I’ve been working on a blog about what I’ve been calling Collegepalooza 2016. We’ve been driving all around New England and New York sniffing out colleges for my son. It’s interesting on so many levels that’s good for blogging. But the incident this past weekend earned its own standalone blog. I’ve noticed that a number of people (more than I consider necessary/normal/optimal) bring the whole family to these things. It’s downright odd. OK, if you’ve got 2 teens close in age, it’s a 2 for 1, that I get. But the 8-11-year-old? Um you can leave him/her home, thanks. A friend suggested that maybe there is no other place for the kid to go. Nice try, but that’s bullshit. Play dates start at the toddler stage and fake friendships with other families based solely on your kid’s connections actually peak between the ages of 8-11, so believe me, people have options for dumping their kid for an overnight/weekend.
But then I started to think. That sounds mean, right? Who am I to judge these middle class/upper class people and their khaki shorts and collared polo shirts? Except the moms, who wear dresses straight out of the Lands Ends catalog. Not that there is anything wrong with that. One of my favorite dresses comes from there. Anyway, who am I to judge in my last year’s Old Navy attire? So there I was strolling with the group at Union College in Schenectady working hard to:
- Ignore the ubiquitous khakis and polos.
- Pay attention to the tour.
- Not pay any attention to the 9-year-old kid on the tour snapping a rubber band on his head and whatever else was in his range.
- Struggling with my conscience about all the judging going on in my head.
I was actually doing pretty well with all of the above, when towards the end of the tour it happened. That rubber band launched and snapped me in the arm. We were already moving on by the time the snap registered in my brain and I glanced first at its resting pace on the sidewalk and then cast an accusatory glance to the 9-year-old, whose face came right of out of Simpson’s cartoon casting: “Doh!”
I wanted to yell at the stupid kid. I wanted to call out his parents and question their wisdom of dragging a kid on a college tour. But I’m classier than that. Plus we were nearly at the end of the tour and I thought we’d hold up the others if I yelled, “Holy sting, Batman! What the hell just hit my arm?!? A rubber band? Where the hell did that come from?!?” I wonder if they train the student tour guides for situations like that. Alas, we won’t know, but now I get to throw my guilt out the window and declare it:
Leave your bloody kids at home, or I will make them bloody.
Oh, and good luck at college all you newbies!