Friday, August 24, 2007

tribute to the girls of 79th

beth's house is breaking up.

after a mildly stressful rental search, mari and beth are headed east toward greenlake. they have found a beautiful new house (which i've yet to see) and fun new roommates. nora, a sometime-roommate, will be heading to california (or maybe colorado?) later this summer. and tomorrow, whitney (seen below in red socks) will be shipping her soccer skills south to california for good.

i thought i'd write a post to commemorate whitney's leaving or the disbandment of the house, but instead i'd like to share some advice from "there's a rule about dating women with a roommate....this rule is that you must also make a good impression on her roommate."

rule is general knowledge in the kingdom of men, and we don't need "the world's leading source for seducing women" to give us a head's up. still, i've heard (and seen) horror stories about guys and their girlfriends' girlfriends. for example, during the years right after college, i lived in a series of cramped, messy apartments--at one time, we squeezed three guys into a single nasty room--yet despite our ugly abodes, one of my roommates preferred to hang out with his s.o. at our place, not because it had some mystical appeal or because he loved us so much, but because of his relationship with her roommates.

in contrast, i'm a regular at beth's house on 79th; i genuinely like all of her roommates and consider them good friends.

during a recent work lunch, some friends and i chatted about dinners and executions; we pondered what we would eat for our last meal on death row--steaks & ribs, pizza & beer, exotic curries and a bottle of egon muller riesling--each listing was a more wonderful gluttony than the one before.

now, regardless of what we may think of california, it's probably a bit ridiculous (and morbid) to venture any kind of comparison between whitney's last meal as a washingtonian and the smörgåsbord of delicacies my work friends dreamed up for a final night in the joint. but forgive me, i can't resist. indeed, i find it rather interesting that we ate sadza, a simple shona food that mari imported from zimbabwe. sadza tastes great, but it's rather simple; it doesn't set the taste buds on fire or make the stomach purr, and i would be a little surprised if it were whitney's favorite food.

but sadza ignites community.

the kitchen crowds as people gather to help prepare the meal. someone grabs a great pot and dumps pound after pound of corn meal inside. the pot is large, they say, because you never make just a little sadza. and when it's ready, the main dish is a finger food, the ultimate evolution of the potluck. grubby fingers go at it, glopping the sadza in delicious tomatoey-onion sauce; everyone is united in their forklessness.***

yes, sadza is a fitting end to the era. beth, mari, nora, and whitney's decision to prepare sadza seems emblematic of their heart for community (also see this post from 2005), of their friendly openness to people like me. and this sadza approach to life worked.

indeed, it has inspired phrases that you'd see in yearbook scribblings: fun parties (which i used to consider an oxymoron), caroling, talking about guys (errrrrrr...perhaps i mean listening to talk about guys), taking trips, eating too many vegetables, performing sufjan, watching lost....

you know, is right: it pays to be friends with your girlfriend's roommates.


i was also hoping to say some words about whitney. i think we'll all miss whitney's honesty, her enthusiasm, her encouragement, her funny mannerisms, and her devotion to her friends, and we know she'll settle in well down in cali.

(the links are to other posts about whitney and to other posts with whitney pictures).

the s.o. "soccer skillz" seattle, wa. [PS these are very, very closely cropped pictures; thus the poor quality]

***well, almost everyone. as much as i love this metaphor, there are those that choose to wield silverware, and they don't spoil the community by doing so. some may think them stubborn or contentious, but really they're just adding their personal flare to the event.****

****in case you couldn't tell, i eat sadza with a spoon.

please comment if you h
ave other thoughts or yearbook-like comments on the girls of 79th or whitney.


Beth said...

Aw, this was a beautiful post, Andrew.