(The Spotlight is an occasional Sunday feature profiling Sisters, Sistas and everything in between
Margarita and Kathy go back to their first years at 3 East Holden, their dorm at Michigan State University. An identity mixup led to decades of friendship, despite Margarita’s attempt to leave her mark on Kathy’s dorm room.
How’d you meet?
Kathy: “When I arrived at my dorm room one day, I noticed that I received a message on my door’s dry erase board. The message was a request for a study partner. For some reason, I assumed it was astronomy class and I was excited as I was not doing very well in the class. I thnk Margarita knocked on my door one day and when I opened it, her face dropped. She mixed up the names. I wasn’t in her class, and I was, therefore, not the study partner she was looking for. Lol any hope that I had to improve my astronomy grade flew the coup. I found out that Margarita lived on my floor and I got to know her more when she eventually became my suite mate that year.
“I found Margarita to be a very friendly, good spirited, happy person.”
Margarita: “I was looking for this other girl who had an anthropology class with me. I’d missed the class and wanted to see if she could share her notes. I thought her name was Kathy, so I knocked on Kathy’s door and Kathy came out. The moment she opened the door, I thought ‘oops, this is not the girl in my class.’ But Kathy was so nice! I really liked her from the beginning. She was a mix of friendly, shy, and kind of wholesome, which was so nice when you’re in college and everything’s so big and scary. Kathy just seemed to have her head together and she had this sort of openmindedness about her. I really liked it. But there’s also a real child-like quality about her. She gets excited about things. She’s interested in new experiences and people. I always liked that about her.”
Kathy: “I laugh at this now. Margarita had an innocent knack for destroying the carpet in my dorm room. The horror that was an empty dorm room led me to spend lots of time decorating it each year. It eventually led me to major in interior design. I loved my dorm room. I had this great peach carpet; it was cozy. People would drop by to look at my room. It was cool. Sigh.
“Margarita had to wear this awful dark face paint for ROTC and somehow little bits of it always got on my carpet. Ugh, it was awful, little black dots everywhere. I couldn’t get the stains out!!! Not pleased at all. I dealt with it though. I finally blew my top when I unknowingly carried a garbage bag around my room only to find a trail of coffee behind me on my carpet! The coffee cup I asked Margarita to empty before she put it in my trash! Well, that was year one …. the carpet is in a landfill somewhere, we survived the next 20+ pretty well.”
Why do you think you became Sistas?
Kathy: “The mystic in me says it’s because Margarita is a Scorpio and I’m a Pisces and we are therefore compatible. I think we are both pretty positive and enjoy people and being social. We just clicked.
“I don’t think (our relationship) has changed through the years. I think we both see something in the other that we admire. We are different but very accepting of each other.
“(Margarita) is fun fun fun. Lots of energy, intelligent. She’s refreshing … a good, positive, sweet person. A good listener and is always very supportive. Friendship is a two-way street and we both make sure we (get in touch) regularly.”
Margarita: “Kathy’s always been sort of the steady, more stable person and kind of protective of me. I was always kind of wild and dysfunctional. My relationships were always a mess and I didn’t have any family close by. She just really seemed to care about my well-being. And I always appreciated that. Over the years, I really have enjoyed how self assured she’s become. She also has impeccable tastes — she likes nice things, dresses well, and has an eye for modern, bold things.
“We have both changed over the years, even though at the core we are still ‘there.’ I got married and have two step kids. I spend most of my time working and with the family. She’s single, dates and does fun things like play on a tennis league, went on a spontaneous trip to Mexico, etc. We have had a bit of a role reversal. Not saying she’s wild but I am more domestic (now) and she has more adventure in her life. Now, I really appreciate that, love hearing her stories, and live vicariously through her. And am happy for her too. She seems to have dropped her shyness and completely embraced a spirit of adventure.
“I just feel like (Kathy’s) in my corner. She’s really funny, too. She makes me laugh. She’s a glass half full person, which is very important to me and my relationships.”
Current role of Sista(er)hood in your life?
Margarita: “As an adult, I am never satisfied with the level of sisterhood in my life. There never seems to be enough of it, and I miss my girlfriends and my girlfriend time alot.”
Kathy: “Our social circles are constantly changing and its just the natural ebb and flow of life. Sometimes life/work gets you down and sistahood just uplifts me. Margarita and I have lived hundreds of miles from each other and a few miles from each other. We just always seem to keep in touch. Our day to day social circles are different but we always seem to pick up where we left off. Our social circles blend occasionally too. We find a window in our busy lives and make time.”