Thursday, July 30, 2009

Far and Away: Goodbye to a Roommate

Before I knew Michelle as a roommate, I knew her as half of a pair of Irish girls. I remember the Sunday she and Sandra introduced themselves in church. I thought, "Whew! At least I have a boyfriend! I would not want to be in the dating pool right now. Those girls are beautiful, and they have Irish accents!"
"Hi, I'm Sandra O'Conn-er from Dooblin."
"And I'm Michelle Law-ler from Lim'rick."

No, there was no hope for any girl in our ward to shine while those two were here.

There was one reason I was delighted to have them here in Georgia, though, and that was for study. I wanted to learn the Irish accent and imitate it, as I am wont to do with any speech different from mine. Sadly, I missed out on both of their talks in church! How was I ever going to learn their accents? We weren't really friends, and I had no intention of introducing myself to them . . . They were beautiful and Irish! So intimidating!

Until one day, I found a weak spot. I had prepared a fruit dip of marshmallow fluff and cream cheese for Linger Longer (singles potluck) one Sunday in early Autumn. After most people left, I grabbed my nearly-empty bowl of dip and headed for the door. As I was leaving, I ran into "The Irish Girls," as they were called, and Sandra said, "Oh, you're the one who made that dip? It's gorgeous!" I was amazed that she described food as gorgeous, and she and Michelle were amazed that there was such a thing as marshmallow "fluhf."

We became acquaintances after that -- I invited them to my Halloween party and other gatherings, and we'd say hi in church. It wasn't until my Ugly Sweater Christmas Party, however, that we were actually able to talk much and become friends. It was after that party that we stayed up late and played Phase 10. That was the night Sandra cheated at cards, and Michelle's head kind of floated off her head because she wasn't interested in cards at all. We stayed up late with a few other friends, talking and laughing. It's one of my best Atlanta memories.

The next Spring I needed a roommate, and since Sandra was moving back to Ireland, Michelle needed a roommate, too. By this time, we knew each other fairly well, so after Michelle's summer holidays, she moved into my apartment. We quickly learned that we liked to talk. And talk. And talk.

The funny thing is that Michelle and I didn't actually spend much time together during the day. We are both super-busy almost all the time, and Michelle goes on more dates than anyone I've ever seen! Still, those late-night chats were great. We had our share of arguments and disagreements, but I consider those hours well-spent. Mostly we'd philosophize and talk about guys and girls and who was currently dating. We'd talk about family and Ireland and all kinds of things. I know I will miss those hours-long discussions that stretched into the early-morning hours.

Michelle's in Utah now, and I miss her. This apartment is somewhat depressing without another person to fill the space. For now, I will have to be content with the things Michelle gave me while she lived here: practice at honing my Irish accent, the knowledge that everything sounds truer and wiser in Irish, and the irrefutable fact that Ireland is better than America.

Also, Michelle probably unknowingly taught me a handful of Irish phrases:
  • All over the shop. "She's all over the shop!" This is my favorite phrase. It could mean anything from "He's crazy" to "I'm tired and completely out of it" to "That person's completely hyper."
  • Gone off. "That milk has gone off." Food that is spoiled.
  • Knacker. "He's a knacker." A knacker could be a jerk or an idiot.
  • Lovely. "Ah, she's loov-ly." What you say about someone you like a lot; someone who is an all-around good person.
  • PMT. Premenstrual tension. Apparently, PMS is not used at all.
  • Sofa and cushions. "That sofa comes with two cushions." When referring to a couch, or sofa, the pillows that come with it are called cushions.

That's all I can think of for now. I did come up with a couple others, but when I looked them up for spelling online, I realized that they were indeed cuss words, though Michelle assured me otherwise . . . :)

Thing I'm thankful for: a happy, friendly roommate who shared a bit of her spirit with me. I love you, Michelle!


Blogger Sara said...

I love the Far and Away reference in the title. One of the few movies I tolerate Tom Cruise.

I had an Irish friend in the Netherlands and she also referred to things as being "gorgeous". I think those Irish girls are on to something...

2:16 PM  
Blogger Cherie (and sometimes Senor) said...

Sawa! Do you need a new roomie?? I know a great girl who REALLY needs a place in ATL...let me know. She doesn't have an accent really, maybe southern. BUT she might hook you up with sweet airfare.

7:10 AM  
Blogger jet said...

Sounds like a fun girl! I'm going to memorize those phrases so I'll understand you!
Now then, when are we going to Ireland... :)

5:10 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Great post, you have captured the essence of some wonderful people here.

Here are a few more Irish vulgar which I picked up from them (or want to pick up):

massive -- good looking (person)
craik - fun time, i.e. did you have a good crack(sp)?
crockery - dinnerware plates, cups
granda (no p) - grandpa
circle - roundabout
skip - dumpster
robot - traffic light
wheely bin - trashcan
press - closet
hot press - closet where the water heater is


2:52 PM  

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