When Katie met the other Interrobangs (like When Harry Met Sally, but without the diner scene)
Note: Most of these stories begin with Katie participating in a confusing-to-outsiders ritual in which approximately 1,000 upper level undergraduates, all wearing the same shirt (see the blue shirts on Katie and Chelsie in the photo) in order to welcome new freshmen into their dorms and show them around campus. Mass-scale coordinated dancing is involved.
Sarah: I met Sarah while committing theft.
It was the afternoon of freshman move-in, and I had already lugged 20 mini-fridges, 14 air mattresses, 32 Audrey Hepburn posters and 1 giant papier mache cow (agricultural school; don’t ask) into the rooms of new students in the dorm I had lived in for one year. During the break between move in and teaching the newbies our dorm’s dance (read: awkward aerobics) they would be required to perform at that night’s pep rally (welcome to college, better get used to embarrassing yourself!), it was lunchtime. As a volunteer, I got a free hot dog!
As I walked across the green, two young and slightly lost-looking girls approached me, asking where they could also get hot dogs. Sadly, the only way to get a free hot dog was to be wearing a nifty matching volunteer shirt. Feeling bad for the hungry ladies, I handed over my hot dog to one the hungry freshmen (our future friend Christina) and went back into line to get another for the second girl (Sarah). Since I was only technically allowed one hot dog, if I’d been caught I would have been stripped of my coordinating shirt and banned from the mass-dancing. I took a major risk getting that hot dog for Sarah, and a few years later she turned vegetarian on me. Where’s the gratitude?
Chelsie: I met Chelsie by ambushing her in her dorm room.
When Chelsie arrived at college, she was assigned the dorm room I’d lived in two years before. Because my old roommate and I had spent many a pre-finals hour rearranging our furniture instead of studying, I knew the optimal layout schematics for the space and this was information that needed to be shared! Right now! When Chelsie arrived in her room, there I was, jumping up and down and babbling about how the two old, rickety beds could be turned into bunk beds as long as you wedged them between the dresser and someone’s desk and everyone was a calm sleeper.
I’m sure I scared Chelsie that day, so much so that she eventually moved out of that room all together, ditching her roommate to live down the hall with a girl who played Toby Keith songs on her computer all day long (still stand by that choice, Chels?). Luckily, a massive trip to Ikea, many a hallway toast party*, and forcing our Secret Santas to go on mass scavenger hunts through campus solidified our friendship. Even if she never did make the bunk beds.
Millie: I met Millie by almost passing out in the dining hall.
There’s a good chance I also helped move Millie into her dorm room, but since I don’t remember it, it doesn’t count. I do remember seeing her around – it was a small dorm – and she and I were in the same choir. However, Millie was an alto while I was a snobby soprano, so we didn’t fraternize.
I finally “met” Millie one fall night after I spent 10, count ‘em, 10, hours in the Invertebrate Zoology lab practicing my dissections (verdict? It all looks like mush. But, in fact, it’s all gonad. Mushy, mushy gonad). Surprisingly, the sight of a mangled sea anemone put me off my appetite for most of the day, so by dinner I hadn’t eaten. While waiting for my order of chicken fingers and garlic bread (hello, Freshman 15, so nice to see you again), I became super light headed and was pretty sure I was going to pass out. Luckily, Millie was standing in line, too, and I quickly handed her my meal card and asked her to pay for my order while I went outside to sit down. She did and, awesomesauce girl that she is, sat with me while I ate. We then went back to the dorm and hung out in her room. Well, she hung out; I stood at her window and made creepy, blank stare faces at all the people passing by to try to freak them out. Stop judging. I lived on the 3rd floor; no one could see me when I made faces from there!
*Toast parties are exactly what they sound like. Someone would grab a toaster, we’d sit in the hallway, and we’d eat toast. Sometimes with fancy jam. Mostly with Nutella.
I knew these friendships would last when, one night, Chelsie and Millie took two buses to get to the house where Sarah and I lived, tried to scare us by standing in the dark and staring in through our big picture windows, and then made us veggie soup and slept in the living room (or in Chels’ case, the hallway (if only we’d had bunk beds…).