Tag Archives: college students

Apology to My Appliances

washerDear Kenmore Elite Washer and Dryer, I am so sorry. I understand that there are limits to your capacity and capabilities to perform your set functions, but I can’t tell my college students not to come home with a half-semester’s worth of dirty laundry. Of course, you and I have developed a machine-human relationship built on respect and understanding that, obviously, in their naïve youthfulness, they don’t quite get. I try not to overload you and you try not to eat single socks. For us, it works. They, however, have strange ideas. Young people are like that.

First of all, I sort clothes. Whites, colors, jeans, towels, delicates – you get it. It’s like an adult Sesame Street® game where you match all the things that are alike. If nothing else, this is a great way to keep tighty-whities from being tighty-denim blues. So maybe college students don’t actually get that. To them, sorting is “wash” or “throw away.” One load. One love. And whereas I try to not overtax the machine, they believe if you can still force the door closed, you’re good to go. My dear Kenmores, I can only apologize.

To the French-door, freezer underneath refrigerator, I appreciate your efforts to work overtime. I do understand that it is more difficult to maintain a consistent temperature when the doors stand open for long periods of time. And yes, I realize, too, that there was a lot of food in there, but maybe there were just too many choices. Although, by the end of the relatively brief visit, you and the pantry looked like all battalions of the Syrian Army had just come through on a supply raid. I promise to reward your consistency and patience by restocking as soon as I liquidate my 401K.

You have to realize, my prized and well-loved appliances, that college students just aren’t like you. They have no easy-to-understand manual that lets you trouble-shoot problems as they arise. There is certainly no warranty or protection plan. There are no YouTube videos that explain step-by-step how to go back to the original factory settings. Trust me, I checked!

The good news for you – although not so much for me – is that the college students seem to only migrate through seasonally. I’ve already scheduled the technician for your tune-ups. And thank you for your service.


Filed under Much Ado About Nothing

Sheets Happen

Dorm roomAfter nearly two months of living in his college dorm room, my youngest son proudly sent me a text message (because you know college kids can’t actually dial a phone and talk on it, they text), and he proudly declared that he had actually washed his sheets … for the first time. As a mother with at least a marginal sense of parental responsibility, I wasn’t sure if I should be overwhelmed with a sense of “Where oh where did I go wrong” or actually proud that I got this text at the end of September and not March.

I try to place it on a scale of what are normal ranges for college freshman. On one end of the spectrum, I know his roommate is still living out of the suitcase he showed up with. At least my kid has his clothes on hangers. Okay, they were on hangars when I left him at the beginning of the semester, so in my mind, they’re on hangers. Just give me this delusion, will you? On the other end, there are the dorm dwellers with beds that would make a military drill sergeant misty-eyed. Of course, those are the kids who also have mothers driving to campus regularly to pick up laundry and drop off lunch. (I can’t even type that idea without cringing.) I guess that makes him pretty normal.

I’m reasonably certain that he has done laundry since he’s been gone despite the failure to include the bed sheets… reasonably certain, but not wholly positive. Which is why, a few weeks in, I sent a care package with socks and underwear, just in case. He’s probably too old for CPS to take him into custody for parental neglect, but, at the same time, I try to keep up appearances of being a good mother.

So I sent a reply to his text asking if he’d also gotten the sheets back onto the bed. And he had. I mean, to clarify, they were piled up on the bed with the rest of the laundry, so that sort of counts. I’m not sure if the bed was ever actually made again, and, honestly, I didn’t pursue it past there. As a parent, you have to chalk the wins when you can and let go of the rest. He has clean sheets – I’m a happy mom.


Filed under Much Ado About Nothing

Emotional Support Animal Fail

bad-parents-21-2In order to help stressed out college students survive their final exams, universities are starting to bring specially-trained emotional support dogs and cats to campuses. For just a few minutes, muddle-brained students can crawl out of the corner of the library that they’ve inhabited for three solid days without bathing or sleeping and pet a puppy. While I’m not sure this will help anyone overcome a semester worth of skipping classes, anything is worth a shot. You may not be one equation closer to understanding astrophysics, but you’re one fuzzy kitten less stressed about flunking out.

While this is a fine idea, there are a couple of issues here. What about the student who is allergic to animal dander? Instead of spending those crucial last hours memorizing the names and locations of every star in the galaxy along with its atmospheric density, some poor kid is scratching hives, blowing snot, and trying to find their Benadryl through swollen, weepy eyes. The idea of bringing allergen-free emotional support snakes seems to really work against the whole idea of relieving stress and it lacks the same universal appeal as baby bunnies. So, I’m not exactly sure how you balance that.

I have a dog at my house, but if anyone needs some emotional support, it might be Buster. He’s really old now, so he’s confused about a lot of things. And to be honest, when you’re old and lost in the backyard, stress builds up pretty fast. So I guess I need to get him an emotional support squirrel, right? Except squirrels practically send him into apoplectic seizures, not to mention what it does to the squirrel. Then I’m dealing with an unstable, geriatric dog and a yard rodent in stroke mode. Explain to me again how this is helping anyone.

If you ask me, this whole thing is over-rated and way out of whack. Find me an emotional support animal that can pour a glass of wine, cook a nice dinner, run the laundry and file my taxes. Otherwise, you’ve got AA dogs trying to play in the majors. As for the college kids, maybe study more and party less and you can face your exams without sobbing in the fur of someone else’s dog. Oh, and good luck with finals.

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Filed under Much Ado About Nothing