For Genovia

I have papers to keep working on. Oh, the papers never stop. They are important and good, and I’m going to do them soon. I’m not procrastinating… not really.

These things are important, but I’m graduating in one week. That brings with it lots of feelings, so I’m taking some time to be sentimental. Space for the feelings. These things are important.

Of the things I’m most going to miss about college is my house. Not just the physical house, although I’ve grown accustomed to its slanting floors (it’s about 100 years old), strange lighting, scary basement, and squeakiness. It’s a lovely place to live. Really, though, the girls who live here are what I’ll miss and the sassy, spirited nature of the place.

The house I live in is called Genovia, after the made-up country in The Princess Diaries. This is for a number of reasons. 1) We possess a Princess Mia.

Here she is, taking a walk with the cardboard cutout of Mr. Bean that she and her sister Zoe brought with them to our house. Yes, those are Santa Lucia candles and braids on his head. He’s perpetually ready for Advent.


So, yes, we have a royal Mia. Also, we would like to be a sovereign nation. Mia’s the aspiring filmmaker of the group, the one who filmed our house music video (still to be edited… cough cough, no pressure there) and has a fabulous appreciation for bright articles of clothing like shorteralls with sunflowers on them. We affectionately refer to her twin sister, Zoe, as Mr. Robitussin, fictional Mia’s gloomy writer neighbor who sighs a lot, but really, Zoe’s much more sunny and pleasant than he is.

wp-1449862001517.jpgSee? Look at that smile. Zoe and Mia comprise the most creative part of out household. They’re the artists, the ones who paint portraits of cultural figures that decorate our living room. Also, they made that ear of corn. So talented. Zoe also makes glitter pasta (defined: covering pasta with glitter… pretty self-explanatory) and models beautiful hair styles.


There is an empty liter bottle hidden in her hair there. She’s also taken over 1,000 Buzzfeed quizzes. I have so much admiration for this girl. wp-1449860872087.jpg

There’s a slight difference in height between us. But no matter. We appreciate each other’s heights.

Our household has a unique affinity for wearing all gray, commonly known in millenial communities as a “groutfit” (gray + outfit = groutfit). In fact, our Christmas picture exemplifies this:


(I AM wearing gray. It’s just charcoal.) Note Kanye in the background with the Santa hat. Cred to Zoe.

These girls have become so special to me over the course of the semester. You’ve already met Liesel, who was already special because she lived with me for a year and a half before that and shared all those memories that you can only have with someone you live with. Our roommatehood has only gotten more rich by the addition of the other four girls.

Here she is, still making fabulous faces for the camera as always.wp-1449862447539.jpg

Liesel and I realized recently that many of our best moments have happened in a kitchen, often while doing dishes together, which shows you that we use a lot of dishes and that we bond over strange things. It makes it a special friendship though, which I like.

That picture introduced you to Kirsten, whose nickname is Pansy because she gets cold way before most people (went to a soccer game in September wearing three pairs of pants) but can really take stress like a champ. So she’s tougher than we usually give her credit for. She has so many wonderful talents, like being able to wear Mia and Zoe’s grandma’s old wig and looking marvelous, practicality, witty social commentary, and taught me that avocado in stir-fry ain’t bad.wp-1449860858880.jpgOur house has this thing called THE CRIB, which is the best thing we ever thought of. It’s two love seats put together into a giant nest of couchiness. We do just about everything we can in it.

In fact, look, we all fit in it together, all six of us!


Yes, that’s a selfie stick in employ there. But “who’s the lovely lady in the gray bathrobe?” you ask.wp-1449860849068.jpg

This is Kristin, our Britain aficionado. She’s our tea drinker. She’s the type of girl you expect to just be sugar and spice and everything nice (which she is), but then she surprises you with a fabulous snarky comment at just the right moment. It keeps me on my toes. We’ve been watching (and generously criticizing) cheesy Christmas movies this past week.wp-1449860837638.jpg

Christmas in Genovia has been so joyful. Kirsten and I tried to make snowflakes one Friday night. Hers kept ending up in multiple pieces when she unfolded them. We’re still not sure what went wrong. But she did eventually get some whole, beautiful snowflakes.wp-1449860811033.jpg

Zoe’s glitter pasta in progress in the background there.

We started out this semester by taking this picture out in our yard (featuring Mr. Bean in the window, where he stands sentry). Since then, we’ve kept our house remarkably well cleaned, thanks for our chore chart, we’ve eaten so many cookies/cakes/pies, endured fruit flies together, come up with secret hand motion greetings, added a massage table to the living room, supported each other on hard days, celebrated each other’s accomplishments, taken ALL the Buzzfeed quizzes, put our assignments on the fridge, shared the milk (which almost no one in our house actually drinks), laughed over everything, fangirled over Adele… and Enya… and Josh Groban…, oh, and so much more.10458014_369321243277689_1954141538538575038_n

Yes, this is that chore chart. You know how those craft things that would allow those two wheels to spin independently if placed in the center is called a brad? Well, we took it to the next level. We named our chore chart Brad. So then Brad’s the one telling you to do your chores.

But then it went a step further, and we all became famous Brads.

And we never actually used a real brad to hold it together. That’s a twisty tie.11908589_10154155101028066_145061068266792457_o

Now chores are called Brads. 12109770_890853834325225_5248503989298033863_o

Three of us are from Minnesota and three from Illinois. This cookie originally was shaped like a boot with a spur, but then magic happened in the oven, and this came out.11951208_369321043277709_333203359514223251_n

We’ve taken typical prom pictures with Mr. Bean. We’ve moved him from window to window and heard countless stories of his presence scaring passersby (mission: accomplished).

And we’ve surprised each other with food, multiple times. It’s the best kind of surprise.12360299_394123060797507_6366327293415970261_n

This picture is probably how I’ll remember this semester.

Laughing. Together.

When your studies and the world in general and life circumstances are enough to make anyone sigh in despair or stress, it’s been the biggest gift to have this house of girls who laugh and can make each other laugh. We can be serious, too, but there’s been so much joy and humor in our lives that it tempers the sadness or disappointment well. It’s been a safe place to cry… and laugh until you cry.

To Genovia: you’re all my favorite. Thanks for making this semester pretty much the best.


One thought on “For Genovia

  1. Pingback: 2015’s Testimony | Wading in Words

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