Changing seasons

August 19, 2010 at 4:31 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

While summer doesn’t officially end until late September, I’ve always felt that the beginning of the school year marks the shift. Now that I’m living in a college town I’m eager to see what this will mean here. Yesterday I ran into Target and I was taken back six years to the meaningful conversations I had with daughter #1 as we prepared to move her into a dorm room.
Me: “…that lamp is cute, but you need something cute AND functional.”
Her: …”I hate you.”
Me: “…what if your roommate brings a rug too, the room isn’t very big?”  Her…”I hate you.  “Me: “…absolutely not! You’re going to college for an education, not to watch TV!”  Her:…I hate you!”  Me: “Whatever.”  Her: “Whatever.”

I actually heard the exact same conversation. Here is what I would tell the mom now that I’ve gone down the road a few times. Just nod and say fine. After all the money you’re going to spend on tuition, what’s another 500 bucks. The rugs will be puked on in short order, it’ll be good to have a back up. The lamp lighting won’t make a bit of difference on your students ability to study. Having a TV in the room will give your student a diversion from partying, or studying, but mostly from partying. When they graduate, they’ll tell you that they love you. It’ll be worth it.
There were mothers and sons at Target too. The mothers were asking the sons if they needed things. The sons didn’t know. It was very funny and kind of sad, these moms, having driven their man-boys to the college town, and desperately wanting to give them the tools they would need to survive. Tide, Bounce, Irish Spring, Jockeys and the rest. The boys were sizing up the beer coolers with one eye, and rolling the other one at the mother holding the 3-pack of Lysol.
So there you have one change of season sign: Target is crowded with mom’s wearing CU Buffs T-shirts and the human drama is playing itself out.
The upperclassmen will be moving into their ramshackle rentals over the next few days. I’ve been seeing lots of beds and sofas left for the garbage trucks as one set of renters makes room for the next. The sweet smell of reefer populates some streets as the early birds are settling in their nests and the parties at the nearby park go later into the night.
Starbucks is packed, but so far the “kids” haven’t discovered the hipster, hippie coffee shops here on the east end. They will, they’ll grow their hair out, pick up some Peruvian made scarves, stop eating meat, become addicted to espresso, become lesbians, then not, join Green Peace, take a philosophy class, decide their parents are right-wing idiots, and learn to play the guitar. It’s their season of love.
Blues jam concerts on the mall will make way for marching band pep rallies. Local concerns will move to page 2 as the rise and fall of the football teams’ season becomes front page fodder.

Locals are starting to complain about the traffic, the “you-can’t-find-a-parking-place”, damn kids riding their bikes drunk (a few tickets have been issued recently), yet they forget that part of what makes a college town special is the energy and verve that the students bring.  It’s like complaining about sand in your shorts when you’ve chosen to sit at the beach.  I say bring on the students, bring their insight, their energy, style, and noise.  It’ll be quiet enough in the nursing home, so until then:  Go Buffs!


1 Comment

  1. kathy said,

    I just love to read your thoughts. Great!
    Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

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