Monday, May 19, 2014

with okies in tahoe

When I accepted a spot in Syracuse's University Class of 2010, I'd yet to see the campus. But within 10 minutes of my visit 3 weeks following, I knew I'd made the right choice. It just felt so college (which, ironically enough, was the way I described it upon graduation 4.5 years later). Fortunately, they'd also given me generous financial aid. By the time I joined the honors program, and thus, as I'd find out, an honors freshman floor, I was feeling optimistic about my impending college experience. Rightfully so.
I was assigned to share a renovated double room in Brockway with a girl named Courtney. By the time we moved in together, I'd triumphed through tearful goodbyes to family and friends from high school and had fully immersed myself in the naive enthusiasm that came with living independently, miles away from everything I'd ever known, for the first time in my young life. Yay, higher education. I couldn't have been more excited to answer the classic "where are you from?" and "what are you studying?" questions.
Karen lived two doors down from us. And once Deirdre (her roommate) and I started Spanish class, I got to know her better. I like to think it would've happened anyway, but I recall two turning points in particular. The first, when I unknowingly went to comfort homesickness on her September birthday. The second, when she spoke about Native American reservations on our way to dinner. Even with my good intentioned Northeastern ignorance, I was impressed by (and friend-crushing on) "the girl from Oklahoma."
As our first semester went on, we established weekly cafeteria lunch dates, drove down to Villanova to visit her friend from home, shared tubes of cookie dough while devouring early seasons of Grey's Anatomy, and shared stories of our young histories (sometimes with vodka tonics in hand, of which she introduced me to). She became an honorary roommate in C and I's 209. After winter break, I was so thrilled to reunite that I broke her laptop screen with the intensity of my "welcome back to 'cuse" hug. I'd missed my friend.
Fast-forward a few months later, and her, C, and I were scheming about how to convince Julia to room with us sophomore year. (Insert more memories of Friendly's sundaes, heart-to-hearts, Grey's Anatomy episodes, studying encouragement, hometown plans, and adventures in finding open parties here). By fall 2007, the four of us--K, C, J, and I--moved into an apartment at 211 Lambreth Lane. This past weekend, we reconvened from near and far in South Lake Tahoe, California. Our one and only Okie is now a Mrs.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to have taken part in their most spectacular day. The woman who ultimately convinced me to rush a sorority, backpack through Central America, take a chance on a dream job, and generally be a better friend, is now married to a man who adores her to the staggering degree she so rightfully deserves. And I had the privilege of witnessing it beautifully take place in the company of her amazing family and friends. And though I'm not yet as acquainted with him as well as I'd like to be, he's already impressed me twice; and really, before my favorite just-about-Drs couple and I know it, we'll be residents of the same city. The love and happiness continues :) congrats, Karen and Andrew! My heart couldn't be more full for you both.

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