on my thigh, abdomen, and armpit.

I never go to movies, but all of a sudden, I want to see a ton: “Away We Go,” “Harry Potter,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Julie and Julia,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife” (you know during the preview where he says, “You have a choice,” and she says, “I never had a choice”?  I LOSE MY MIND), and “500 Days of Summer.”

I wish I had a cute lunch bag.

Heroes of the day

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Julie: right before she kicked some serious booty on the GRE (not the GED, as I frequently refer to it), she sent me flowers at work yesterday.  She is so thoughtful, I can’t even stand it.  Julie Curtis is, perhaps, THE nicest person I know.

Like, when I come home from the gym and I’m completely, disgustingly sweaty, and she still insists on hugging me – which probably makes me way more uncomfortable than it does her… sort of like when someone else offers to do your laundry, and you’re like, “No, it’s okay,” and they insist, “No, it would be my pleasure!” and you say, “No, honestly, please don’t,” but they do it anyway, and you cringe because the nicest person in the world has now seen your literal dirty laundry – and they probably don’t even HAVE dirty laundry, because they’re the nicest person in the world.

That’s how Julie makes me feel.  Minus the uncomfortable, awkward stuff.  So, in a word: cherished.

Duane: even though he didn’t know the songs, he stepped in last-minute and played guitar for the songs at Neighborhood Group last night, leaving me with the stress-free job of just singing.  He saved the day.  AS USUAL.  And let’s just say that his alleged “rusty” guitar playing eclipses my very best.

Handy Graham: when no one was home yesterday, he came to the JAM House, chopped up the gigantic tree limb that has been blocking our driveway for over a month, and stacked the wood out by our dumpsters.  If you are a single girl living with other single girls, you KNOW this is heroic.  As Mel said, “It makes me want to cry!”

Phil: moment 3:41.  You are getting me through the day, Phil.  You are getting me through the day.

JAM in action

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Julie [about our 61-year old next-door neighbor]
“I want Neal to fall in love.  I wonder if he has a beau?”

Annie
“A beau is a man.”

Julie
“What – really?  I always thought it was gender-neutral.”

– – – – – – – –

Mel
“Do we have koozies?”

Annie
“No… but… we have couscous?”

– – – – – – – –

Mel [singing at the top of her lungs]
“Listen to the battering ram…”

Annie
“Mel, it’s ‘Mandolin Rain.’”

– – – – – – – –

[at the end of “Marley and Me”]
JAM
SOB.

Good things come in twos

Friday, April 17th, 2009

If you’re regularly on the World Wide Internet, which most of us are, then I’m sure that you’ve already seen these two videos.  But if you haven’t, you should: two of the most influential songs from my childhood, brought to life in a new way.  Both made me all teary eyed.

Sometimes I wonder what true, true love looks like.  And I think it looks like this, and this.  It’s not the sexy fantasy that we are conditioned to expect; it is deeper, and quieter, and messier.  And, oddly enough, better.  Not that I would know, or anything, but – you know.  It sounds like.

And speaking of twos, here are two of my favorite “Twos.”

The roomies, Mel and Julie.

n18313022_34077072_3442

The nephews, Tyler and Micah.

n669284159_748093_9460

Have a fantastic two days of weekend!

Julie made a great joke

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Me: How can they tell how old an eagle is?

Her: They measure its crow’s feet!

A new day

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

“If you had no job, you could be so productive!”

This is basically the biggest lie since “There are no cats in America.”

I believed it. I fell for it. I spent my working days fantasizing about all that I could get done if I didn’t have a job: reading, writing, exercising, cooking, cleaning, organizing – in general, getting it DONE, and becoming the woman that I’ve always dreamed of being.

But there is a problem: when one has nothing on her schedule, no time constraints, no responsibilities – not to mention, no income – then it’s hard to do ANYTHING. Laziness begets laziness. In theory, I now have all the time in the world to do things – and so it’s no big loss if I don’t do it now. So I don’t really do anything at all. Except make cookies. And check our mailbox everyday at 2pm.

My mind, completely un-stimulated, has been a dry well. I have had nothing to write about – no creativity whatsoever. PZC says that his best writing is done when he’s supposed to be doing something else – and I agree with him. When I sit down with the grand expectation and intention of writing, and I have no time constraints, and no deadlines, and nothing to prod my brain, then I usually wind up with nothing but a blank page.

Last night, Julie and Mel came upstairs to find me in the child’s pose on my bedroom floor, silent and depressed. All of our friends had gone home after our St. Paddy’s Day barbeque, and I was feeling so sad I could hardly stand it. Why? Why does sadness sometimes hit me out of nowhere, like an Atlantic swell?

They got down on the floor with me, and scratched my back, and made me laugh, and then we all talked about our lives, our hopes, our disappointments. In the end, because I have the best roommates in the universe, we prayed together.

It’s a new day. I am grateful to wake up in it. And I am hopeful for what it might contain.

Welcome to the JAM House

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Do you have any idea how much I appreciate you, my dear readers? You’re a bunch of little sweeties.

In the past couple of days, I have gotten so many amazing, caring, encouraging messages from so many of you – via blog comment, Facebook message, voicemail, email, text, or booty slap (okay, that’s just my roommate Julie). I am overwhelmed. Thank you for your words. Thank you for your support. Thank you for passing along job leads and treating me to wine and assuring me that I will not wind up homeless.

I’ve been a busy little bee, applying for jobs and researching companies and updating my resume. It’s actually been very fun. I was able to go running yesterday afternoon, and walked 6 miles through the woods in Percy Warner Park today. I’ve relished the quiet time in my sweats, and feel peaceful and hopeful and content.

Perhaps it is foolish for me to be hopeful right now. There are currently 50,000 people out of work in Nashville, and I know of individuals who remain jobless for months and months and months. But I am choosing to believe that there is not just some random position for me, but that there is an awesome fit.

It feels like it’s time.

But until then, this is where I’m spending my days. How could I complain?


JAM House from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

Yes, I realize that this video isn’t all that exciting, but it’s mostly for our parents – hello parentals! Bedroom #1 is Mel’s, bedroom #2 is Julie’s, and I reside in the Princess Tower upstairs. Things to notice: the washcloths on the staircase that are soaking up a red wine spill, the file cabinet built into my bedroom wall, and the grill on the deck covered with a camouflage tarp (not that you could see it?).