Notes from a “lump” of Houston Sheraton Town & Country Stationery, circa 1990 or 91

Just so you know, I got an email from 200-page boy, who got an email from one of you asking, “ARE YOU 200-PAGE LETTER DOUGLAS THAT PAMIE’S WRITING ABOUT?!?”

Small, small world. He was writing to let me know that he does, indeed, still have that letter. My first book! (Speaking of books, the galleys are in for Going in Circles. Are you someone fancy who writes blurbs/reviews and would like to give me a blurb/review? My publicist would love to send you an Advanced Reader Copy! Email me.)

I looked through my high school box of letters and stories, but couldn’t find another word about Homeroom Boy. It appears that saga quickly came and went. I did find this bundle of stationery from the Houston Town & Country hotel. It isn’t dated, but from what I’m talking about it’s sometime either at the end of my freshman year or maybe during the summer before my sophomore year. That makes me fourteen? Fifteen? I don’t know.

But I do know it’s mortifying and hilarious.


Hello. Right now I’m stuck at my mom’s hotel with nothing to do. Well, except write letters, because my mom gave me a lump of stationary [sic] & said, “be creative, write a story.” Of course, I have writer’s block.

The ellipses! Such a mysterious way to begin my sexy correspondence. Here I am, showing this boy that despite my mother’s request for me to write stories, I’m instead sneaking way to pencil a few words to my beloved.

You should know that this boy is not my boyfriend and never was, and he also lives about four hundred miles away.

I went to a party Friday night. I met this guy named [—-]. He’s 18, and right now he’s on a plane on his way to college. He’s going to be a biophysicist. Wow. Anyway, he was telling [—-], [—-], and me the way you can tell when a guy is worth talking to. He also showed us really neat ways to hurt people. But enough about him…

This has brought back a memory that I had completely buried in my mind. It’s nice that here I’m obviously trying to get my long distance friend to ask me about this older gentleman who taught me a few things on a Friday night (You know, because I used ellipses again), but I also remember that this guy gave me some bullshit line about how if only he wasn’t going to college, he’d totally fall in love with me. And also called me a prude.

Yes, it’s a theme. In my high school life. You guys, virginity is precious, and I protected it like it was a copy of my favorite book.

How are you? See, you didn’t write to me, so I shouldn’t be sending you this. [—] also didn’t write back.

The letter ends there, as if I just talked myself out of continuing further. I must have found some inspiration, because a new page begins:

“Hi. I’m Eric.”

Hi, I’m speechless. I just stared at the blonde god in front of me. I looked around to see if he was talking to someone else. He wasn’t.

“You do speak English, right?” His blue eyes sunk deep into my brain, and I will never see a more beautiful color for the rest of my life.

I gave a small giggle. “Karen. My name is Karen.” I repeated it to kind of reassure myself that I was Karen.

Hee heeeeeee.

LP didn’t know it at the time when she picked a name at random, but she would go on to date multiple Erics in her life.

I guess I stalled out with Karen’s story, or got distracted talking to my mom or something, because I then begin again. There’s a distinct theme.

“Kacie,” The blonde god whispered in my ear. “Kacie,” he said a little louder. “Kacie!” he started shouting in my ear, his voice slightly changing. “Kacie!” Now it was more of a cackly [sic] voice. “Kacie!” Now I recognized the voice. “Kacie!”

It was my mother’s voice.

“Kacie! Hurry up if you want to go to the movies!”

A sort of haze filled my mind as the blonde god left my side to go back to his little nook in the dream state.

“I’ll be there soon.” I sort of yelled. I don’t think I can get up. I feel nailed to my bed. But I have been waiting to see this Keifer Sutherland film. I blinked my eyes open. I stared at the ceiling. I wonder what time it is.

I turned my head to the left. 11:30. I have never slept so late before in my life. I had to get up. I’m supposed to be going to see this movie with Eric.

