That Anne Girl

February 11, 2010 § 3 Comments


The fabulous Anne Riley is hosting a Pre-Famous interview series and was kind enough to consider me Pre-Famous worthy. She has a manuscript and a shiny agent. Together they are working hard to get Anne published and I know it will happen for her.

That’s cool enough, but what I find even cooler is how I know Anne. The majority of the people who read my blog or know me on twitter are complete strangers. Not Anne.

            I first met Anne when I was 17 and the new girl my senior year of high school. We had a few classes together. I remember sitting in front of her during Government, I wasn’t really paying attention to the teacher, but heard a lot of copious note taking behind me. I immediately felt inadequate and started to pay attention. When class was over, I turned around to see if my notes looked anything like hers. Instead of finding notes, Anne had sketched the most beautiful pencil drawing of the back of my head. I’d swept my hair up in a pencil that day and she’d shaded an exact likeness. She’s a wonderful artist.

We got to know each other best during our roles as diner girls in the fall musical. It’s possible I wore roller skates.   

            When it came time to look at colleges, we visited two together and some separately, but eventually decided to attend the University of Alabama and be roommates. Who was excited? We were!

            I loved being her roommate. My biggest regret is that I didn’t let her put a Spiderman poster on a more prominent wall. She might have walked in on me crying during a season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

            One of my favorite memories took place about a week after we’d moved in. Classes hadn’t started, yet, and we were still getting used to being college girls. My husband and I were dating at the time (yes, we’ve been together a long time) and he came to visit us. We started the day with the three of us walking around the campus.

A little background information on my husband first, we’ll call him “Harrison.” He also attended the University of Alabama a few years before Anne and I made it there. When I asked him about his time there, he said he “helped move it from the #7 to the #3 party school in the nation.” Harrison transferred to another school and this is when we met. While at the University of Alabama, Harrison dated an African-American woman on and off for 3 years. I’m not diminishing the trials of inter-racial relationships in other parts of the world, but in Alabama, it’s particularly strained. Harrison was able to find a great group of friends who supported the relationship.

Anyway, back to Anne, Harrison, and I taking in the sights of the University. Anne, the delightful conversationalists that she is, asked Harrison all about his experiences while he attended.

“Were you in a lot of clubs while you were here, Harrison?”

“Only one,” he answered. “The AAA.”

“Which is that?”

“The African American Association.”

Anne was a little taken aback. “The African American Association? Wait, you are white, right? You’re not just someone who kind of looks white? Right?” She looks at me for some kind of confirmation, but I’m staring at Harrison, who’s crying he’s laughing so hard. It was awesome.

Memories aside, I adore Anne. We never talked about being writers as bright-eyed coeds, but I loved being apart of her life. I’m thankful to have met such a friend and find it unbelievable we’ve reconnected in such a different way through our writing now. We’ve been to each other’s weddings and I hope, hope, hope, we will someday be at each other’s book signings.

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