A fable of two freshmen roommates

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Simone Anne Lang/File

It had already been a week since Donna and Betty had moved into their Unit 3 double. Ever since she first met Betty, Donna felt like she and her roommate were extremely compatible. She looked forward to overcoming many struggles in college with her best friend, such as sleeping through their 8 a.m. lectures together. However, Donna felt a little insecure and didn’t want to jeopardize their blossoming relationship. To prevent slipping up, she Googled, “how to deal with annoying roommates” just so she wouldn’t make any of the mistakes that previous roommates had made.

In the midst of browsing through the articles, she suddenly felt the urge to use the restroom and carelessly left her laptop facing Betty’s desk. Soon afterward, Betty also got up to leave the room, but not before glancing at Donna’s screen and gasping, “Oh my god.”

The second Donna came back, Betty, standing with her hand on her hip, held up the laptop and questioned, “Is this about me? I can’t believe you would do this to me.”

“Wait, I can explain,” Donna pleaded.

In a huff, Betty hurled the laptop at the wall and stormed out.

“Oh, Betts, please come back! I love you — you’re so beautiful. I swear you’re my soulmate. You can’t leave me now, it’s only the third week of school!”

Unfortunately, Betty had already left the room.

The next day when Donna woke up, she realized Betty had never returned to her room. She picked up the phone and called her friend from high school, who had been through a couple dozen breakups (so was obviously the person to come to for relationship advice).

“I’ve known her for a week, but I already feel like she’s the one,” Betty cried. “She’s the one who’s going to haul me home after I drunkenly dance on tabletops at frat parties and clean up my vomit afterward. This can’t be the end of our relationship.”

“Well, have you tried talking it out?” the resident expert asked.

“We sort of bypassed couples therapy and went into full-fledged angry divorce,” Donna sighed.

“How about staging a grand gesture, like renting California Memorial Stadium for a day so you can give her a private performance or dropping 1,000 pounds of roses via helicopter with her name inscribed on each petal? I know that’s what I would want.”

Donna took these two magnificent ideas to heart, but she immediately ran into a couple of problems. Upon contacting the stadium, she learned that it was booked through the next year for wedding ceremonies. But she wasn’t discouraged, because she still had the rose idea under her belt. Unfortunately, she quickly realized this plan would also fail — the manager at the flower shop informed her that roses were out of season.

After a lot of thinking, Donna decided to hack into the Chancellor’s email account and send out a message to the entire UC Berkeley student body. Donna knew that even if Betty refused to read the email, everyone else would, and eventually, the message would reach her.

Within a minute, the entire campus learned of the situation. Within two minutes, Betty came busting through the door.

“I’m so sorry that I stormed out without giving you a chance to explain,” she sobbed.

“Aww Betts, I’m sorry too! It’s been so lonely without you here. Let’s never fight again.”

The roommates quickly made up and sealed their newly repaired relationship by braiding each other’s hair all night. Two weeks later, Donna vaguely remembered Betty hauling her home and cleaning up the vomit stuck in her hair before gently tucking her in bed. It was exactly what Donna had wished for.

Contact Stephanie Wang at [email protected].