Newsletter editor Lily here.

Like everybody else, I go through long periods of being really tunnel vision with my life: I think about work, I think about my next meeting, I think about the friends who are geographically closest to me, I think about trying to get to the gym, and that’s about it. And sometimes, in moments when the world feels like it’s blowing past me and the days start to bleed together, I randomly text or message a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while.

This week, that person happened to be my former college housemate Evan, who is (and I’m only semi-joking about this) one of the five straight male friends I have. Evan and I met on the literal second day of freshman year—both of us are very Type A, anxious, “must get everywhere 20 minutes early” people, and we both arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule to our first twice-weekly government class. It later turned out we also shared another class on Tuesdays and Thursdays that first semester of college, a film class. And thus, a friendship was born.

During our senior year, Evan and I lived with another person who had some…issues. (One of them involved her buying a hamster without telling us because her therapist told her to “take responsibility for something” and then her trying to make me take care of it, but I’ll save that one for another day!) In the end, the situation brought us closer together, and I swear at least 20% of my friendship with Evan is recounting the hijinks of that year; I haven’t spoken to that other housemate since graduation day, but Evan has remained one of my favorite people to talk to, even though his career and life have taken him to California and Texas and mine to New York.

What was supposed to be a quick text exchange soon turned into two and a half hours of FaceTiming. I finally “met” Evan’s girlfriend, who came home midway through. We talked about recent developments in our personal lives. We gave updates on the people we still keep in touch with from college. We recounted The Hamster Incident to Evan’s girlfriend and couldn’t stop laughing. I didn’t realize it, but it was a night I needed: A conversation with someone who’s known me well for a long time and with whom I don’t really need to fill in gaps or explain context. When you’ve been friends with someone since you were barely a college student and lived with them for a year, you know some things. You’ve seen each other grow up. They get it. And it was so, so energizing.

The month of October has sort of whizzed by me. But it was a nice way to come back to center—and also remember why I’m thankful for people like my current roommate. (No hamster problems!) Now I definitely want to make texting those friends I don’t get to see often a regular occurrence in my life. I think we could all use a little more of that.

Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:

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