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The Penthouse

14 October 2008

A little over a week ago, after seven months of having my own room, I got a roommate. With this new addition, our flat now houses six ex-pats.

I don’t think I’ve written about this home we call “The Penthouse” (coined by flatmate N., the giver of nicknames). Maybe that’s because I didn’t want to disrupt the tranquility of it all. However, my new roommate and the fact that I have so little time to get to know her has gotten me thinking about how much I’m going to miss this place and the people in it.

We call our home “The Penthouse” because I think it may be the most lavish place most of us have ever lived. It’s two floors with four bedrooms, a large kitchen, dining room hovering above the lounge, three bathrooms (four if you count the squattie we use as a laundry room off the kitchen, and A/C. I would consider this luxury even if it were sitting in Lincoln Park. Mike mentioned when he was here that I might have a hard time coming home to our one-level apartment (oh the horror!). And yes, I may stare forlornly around our tiny Edgewater kitchen with its non-existent counter space for a few weeks after I get home, but what I will miss most about The Penthouse are its occupants.

Now I’ve never lived alone except for a few weeks here and there while Mike or flatmates were out of town, so some may say I don’t really know what I’m missing. However, I can say without a doubt that I love living with other people. Even though I am a consummate introvert with at-times drastic hermit tendencies, I like having other people around, if only to have someone to tell when I hear, read, or see interesting things on the internet (like the State’s Attorney I used to work with in this made-for-YouTube mockumentary — see the doc at 2:32). For eight years and three months, that other person was Mike, which has always made me happy. However, these past six months of living in The Penthouse has also made me glad that I have had the opportunity to go back to college dorm life and live with girls again. It is such an awesome experience.

So in no certain order, I present to you my flatmates, their interesting little quirks, and those things I will definitely miss:

B. is the oldest occupant of The Penthouse, but you wouldn’t know it. She teaches salsa, and I think has made “dance like no one is watching” her life motto. This energy has kept her young and, since I fall into bed hours before she gets home, infinitely younger than me. AND she’s writing a book.

S. is known as “the baby snatcher” for her former career as a social worker for the State. S. and I can spend ages sharing stories about messed-up families from our previous work. We’re a bundle of fun to be around. S. was also deported for actually attempting to follow the law requiring her to register, but IT’S ALL OKAY NOW – NOTHING WRONG HERE.

N. used to play water polo in college, and she has informed me that, contrary to popular belief, the horses actually love the water. She is also a fantastic cook who knows that feta makes everything betta. N. says delightfully semi-sacrilegious things that help me know I’m not alone in the world.

A. hails from my favorite country, New Zealand, where she was not only a prefect in high school but also head girl. As an avid Harry Potter fan, I think this pretty much makes her one of the coolest people I know. A. lived in Hales Corner, WI, as a small child for two years, making the grand total of countries where we have lived at the same time within a half-hour’s drive of each other to three. She will also listen to my liberal rantings about the upcoming elections and completely agree with me. Finally, she uses delightful Kiwi words like “knackered” and “sweet-as” (which sounds horrible yet hilarious when she says it).

K. is my roommate and the newest member of our team, so I haven’t had much of a chance to get to know her. Which makes me sad because she seems like a pretty cool person. Hearing her history, it seems like she might have the same illness I have – a complete inability to work for the corporate world. Plus she claims to say the wrong things at the wrong time. That, in my book, is a wonderful trait for anyone to have.

So there they are – my flatmates. I sure will miss them all.

With two of my flatmates in our ridiculously large kitchen. We took this picture to send to the boys in 'Nam from the girls back home (hence the antique-y look) when a few of our friends went to Vietnam. I was a little weirded out by it for some reason, but it's still a great picture.

With two of my flatmates in our ridiculously large kitchen. We took this picture to send to the boys in 'Nam from the girls back home (hence the antique-y look) when a few of our guy friends went to Vietnam. I was a little weirded out by it for some reason, but it's still a great picture.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Unity permalink
    15 October 2008 6:04 am

    Holy Flip–you know someone who as a prefect & head girl–man, I am SUPER jealous!!

  2. Dana permalink
    18 October 2008 12:14 pm

    i didn’t know prefects and head girls existed! i thought JK made those up.

    – d

  3. Flatmate K permalink
    9 November 2008 11:07 pm

    Christine! You are a riot! I hear A. steals from your clever blog for her own (and that you are fully aware of this act, so I’m NOT ratting her out)…may I do the same, please?

    The Penthouse is not the same without you…comeback soon (and bring Mike, so I can meet him).



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