What Jenna Did

One of my biggest fears going into the whole living at college thing was that I would get stuck with a terrible roommate.

What if she hates purple?
What if she gets annoyed by musicals?
What if she’s allergic to wax warmers and air freshener?
What if she’s a drama queen?
What if she smells bad?
What if she thinks I’m weird?

In His normal way of goodness and kindness, however, God graciously put me in a room with Jenna.

She doesn’t hate purple (though she does prefer blue).
She doesn’t despise musicals (she’s even seen Wicked on Broadway!).
She likes my air freshener/wax warmer collection (see following story).
She’s not a drama queen (albeit in the drama club).
She smells good (and is also pretty).
She probably does think I’m weird, but I could tell you some stories about her, too, sooooo…we’re good there.

Basically, she’s the best roommate I could have asked for.
(Disclaimer: I roomed for about 20 years with my dearly beloved seester, the Ruthster herself. Obviously, even Jenna can’t be *quite* like her. But that really wouldn’t be a fair comparison to anyone. So I’ll let my original statement stand.)

All this brings me to Tuesday. “What do you mean, Tuesday?” I hear you asking. (And YES, I can actually hear you. I’ve been taking a computer class, so my technoskillz are getting preeeeettty advanced.) This past Tuesday was Roommate Day–the official campus celebration of the person with whom you’ll be living for the next 218 days (minus breaks, but I don’t feel like going into that kind of math today). Jenna really went above and beyond.

I got back to my room Tuesday morning to find this note on the door:
Betsy: here’s some clues/riddles for you! -Jenna
Well, OK. That’s a little bit of a misstatement. I actually got back to my room Tuesday morning to find Jenna working mysteriously. “Gasp!” she probably articulated. “Get out! Just get out!” (You have to hear it in Jenna’s voice. If I could type in it, I would, and then this would be cooler.)
“Fine!” I yelled back. (Without the actual yelling bit.) “And a happy roommate day to you too!!” Then I went down the hall to talk to my secret prayer–errr, I went down the hall to talk to Maggie, because she doesn’t really get to see me very much and I feel badly about that. Finally Jenna walked past, poked her head in the door, and announced–without apologizing for her rude behavior!–that I was once again welcome in my own room.
Then I found this note on my door:
Betsy: here’s some clues/riddles for you! -Jenna
1. Sometimes I have a bad odor. Must be all these skeletons in here!

Now, it’s pretty tricky (Jenna knows my advanced IQ), but I’ll try to guide you through. What has a bad odor? Shoes. Where do we keep our shoes? In the closet. That way we don’t have to line them up nicely for surprise room checks. Where do we keep our skeletons? Also in the closet. That way Kristen won’t see them and infract me.
Ummmm….Betsy? Why do you have skeletons in your closet? You are wondering silently with a scared look on you face. Just don’t ask, k? It will be better for us all.

So, having figured out this puzzling conundrum, I dramatically walked to the closet and yanked open the closet door and found a gift bag with purple Misty Mountains-scented wax to make our room smell delicious and not like feet. (It’s working, too! YES to delicious and NO to feet!) The bag said “Happy STINKING roommate day!” Heh heh.

The note on the door also held another riddle pointing me underneath the sink. Down here I discovered another bag containing purple fuzzy slipper socks (WITH a sparkly button!) because I always complain about the floor being dirty. Also, I like fuzz. Also, I like purple and sparkly. She knows me well.

The last part of the note was yet another riddle, this time super difficult.
3. I hold so many memories: maybe four or five,
look around where all your dreams lie!

“Ummm….” I said blankly, standing in the middle of the room. “Shenma?” I read it again and looked around. Memories, dreams. Huh.
“I give up,” I declared. “You’ll have to tell me.”
“Where your dreams lie…” Jenna hinted.
I gave her no-nonsense look. None of this trickery, this craftiness, this cunning! Just tell me what it means! the look warned.
“Where do you dream?” she prompted.
“Ooooooooooh! Like, my pillow or something, riiiiight?!” My mom always told me I was smart and that right there just proved it.
I moved my pillow and discovered a collage Jenna made. Photos from ABC, from Brookes, from home, from China, from the Grand Canyon. Pictures with new friends, old friends, and family. The frame was filled with some of my best memories and some of my favorite people. It was one of the sweetest things I had ever seen.

AND it has stickers! (Katie wants you to know she helped with those.) Happiest gift ever. :)
AND it has stickers! (Katie wants you to know she helped with those.) Happiest gift ever. 🙂

The reason I tell you all this isn’t just to brag about my super cool roomie. (Though she is super cool!) You may remember my last post ending with, “College life can be sort of weird.” And the post before that, “Chivalry…can be just a little creepy.”

Guess what? Those were actually fairly isolated incidents. College life isn’t normally creepy and weird; instead, it’s often days like Tuesday. Encouraging days. Days that are fun and thoughtful and happy and maybe even a little bit goofy.

Nope, college life isn’t all creepers and weirdos. It’s actually super great, thanks to God. And also thanks to Jenna. Thanks for being the best roommate ever!

Update: tonight Jenna threw balloons at me and then yelled to Kristen that I was throwing them at her. Then Kristen came in, scolded me, and asked why I had this attitude. I replied because Jenna has a boyfriend and I don’t. Kristen: “That’s what happens when you’re a bad person!”


3 thoughts on “What Jenna Did”

  1. I am so happy that both of you are feeling blessed by the roommate that God has allowed you to have. My Bible school roomie is still a dear friend. I do think Jenna deserves some points on your point-o-meter thingy up there. I would like some more too, maybe for selflessly suggesting you give some to Jenna. or I could threaten to tell an embarrassing story and blackmail you into it . . . . just kidding. I am very happy that you are a blessing to each other. I love you dearest, darling daughter.

  2. Okay. So when I read the part about Jenna being the best roommate ever, it didn’t even register in my brain that *I* used to be your roommate. And then you said something about me being your roommate. And then I realized that we’ll probably never be roommates again. Unless, of course, you stay bad forever.

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