Someone recently asked me if I make up any portion of Little Pam’s letters. I told her that, sadly, I do not. The look of shock and pity on her face… I won’t forget that.
So it’s probably a good thing I’ve gotten you accustomed to what I was like at fifteen before I found this unsent letter.
Okay, I have to assume it’s unsent. I want to assume it’s unsent. I’m going to at least pretend it’s unsent, and ask you to do the same. Because the truth is it’s a print-out from a dot-matrix printer, which means I wrote it on my Atari ST, which means I probably printed it twice, and gave one to the intended recipient. And then kept one physical copy for myself, because apparently I didn’t trust my computer’s hard drive enough to keep it safe. I’m sure it’s not because I did something smart like delete it. Honestly, the only thing that kept me from several embarrassing situations with that computer is that I was the only person in the house who knew how to use it.
Behold what might be the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever found from my past.
5. Feb., 1991
[BOY’S ACTUAL NAME]-
I’m practicing my typing. Told my dad that it is for homework. I know that [SOME BOY] will be calling soon. [GIRL FRIEND] tells me that I should give him a chance, that if I don’t like him after we go out on Friday, then I can just forget him.
Here’s all that I remember about this boy I’m talking about. 1. His favorite band was Rush. He would talk about it ALL THE TIME. All the time. To this day, I’ve never listened to a Rush song, because of this guy. Oh, and he talked about it to me over the phone, because we only sort-of met in real life once. 2. He told me he “loved [his] guitar so much that if it had a hole [he] would fuck it.” 3. This date I’m talking about here was to a Taco Bell.
Seeing as how I have to double if I am to go out with him–
My parents didn’t let me date at fifteen. I had to make it sound like it was a bunch of friends all going out for tacos. Which, I guess really, it was.
— then [GIRL FRIEND] will be there, and she told me that she can always tell when I’m not crazy over a guy (like [GUY I SORT OF DATED FOR ABOUT A WEEK] and [ANOTHER GUY I SORT OF DATED BUT WASN’T REALLY SURE IF WE WERE DATING AND LATER HE CLAIMED WE MOST CERTAINLY NEVER DID DATE AT ALL AND ONE DAY YEARS LATER AT A DENNY’S HE PRETENDED HE DIDN’T KNOW WHO I WAS]) and she said I won’t get into anything I can’t handle.
I like how I need my best friend to tell me if I really like a guy or not.
But from what I’ve heard, he’s a real girl freak, and a real sex maniac kind of guy and I know that if I do end up going out with him, I may end up losing my virginity to him, which is exactly what I don’t want to do.
By the way, this Taco Bell date never happened. I think after I wrote this letter I might have immediately called this sex maniac girl freak and canceled, so that I didn’t accidentally lose my virginity in a Taco Bell parking lot in a car with all my friends. I mean, that’s what happens on television, you guys. How was I supposed to assume it would be any different for me? Then I’d get pregnant because it was my first time and I’d lose that scholarship to Harvard and I’d end up working at that Taco Bell.
I did end up working at that Taco Bell. For exactly two days. But that’s another story.
You know how important this whole deal is to me and what scares the hell out of me is that I almost went ahead and did it with [OMITTED] (except that he was “inconsiderate”).
If I have to guess what I mean by that, I probably mean that he didn’t want to use a condom, so I said no.
I know now that it would have all been for shit, and I probably would have ended up getting hurt. I don’t know, I promised [OMITTED] I’d save myself for him, but the way things look, I may be destined to be a virgin for life.
I think you know LP enough by now to know where this is going.
I really don’t think I’ll ever see him again, and even if I do, I know he’ll be a different person, one that I may no longer love. I mean, I’ll love him, I’ll always love [OMITTED] — when I do fall in love with someone it usually is forever, actually it is forever–
Man, where did I pick up this line? And did I really think it would work? On BOYS?!
–which is why I usually put up with so much shit from guys that I love: I did it with [OMITTED] and I did it with [JERK WHO TOLD ALL MY FRIENDS THAT I AM A PRUDE].
People get pissed at me, “Why do you let him do that to you?” “How can you even speak to him, much less care about him?”
Those of you who know me in real life might be going, “Are you fucking kidding me? I just said that to her like, LAST YEAR.”
