Thursday, May 12, 2011


"When you write a book about us I want my name to be 'Elizabeth'," my former roommate said at our recent annual reunion. She brings this idea up every year, but I'm not sure what the book might be about. I mean, how much does everyone want to hear about how great my college roommates are and how lucky I am that the eight of us are all still in touch?

Well, maybe you'd like to hear a little, so I'll blog about them.

First, I have to tell you that we all met (for the most part) our freshman year at the University of Michigan. We all had come to Ann Arbor knowing next to no one. We lived on the fifth floor of Williams house in West Quad and soon found out everyone referred to our hall as "the zoo" as it had until recently been where the football players lived and since they acted like animals --well they got the nickname. People would say, "Oh you live up in the zoo" and after awhile we just started calling ourselves that. We even had sweatshirts made to look like a sorority sweatshirts with the Zeta Omicron Omicron letters on the front. We were well-known for having parties with way too many men and too few women. It was a formula that worked for us.

We have been getting together nearly every year for the past 25 years. We are all in long-term marriages (mine is the longest I think at 27) and we all have kids. Between us we have 20 children (four of whom are named Nicholas) and 3 step-children and too many college degrees to keep track of including one MD, two RNs, three MBAs, one MA in landscape architecture, and a degree in international finance (there are more as some of us have multiples but you get the idea).

When we get together we do pretty much the same thing every year, as follows:

1. Tell the same stories: most of the stories are about boys in our past. Who went out with whom, who moved where to follow a boy, who was found in a closet with whom at which party etc. Sometimes, since we mix stuff up over time we need to untangle entire sagas. Three of the guys we knew in college are now husbands. There is some overlap.

2. Laugh until we pee: usually this happens when one of us says something ridiculously funny (unintentionally). This year that award went to the following exchange: "Has anyone gone through the change yet?" "I sure went through the change on that toll-road."

3. Cry: We don't always cry but we do when someone has had a tough year or a toufh loss such as a parent, a sibling, or a pet. This year someone had a sad story about a life-threatening illness she's been battling. So we cried.

4. Discuss who we would like to have sex with if we were gay: Ever since one of us came out of the closet years ago, we feel, for some reason, compelled to have this discussion. This year, I have to say almost everyone agreed on Kalinda from "The Good Wife" and Gwyneth Paltrow.

So there you have it. A brief discussion, if not a full novel on my awesome college friends. Some day I may write that novel. I could start with the story of a beautiful blonde with dazzling blue eyes from Traverse City named "Elizabeth" who grew up to marry the dashing international financier "John" with even bluer eyes and they had three children, one of whom got mixed up in a banana caper.... well you'll have to wait for the novel to see how that goes.


  1. 'We were well-known for having parties with way too many men and too few women'

    Do you have any idea how annoying that is for a man? Especiallly when they're students at a technical university? (like some other roommates you had in Europe once upon a time).

    You look good by the way!

  2. Love this Judy. Reminds me of a tight knit group of my Illinois State U. friends who remain today, "the family." When did you the Zoo members graduate? You all look so young!

  3. Thanks Pat! We graduated in 1982 which makes us all f-f-f-fifty-one!