A Conversation Between Roommates

Mary and Bria have been roommates for three years and they have a relationship that generally confuses the public. They’ve been co-workers, partners in crime, students, roommates, best friends and have found a way to tolerate each other’s presence through months of quarantine. Is it co-dependent? Probably. Is that changing anytime soon? No. For their last article before graduation, they wanted to give some insight into their minds, friendships and skeletons in their closets.

Mary: What is the biggest ongoing lie you’ve told?

Bria: When I was in grade 6, I became a fraud. I went to an arts middle school that encouraged everyone to try as many things as they could, so I joined a couple of choirs and a glee club. This was fine because enough people were singing that no one could tell that I lacked talent. I’m not sure if this is just a complex I developed or if there was truth to it (probably the truth), but I truly believed my voice was horrific.

But one day at recess, a group of girls were singing, and I sat down and joined them. They decided to perform at the talent show and invited me to join them. Then, their mother decided to film us practicing and put it on YouTube. I got paranoid that someone would hear my voice and know that I was a terrible singer, so I began lip-syncing. We went viral on YouTube. My social capital boosted immeasurably, there was no way I could leave the singing group. My parents posted about it on social media and all their friends thought it was cool. It became a favourite topic of conversation at family reunions.

I spent the three years lip-syncing in almost all our performances, (once, I tried to sing live, and they commented on how off-pitch we were) and had repetitive nightmares about Simon Cowell. I’d dream that we were auditioning for American Idol, and then he would force me to do a solo. He would call me out on stage and kick me out of the group. I only escaped this lie by graduating middle school and the acapella group disbanded, so I suppose it’s still ongoing.

Mary: What is the most disturbing text I’ve ever sent you and please elaborate on how it made you feel?

Bria: One time, we’d been having issues with our roommates and they had all mostly stopped talking to me. After winter break, you went up there before me and you said, “what would you do if you got here, and I was on their side and stopped talking to you?” I wondered if you were trying to punish me with an intrusive thought.

Of course, I logically knew that that wouldn’t happen… but I definitely thought about it more than I’m proud of. Honestly, I came to the conclusion that I would need a staggering amount of therapy if you ended our friendship that way. I’m not sure my ability to trust would ever be the same. Luckily, when I went back, you were still my best friend.

Mary: What are three things that we have in common? Think specifically.

Bria: We’re both insomniacs. I think that’s probably played a significant part in how close our friendship became. There were years where we would be the only ones awake in the apartment all night, so, of course, we would bond. I think souls are easier to tie together at 3 am.

Both of our moral alignments are ‘chaotic neutral’, and we follow our own hearts for what is just. We’ve done a number of schemes over the years, both to do good and to do harm (depending on the perspective, I suppose). Some of the schemes we’ve never told anyone, like rigging a survey so none of our friends were left out of the results. Other schemes have involved getting revenge on cheating ex-boyfriends and were a little less wholesome in nature. This has made our friendship very entertaining, and we have some great stories.

Lastly, we both have a scavenging spirit. This one is a little more difficult to describe, but it’s this innate appreciation for a good deal. Before the world was closed, we would join clubs just because we saw that they were having events that would cater. I have seen Mary go ‘shopping’ in a pile of clothes that were clearly thrown on a lawn after a girlfriend was caught cheating. She has seen me eat pizza that has fallen on the ground. It’s a judgement-free friendship, just how we like it.

Bria: If you told yourself in first year that you would move in with me and my family to be an incel during a pandemic, what would you have thought?

Mary: I would have been disturbed and a little confused since we only spoke probably twice in first year. We were not exactly what I would call "friends," despite living next to each other. I would also probably question how you were able to predict my celibacy and why this was of any relevance. But after living with your family for the past few months and being a raging incel together during a pandemic, I can now appreciate how far we've come. I wouldn't want to be trapped in a house during the hottest years of my life with anyone else.

Bria: When we’re 75, what do you think our favourite friendship activity will be?

Mary: I like to think that we won't be boring, old women and we'll still be up to our usual scheming, like planning an elaborate heist or plotting against all the people in our retirement home. I could also picture us writing a screenplay for a short film that has us as the main stars.

Bria: What are some non-negotiables for your prenuptial agreement?

Mary: I get no less than 100,000 if he cheats, he can't move on once I'm dead and a spending allowance to my liking.

We hope that you enjoyed this personal and invasive conversation, we sure did!