[This message is brought to you by Change.
Change: People can’t.]
And saying, “Because I love him,” really doesn’t count for much in other’s eyes. But I moved away from [OMITTED], and [OMITTED] moved away from me.
That’s a very dramatic way of saying that latter boy dumped me.
And I am really glad, because I know that if I still lived in [BLANK], I’d never look at another guy even if [OMITTED] was screwing every girl in the state (Even though it’s probably not possible, seeing as how he is still a virgin as well).
What am I doing here? I’m like, painting this romantic abusive relationship, while still trying to protect what I imagine is the reputation of this other guy I “promised” myself to, so that this guy I’m clearly trying to lose my virginity to would know that my forever-love is reserved for guys who understand how precious and important virginity loss is.
THIS is why I don’t have any memory of Chemistry class. Because my head was filled with this. What a waste, LP. You could have been learning Spanish. Which you actually need and would help every single day.
And if [OMITTED JERK] stayed here–
Oh, maybe he DID move.
— I’d probably forgive the son of a bitch and still be crying every night wondering when he’s going to love me again. I know that all [JERK] wanted me for was sex, I’m not stupid and I’m not blind. But sometimes my heart and my head don’t agree, actually most of the time my heart and my head don’t agree. OKAY, SO THEY NEVER AGREE. I LIVE BY FOLLOWING MY HEART WHICH ALWAYS GETS ME IN TROUBLE BECAUSE IT IS ALWAYS WRONG AND ALWAYS HURTS ME BUT I CAN’T HELP IT BECAUSE I’M A HOPELESS ROMANTIC AND I’VE ALWAYS WANTED SOMEONE TO ACTUALLY BE IN LOVE WITH ME BECAUSE I THINK IT WOULD BE A KIND OF INTERESTING EXPERIENCE BUT I WOULDN’T KNOW BECAUSE NO ONE LOVES ME FOR LONGER THAN TWO WEEKS AND NO ONE EVER WILL.
Oh, this is actually getting rough, you guys. I mean, put that all-caps on a t-shirt and all — both sides — but I’m starting to be truly embarrassed.
I’LL BE THE WORLD’S OLDEST VIRGIN, AND THE WORLD’S BIGGEST LOSER WHO NEVER HAD ANYONE TELL HER THAT HE LOVED HER AND MEANT IT. Okay? I’ve said it. There. It’s out. And from what I’ve heard about what’s-his-face, I’m just going to end up liking the guy, maybe end up loving the guy, and then be screwed over. Again.
I’m developing a very negative attitude towards men in general. I think that this is not good. I mean the only guys that I care about in this whole fucking world are [OMITTED], [HOMEROOM BOY], and you.
Yes. Yes, I did. Yes, I did just slaughter a quote from Some Kind of Wonderful and yes I did think of myself as Mary Stuart Masterson’s character without the drums. BOYS WERE MY DRUMS. You guys. Boys were my drums. (And books.)
I apologize in advance for this next section.
And I’ve fallen in love with all three of them and all three of them have called me the “F” word. I’m a friend. I’ve memorized the fucking speech.
“Oh, I really like you and everything, but I think that, oh, um… God, this is hard, uh… fuck. I feel like a dick. See, I like you. I like you a lot, don’t get me wrong. Oh…shit. See, I like you too much. Do you understand? I-think-that-this-is-moving-too-fast-and-I’d-like-to-just-be-friends. Oh, did I hurt you? Oh, shit. The last thing I’d ever want to do is hurt you. Believe me. I feel like a dick. I’m sorry. Are you okay? Dude, are you crying? Because, don’t, man, I’m not worth it. I’m not worth this. I’m scum. I’m a dick. I’m sorry. Are you still my buddy?”
I am now one hundred percent positive that I gave a print-out (A PRINT-OUT!) of this letter to this boy, who said some version of this speech to me, albeit in probably an even more awkward way, as an attempt to let him know… what, that he hurt me? As if he’s still reading at this point. WE ARE ON PAGE THREE.
Oh, God, you guys. This next part. It’s amazing.
