When I was a sophomore in college, I moved into my sorority house. Because of housing snafu, I somehow went from a three person room with a window seat to a SIX person room with only a tiny porthole overlooking the stairs to the roof. I wasn’t happy about it at first – I mean, who really would be? But there was nothing I could do about it. Luckily, in that room I made two of my best friends, Woodsy and Danes, and lived across the hall from many more. That being said, there were MANY obstacles to overcome in that room.

That’s not to say I don’t have good memories from that room. Laying on the floor eating candy with Danes, Woodsy and I helping each other write letters to our latest crushes (ah, pre-email), sitting on my bottom bunk watching movies with Jackie! instead of doing our homework. Our roof was the highest on the block, so we had no problem spying on the surrounding fraternity and sorority houses…although nothing all that interesting ever happened. That roof DID provide an excellent launching pad for water balloons and other projectiles. NOT that I was EVER a part of that, and I will deny it to my dying day no matter WHAT that police officer thought he saw.

But I digress. We had three bunk beds, six dressers, and three desks. And while it was a big room, it was never intended to be a bedroom, and therefore was missing one really important thing – A CLOSET. Yeah, our closet was down the hall and around a corner (our sorority house was a converted mansion that used to belong to an ambassador). We had to lock the closet door so other girls wouldn’t borrow our clothes without asking. It was less than ideal.

Like I mentioned, the stairs to the roof were right outside our only small window. That meant we could hear people stomping around up there at all hours – and I mean ALL HOURS – while they tanned, smoked, or had cell phone fights with their boyfriends or parents. But, now that I think about it, listening to girls fight with their boyfriends & fathers should actually go in the highlight column. “But daddy, you said I could charge that purse on your credit card!!! You’re so MEAN TO ME!

Everyone always assumed that since there were six of us in the room, we were always up for a late-night gab fest or a naked pillow fight (just kidding guys, we didn’t pillow fight). That got annoying when we were doing homework or trying to sleep. Especially since I’ve always had a hard time saying no to something fun.

The biggest challenge for me was hearing six alarm clocks go off every morning. They all sounded the same, and I was seriously going crazy from BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP at all hours of the morning. On a run to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I saw my lifesaver, my saving grace – an alarm clock that woke you up to nature sounds. My choices were Birds of Paradise, Babbling Brook, and Ocean Waves. I was sold, and I bought it immediately.

I came home and hooked it up, and I went to sleep excited. The next morning, I was awakened to the beautiful sounds of the ocean lapping on the shore. I tuned out all those rude beeping alarms. I felt refreshed when I heard the ocean instead of jarred out of a beautiful dream by a braying alarm. I loved it.

My roommates? They didn’t love it so much. Especially since I had a habit of forgetting to turn it off when I’d go to my parents’ house for the weekend. Apparently, if the ocean alarm went on for more than 15 seconds, a lovely seagull flew to the beach and started braying…louder and louder and louder. I’d come back to the room after being gone for a couple days, only to find my precious nature sounds alarm clock unplugged. Other times I’d come back and my clock would be hidden in our closet, or left on the roof. They HATED that alarm clock.

I moved out of that room after a semester, into a two person room that actually had a closet IN the ROOM. And while I was happy to have only one awesome roommate to contend with, I missed my old roommies. Luckily, I brought my most treasured item with me into my new room…and every room I’ve lived in ever since, from my old room at my parents’ house to my post-college room, to New York City and now my bedroom with Mike. That’s right – it’s my nature sounds clock. It’s a little worse for wear, but it’s still working like a charm. I think of my old roommates every time I wake up to waves breaking on the shore…


…think of them and LAUGH because I won! The clock lives!