Meet Alberta. She’s a loveseat, and the newest edition to my friend Emma’s room. Emma and I live in Knowlton residence hall, the language dorm on campus known for its spacious rooms. Looking to provide comfy seating for guests, Emma turned to Craigslist. That’s where she found Alberta, and I was recruited to help pick her up. A couple hours later, we had made an unexpected friend.

After a 20-minute drive to nearby Stonington, Emma and I found ourselves lost among the streets of a winding beachside neighborhood, so we called the woman who was selling us the loveseat for directions. I won’t mention her real name, as it would make her uncomfortable, so instead I’ll call her Marybeth. Marybeth was hesitant to let us come to her house or give us her phone number, but since she couldn’t fit the couch into a car to meet us somewhere else, she reluctantly agreed.

When we arrived, I could tell she was very much relieved to see that we were indeed two small college girls. She quickly warmed up to us, and after chatting for a little bit, we became fast friends. Marybeth is about to retire from teaching at a local school and was interested to hear all about our experiences at Conn. She talked with us about what college was like for her, her family and, of course, Alberta.

When we went to move the loveseat into my Subaru Outback, though, we encountered a problem: It didn’t fit. We were off by about one inch. Unsure what to do, Emma and I gave each other discouraged looks. One inch! Marybeth wasn’t fazed, though. Determined to declutter her garage — of which Alberta occupied a significant amount — she called a friend who owned a truck. In a span of 10 minutes, he showed up, tossed Alberta into the back of his truck and strapped her down. All set to go, we thanked Marybeth for all of her help, and she happily gave us each a hug. Emma and I are invited back to her house anytime we would like. She’s just a few minutes walk from the beach.  

Once back at Conn, Emma and I faced the problem of moving Alberta up two flights of stairs. After trying several times to fit her through the back door and dropping her on our feet, we went for a new strategy: carrying her around to the front of the building and convincing our lovely floor governor to help us out. Thankfully, he did, and with one person on each end and another in the middle balancing Alberta, we managed to finagle our way up to Emma’s room.

The good part: After this exhausting adventure, we had something comfy to collapse onto!

Alberta has since become a staple of Emma’s room. She’s where we study, have intense talks about our lives over a cup of tea and jump around to our favorite songs on Friday nights. We still text Marybeth every now and then to see how she's doing and assure her Alberta’s being well taken care of. It’s nice to say I have a friend outside of Conn, and hopefully we’ll be getting together with her soon.