An Open Thank You Letter to My Littles

To my Littles:

Considering that it has been around two years since I met you both and picked you up as my TASA (Taiwanese American Student Association) Littles, I'm about to graduate and that I wrote my Big an open thank you letter, I figured you both deserve one as well.

I don’t really remember my first impression of you, Peggie, only that you were strong, funny and confident—all good qualities. I met Eric at Big and Little Speed Dating, and in a group of chatterboxes, Eric seemed shy and introverted. I had picked up Peggie because we seemed to get along well enough the first few moments we met, and I picked up Eric because I thought he would be shy and cute. Boy, was I wrong. 

After Big and Little Speed Dating, I asked Peggie while we were at the dining commons who she thought she meshed well with. She told me, “I don’t really care who I get, except this one girl who only talked about K-pop.” Apparently, Peggie was not a fan. I simply averted my eyes and said, “I’m gonna go get some cereal,” to avoid admitting that I listened to K-pop. I figured there was no need to burst my good first impression quite yet. 

I remember Eric wrote down “hot sauce” for one of his favorite foods or snacks, so I went out and bought him my favorite hot sauce, Tapatío, among other snacks. At Big Little Reveal, Eric quite literally jumped for joy at the hot sauce, though people thought he was jumping while looking at me.

Peggie, you gifted me an entire case of Arizona that you had purchased from Costco. I remember writing down Arizona in my snack section, hoping to receive a bottle or two, but an entire case definitely went down in TASA history as one of the most iconic gifts. Carrying that thing was a struggle to say the least. 

After Reveal, our relationship progressed at a rate that I neither anticipated nor imagined. Thank you Eric for firmly cementing yourself into my life so quickly, whether it was by my consent or not. Perhaps it is good thing you latched onto me early on, or else I cannot say we would be as close as we are now. You started off sending me pictures on Snapchat of your pimples, calling them mountains and naming a cluster of them the Himalayas.

That easily broke whatever ice we may have had, and you probably said, “I’m bored,” “Hang out with me” and “I’m hungry” at least three times a day. You would invite yourself over all the time, and Peggie would always come along. You forced us to hang out so much that it became imbedded into my schedule. 

Eric, you are intense and dramatic and ridiculous, but also weird and hilarious and slightly insane. You love your major intensely, and I love that you like school and learning to somewhat the same degree that I do. You appreciate Santa Barbara, you love going to the beach and you enjoy watching the sunset as it sets on the horizon. I envy your YOLO lifestyle and how you can say goodbye to your responsibilities enough to enjoy yourself but still manage to study. As long as you’re having fun, you always bring a smile to my face. 

Peggie, you took longer to figure out. At first, I wasn’t sure if you actually liked me as your Big or not, but after weeks of messaging us all in our group chat and sending us mukbang videos, I think it’s safe to say we’re close. We have mostly the same opinions about movies, books and journalism, especially Disney princesses and all their subsequent live-action remakes. Thank you for always supporting me in my writing career, for editing my drafts at times and for telling me that I deserve to write on a professional platform.

The both of you live together, so conveniently when I FaceTime one, the other is usually there. Your housemate, Brian is also usually present, and our relationship has grown massively since he started living with you both.

To my pseudo-Little, I have enjoyed getting close to you, and I always welcome your monotone, slightly savage comments. I find it exceedingly funny that everything fascinates and amazes you. Thank you for going with me to the 68 block that night in search of my lost wallet; it has been one of my most memorable bonding moments. I'm glad that our relationship has extended past working together for TASA, and know that I am here to give infinite support and comfort. Take care of our beloved club well, Brian. I know you’ll do your best. 

I remember telling you guys that I was going to transfer to UCLA, and Peggie’s reaction was so nonchalant that I thought maybe you didn’t care, maybe you would not miss me as much as I would miss you. Eric was a bit more expressive, whining about it the next few months after. Every time you asked me, “Can you not transfer?” I secretly asked myself the same question. You have both become so integral to my college experience, I could not imagine being a college student without the two of you jabbering on either side of me. 

It warmed my heart that the both of you tried harder than some to stay close to me. Our hometowns are only a 20-minute drive from each other, but you driving to nothing-to-do-Walnut to see me means a lot. The first few weeks at UCLA I kept looking for you beside me or in the face of others, missing your presence like phantom limbs. At least, you never let me miss you for long; Peggie, you FaceTimed me so often my third year that I was more than well informed in all your lives, even so many miles away. 

Sometimes you guys still spam our group chat late at night, and we still Snap each other daily. I have tried my best to be a good Big to you, though I fear I may not have been very helpful. You both rarely ask me about school, but any time you did, I tried to give an accurate answer or lead you to a resource I thought would help. As for TASA, you’re both not super involved, but at least it brought us all together. It gave us this relationship that I will always be thankful for. 

As you know, I don’t know how to openly express my feelings in person. I’m a writer, only in words on a page am I clearest, so in real life my expressions of love and care are sloppy and indirect. I hope somewhere along the way, my clumsy attempts at loving you have reached you. For Eric, I try to hug you every chance I get, and I try to respond to every Snap or message you send me. For Peggie, if I’m ever awake late enough, I try to pick up every FaceTime or Messenger video call. I’m only willing to stay up until 3 a.m. video calling for you, my friend.

There is a moment that will always stay in my memory as the first sign of what exactly I was getting into. TASA was having an event at Hana Kitchen, and when I got there with my roommate, Eric bellowed at the top of his lungs, “KAITLYN!” Everyone looked at me with an “Is that one yours?” look. I was intimidated and impressed by your energy, and I’ve tried my best to match it with mine every step of the way. 

On the Big Little preference questionnaire, you both answered, “What do you look for or want in a Big?” adorably. Peggie’s reply was tame enough, “Easy to talk to and joke around with and knows how to have fun,” whereas Eric wrote, “Someone low-key insane and fun. Sarcastic and funny and someone who likes to do dumb shit with me.” I have tried to the best of my abilities to honor these hopes and expectations as you both continue to greatly exceed mine. Thank you for everything, my crazy kids.