Mistress Of All Things Teal And Gold
Duchess Of International Development
Erin and I met in September 2005 through a community on LiveJournal that we have both since come to dread (incidentally, we have also both left LiveJournal for better blog providers). I was looking to move from my increasingly expensive studio on PSU campus into a house share with some other like-minded individuals. There was a wee bit of interesting drama that happened with her and Jillian, her roommate at the time, and I recall sitting in the living room of the Skidmore house, meeting them for the first time, when I mentioned something about having the occasional sleepover with my boyfriend. Shortly after I moved in (and after Jillian unexpectedly moved out), Erin recounted that she had been surprised when I mentioned being gay. It would seem my Straight Boy Phase was still casting a shadow over my Inner Fabulous and she had misjudged my sexuality. I also learned rather quickly that she has the worst gaydar in the world. Nevertheless, we bonded instantly.
Our tenure in the Skidmore house with Carl—the pseudo-separated 30-year-old with an 18-year-old girlfriend on the side—was cut to an abrupt halt when the owners decided to renovate and sell it, and Erin and I found ourselves frantically pilfering through craigslist ads for a new place. Carl, on the other hand, got back together with his wife and got her pregnant. Now he’s a stay-at-home dad that plays World of Warcraft all day while she brings home the bacon. But that’s an entirely different story.
That’s when the Salmon Street Dynasty began: January 2006. Erin and I found a reasonably priced apartment nestled between Hawthorne and Belmont Avenues and made ourselves a home. Over the next year and nine months we kept our social life active. Erin and I organized and hosted a plethora of parties, each of them predicated upon elaborately conceived and designed invitations. Rock Stars, Willy Wonka, Hipsters, The City of Portland, The Letter ‘P’, and more. Our living room was defiled by the likes of Freddie Mercury, Alanis Morissette, The Scissor Sisters, Posh Spice, The White Stripes, Governor Tom McCall, Blazers players, proctologists, pedophiles, and Mayor Bud Clark. While I was able to lend my creative and culinary expertise to these events, it was Queen Erin who was the driving force behind their execution and the [inebriated] glue that held them together.
It was never a dull moment with Erin around. We often found ourselves chatting online (separated by only a wall and six feet of space) and simultaneously holding entirely separate conversations by yelling back and forth. Some days we just found ourselves holding spontaneous photo shoots in our underwear or holding contests to see who could create the best cat macro from photos of Portland’s mayor, Vera Katz (LOLKATZ, we called them).
Then there was the day that Erin tried to teach me how to properly apply lipstick. “Open your mouth like you’re suckin’ a cock, boy!” The riotous laughter that ensued only made the matter worse, and it was another ten minutes before my lips were actually painted. To this day, I still can’t properly put makeup on without reliving that vibrant moment.
Everything we said or did turned into an acronym, to the extent that anyone new to our social circle was confounded by talk of MGS, BAMF, PBR, CTRF, IPSH or OMGWTFBBQ24MILES. Our neighbors and landlord were each given personality-specific nicknames and And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the inside jokes ran rampantly out of control. Giant gold cubes, VIOLA!, and “Look at my a-hole I’m gay” are just a few.
My 25th birthday rolled around last year, and despite my extensive week-long celebration plans, the weather turned our river-floating trip into a no-go. Completely bummed out and ready to mope in bed all day long, I asked Erin to find something fun to do indoors to keep us celebratory. No less than twenty minutes later, she cried out “Eureka!” and made some phone calls. Three hours later we were at IKEA on a ridiculously entertaining photo scavenger hunt. It was so popular that two more episodes of the scavenger hunt have already been exacted since.
Erin has an affinity for baked goods; a talent that is reflected in her ability to craft the world’s most vibrant rainbow cupcakes and all manner of delicious cakes and pies. She also had an admirable will to eat nutritiously. I fondly recall perusing our modest cookbook library for healthy gourmet meals and planning out a week’s worth of dinners. Her distaste for beer allowed me to cultivate my taste for wine, and I cannot look at a bottle of Captain Morgan’s Private Stock without envisioning Erin, ear cocked toward the bottle, gently pulling on the cork until her favorite sound in the world is made. PTHONK!
Some of my most emotional times were witnessed by Her Royal Highness, a friend who was quick to lend her ear and a shoulder, some sage advice and laugh-inducing joke that made everything feel better. I cannot fully express the love that I have for this girl.
In August 2007 she announced that it was time for her to move into her own apartment, and September ushered in a new face and a new roommate. Erin made frequent visits to the apartment through July 2008, at which point she headed East to pursue a Masters degree in International Relations at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University (with concentrations in Middle Eastern Studies and Development Economics. Did I mention she’s brilliant?).
Our three-year history is tightly weaved together, and even though she has since moved off to Washington, DC, I know that every time I see her from here on out will be an adventure to be reckoned with, and a memory that will last forever. Erin has left a legacy as a hostess and friend of the highest caliber, the embodiment of all that is magnanimous, gracious, and sexy.