>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
August 15, 2004

I've discovered something quite interesting about college students and their mothers: they call all the friggin' time. And they always call at the worst time, like 8am on a Sunday to tell you that they're downstairs in the lobby of your dorm for a surprise visit. Ha ha! Surprise mom! I'm a 15-minute bus ride away on the other side of campus sporting only pants at the moment—and god only knows what my room looks like—so just stay where you are. Don't move, I'll be there ASAP.

Freshman year my roommate's mother would call all the time on weekend mornings. Meghan had the ability to sleep right through forty deafening rings before the phone line finally switched to voicemail. By the end of the first semester I was ready to pick up the phone and scream, “Meghan doesn't want to talk to you this early! She doesn't want to talk to you at all! Are you retarded? Stop calling here this early! Have a good day Mrs. O'Conner, and tell Mr. O'Conner I say hello.” Of course I didn't. I just unplugged the phone.

Imagine having really strict parents that call for your roommate when she's obviously crashed someplace else—like a guy's room for the night. Suddenly panic sweeps over you…what do you tell them? “Um, yeah Abby….is….uh….I….believe at the library. Yep her backpack isn't here so that's where she must be.” So you hang up and then it's a race against the clock to see who can connect to her cell phone first to warn her about the inevitable, you or her parents—who probably know that the library doesn't even open 'til noon. If she doesn't pick up her cell it's best not to answer your room phone anymore that day. Her parents will probably call you back for a follow-up investigation, including whether or not the library has a direct line you can connect them to.

Having your parents visit is either super-easy or super-awkward freshman year—there is no gray area here. Sometimes college students have to camouflage certain possessions in the room. Some people hide all of the liquor bottles in the closet, covering them up with all the clothes left on the floor. Other parents enter the dorm carrying a couple cases of beer for their kids. Who are these people? My mom won't even drive a car after consuming half a wine cooler much less go on a liquor run for me, and these parents are providing kegs? These are the parents of the same kids who dropped me off at home before my midnight curfew and drove off having fun 'til the wee hours of the morning. Life just isn't fair.

Why do parents always have to see your room and awe at its pathetic, collegiate glory? Some parents even try and tidy up while they're there. Hey mom guess what? My room at home is twice this size and I don't remember your maid services being provided all through high school. So just drop the Windex where you stand and get the hell away from the closet.

I wish I could say my parents were cool but they're not. When they stopped by to bring up a better TV I gave each of my roommates little cards to memorize. “Yeah, I'm pre-med so I spend most of my time studying in the library, but Simonne is always there too so it's nice to have someone to sit with.” Or, “Simonne's super laidback, fun, and extremely intelligent.” But then there's always the funny man that ruins it for us all. “Simonne doesn't party as hard as the other students. She parties the hardest. But seriously, when she's not studying she's working. And when she's not working, she's reading to blind-deaf children and doing that whole Green Peace thing with baby seals, not to mention donating her plasma each week. You've got quite a daughter there Mr. and Mrs. C.” Thanks for the improvisation on the note cards boys. Love you to bits.

Let it be known though, that at least when you're parents come up to visit you always get a guaranteed meal from a nice restaurant. Which is great if you go to school in New York or Los Angeles where you can try something expensive and new, but really crappy if the best Italian restaurant in town is The Olive Garden and your dad is craving the New China Buffet across the street—you know, the Chinese restaurant with the all-you-can-eat buffet featuring chow mein noodles, macaroni, and Jello. MMMMM yum!! Come up and visit anytime!