After Sunday Mass, Judith Williams, 72 wandered into Lottie and hasn’t left. “I came in to ask for directions, the football game made everything so confusing, but I just liked the décor so much I couldn’t convince myself to leave,” Williams explained.
Lottie Jane, according to Williams, resembles her ideal front room so much she can’t bear to leave. She justified her stay saying, “All these young girls, they need someone to take care of them and keep them on the right path.” The “Jam It Up” events, she argued, were evidence of them needing her help.
“These young ladies are eating nothing but PB&J’s and ramen. What happened to good food?” Williams has since taken over the night, offering tea, small sandwiches and the occasional liquor-spiked punch. Surprised Lottie RAs reported these events are more popular than the previous iterations of “Jam It Up.”
Williams has taken care to make the space her own, adding collectable porcelain figurines everywhere, featuring various woodland nymphs trying to escape Pan. The antique clock has been fixed, clamoring loudly on the hour and half-hour. With this, Williams hoped the women of Lottie will “not miss any classes—beauty sleep is important, but it didn’t get me to where I am today!”
Residents of Lottie have mixed reactions to her presence.
Some, like Cassandra Henry, weren’t surprised by her presence. “They haven’t renovated this place since the 50’s, what did they expect?” she asked. “The boys got theirs redone, and I’m not going to say that’s anything biased, but when my grandma visited she wanted to stay here too.”
Henry said John Mabee’s renovation made her wish she could check off male on application forms. Victoria Serran noted that her presence was occasionally, a good thing.
“The cucumber sandwiches aren’t half bad. Gets me my daily vegetable,” she said.
Others did find her presence annoying.
“These couches are floral,” Isabelle O’Daniels admitted, “but they force me to sit up straight when I’m watching ‘True Crime’. How can I do that if Williams is constantly inquiring if I’ve gotten rid of my boyfriend yet?”
RA Sam Carro agreed, saying Williams was a distraction and the increased socialization meant residents were actually spending time in the lobby.
Williams doesn’t plan to stay forever, however. She decided that Thanksgiving break will mark the end of her “thankless task.”
“This décor does make me feel at home, but sometimes, it’s too much,” she confided. “Why, my kitchen is a modernist’s dream. This makes me feel as if I’m back in the fifties, stuck listening to my shitty husband and never leaving the house. I just want these girls to do more in life.”