Yeah, your fucking buddy till the fucking end of time, that’s me. Just call me Fred. We’ll get together on Friday’s sometime (if you aren’t too busy with some real girl, that is) and we’ll go bowling, down a couple of brewski’s, pick up a couple of cutsey dames, treat them like shit, pick our asses, watch a football game, eat until we puke, light our farts, take a shit, you know, buddy stuff. Yep that’s me, old buddy, old pal. [sic] [sic] [sic]
(Ass-picking and fart-lighting aside, it’s not really that bad of night. Fred sounds like fun.)
I really don’t think that this is worth it anymore, all of this love shit. Love sucks. It’s hurts. [sic] It rips out everything inside you, sticks it in a blender on puree, and then shoves the bloody massive pulp back inside your soul to just sit there and rot. Love sucks, and I’m not going to take it anymore. I’m giving up guys – I know I’ve said it before, I said it to [MY FRIEND] many times, but this time, I’m going to do it. I’m man-free. Ice Pam.
Yes. Yes, I did. Yes, I did just slaughter a Lloyd Dobler quote from Say Anything…. And I think, yes, you’re right, there was also some kind of attempt at a quote from Network. Can you feel my pain NOW?!
Nothing can penetrate this heart. Not all of the roses in the world. Not all of the bottles of rain. Not for all of the kisses, not for all of the sweet nothings, not for all of the “I love you”‘s that one can say in a lifetime. It probably could feel worse than this and I don’t want to risk that chance, so if I just stop it now and say fuck it all, then maybe I’ll spare myself some pain. I doubt it, because right about now I feel like someone has placed my insides on hot coals, and my stomach is desparately [sic] trying to jump off. No, I feel fine. No, I feel fucking great. I could live without guys. Who needs them? Men, shmen.
You guys. LP has lost her mind. Oh, my God. She clearly drank way too many bottles of rain.
None of them really care about me, anyway. Yeah, I’m sure of it. Definately. [sic] Yep. Uh-huh……Boy it’s lonely being guyless.
WHAT AM I DOING? I sent this to someone! Someone read this! This is insanity.
But that’s okay, because I’m ICE PAM. Heart of ice. Soul stone cold. I will never melt again. Don’t look at me like that, you know what those puppy-dog eyes do to me.
WHO AM I TALKING TO? WHY IS FIFTEEN SO STUPID?
Ah, but not anymore, not ICE PAM. I’m impermeable. Not even you will make me like guys. Nope. Not gonna do it.
Little Pam Life Lesson #43: When writing a love letter discussing whether or not you will ever find someone who will love you longer than two weeks so that you can lose your virginity to someone who respects you enough to wait for that all-important third week, it’s best to close your multiple-personality rants with a well-known SNL catchphrase coined by Dana Carvey with his George Bush impersonation.
Maybe this new outlook on guys would be a lot easier if I convinced myself a little more. This should be easy. Hold on, let me slap myself (I don’t bruise when I do it).
This boy had a thing about giving me bruises, because it takes so little for me to get one. For years. He never slapped me. I’m really just explaining to you that I’m making a joke here, but it’s funny that I’m acting like there’s something I could do in life that wouldn’t result in me getting bruised. That’s simply untrue. I have a bruise on my wrist right now from this past Monday, when I foolishly and recklessly decided to open a door. The door didn’t close on me. I opened it. And hurt myself. Do you know how hard that is to do?
Look how [JERK] treated you. Look how [OMITTED] treated you, he left you for [ANOTHER GIRL] during the course of Dick Tracy.
Until this moment, I believe I had successfully blocked that out of my memory. It’s back now. And at least now I understand why I know I saw that movie in a theater, but have absolutely no recollection of a single minute of it.
I could go into explaining precisely how a fifteen-year old girl gets left for another girl during a 7pm screening of a Warren Beatty/Madonna film, but I think whatever pathetic teen tragedy you could imagine will be close to accurate, if not exactly what happened.
There’s a pattern of boy-related sad things happening to LP during screenings of movies. It’s why I can never re-watch Kid n’ Play’s classic comedy “House Party 2.”
Look how [U2 SONG BOY] treated you — 23 hours before he wanted to be your buddy. Look how [OMITTED] treated you — you were only one of three that weekend and he at least wrote letters to the other two… true they were the exact same letters, but at least he thought of them afterwards.
