Tall, dark and handsome, perhaps?? Well… if I were writing this ad, and I’m not, because I’ve already found Mr. Right, but if I were…. “Average height (because tall people make me nervous…), dark and handsome. Must be smart, have a good sense of humour and athletic (not a superstar or anything – but someone I can play tennis and golf with for eternity…) Must be willing to NOT sweat the small stuff, and definitely not take oneself too seriously.” Didn’t I luck out 26 years ago (!!!! – has it been that long already?)
But this ad is not about what I want…. It’s about what Henry is looking for in a roommate at college. On the residence website, he was asked to describe himself – an ad, as it were.
“I am extremely introverted and socially awkward.” (Good start!!! What a selling feature!!) “I hate loud noises and can’t stand strong smells.” (He does realize he is a part of male teenagerdom, doesn’t he? Aren’t all teenage boys loud and smelly?) “I am frequently claustrophobic and need quiet to do my homework. I am interested in science, specifically, green technology, as well as astronomy, but not pseudo-science like astrology. I am into PC gaming and all technology.”
OK then…. Any takers? The drill on this website is that the kids can surf, and shop each other. If they like what they see, they can hit the bid. So Henry waits…. A day before the deadline, a kid picks Henry. And then unpicks him – defriends him – 10 minutes before the deadline. That’s cold…. Henry was insulted – and then worried. Because at this point, the college picks someone for you. “But what if they pick a douche to be my roommate?” I’m trying not to laugh, and calm his anxieties – because it is no small thing for him to have to share a space with someone for the next 8 months.
One of my chief concerns about Henry living in residence was the question of a roommate. He definitely has sensitivities and has very little tolerance for alternate lifestyles (all those that differ from his own….) He needs downtime and quiet every single day – but will especially need it when he’s dealing with a new environment and all of the academic challenges ahead. I was relieved during the college campus tour to see that the rooms in residence consisted of two separate bedrooms (with doors), which are connected by a common lounge area, kitchenette and a bathroom that the two share. Thank Goodness…. I wouldn’t have to make a request for him to have a room to himself (which I was fully prepared to do)….
The college has selected a roommate for him – Henry has not contacted him yet. But we are talking this up as an exciting opportunity – a branching out – an important part of his college career – making new friends. We will take it one step at a time – as we do with everything! This kid doesn’t have to be Mr. Perfect – just perfect for Henry….