I read Pat because he reminds me of my freshman year in college, the good parts of my freshman year in college, and all that nervous, swirly energy that filled that year. Checking my mailbox for letters from a boy back home. Staying up way too late in the common room, gossiping about girls we barely knew. Talking on the cordless phone by the laundry machines because you couldn’t keep your eyes off of your clothes. The sound of girls squealing from somewhere down the hall and knowing what they were squealing about. Like Allison, I was in charge of the bulletin board on my hallway freshman year. And like Couch Baron, I was very upset by the death of River Phoenix that year, so much so that stee has teased me about it in the past.
All of this is to say that I’m bummed Freshman Diaries is almost over. I’m surprised at how emotionally attached to the show I got, watching these kids wander through the West Mall, study at the UGL, or hang out on the steps outside 1.108 of the Winship Drama building, where I finished many a Daily Texan crossword puzzle in between rehearsals. And yesterday afternoon I spent some time catching up on the phone with a friend I hadn’t seen since that time. She had read Why Girls Are Weird from a bookseller recommendation (Hey, West Palm Beach bookseller who pimped me — thanks). When she bought the book she thought, “This girl has the same name as Pam!” It was only after she finished and saw the picture that she realized we were the same girl. (Take that, face-haters.)
We had lost touch after freshman year, once I was more involved in theatre and she moved into a sorority house, and I’ve often thought about her over the years. Turns out this woman has gone on to fascinating and fabulous things, and I was so proud of all she had accomplished.
But the best part was her voice. It sounded exactly the same. I felt like she could still come down the hall and bug me for hot chocolate and tease me for my Ministry poster and ask to borrow my roommate’s Ella Fitzgerald CD.
It was all very comforting.