Behind Closed Doors: Communication keeps intruders out

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January 31, 2011

11:58 PM

Oh, hey! It’s so good to see you! How was your break? Did you have a good time? Do anything exciting? Do anyone exciting? Oh, you’re tired of back-to-school small talk? Me too.

Winter break is the perfect amount of time — at the perfect time, right after finals, when you begin to feel like the entire city is a death trap from which you’ll never escape. One month is long enough to leave Williamsburg, go home, see some people you haven’t seen in months, realize that most of those people are people you never want to see again in your life, hang out with your parents, fight with your parents, and come back to the place that houses us for most of the year refreshed, renewed and ready to get down and dirty. For many of us, unfortunately, Williamsburg is not especially conducive to those idealistic expectations. The one thing I don’t miss when I’m at home? Sharing a room. Please don’t get me wrong — I love my roommates. But there is something so peaceful about being able to take a shower and walk around my room naked without worrying about accidentally giving anyone a show. I can leave my stuff around without anyone thinking I’m a biohazard. Most importantly I can get freaky in whichever part of the room during whatever time of the day without worrying that someone is going to walk in. No? Is that just me?

The transition from college to home is hard for a lot of reasons: parents have a hard time letting go, friendships from high school may not be what they once were, you are unable to be as independent at home as you are the rest of the year. The transition from home to college is difficult for two reasons: cafeteria food and roommates walking in when you’re hooking up. What can you do? Talk to your roommate(s). Decide the best method of communication, be it bird calls, morse code or carrier pigeons. I visited a friend, and she and her roommate used a Curious George cut-out to do the communication for them. Curious George had a serious love for hats. If he was hatless, have no fear, you were safe to enter. If he was wearing a sombrero, you’d better find somewhere else to go, because the occupants of the room were having a party. And if he was wearing a top hat, just keep it classy and knock. More traditional methods involve putting socks or scrunchies on the door handle, but such things are easily removed by hall tricksters. Sending text messages is a very 21st-century way to keep your roommate out of your hookup; unless he or she has AT&T, in which case, you’re better off throwing a message in a bottle into the Crim Dell.

And what happens if you’re hooking up and you’re rudely interrupted? Covering up, laughing it off, and praying that whoever just walked in leaves soon are all good options. If all clothes are still on, congratulations, you’re in the clear. Accept the sexual frustration, and be grateful it wasn’t worse. If clothes are missing, skip pretending that you were just tickle fighting beneath the sheets, because it’s then totally fair game for your roomie to sit down and start doing his or her calculus homework – and then you have to figure out how to stealthily get your clothes back on. I have a good friend who, when walked in on, was so worried about her roommate’s well being that she stopped what she was doing and went to check on her roommate. Not me, no way, Jose. After I heard that, I made sure to have a very serious conversation with my roommate about expectations. Meaning that if I was hooking up and she walked in, and she had the kindness in her heart to leave, no way was I going to stop what I was doing. We would talk about it later. And we did talk later. My roomie and I are big talkers, but next time I have to say something important, I’m definitely going the carrier pigeon route, because it’s Saturday morning, and I am enjoying a very lovely morning when I hear a knock on the door. “Naked!” I yell, twice, for good measure. The knocking stops. Five glorious minutes pass. The knocking resumes. “Still naked!” But it’s too late. The door is opening. I’m sitting up, not at all focused on the door. I look over as the door is closing. Oops. I should probably look into getting a Curious George communicator of my own. Who could ignore a monkey in a sombrero?

_Krystyna Holland is a Flat Hat sex columnist. She will soon be adding three locks to her dorm room. _

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