Spending just a few minutes with former college roommates, Christine and Maria, it is quite obvious they are friends. They can’t stop laughing and talking about their college days. Both women were “sheltered, had come from all-girl’s Catholic high schools, and had strict parents” before entering college. The women met when they shared adorn room together and “instantly clicked.”
“We finally had freedom,” says Maria. “And, we both had boyfriends within a couple of weeks of starting school,” Christine adds. After living with each other for the year, the two moved out of the dorms. “We lost touch around the second year. I think we saw each other but only occasionally. Christine was living at the student apartments. Then after that she moved to San Francisco,” Maria says.
Christine adds “When we lost touch 40 years ago, I kept on thinking, ‘Where is my Maria?’” They both have been thinking about each other all these years. “I thought about her a lot over these years. I had a lot of pictures of us. I thought about her all this time,” Maria says.
Forty years later, kismet happened. Both women decided to take an Osher class, Coffee: The Journey from Bean to Cup – Lecture and Tasting, at SDSU. “I walked in the class and there were no seats available except one seat in the back. I got to the seat and asked the woman next to the seat, “Can I sit here?” She said “Yes, of course.” “The woman next to me was Christine. We both didn’t recognize each other,” says Maria.
Christine adds, “When I saw the course sign-in sheet I saw her name on the list. I thought to myself, ‘Wow, is it possible that this is my Maria?’ I vowed to find out who this Maria Ibarra was.” Maria says, “I noticed she kept looking tame while the class was going on. I would smile at her. So, finally at the break she asked me, ‘Are you the Maria Ibarra?’ I looked at her name tag and I was like, ‘Christine?’ We then both said at the same time, ‘Oh my gosh, we were roommates. You were my roommate!’”
“We hugged, and we stayed a couple hours after class that day to catch up. Ever since then we take classes together and we go out for dinner and lunch, and go to the movies together. We’ve even gone dancing,” Christine says.
Today, the two are taking Osher classes together and creating new memories. “Osher has wonderful classes because there are such a variety of subjects,” says Maria. “The classes are great. You don’t have homework and they are inexpensive. The whole experience has been really cool,” adds Christine.
Favorite Memory of Christine
It was during the Chicano Movement and I belonged to an organization called MEChA. At the time they were very exclusive about who could be a part of the group. You had to be Latino, Mexican-American, or Chicano. It was actually a political group. They used to have parties and Christine always said, “I want to go with you, I want to go with you.” I would say, “Yeah, but you are not Latina and you are not Chicana, so you can’t go.” She would reply, “No, I’m going with you. I will change my name. I am going to tell them that I am Chicana.” And, so we get to the party and right away they asked her, “Are you Chicana?” She said, “Yes, my name is Christine.” She gave them a fake last name too. The girls were suspicious, but the boys were very welcoming. After that party, the guys kept asking about my roommate.
Favorite Memory of Maria
She was always understanding of me. I was disorganized and a bit messy. I lost my room key once and I asked if I could borrow Maria’s key. Well, I lost Maria’s key as well. Another time, I had this electric frying pan, which was a big deal back then because there was no kitchen or microwave. The pan was on the desk and cooked something on it and just left it there. The food was floating in greasy water. After a few days, Maria came in and said, “Do you think you will ever clean that pan?” At the time, I felt embarrassed and I now look back and think, “My gosh I was a pain.”