Sunday, July 5, 2020

Column: How my roommate almost married to get out of a housing contract

February 27, 2020

As I was getting ready to finish my freshman year of college and looking forward to my housing situation for my sophomore year, how my roommate and I ended up preparing to live in a dorm for a second year is quite the story. 

My original plan was always to live in the dorms for two years. 

I didn’t really feel the need to live off campus right away. I don’t have a car — or a license, but that’s a different story — and I wasn’t really sure if I could even afford an apartment, so I didn’t mind the idea of dorms for two years. 

My roommate Rane and I met through one of those roommate search websites and were incredibly lucky we found each other. We hang out more than most roommates I know and get along almost freakishly well.

When it came to figuring out where we were going to live our sophomore year, we were both okay with the idea of living in the dorms again. So one night in early December, we impulsively signed up to live next door to each other in Mason Hall in North Neighborhood.

We both loved North campus and honestly regretted not trying to live there this year, so we thought living in Mason Hall would be a good idea. I would be close to The State News and most of Rane’s classes would be nearby. We were excited and confident in our decision. 

Once we got back to school after winter break, Rane’s boyfriend of four years, Jacoby, told us he was transferring to MSU in the fall.

Out of curiosity, Rane decided to research apartments nearby for three people – her, Jacoby and me. 

As Rane fell into the wormhole of apartment hunting online, she managed to find one that was not bad at all. It was starting to sound like a pretty good idea. I love both Rane and Jacoby — who visits so often he is basically already a third roommate — so I wouldn’t mind living with them. I’d get my own room, and the price was not bad at all.

After a few phone calls with our parents and various landlords, we decided. 

We were getting an apartment.

Rane scheduled a tour of a place at the end of the week, so all we had to do was cancel the dorms we signed up for. 

That’s when we realized we couldn’t. 

MSU only gives a 14-day cancellation period, which we weren’t aware of. Once those 14 days pass, you’re sucked in, unless you’re willing to pay for 60% of the room and board price for a dorm you aren’t living in. Not ideal. 

I’d like to think of myself as a “master researcher” and “impeccable problem solver,” so I made it my mission to solve our dilemma and get us out of our housing contracts.

I sent emails to a ton of housing officials and found documents on the appeal process. Basically, the only way we could get out of our contracts was if we had a legitimate reason supported by legal documents. 

That sounded absolutely terrible. 

The only part of the release application that didn’t seem to require any follow-up was the marriage section. 

Now if you’re thinking, “They’re not going to … ” Yes. That is exactly what is happening here.

Rane knows a lot about legal matters and was able to figure out enough convincing evidence to possibly get my contract released, but when it came to her, there weren’t many options. 

So we thought she and Jacoby should get married!

This sounds stupid. It was stupid. It is stupid. 

But I mean, why not?

They’d been dating for four years so no one would think it was suspicious, it would get her out of the contract and we could all live happily in our little apartment. We could make each other breakfast every morning, host get-togethers with our friends and maybe get a dog or a cat or something. 

How cute would that be?

We called Jacoby, who was completely down. Then we called Rane’s mom, who might win the award of most chill mom ever, seeing as she did not seem to care one tiny bit. 

If they broke up, we figured they could always get an annulment, because how hard could that be, right?

It was a done deal. They were getting hitched.

All they needed were their marriage licenses and then we had to call the Ingham County Clerk’s office to see when we could schedule a courthouse marriage. 

This was early in the week and they do weddings on Thursdays, so we were going to apply for the licenses, have the wedding on Thursday, then go tour our potential apartment on Friday.

We gathered the witnesses. I got Jacoby to agree to wear a veil, since Rane refused to wear anything aside from sweatpants.

But the wedding didn’t go through.

You could have assumed this would be the outcome, but I swear for a period of about three days we were 100% set on this happening.

I think as the week went on, we realized this would end up being more work than we thought. Also, if this did get Rane out of her contract, we had no idea if I would be able to get out of mine. Then, they’d be married for nothing.

We ultimately had to think back to the reason why we decided to get a dorm in the first place. We picked a super convenient place for us to live on such a beautiful part of campus. There was clearly a reason why we at one point were set on it.

So who cares if no one got married — which I’m still sad about because I wanted to be a bridesmaid — and we’re stuck in the dorms for two years?

MSU has such a beautiful campus that we get to live on again, and I’d like to think it’s at least kind of socially acceptable to live there for a second year. So, who cares? Here’s to round two! 

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