“That hotplate will have to go.”
She nodded. She knew I would say that. She also knew that, as her resident advisor, I HAD to say that. I knew that she would ignore me and, what’s-more, I didn’t care. The next room would be exactly the same.
My sophomore year at Texas A&M, I was an RA in Hobby Hall on Northside. It allowed me to have a job (necessary) but stay close to campus (preferred) and work while I was trying to pass classes (essential). Turns out college is a lot harder than high school, but I digress.
A few days after the beginning and a few days before the end of each semester, it was my official duty to walk through every room on my floor and make sure everything was up to par. No hotplates. No cigarettes. No live-in boyfriends.
There were only 6 rooms to go and we would all be free for Christmas vacation. I looked over my checklist before knocking to get my bearings. This was a single instead of the usual double. Her roommate had left early in the school year. (I don’t know if you’ve heard, but college is harder than high school.) The whiteboard on her door pledged her loyalty to the trees of the field and every living thing. I rolled my eyes and knocked.
She let me in. She showed me that her window needed fixed. I made a note. I reminded her that hotplates were not allowed. She nodded. Basically, this room was exactly the same as the other 20 I’d already been through.
There was a bowl of peanut M&Ms in her make-shift kitchen by the door. On my way out I grabbed a couple.
“What color is your favorite?” she asked? Cute girl, I thought.
“Definitely red,” I answered. “You?”
“I like all of them. I’m kind of addicted.”
“I hear you.”
(Like I said: exactly the same.)
“Well, I like all of them… EXCEPT the blue ones.”
“You don’t like the blue ones? I thought they were a fun change, myself,” and I reached for the door.
“Not me,” she continued. She grabbed the bowl quickly and pulled aside the half a curtain on the ‘pantry’ to reveal- wouldn’t you know– a whole fishbowl of bright blue M&Ms.
“You saved those?” I asked… my hand still on the doorknob.
“I always pick out the blue ones and put them in here.”
“And at the end of the semester, I go outside and I bury them.”
I tilted my head and turned the knob, ever ready. Her eyes told me this was no joke.
“You bury them?”
“Yep. Because they’re evil.”
I gave her a quick nod and wished her a merry Christmas. There was no box for this on my checklist, and I am not too proud to admit I was way out of my league.
Now every time- EVERY TIME- I eat M&Ms I think of that crazy resident I had way back in 1997 who banished and buried the blue M&Ms because she was sure they were evil.
I just needed someone else to know that story because I don’t want to be the only person not surprised when the news breaks that Simpson Drill Field in College Station, Texas has erupted in a fountain of petrified turquoise candy.