The semester before Scott and I got married, I was roommates with his little sister, Katie (who happens to be my age. well, five days younger. but who's counting? I am). We lived in a basement apartment with six other girls. Although I was betrothed to her brother, we had met only briefly before we started sharing a room.
There are many stories that could be shared from that four month period (many!), but my favorite one to tell is the one about the quote wall.
We were young. We were foolish. We did many things that made little to no sense. Case in point: "I know! Every time someone says something funny let's write it on that wall in crayon!" "Brilliant!" "Crayon washes off, right?" "Quite easily, I believe." And thus we spent the prime of our higher education filling every corner of one bedroom wall with quotes--hilarious quotes, to be exact. (No photos! So sad.) This was all great fun and a big hit with all of our friends and we congratulated ourselves on our genius.
I received a frantic call from Katie while visiting Scott one afternoon. "This is another fine mess you've gotten us in to!" "Me?" "The landlord's coming for a cleaning inspection tonight!" "Yikes!"
By the time I got back Katie had already begun scrubbing with soapy water. To our incredulity, it didn't just wash right off. No, instead the paint started coming off until we were scrubbing brownish sheet rock. Oh the ignorance of young adults!! We realized that we would need to repaint it eventually, but there was no time for that now. No time to buy supplies and apply a primer and two coats and that's not to mention the dead-giveaway paint smell! What to do?
Sometimes in a highly stressful and gravely serious situation, people's minds are elevated to a higher plane of genius. Time slows down for just a few moments and everything comes in to perfect focus as our path is made clear. It was with just such a preeminent cognition that we realized our solution: we'll just cover the whole wall with posters.
Luckily we had many. Side to side, slightly overlapping, we created a screen of deceit with the Beatles and swimming elephants, Annie and U2. Where there were small gaps we filled in with photographs and silk scarves. With time to spare we completed the mask of our impetuous inside-joke-graffiti. The inspection was made with none the wiser. We congratulated ourselves on our well pulled off tomfoolery and resolved to get to that painting job the following Saturday.
The day before we moved out (weeks later) found us holding various white paint chips to the wall trying to match the perfect level of dinginess. Our last night, we spent sleeping in the room with two fans on trying to relieve our nostrils and brain cells from the fresh paint smell (also hoping it would not be too noticeable when our landlords evaluated who would be keeping our deposits).
We got them back. In full.
And when Katie returned to our basement apartment the next fall she reported that it was all for naught--they'd repainted the entire basement over the summer.