Unfiltered Commentary: That giant smile

Alexandra Strausman


This past Sunday, my roommate’s sorority little sister read her a note for her graduation at our preference round for recruitment. In it: “I’m going to miss running into that giant smile of yours every morning.”

It hadn’t hit me until this moment that I would too. My tear-stained cheeks looked to mirror my roommate’s similar faces.

I flashback to yesterday afternoon: “I am seriously though, concerned for your well-being once you’re living alone,” my roommate, also known as Mom, shouts at me.

“Why?” I ask.

“Are you seriously asking that? You were about to eat raw meat before I stopped you.”

When we come to college we abandon our parents but, little do we know, sometimes we adopt new ones. In my case, her name is Allie.

She wakes me up in the morning when my alarm does not. She takes the raw meat off my plate while I’m mid-bite and puts it back on the stove. She makes me pancakes just the way I like them—in the morning, with pumpkin flour and chocolate chips. She leaves the hallway light on when I’m back later than her, which is almost always. She tells me how it is—without the BS. She tells me what medicine to take, that my appendix isn’t bursting when I’m screaming that it is and she tells me to change my outfit when I look bad, which is almost always.

She is my mom—not biologically, but really, she is my second mom. I’d be lost without her. My roommates vouch the same on record.

At first she was resistant to all the “Mom!” yelling, but now she’s so responsive. We’ll be at the supermarket and a kid will yell for his mom and Allie will turn around. Or we’ll be at Grottos on Saturday afternoon yelling “Mom!” and people will look around for someone’s parent. Also, there are now so many people on campus that also know Mom as, well, Mom.

It’s a strange kind of reality, really. But she’s the voice of reason. She keeps the house afloat. She makes sure the garbage is out and that the mail is sorted through. She makes sure that the stove is off, even when we walk away from it, and that the door is locked at night.

We agree that calling her “Mom” really helped her break out of her shell—we made her a cool Mom. There was though, an instance when Mom really acted like a mom. She didn’t like to go out anymore—instead she liked the movies. She was in bed by nine and up at seven—but for what? Her day job? No. When we started calling her “Mom” about two years ago, it kind of started as a joke: but then it stuck.

Now she tucks me into bed. She brings me mug cake when I’m up late studying, which is basically never. She always puts extra water in the kettle because she knows I want tea and when we sit and talk at night, she’s always drinking from her “#1 MOM” cup.

I thought I’d have to take care of myself all on my own at school, but thankfully, I was wrong.

Now I can’t help but constantly think: what am I going to do without that giant smile every morning next year?

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