Today is Robert’s 25th birthday! Robert is one of my dearest friends from Davidson and, also, an icon.
I met Robert a few days into our freshman year, when he sashayed onto my hall and announced he was converting our lounge into his “second closet.” Not a month later, he started using my closet to store his wet clothes. Homeboy had a lot of clothes.
Robert quickly became a ubiquitous presence on our hall and also an eminent character on campus. That fate is hard to avoid, of course, when you’re both 6’6″ and wonderful. When he studied abroad in France second semester of sophomore year, I so profoundly suffered from his absence that I created popsicle stick Roberts, personalized for specific situations. Examples included: “Masticating Robert” for trips to the Commons, “Jackie O Robert” for any event requiring elegance, and “Party Robert” for self-explanatory occasions.
His glorious return to campus in the fall of our junior year was a time of much excitement. Most of our class studied abroad that year, so Anna Marie, Robert, and I engaged in a lot of quality time together. We wasted hours upon hours binge-eating pretzels, watching YouTubes of cats (Robert’s favorite hobby), and playing in the costume trunk. I don’t remember us getting a lot of work done, although I have a vivid memory of the night I cranked out a 25-page paper in one sitting while Robert read two entire books so we could be prepared for our 8:30 class the next morning. That night, by the way, was both a personal highlight and lowlight of my college career.
Robert spoiled me by becoming my roommate senior year. I gained insight into his more private peculiarities, a favorite being his habit of spending Sunday mornings eating chips and salsa in his bathrobe while watching Gone With the Wind.
Of course, all good things must end, and we eventually left the Davidson bubble to
flounder in the real world be productive citizens. I don’t get to see or talk to Robert on the daily, as I used to, but fortunately our friendship is so easy and strong that when we do see each other, we pick up just where we left off: drinking cheap beer laughing.
Happy birthday, Robert darling! Here’s a cat video for you: