Ah, Oakland: Roomie edition.
When I graduated from high school, I was dead set on moving to Oakland. My best friend, Ian, lived there and my boyfriend at the time was his roommate. Where else would I go?
But – living in Oakland isn’t cheap. I needed a roommate. I posted an ad on a Pitt site and hoped to not drag in too many freaks. I got several responses, but one stuck out to me. She was a nursing student looking to transfer to Duquesne, but didn’t want to live in that neighborhood. (Where Duquesne is located isn’t in the safest of neighborhoods.) She also stated in her response that she wasn’t a big drinker or smoker and wanted to live in South Oakland, not North Oakland.
After several emails back and forth, she seemed to be a winner. I distinctly remember her asking once, “Do you care that I’m black?” which I promptly wrote back, “Only if you don’t care that I’m white.” We were both sold after that and I had a roommate.
The place we moved in to wasn’t in the worst part of Oakland. We were two blocks from three separate hospitals, a Jewish community center and a Jimmy John’s. There was plenty of on street parking if you were looking between the hours of 2 and 3 (either morning or afternoon) and the landlady was a complete bitch. The windows had a huge draft and the neighbors smoked a lot of pot and not good quality pot, I might add. Our fire escape was rusted and the balcony faced the dumpsters.
It was great! I lived on my own! My boyfriend and best friend were a mere four blocks away! I could walk anywhere I needed to go! It was GREAT!
One of my favorite memories of Oakland was when the roommate, boyfriend, Ian and I were all sitting around drinking vodka and orange juice, also known as a screwdriver, and we ran out of vodka. Roomie, the only one of drinking age, decided she needed to go out to get more. It was 5 in the afternoon on a Thursday or something like that, so we knew the place would be open.
Tipsy, her and I ventured out on a mission for alcohol. We both were lightweights and didn’t drink much at all, so after a shot’s worth of vodka, we were feeling good. Hot. Fearless.
What do tipsy, hot, fearless girls do? Get pierced, of course! At this point, I had several things pierced: my tongue, ears, and belly button. I worked at TGI Fridays and we weren’t allowed to have facial piercings (or tongue rings for that matter) so I couldn’t get my nose done like I would have wanted. Instead, I figured why not get my nipple pierced.
I’m so smart.
When we got to Hot Rod, there were some girls there thinking about piercings, but were saying to the piercer that they were ‘too chicken.’ So Roomie and I decided that we were going to be badass and show off, because that’s what tipsy, hot, fearless women do. She decided on her nose and I decided on my nipple. And being the badass women we are, we let those chicken girls watch.
Imagine if you will, myself, Roomie, two strangers and the piercer all packed into a tiny room with my boobs hanging out. I’m pretty sure the piercer was in heaven at that exact moment.
I was so glad I was tipsy because that effing hurt. As Roomie and I walked home, the drunk to in pain ratio began to not be in our favor. I held on to my boob and Roomie laughed at me. Which in turn made me laugh at myself.
By the time we got back to the apartment, we were in tears from laughing and the guys looked at us confused.
I don’t blame them. We were gone for over an hour and without vodka.