She was not the first roommate I expected to have. At 22, what could have been better than waking up to breakfast and returning home with dinner on the table, weekend excursions to flea markets and Broadway Shows, and the same taste in color schemes (pink and green)?Other than our age difference — plus or minus 50 years, we had so much in common. She became my New York City Grandmother. Technically, we were not related, but, I was dating her Grandson at the time. My first three weeks in New York after my apartment fell through, I lived with her. That qualifies her as roommate number one in my book.
During those weeks, we had a great time together. She introduced me to classic New York, places like Fairway and Zabars (the Upper West Side institutions where you shop with your elbows out). In return, I showed her Facebook and tried to tutor her computer skills. She made dinner, I brought dessert, and we would talk for hours about life in my office while she shared her work wisdom with me.
When it was time for me to move out, I did not know how to thank her for her generosity. I jokingly offered her toilet paper, I considered a gift card, book, or scarf, but nothing felt appropriate until my actual Grandmother in Florida suggested the perfect present money could not buy – a hand knitted scarf and hat, inducting my not typical first roommate into a select club of non-relatives to ever receive such a gift.
Even after I moved cross-town and the break-up with her Grandson, we remained friends – the ideal end to my first roommate.