Adventures with My Roommate: Christmas

I do not like my roommate. There has never been a time when I liked my roommate. Various things have made me dislike her: the “W Stands for Women” sign she has taped to the wall above her dresser, the giant picture of a bulldog puppy with a caption that reads, “Give your worries to God; He’ll iron out your wrinkles,” her tendency to place her hair dryer/hair straightener/coffee maker on my side of the sink, making it so that I have to brush my teeth in a most uncomfortable elbow-up-to-there position.

But when I walked into my color-of-tapioca dorm room a few days ago, my ideas about my roommate and her relative sanity went out the window. I had thought that she was simply a conservative, rather religious, irritatingly closed-minded individual who spent far too much time on straightening her hair and talking about bulldog puppies. I had thought she was just one of those individuals who have incurably bad taste in books (Nicholas Sparks) and movies (The Pacifier). More than anything, I thought that my roommate was benign. But oh!—how wrong I was.

For it seems that my roommate is in fact quite malignant.

It was one thing when I walked in and noticed a fake Christmas tree, roughly two feet tall and covered in multi-colored lights, perched atop my microwave. And it was one thing when I saw that next to the Christmas tree was a statue of Santa dressed in our school colors and waving a matching pennant. And it was one thing when I noticed the ornament of our school mascot, still in the box (presumably to keep it in pristine condition).

But when I laid eyes on the thing that was emitting the golden glow from the space above my microwave, it was entirely different sort of thing.

For there, wrapped in gold blinking lights, was a cross. A wooden cross, roughly a foot high, proudly blinking—and blinking and blinking and blinking—right there. Right there, swathed in lights and implications, on top of my microwave that came with a free George Foreman Grill.

My dear roommate was watching me expectantly as I noticed her decorations. When I raised an eyebrow at the cross, she explained herself in an eager flurry: “Oh, well, you see, the tree came with a star—that’s what the lights are from. But I thought the star was, well, you know, tacky. So I just took off these lights and, well, I just like wrapped them around this little”—little?!—“cross that I had here, and, well, here we go!”

I said nothing. Despite my tendencies towards sarcasm and generally bitter remarks, I was reluctant to confront my roommate on this topic. I imagine that hell hath no fury like a Baptist sorority girl told to take down her Christmas decorations.

So I smiled weakly, nodded my head, and turned to my side of the room. I noted my sole Halloween decoration, a stuffed witch, still hanging haphazardly from a hook on the door.

I did not take down the witch. And later that night, when my roommate had fallen asleep basking in the glow of gold-blink-gold-blink-gold, I crept across the room and yanked out the plug with all the vigor I could muster.

When I awoke the next morning, the cross was again blinking proudly. Mockingly. I glared at it, shoved off the covers, padded across the floor half-asleep, and pulled the plug. Suppressing the urge to laugh manically at the offending object, I simply narrowed my eyes.

I left for class with the cross dark. But when I returned, it was blinking brightly yet again.

And so the quasi-war wages on, with losses and gains on both sides.

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