Eric had the greatest pick-up line: “Do you have any spare lust you could share with me?” A little rude, but if you saw him you’d forgive him instantly. Piercing dark eyes — almost black eyes. Long brown hair.

I “sort of” think this might be the very very very first draft of Why Moms Are Weird. It ends there, as I probably went to find a Diet Coke and wander through the hallways of Sheraton Town & Country.

I’m trying to remember if that “greatest pick-up line” was something I came up with or something I heard on the school bus. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. I don’t know who the “blonde god” I’m referencing here could be. I’m sure it’s someone I saw at that party, or walking past the senior parking lot, or it’s Peter DeLuise. With me at that age, who knows.

God, I hope LP got to see that Keifer Sutherland movie.

Next page:

Kacie could not believe it. This just wasn’t possible. How could this happen? Before she could always eat and eat. She went to sleep with her flat tummy and trim thighs, and she woke up


I must have been struck with inspiration, as it now changes from the stationery to ripped out pages from my spiral notebook.

It appears that I abandoned my letter to the boy to write a very different love letter. One that appears to be written only to flatter and arouse… myself. Because this is some serious teen-girl fantasy fiction right here.

“Alli Weatherton, if you eat one more thing I’m gonna hurt you!”

That’s what I usually hear. This is usually followed by:

“How you can eat so much and stay so thin is beyond me.”

And then:

“You make me sick.”

It’s a lot of fun, actually. I mean, eating whatever I want, whenever I want. I don’t brag about it, of course. But sometimes I feel so sorry for my friends who are constantly on one diet after another.

At the moment I am eating hot fudge sundaes with my best friend, Tricia Colbert. She eats as much as I do. And she shows it too. She decided to skip her diet this evening to celebrate my parents being out of town this weekend.

“So,” she said, with her mouth full of ice cream. “How many people are coming to this party?”

“Everyone,” I said. It was true. At least sixty people. And that’s a lot for this town. Trenton, Rhode Island, is so small of a town that it’s not on any map. “Want another sundae?” i asked her, as I stood up.

“No!” Tricia held her stomach and rolled back and forth on my beige carpet, getting tiny dust bunnies caught in her long, kinky, brown hair. “how can you eat so much? You are so thin! That Robert would be a complete moron if he doesn’t fall for you immediately.”

She’s talking about Robert Chase, the guy I’m stoking out at my party tomorrow night. I hope she’s right. I grabbed a bag of Oreos from the counter and returned to my seat in front of the television.

You guys, remember when everybody was totally saying “stoking out,” after I coined it? I wonder if I thought I meant something that existed.

There’s something about the fact that I wrote myself a fantasy story where I was a girl who could eat anything I wanted without getting fat that makes me so sad for LP. But I’m guessing if this story had continued, one day Alli would wake up suddenly, tragically fat, and her friend would be thin, and her friend would get to date Robert Chase who would totally be stoking out the skinny girl and not fat Alli.

It’s all I wanted, really, to be the pretty popular girl who people envied, instead of the weird one who was always raising her hand or reading a book. I didn’t hate myself, I just knew that I wasn’t the kind of girl who got attention for just existing. You know, the girl who’s so pretty everybody’s talking about her. I had to be like HI, I AM IN A PLAY AND NOW I’M READING A POEM AND I’M IN YEARBOOK AND WATCH ME WEAR THIS GREENPEACE SHIRT AND COMBAT BOOTS. At a certain point I think I just went all-out weird.

This stuff is making me miss Sassy Magazine, big time.

For a moment can we recognize the genius of LP trying to get away with a fictional town by saying it was so small it couldn’t be found on any map?

My mom never takes enough credit for being the one who got me started writing stories. My dad was an aspiring writer, so I think she assumes I was trying to be like him. But it was my mom who always told me to entertain myself by writing things down. Smart mom: you can’t talk while you’re writing. I mean, now I can, but it has taken years to perfect the art.

Next time LP writes to an unknown boy about how she might be depressed. Is it because of him? You’ll find out once you GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!

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