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Authors: Micol Ostow

30 Guys in 30 Days

BOOK: 30 Guys in 30 Days
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If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

30 Guys in 30 Days

How Not to Spend Your Senior Year

BY CAMERON DOKEY

Royally Jacked

BY NIKI BURNHAM

Ripped at the Seams

BY NANCY KRULIK

Spin control

BY NIKI BURNHAM

Cupidity

BY CAROLINE GOODE

South Beach Sizzle

BY SUZANNE WEYN AND DIANA GONZALEZ

She’s Got the Beat

BY NANCY KRULIK

30 Guys in 30 Days

BY MICOL OSTOW

Animal Attraction

BY JAMIE PONTI

30 Guys in 30 Days

MICOL OSTOW

SIMON PULSE
New York London Toronto Sydney

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

SIMON PULSE
An imprint of Simon & Schuster
Children’s Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
www.SimonandSchuster.com

Text copyright © 2005 by Micol Ostow

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

SIMON PULSE and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Designed by Ann Zeak

The text of this book was set in Garamond 3.

Manufactured in the United States of America

First Simon Pulse edition June 2005

10  9  8  7  6  5

Library of Congress Control Number 2005921497

ISBN-13: 978-1-4169-0278-2

ISBN-10: 1-4169-0278-3
eISBN-13: 978-1-439-12046-0

For Duy: an unparalleled music editor, a rising darling of the indie media scene, and one of the great lurves of my life

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to everyone at S&S: Robin, Bethany, Michelle, and Amanda; to my endlessly supportive family (that’s you, Dave!); my friends (who are incredibly understanding of my deadline-related drops from the face of the planet); my fellow Tufts
Daily
drones for a limitless supply of stranger-than-fiction source material; and Jen Love for the original idea of “target practice.”

One

8/23, 10:OOp.m.

from: [email protected]

to: [email protected]

re: first-day jitters

Howdy, little sis—

I just wanted to drop an encouraging line because, if memory serves, you’re off to orientation tomorrow, no? How my baby’s all grown up … (sniff). But I digress.

I’m sure you’re stressing at least mildly about heading off to Woodman all by your lonesome. If I can offer you one small piece of comfort, it’s that it won’t be as bad as you expect. Trust me. I lived through it, and you can too. A few things to keep in mind:

• Under no circumstances should you register for any class that meets earlier than 10 a.m. Even if you think you’re a morning person. Even if you have an alarm clock. You will regret it, this I promise you.

• Any activity involving nudity should probably take place indoors. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)

• Do not be falsely intimidated by the poetry slam set. Or any set, for that matter. In many ways, college is just a replication of high school, particularly in the perpetuation of cheesy cliques. Don’t fall for it!

• Approach all cafeteria food with appropriate levels of wariness.

This may be just about all I have to offer by way of advice, my dear. I understand that Woodman, positioned as it is on the outskirts of the Big Bad Metropolis that is Boston, is slightly different from what I’m used to here at Bryn Mawr. For instance, you’ll probably come in contact with some boys every once in a while. But in light of your recent decision to cut the cord with
Mr. Claudia Clarkson, aka one Drew Cordelle, this could be Good News. (Have I mentioned I think you made the right decision? It was time for you to go Cordless for a while. Now all you need to do is declare a major in gender studies and my work will be done.)

If all else fails, remember that I’m always here for you.
Call with anything. You know I love to play the wizened older sister (who is remarkably youthful and exuberant in appearance).

Must run. Daria wants me to start dinner and the rumor is that I will need to present my senior thesis proposal to the dean of world lit sometime next week. Do ya think a queer reading of the motifs of the female anatomy within third-world feminist literature sounds too dry? Be honest—my academic rep is at stake.

Muchos besos,

Elles

8/23, 11:29 p.m.

from: [email protected]

to: [email protected]

re: first impressions

Hi, Bee—

All moved in. Completely exhausted. Wondering if consuming the contents of an entire six-pack of beer on my own was really a good idea.

I arrived at school around lunchtime, and immediately found myself confused. Apparently my dorm had a designated “move-in hour” that I was on the cusp of missing. Fortunately, my RA (shorthand for “resident assistant,” as I’m sure you’ll soon learn for yourself) directed me to some very energetic freshman males like myself who had come in the day before, unpacked, and were curiously eager to help me unload. I got to pretend that I was a very manly man until we were done—three hours later—and I was outed as weak and unskilled at hard labor. But my new friends were as tired as I! Clearly some relaxation was in order. A quick splash of water across the face and we were “ready to rock”. (not my words).

