Saturday, December 18, 2010


It was three in the morning, and I was exhausted. I was not in my room. I was in Jenny's dorm, but Jenny was still sitting in a hallway giving someone the kind of advice only Jenny Barnett can give.

It was of those moments when you realize it's three in the morning and your weekend is still unfolding in ridiculous ways. It continues to amaze at every turn. The weekend that began the previous morning when I missed not one but two trains to Providence, Rhode Island where Katie Warren waited to drive me to Storrs, Connecticut continued to surprise as I woke up on a dorm-room floor disoriented.

I had arrived nearly thirty-six hours earlier with an especially inconvenient request: Jenny, can we go somewhere and do a load of laundry?

A load of laundry? Why would a freshman arrive at Spring Weekend with a load of dirty laundry?

Well, we can answer that question with another question: How does someone miss two trains in one morning?

Upon arrival I made a phone call in the parking lot outside a freshman dorm. The phone call went something like this:

Dan: Jenny, can I do a load of laundry before we do anything? Something spilled in my bag, and my clothes smell like tiramisu.

Jenny: No, absolutely not.

So the duffel bag dulche was delivered to Jenny's dorm and transformed the room with scents akin to potpouri and Funfetti.

My hostess' first question went something like this:

Jenny: Are you f***ing kidding me, Dan?

I think she repeated that question when I discovered the few pieces of clothing I had brought with me did not include boxers. I would need to make a stop at the student union. It's a good thing I have always been a Huskies fan.

Back to the hard dorm room floor. I was disoriented in part because I did not remember seeing a pile of clothes on Jenny's floor earlier that night. Yet there it was, a dark mass of clothing heaped in a pile next to me.

Or was it? No, it wasn't. Shortly Jenny would pop in and tell me I was sleeping side-by-side with her roomate's boyfriend, my feet in his face and vice-versa.

It was time to move to another room.

As I do so I walk outside and there is Jenny continuing her conversation with someone she met on the walk back from the party that night. It turns out Jenny shared a mutual friend with this boy from East Lyme. He was probably hitting on her. She was not putting up with it nor holding back on her ill feelings toward his skater-punk haircut and his life's ambitions.

Boy: I have a band. I am at UCONN to get a degree, but I plan on making music with my band for a career.

Jenny: Do you know how stupid that is? How do you expect that to work?

That is frank advice. I felt re-oriented.

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