Monday, October 03, 2011


by Gina Sestak

Have you ever had one of those experiences that takes you back to those thrilling days of yesteryear?  I'm living one right now.

Let me explain:

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far away, I attended the University of Pittsburgh.

I studied Anthropology and Computer Science and . . . Karate.  Theresa studied Karate in the same class. She was much better at it than I was, but neither of us was anywhere near as good as Bruce Lee.

We met.  We sparred one another.  We shared a house.  We even sold blood plasma together.  [See my post Dealing with Vampires for more information on this painful era in my life.]

Time passed.  We graduated.

I had already established a relationship with my someday-to-be ex-husband.  I entered law school.  Theresa, a civil engineer, left town to work for a railroad in West Virginia where she married a co-worker, Sam.  They had two kids and moved to Florida.  Sam died.  The kids grew up.  Theresa remarried.  Her present husband Tom lives in Florida, too, but after nearly a year of unemployment, Theresa decided to accept a job in Pittsburgh.  Last Sunday, she moved into my house.

Let me tell you, it is strange adjusting to living with another person.  I haven't done that since 1994.  When Kala (the cat) gets on my nerves, I can just put her in the basement for awhile.  A human being won't stand for that.  And the house is full of stuff.  My stuff.  Theresa is using half a room; we spent Sunday afternoon moving furniture so she'll have the use of a dresser and wardrobe.  There still is not much space to walk in there once the rollaway bed is unfolded, but we will clear it out eventually.  I promise.  The basement bathroom has been restored to working order, but who wants to go down there?  I bought some towels and a shower curtain, but we're both still using the upstairs facilities.

In the confusion of getting here in time to start her new job last Monday, Theresa lost her cell phone.  Then my land-line phone went kerflooey.  No one on the other end could hear us talking.  I went out and bought a replacement phone.  Theresa - "I can do this!  I'm an engineer!" - installed it; no one on the other end could hear us talk on that one either, but the computer started running slow, then the phone menu selections morphed into being in French.  . . .

Still, it feels right to have her here.   We have a lot in common.   Like me, she can sleep through anything, a talent that stood us in good stead when we vacationed together in Greece.  How many people can sleep in the Athens airport on their luggage???

We've fallen into old habits, watching tv and eating.  Luckily, she shares my appreciation for Shah Rukh Khan and Bollywood.

Besides, the cat likes her.

So, welcome Theresa.  It'll be fun.  I hope.


Joyce said...

It's always nice to connect up with old friends. Good luck with the new job, Theresa!

Martha Reed said...

Gina, isn't it funny how we never really let go of our old friends? It's great you're helping her out. I hope all goes well. This may open up all kinds of new doors for you, too. Who knows?

Jenna said...

That sounds like fun. Hope the new job works out. So will Tom be coming at some point too, or just Teresa?

There's a book in this, by the way. As if I need more ideas...

Gina said...

Jenna -
The plan as of now is for Tom to stay in Florida and for Theresa to go back eventually. Meanwhile, they've been on the phone a lot, which may be why it started having problems . . . Or maybe not. Might be simply coincidence.
They've done the commuter marriage thing before, when Theresa was working in DC for a few years, so it's not a total novelty. I expect he'll be visiting.

Patg said...

You made me throw my mind back in time to my roommated days. Not a big leap, I've been watching Pan Am on TV and I'm right there.
Glad you two like the same shows. Who gets the remote?

Gina said...

Patg -
Actually, my Bollywood collection is on dvd. As for broadcast tv, our tastes do differ some but we've been able to compromise so far. Last night, I went upstairs and put away my laundry while she was watching Andy Rooney say goodbye on 60 Minutes, for example.