My first roommate was a blue-eyed, blonde-haired pale girl from Ohio. Both of us came from small church schools, and both of us were a little anxious about our transition to a college campus. We channeled that anxiety into discussing the color theme for our first dorm room. The floors were tiled, but they sold small carpets to fit the room. We spent hours trying to pick a carpet color to match our comforters. Mine: blue with white stripe. Hers: large pink & blue flowers. We settled on a dark rose carpet. We figured it would hide the stains better than beige.
Rose-colored carpet? Who does that?Fast-forward to Orientation Week. Each freshman girls' hall matched up with a boys' hall to give us a "brother hall" for the year. That first night on campus, we paired up with a boy from our brother hall for a square dance. In the fall of 1990, as pop was falling out of favor and grunge was knocking on the front door, we were far too cool for square dancing. For some reason I'll never understand, we did it anyway.
After the dance, some of the guys came back to our hall. Holly was out with some of the girls, so I invited the crowd to hang out in our room. There were about 8 of us in that very small room, playing music and getting to know each other. When she came in later that evening, you'd think she had walked in on a naughty game of Spin the Bottle. Her frosty demeanor threw a chill on the room.
I don't think she ever got over that experience.
But on the whole, she was a pleasant person, although far more conservative than I was. She called me a "Whiskey-palian" as I left for church with a hallmate, which was pretty irritating. And she didn't like my bed lamp. I got down to a 15-watt bulb before the complaints stopped. Little did I know how much a lamp would factor into my college living conditions the next year.
Holly enjoyed the cafeteria more than most of us did. It was as much terrible food as you wanted to eat. One redeeming quality: a soft-serve ice cream machine. The dreaded Freshman 15 was a very real fear for most of us, and after noticing Holly eating two or three cones, some of the girls on our hall took it upon themselves to strictly ration her to one helping per meal. She would sneak an extra cone out of the cafeteria on her way out, but they still caught her. She was teased mercilessly about all that ice cream. I probably should have stood up for her a little more than I did, but I kept thinking, "Three cones, Holly? That's just asking for it."
So I shouldn't have been surprised when Holly told me a week before Christmas vacation that she wasn't coming back. She transferred to her older brother's college closer to home, a Christian college where she wouldn't be allowed to have boys in her room. I sent her a Christmas card when I got home, and never heard from her again.
I wondered if she had any fun at her new school. I hope no one teased her about eating too much.