Thus, the beer.

That was three hours ago. An interesting thing about college is that there’s no one around telling you what to do. The flip side of that is that there’s also no one around telling you what not to do. Like: Don’t drink a six-pack of beer all on your own in a span of three hours.

When I realized my motor skills were starting to flag, I made my way back to my dorm, only to discover that my roommate, in my absence, had arrived and unpacked. Buji Kaul. Engineering student. Nice guy, from what I can tell. Rather, uh … studious. He was reading a book on quantum mechanics when I came home. We haven’t even registered yet, so this must have been a purely recreational endeavor.

Anyway, my tongue is feeling a little less fuzzy, which is probably a good sign. My head, however, is very, very angry at me. I know you’re moving in tomorrow, so I wanted to offer some moral support. And, of course, the benefit of my experience, which is to say: The six-pack is not your friend.

College! Crazy, right? I can hardly believe four years have passed since we first met. I know I’ve said it before, but I am so thankful that you found me and, uh,
encouraged
me
to join the newspaper. And then, you know,
encouraged
me to ask you out.

The hangover isn’t so great for the nostalgia, I’m discovering.

Anyway, I don’t mean to freak you out or question our decision. I think you were right in saying that we needed a chance to be on our owns—back off my grammar; have I mentioned that I’m hungover—for our first time away. Of course, you’re the only one who actually went away, really. Columbia’s, like, half an hour from Englewood. But that’s not the point.

Bee good, Bee (hardy har har) and have an excellent first day. Keep in touch, but don’t feel like you
have
to write me back ASAP. I get the independence thing. Of course, if you
feel
like writing, it wouldn’t be something that would
bother
me, per se….

Buji just turned off his reading light. I think that’s my cue.

Later,

D

Well, this was it. College. For real. It was the last week in August, and I was already
deep in the thick of it, actively orienting. Woodman University, undergrad population of 5,367 students, now had one more to add to the mix.

I had arrived at 131 Thompson Hall earlier that afternoon, having braved the Greyhound bus from Englewood, New Jersey, all by my lonesome. (My parents were traveling for business and had shipped my belongings up earlier.)

My first thought upon stepping into my room was that my roommate was a mad Emily Post-Miss America hybrid. It was a tad disconcerting. The bus ride had not been especially kind to me; I was sweaty, scuzzy, and slightly nauseated from one too many roadside Cinnabons.

Charlie, however—that’s her name: Charlie, short for Charlotte—was bright-eyed, perky, and fresh. A quick glance around the room told me she had been on a crazed decorating frenzy. The girl had one of those “bed-in-a-bag” deals where the comforter and sheets all match, and they come with about six gazillion throw pillows (why? why?) and something called a “dust ruffle.” She had gotten ahold of a
color-coordinated “border,” which she had already affixed to the upper perimeter of our walls.

Oh, and curtains. And
several
framed prints from the Impressionist period.

It took me about a minute to realize that my own rather simple denim duvet and gray chenille throw were not only going to pale in comparison to her
Trading Spaces
extravaganza, but also clash hideously with same. This could potentially cause problems for myself and my would-be new best friend.

Charlie, however, did not seem at all perturbed by my lack of

1) interior decorating skills or

2) personal hygiene.

Which was also amusing, given that the girl is a real-life Southern beauty queen. Seriously. Charlie Norton. When I got the roommate assignment over the summer, I Googled her. We had e-mailed casually a few times, which had been enough to satisfy my concerns that we have a tolerable living arrangement.

While I was trying to figure out what
god of computer matchups had determined that a mutual dislike of both smoking and cookie crumbs rendered Charlie “Five-Time Miss Georgia Peach Queen” and myself suitable roommates, she jumped down from her little step stool (something else I’d never have thought to bring along) and stuck out her hand, beaming at me with a level of gorgeosity that rendered me temporarily blind.

“Hey, I’ve been waiting for y’all! I hope you don’t mind that I went ahead with getting the room together! I thought it’d be nice for you to get here and have everything already set up!”

She said this all without a trace of irony. She genuinely seemed to think that window treatments were the key to soothing my fresh-person anxiety.

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