It all started with an old futon that my eighteen-year-old son wanted from home for his dorm room. His loving parents drove two hours with it on game day. Not the smartest decision.
Maybe it was last-child syndrome. You know, where you get guilted into it because “you drove cross country in a blizzard to move the girls but what do I get? Dumped off at college with almost nothing except the clothes on my back.” (Poor baby. Tuition, a meal plan, and clean socks are a lot of nothing, huh?)
Being the great parents that we are, we somehow took the futon apart enough to fit it into the back of a CRV and get it to the dorm. As soon as we pulled up, my husband got out of the car, looked around nervously at all the traffic, and told me, go park.
What? On game day? No, siree. Not me. YOU park the car, I said.
Look, hubby said. Unless you can haul this futon up to the 6th floor and put it together, you need to park the car.
But, but…I sputtered. It’s not that I have fear of parking. More like fear of getting lost. It’s not beyond me to get lost going to the grocery store, and it’s only a mile away from my house. I did the math in my head. 95,000 people in the stands, say a car for every 2-5 people? That’s a lot of fighting for parking spaces.
Behind us, cars were honking and people were getting irate. After all, who unloads a futon during game day? Crazy people, right?
So I went, I looked, I parked. The highlight of this hour-long experience was watching people happily tailgating in an open-aired corner of the parking deck, which I thought was very creative!
By the time I walked twenty minutes back to the dorm, the futon was together and husband, son, and roomie were sitting on it relaxing. Grrr. (I tossed husband evil look.) He probably didn’t even see it, seeing as he was too busy fondly reliving his own college experiences.
The game was fun, but at the end of the day, getting out of that deck took an entire hour, then we spent another half hour in traffic watching college kids wander around on High Street, one of whom lost it in a trash can just feet from our car.
Ah, good old college days.
My son was grateful for the old futon with a rip in it (which, I am proud to say, he sewed himself). And for an old rug we found in the attic. The dorm room had been transformed into A Cool Gathering Place. My baby son’s home away from home.
Was it worth all the pain and suffering to see the smile on my son’s face?
Um, no, not really. Well, okay. Maybe a little.