It’s really one of the meanest things that ever happened to me by boys. You know why this happened? Because I threw a party at my house while my parents were out of town. I didn’t even throw a party, really, I let my friend invite boys over because I was too scared to tell her I was too scared to have boys over because I could get in trouble. But U2 Song Boy was one of them, and I had to know why he didn’t love me anymore, and maybe he would fall in love with me again. But at one point one of the other boys awkwardly started kissing me and we made out for a little while.
Later, when I’m in my kitchen, U2 Song Boy comes up to me and goes, “Did you make out with [BLANK]?”
And I was all bold and sassy, so empowered with the flush of someone desiring me, of how I successfully had moved on from U2 Boy’s sudden, confusing abandonment. I went, “Yes, I did.”
And he said, “DAMMIT. You just made me lose the bet. He’s three to my two. Thanks a fucking lot.”
The other girls Not U2-Boy kissed that weekend found out about the bet, and he wrote them letters of apology. I knew about that because I watched them read their letters in the cafeteria. He was stupid enough to think they wouldn’t tell each other about their letters. Dumbass wrote both of them the same letter, which is how they found out that they had both made out with the same boy in the same weekend.
But he didn’t write me a letter.
And for the record, my parents found out about the party because my little sister accidentally told them. And I was grounded for a month. Because I ALWAYS GET IN TROUBLE.
Look what [OMITTED] did to you, okay, so you weren’t hurt by [OMITTED] because you really didn’t like him anyway, but still…Look how [HOMEROOM BOY] dropped you before you even got to do anything with him. Look how [BOY I’M WRITING THIS LETTER TO BUT FOR SOME REASON I PUT HIS NAME HERE SO THAT I’M TALKING ABOUT HIM TO HIM. I AM A MASSIVE DORK.] changed his mind for reasons you still don’t understand. And if you don’t stop this bullshit soon, you are going to be singing the same song about [TACO BELL BOY].
I’m sorry I’m going on about this. Probably either boring you or pissing you off.
And if that line doesn’t give you flashbacks to your own high school notes, I don’t know what will.
This just isn’t the kind of thing I’d talk to [MY BEST GIRL FRIEND] about because she says, “Cheer up, Pamie.” because she’s in love and making me sick. Since you probably won’t talk to me at all about it because you never seem to talk about my serious notes, I assume you are just going to do the same, kind of act like you read a story or something. Well, it’s not a story, dammit. These are my feelings, here is my soul, pitifully dripping off of the pages of this disgustingly stupid and boring letter. And I only wrote it because I need your help.
I do realize that in this letter I told you that I love you, but I pretty much consider that subject an entirely different letter.
How about that ending, folks, huh? You got to admit, that totally surprised you. Oh, that makes me laugh every time I read it. What a post script.
I have to admit, I am not sure what kind of help LP is asking for. Advice on Taco Bell Boy? A volunteer to take her virginity? An admission of love? Someone to talk her out of giving up on men?
That is one mother of a letter. I really wish I could say it was unsent. I do. But I just don’t think it was. I bet I waited days for him to write back or call or something, and he probably never did. Most likely he didn’t even read it, because who would read that craziness? I’d be like, “Oh, that letter? Uh, yeah, it got taken up by the bus driver and she threw it away.”
Which is why LP was all crafty. “Oh, no problem! I SAVED IT TO MY HARD DRIVE. Here is another copy! W.B.S.! Lylas! But not really, because I love you like a soul mate! So, it’s really more Lylas-m!”
I’m not sure if have any more of LP’s unsent letters. At first I gave myself a little credit, assuming I’d matured enough to move on from writing these things. But I think what happened was I turned sixteen and had one boyfriend for a while, and then I got into theatre class. And then all drama started happening in the moment, if you know what I mean. I nerded-out like, to their faces with thinly-veiled monologues and improvisation!
I’m so glad I’m not fifteen anymore. I’m glad you’re not fifteen anymore. I’m glad boys aren’t fifteen anymore. Sure, there are times when we regress back into our sophomore-year selves, but isn’t it better now, when we have cars that we can drive away in, and money we can spend to get on planes to go far, far away, and like, not just a room, but our own homes. We can slam that front door and write in our diaries and do whatever we want because nobody can ground us anymore.
Nobody can ground us anymore!
Shit, that reminds me. I’ve got to pay that traffic ticket.