l i l e p h y t e

May 26th, 22:54 | It's been about a month now...

My dearest, darling froshlings,

I hope this letter finds you well. In case any of you are wondering, although I doubt any of you are, both because many of you have probably not thought of me since you left, and those who have had more faith in me than I did, I graduate come June. And yes, I know I promised pictures for some of you. You'll get them, I won't forget.

I wanted you to know that I'm happy, and working at a job that's fun, and involves me talking to lots of people (see? don't worry guys -- I can play to my strengths!) and that you're in my thoughts pretty much every day. Especially when I'm wearing the socks you gave me. Although I haven't read the book you all made me since the night I got back, I still remember all of you. I can still hear your voices and see you all caroming off the walls and smiling through the common room windows.

I watched Raising Helen tonight with my mom. Before you get on my case about watching a chickflick, we won tickets. So shut up. (And you, the chickflick fiend: you'll probably like it, although you'll probably say it's no You've Got Mail. I'm still disgusted by your taste in movies.) Anyway, so I saw that tonight, and in between all the sappy, mushy crap, and the funny, funny moments, there's a scene when Helen comes home to a party being thrown by her, ahem, rebellious, teenaged "daughter". She finds herself completely not knowing how to handle the room of rowdy teens, how to tell them to shut up and get the fuck out of her house. I leaned over and told my mom "Mom? That's what being a don was like." And it's true.

I still remember that first party (the day after you guys moved in!) when I walked into the common room that was vibrating the music was so loud; I could smell the lemons from down the hall, and couldn't see the table for the shot glasses. I felt so discouraged and disheartened, and completely overwhelmed. I had no idea how to deal with the situation. I know I didn't straighten you guys out the way I should have. I should have written about half of you up that first night. You all know I never did. I was way softer on you than I should have been, and I know you guys totally took advantage of it.

But I also know that when I breezed by on Thursday nights to chill while you were all (underagedly!) pre-drinking, that you guys kept your promises of cleaning up the common room after your parties, and you guys did tell your friends to keep it down even after I left, because I didn't break up your parties. And even though you were still breaking the rules, I felt it was okay, because we were making up our own, and you were keeping those ones. (It still cracks me up that some of your friends wouldn't believe I was your don.)

What I'm trying to say is, I know I didn't do the right thing. I cared way too much that you guys would hate me and become alienated from me. I don't know how to govern from afar. The only way I've ever had an effect on people is to get close to them, and make them care. If they don't care, people won't change. I knew that I couldn't just lay down the rules and earn your respect the way the book suggested. It's not in me. And it frightens me, because I worry I'll be a terrible parent because I know that sometimes it needs to be done that way. You guys were adults. You could be reasoned with. If I ever have a 13-year-old, the situations will not be interchangeable.

I know I still need to learn to really not-care what people think. Really not-care when it matters. (RecentEx called this "Heart of ICE!" when he was giving me his one and only tip for being a don.) And I know that it'll be hard as all Hell for me. I'm glad that even though I copped out and did things the way I always do, you let it work for me. I'm not sure any other floor would have let me get away with being as easy-going as I was. And I love you guys for respecting each other (if not me) enough to be good, even though I wasn't making you.

It sounds either creepily stalkerish, or else overly sappy, but I do think about you guys pretty much daily, and I do miss you. I miss your presence in my life, the way I could just wander down the hall and check in with you, hang out, share your life for a bit. The way you guys would look into my room (even if it was just for candy!) and ask small questions about what was going on. I can't tell you how happy it made me when you guys borrowed books or tapes or just sat down to doodle or just sit. For all the times when snooty looks from other dons, or stories about them, or even comments from you guys made me doubt myself, and feel like the world's worst don, for all the times when I really just wanted to give up and cry and move back in with my old housemate for the rest of the year, every time even one of you stopped in to talk to me (even if it was to ask me yet again what I was planning on doing post-graduation; hey guess what? the answer's still "fucked if I know!!!"), you erased about a hundred of those times when I wanted to hide in bed and disappear.

So now, when there are days I want to cry because I still don't know what I want, or how to get there, when I sometimes feel like I'm running out of close friends around me, because I stopped confiding in them, or just feel guilty about calling when I'm sad, when I can't deal with the criticism and anger from people around me, and I'm hiding in bed, wishing I could sleep through it all... I miss you guys extra because I know I can't just wander out there and drown my sorrows drooling over Edward Norton with you, or in a Disney singalong, or just listening to your stories about last night at the 'Mo. I know that you guys aren't going to poke your heads 'round my door to make me watch the OC or ask if I'll come to dinner with you.

I miss you guys and the magic you wove. I hope you're happy, and that I taught you guys something (anything) that will help you. And I know I did the whole year wrong because you guys took care of me, instead of the other way around. Somehow, though, I think you guys forgive me for that.

Much love and sunshine froshlings. Keep smiling. I know I am?

love, lilephyte

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