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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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S&B Cribs: The cats, cowboys and crew of 1010 High Street

By Ingrid Meulemann

When friends Amelia Geser, Claire Eide, Kaitie Hess, Lauren MacKenzie and Andrew Zdechlik, all ’19, decided they wanted to live together during their last year at Grinnell College, they didn’t exactly have a clear plan. With three of the future housemates abroad, much of the responsibility fell on Geser, who said her house hunting techniques is a “process of elimination.”

One thing the friends were sure of though, was that it was important to them to have strong feminine energy present in the house.

“I think it was important for us to live with a lot of women,” said Eide. “Sorry Andrew,” she added, laughing, “you know we love living with you too.”

On the outside, 1010 High St. is tall, pistachio green and non-descript; on the inside, 1010 High Street is anything but. Built with a mostly open floor plan, the house opens to a large, warm living room complete with several tapestries and a large sectional sofa. Hess said that they actually “have the comfiest couch on High Street.”

“Two of us have actually gotten tattoos on this couch,” Eide said.

Despite the art on the walls and coffee table filled with crafts, beads, nail polish and candy, one of the most noticeable parts of the house is the housemates’ “kids.”

“We have three cats,” Geser said. “They’re our children. Two of them were planned, one of them was an accident.”

The cats are an integral part of the household, and rightfully so. The housemates said MacKenzie’s kitten, Louise, is “kind of annoying,” but also said that “because she’s so cute and cuddly it’s hard to stay mad at her.”

The real drama though, is between the other two cats, André and Cat (née George Bush). According to Zdechlik, “they have a love saga.”

“Yeah,” said Eide, “André and Cat are in love. It’s documented. It’s pretty gay. It’s also kind of kinky, I would say.”

Besides their “children,” the friends have another non-human pal they share the house with: a bra and underwear set hanging outside their bathroom.

“It’s for decoration,” Geser said.

“I call her Linda in my head,” Eide said.

While it would appear that with three cats, four housemates, a very spiritually present bra and underwear set and at least one love saga, 1010 would be a pretty full house. The supernatural presences, however, must not be disregarded.

“The other thing about our house is we have a haunted attic,” said MacKenzie.

“There’s a crib, there’s a legit baby crib,” Zdechlik said.

There are also, said Geser, old children’s drawings on the floor and an excess of cobwebs. The roommates, however, are not concerned.

“It’s blocked off now so we’re good,” Eide said.

Not letting any possible negative energy in the house affect them, the friends spend most of their time on the couch crafting, watching movies, and playing Mario Kart.

“Yeah we used to Kart every day,” Eide said.

However, the friends refused to be labeled by their Wii habits. Some days they change it up with some intense collaging.

“We might even crack open a puzzle,” MacKenzie said.

When asked to describe the energy of the house, Hess likened it to a saloon.

“It’s warm, it’s a little dirty, and it’s kind of Western. We have a good time in here,” she said. This description makes it even more fitting that Eide just received a package containing small cowboy hats for Louise, André and Cat.

The house is, in many ways, very similar to the friends themselves. The rooms, which they painted upon arrival, are various shades of lavender, yellow and light blue. The walls are covered with assorted pieces of cloth and art, and the whole house is filled with a warm light.

“I’m a Cancer, Scorpio rising,” Eide said. “I’m a huge nester, and I love making things cozy.”

“I hate to call a house homey,” MacKenzie said, “but it’s really warm and comfortable.”

Claire Eide, Lauren MacKenzie, Amelia Geser, Andrew Zdechlik and Kaitie Hess, all ’19, live among three loving cats, Mario Kart Wii and a haunted attic. Photo by Minh Tran.
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