Engaged — Disengaged

by Sandra

My roommate Christina is getting married. Her fiancee, Steve, proposed several weeks ago now, and I’m glad I didn’t blog about it right away.

The proposal was a downright production. We, the roommates, were going to be at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel anyway, for reasons too long and boring to write here. I knew, from previous experience, that the Roosevelt had a top-floor penthouse suite with full roof access. I used to work at a company that interviewed famous people, and the Roosevelt was one of our “locations.” The cost for Steve to reserve the suite for the whole night was ridiculous in the extreme, but he managed to talk the staff down to an almost non-ridiculous amount. Surprising Christina is a difficult task in its own right. She and I have seen numerous movies together and invariably, she will lean over twenty minutes in and say that she has the whole plot figured out, and she’s usually right. A high amount of subterfuge went in to making sure she didn’t know what was going on — a week’s worth of long (LONG) phone calls with Steve and the other roommates culminated into a very memorable evening in which Christina accepted Steve’s proposal.

It’s been a long road for Christina and Steve. She tells a story about how when they started dating in the summer of 2005, that she sat on the toilet and said to God, “you’re going to make me marry Steve, aren’t you?” Okay, so maybe a bit of an auspicious beginning. But things have changed quite a bit since then. It’s such a reflection of how much God loves the two of them by how he’s stretched them and helped them fit into a relationship with one another. Through it they’ve both become more themselves, more comfortable with how they were made, more at peace. It’s been a wonderful transformation to see in Christina, who will be leaving the house almost exactly two years after I arrived.

And I will be sad. I had my own set of reservations moving into a house with three other women. Even more reservations about having to share a room with someone. Suddenly I had no space to call my own, and for a long time I thought the rooming situation would never work out. Christina held such strange hours and I always woke up when she would come home and rustle about the room. I resented it until we were able to talk about it one afternoon while we had lunch at the visual effects company where we were both employed at the time.  Now I don’t hear her at all when she creeps in at 2:00am.

Since that time, I’ve grown to truly love her. That sounds a bit strange to say, and it feels strange anyway, since I’ve never been so unafraid to show my affection as I am with her. I’ve always had female friendships, but they’ve always been decidedly ungirly in their candor. I really felt it several weeks ago when she invited me to a screening of ‘Notes on a Scandal.’ When I thanked her for thinking of me and inviting me, her response was simply “I’m always thinking of you.” It’s hard to put into words what sharing a room with her for nearly two years has done to me. I guess it’s softened me, made me more vulnerable, and simply more open to let others into that private space.

As I read over what I just read, I’m afraid I’ve made it sound as if we’re having underwear-clad slumber parties — which is not what I’m insinuating (at all). I’m simply speaking of how nurturing a close female friend can be.

Christina came home last night from a long weekend in Vancouver, where she had ended up buying her wedding dress. She modeled it — she looks beautiful — in a dress that took a good forty minutes to get on and properly fastened. She is the second woman of the sixth street house to get married — Clarice being the first. I have a feeling the other two are not far behind, and until last week I hadn’t realized how disconnected I had perhaps become from them. It all started when my family was here and I began to be aware of how often I was on the Internet. I got the feeling that they didn’t want to disturb me ’cause my nose was perpetually stuck in my iBook. Then I began to wonder if I did the same thing to my roommates — unconsciously pushing them aside as I surfed away. I began to try and figure out why I was doing that and I realized that it’s probably because they’re all actively preparing for marriage and I’m not, being the only one sans serious boyfriend. Had I been closing myself off from them because I figured they were all leaving soon anyway? Did I not want to invest myself in these relationships because I knew I was going to have to give them up when they wed and moved out? Yeah, I think so.

So I made a pact with myself that while I was home I would limit my Internet time in the evening so that I would not only be more available to them, but that I would also start doing the things I enjoyed doing again. The Internet, and Flickr in particular, has become like television to me — taking away the joy I felt in doing the things I liked. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all this free time — time to dream again, time to stretch the creative muscles. I can’t wait.

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