The other night, I hung out with my former roommate for the first time in a long while. Not years, but long enough to be able to reminisce and not be trite. We lived together for three years, and right from the beginning she suggested a wonderful policy: "No judgments in this apartment." If she wanted to watch horrible reality TV, I would make no remarks. If I wanted to read comics and be generally geeky, that was fine, too. This policy, I think, worked, and we were able to go the three years without one angry word.
In fact, it may have worked too well. As she brought up the other night, it may have helped the other if we judged a little bit. At least, I know it would have helped me, because when I look back on those three years, even though it was a glorious time, it was also a godless one. The lesbian threesome, the Clinic, the Scotch, the Blue Ball Incident, the financial ruin, the 2004 BU Christmas party, followed the next year by the '05 Apartment Party, where I truly made a fool of myself. I really had no boundaries, because even though I had that stability that some people are looking for (someone to "go home to," so to speak), I had no one to say, "What the fuck are you doing, idiot?" Because there were no judgments, even for myself. I actually used our own policy against me, and took it as a license to go wild. I don't know what's different now, because no one is around to judge me thse days, either. But somehow I feel more reined in. It's probably the hours of splendid isolation that does it. Otherwise, I'd spend the hours of alone-time reflecting on what a bonehead I was.
And yet, there are few things I would change. Maybe just keep my mouth shut a little, but overall, there were some amazing times that didn't involve me drinking and embarrassing myself. The Red Sox won the World Series while I lived there. I celebrated my 30th birthday at John Harvard's, and it is one of my favorite birthday's ever. I actually carried on an 8-month relationship, proving that I do have a soul (well, kind of...) Not to mention all of the fun we had just sitting at home in front of the TV, horrible reality TV most of the time, which makes m wonder why I was always so concerened with going out all the time. I was perfectly content at home with Papa John's pizza, complaining about the landlady.
I guess with these things, hindsight is 20/20 and all that. I did realize how great it was, but I was also into living out some kind of mid-20's fantasy life that I missed when I was dating Keri until I was 27. I don't regret any of it, but I guess I wished I stopped and smelled the roses a little bit more.
Mostly, I feel bad for my roommate, who had to put up with that crap for three years. But true to her word, there were no judgments. Even if I could have used them.