We finished shopping for all things college. Trash cans, clocks, fans ,washcloths, hangers, graph paper, plastic containers, underwear, picture frames, sheets, towels, laundry detergent, socks, power strips, extension cords, softener sheets, computer locks, …
We took off in two cars, FirstBorn and Boyfriend in one car, Grillman and myself in the other. Of course the entire country was headed for the campus, and although you can check in between 9 and 3, they all arrived at 6am. As we sat in traffic, on the campus, with hundreds of cars behind us, WE GOT A FLAT TIRE! Not kidding. At this point we were in the Quad area, in the center of everything that was happening, hundreds of cars, thousands of people, with a flat tire. I pulled out of line, knowing that TPTB were not going to like it but what else could I do? My mind immediately pictured my husband, in 92 degree weather, in the center of the universe, changing a tire and realized the day was ruined. Ruined in a way that Rory Gilmore’s day was ruined when she missed the Shakespeare test, ruined like Snow White’s day was ruined when she met the produce lady, ruined like the corned beef on the St. Patricks Day when my sister forgot to put water in the pot and cooked it dry for 5 hours. But magically, a young lady with a clipboard arrived in seconds, in a chipper voice she explained that I had a flat tire and SHE WOULD CALL SOMEONE TO FIX IT! Again, not kidding. Suddenly, someone arrived and began to change our tire, then more people arrived with bottles of ice cold water for the tire changer and my husband. I thought that possibly it was all a dream but no, my daughter may have started at the best school in the universe.
After that what could go wrong? Every box, duffle back, laptop, refrigerator, and laundry basket was whisked out of the car and up to her room by a herd of frat boys in about 13 seconds flat. Amazing. Apparently we are having a magical day where nothing can destroy the happiness of leaving your child at a place filled with 6,000 strangers who probably want to do her harm.
As FB and BF went to get her registered and stand in lines I began to organize her room. Her roommates arrived and were sufficiently interrogated so that over lunch I could privately fill her in on their deepest secrets. FB would never ask them the most important questions and would therefore be shocked later to find out that one of them is a LARPer and the other a gorgeous, atheletic, wonder girl that sews all her own clothes and is currently pre-engaged to her boyfriend, a 21 year old plumber from NJ. (Not familiar with LARPers? Check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ04mfAY2BU ).
Of course, in a way, her roommates resemble my first college roommates. I went to a very small Christian college. Roommate number 1 lasted one term. She was a Black Sabbath lover, who decorated her side of the room in black light posters and a giant stereo. My side was an ode to Kliban Cat. Her boyfriend carried a plastic “bloodied” hand around with him that he claimed was Satan’s hand. I had never heard of Black Sabbath and had actually never owned a record album. Roommate number 2 lasted one semester also. She was a 18 year old beauty that left every night at 10pm with her 33 year old boyfriend name Buzzy, and returned each morning at 7am to sleep until the afternoon. I was so worried about her that I would get her assignments and do them, in addition to mine so that she would not fail. Eventually, her flagrant disregard of chapel attendance caused her to be expelled.
So, here I am 3 days later. She hasn’t called. She has briefly texted brief replies to my completely non-probing texts. If part of college is about growing up, I think the first thing she needs to learn is that moms need to feel needed, and we need blow by blow accounts of their day in order to sustain our sanity. So grow up, FirstBorn, I’m waiting to hear from you!