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Hi, Daddy, College Is Great. Please Send Money

November 07, 2001|Chris Erskine

E-mails between a college girl and her dad, autumn 2001:

Hi, Daddy,

Last night I went to my first frat party. It was totally fun. Apparently, at the frats, they don't have all the stupid rules like they do here in the dorms. You wouldn't believe all the crazy stuff they do.

Did they have fraternities when you were in college? Did you ever stay up dancing till 2 a.m.? Just asking. Frankly, Dad, you don't really seem the type.

Please send money.

Hi, honey,

There is winter in the windows and a fire in the fireplace. Your mother and I would be warmed to hear about other things besides fraternity parties. You, for example. Are you eating well? How are your classes? Have you changed your bed sheets?

Hi, Daddy,

Freshman year is unbelievably busy. First, you go to class. Then you sleep a little. Then you go to another class. Then you sleep a little more. With all the naps, it's sort of like kindergarten, except nobody dresses you and combs your hair and stuff.

Speaking of hair, tonight I helped my roommate dye her hair. I really like my roommates. Did I tell you that I drove one of them to get a tattoo? Just a little rose, right on her ankle. It looks so cool. One of these days, I think I'm going to get a tattoo.

Unless you send money.

Hi, honey,

That's good news about your roommates. Are there any other activities at your college besides playing beauty parlor and acquiring tattoos?

Are there books there, for example? Have you found the library? They do have libraries there, right, at that big overbuilt state campus?

If not, you should tell someone in charge that your father suggests they build a library right away.

"Dean Werner," you should say, "my taxpayer-father insists that you build a nice library here first thing in the morning."

Let me know his response.

Hi, Daddy,

Wow. Did you know they have a bowling alley right on campus? Last night, we all watched "Friends," then went bowling together. It was so much fun. On the way back, we found this great place that makes cheese-steak sandwiches, just like in Philadelphia. The juice ran all the way down my elbows. At college, nobody worries too much about manners and stuff. I don't think I've seen a napkin since I've been here.

Don't forget that money.

Hi, honey,

Have you asked about that library yet? I fear that, though fraternities and bowling alleys are excellent places to study and learn, without a library you will grow up to be one of those people who is chronically late, who never uses a turn signal, who confuses Byron with Keats.

That's not the sort of person your mother and I hoped to raise, young lady.

Hi, Daddy,

Did I mention they have concerts here all the time ? Blink-182. Dylan. Is the money in the mail?

How's Mom?

Hi, honey,

Your dear mother really misses you. She stays up late worrying that you are OK, as do we all, except of course your little brother, who just noticed you no longer live here.

I'm worried about your mother. The other morning, she told your little sister, "Get dressed now, young lady, or you're going to have to dress yourself." "Huh, Mom?" your little sister said.

Those are the types of conversations you probably miss the most.

Please send money.

No, Daddy,

You're supposed to send me money, remember? Money, money, money. Small bills, mostly 50s.

Hi, honey,

I was disturbed to learn last night that your mother gave you all the leftover manicotti the last time you visited and that you returned with it to school.

As you know, I love leftover manicotti almost as much as life itself and hope you will return some of it. This is fairly urgent, in that I believe I am suffering some sort of midlife crisis that only your mother's manicotti can cure.

Dear Daddy,

The manicotti is totally gone. So's my money. Please send it now or I am dropping out and coming home to live with you and Mom. Forever.

Don't you remember what that was like?

Hi, honey,

Your room awaits you. It's just the way you left it: messy and smelling of nail polish and soccer socks.

There's a fire in the fireplace. We'll leave a light on.

Love always, Dad.

*

Chris Erskine's column is published on Wednesdays. His e-mail address is chris.erskine@latimes.com.

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